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Feature Article of Friday, 5 October 2012

Columnist: Kpebu, Seidu

Dirt thrown at the Mahama family will not stick

… NPP can never shed their lying scales

By Seidu Kpebu

How on earth could the NPP exhibit the level of bravado at their press conference accusing the president of malfeasance or corruption when they in fact are highly guilty of these accusations? The NPP are becoming disillusioned and rightly so, they are struggling with their moribund campaign which only message hinges on free SHS education. A campaign relying solely on one message or policy that is not resonating with the good people of Ghana is indeed, in deep waters.

One would have thought that the NPP which prides itself as championing the course of the private sector will show maturity in dealing with an issue like the Engineers and Planners’ loan facility from the Merchant Bank which was contracted in 2007 under the NPP administration.

The NPP argues that Engineers and Planners is the biggest debtors of Merchant bank as at August this year; owing the bank Ghc57.2 million and yet could not produce any evidence to the effect that President Mahama is guilty of any crime or has influenced the bank to write-off the debt. The company has since issued a press release clarifying its position on this matter; the debt is going to be refinanced and arrangement has been completed for payment to commence.

Interestingly, the purported Reuters report which the NPP so much relied on never mentions anywhere in it that President Mahama has influenced the bank to declare this debt a bad debt nor does the report state that the debt won’t be paid. The report states instructively that: “the transaction also excludes some loans on MBG’s balance sheet, which existing shareholders will acquire and CONTINUE to collect outstanding balances.”

Unless the above quote means something different to Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, Anthony Karbo and their group of scholars, then they must come again and explain to us ordinary Ghanaians what the interpretation means. Instead of talking about issues that are germane to Ghanaians, the NPP has resorted to dirty politics as their last straw. I sincerely believe president Mahama didn’t have any influence in 2007 when the loan was being advanced to E&P and still has no influence on the stand of the credit facility.

Let’s also get it clear that the sale of Merchant bank did not start today, it started when the NPP was in power. The NPP administration took a decision that SSNIT should leave the banking sector and concentrate on other sectors of the economy. The decision led to the sale of SSB to SSB-SGB and recently the sale of The Trust Bank (TTB) to Ecobank. Initially, Kufuor led NPP administration wanted to merge TTB and Merchant bank before sale but the move was rejected and so the TTB was sold separately and Merchant bank was left to stand alone until the FirstRand of South Africa showed interest and understandably their interest was rejected by the government.

The NPP is being dishonest and disingenuous in chastising the government and President Mahama for the woes of Merchant Bank. They are the architects of the challenges the bank is faced with and must take the blame for it. Per their ideology, and like Ghana Airways and Ghana Telecom, they planned to ran down the SSNIT banks and sell them, which they have largely succeeded in doing.

A very close source narrated how the NPP attempted canceling the loan advanced to E&P when they learnt in 2008 that Ibrahim Mahama was the younger brother of the then running mate nominee to the late then candidate Professor John Evans Atta Mills. This even led to the scheduled loan payment plan reviewed from five (5) to three (3) years. It is also believed that it took the intervention of Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to stop the move by the NPP. If they boast that they are private sector party why will they try to sabotage a young entrepreneur who is employing many Ghanaians and working hard to succeed in his business transactions? Is it not Yaw Buabeng Asamoah who was on Asempa FM boasting that: “NPP, we are private sector party.”? Double standards extraordinaire!!!

In view of this account, President Mahama should be commended for not using his position to the benefit of his brother as it was done in the Kufuor led NPP administration where contracts and loans were given to family members. In fact Engineers and Planners is being hounded out of Ghana by the NPP; it currently has its major operations in Sierra Leon and Liberia.

The more the NPP indulge in Machiavellian and 1960s mafia politics, the more they expose themselves to eternal ridicule. Smear campaign will not win the elections for them, it will only damage their credibility considering that they preach one thing and do the very opposite.

Another issue they raised at the press conference that I feel strongly about is the STX housing contract. This is a fraction of the entire government housing policy; however, the NPP wants Ghanaians to believe that the government was relying solely on the Koreans for the provision of houses for Ghanaians. They made mention of GREDA; which is an association of housing firms. The government never denied the association the opportunity to submit their proposal for the provision of houses to reduce the deficit of 1.5 million housing stock in Ghana.

Again the hypocrisy and double standards of members of the NPP is laid bare when they criticize the government over the STX deal when indeed the minority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, was part of the delegation that visited Korea to arrange the deal. He popped Champaign and lauded the deal. What is his position now, especially so that his party is now using it as campaign message?

When good men allow the bad ones in their midst to continue their evil ways, they eventually get tainted and get tagged. Let the good people in the NPP speak against this wicked, vile and evil propaganda unless there aren’t any good ones left in the party.

seidu@gfmradio.com

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