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General News of Thursday, 8 September 2016


Bawumia fear grips Government

Government seems to be doing everything possible to thwart a public lecture to be given by the vice presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, today to be chaired by former President John Agyekum Kufuor.

Even though the event was expected to take place at the state-run Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) as planned, managers of the facility, which is almost in ruins, have denied the organizers access to the venue 24 hours before the event.

Dr Bawumia has been a thorn in the flesh of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) with his incisive analysis of the Ghanaian economy since the party took office.

The President John Mahama administration has run the economy down from a 14 percent growth in 2009 to 3 percent as at now.

According to sources, when organizers of the lecture went to the Conference Centre to make payment for the use of the place, which had already been agreed upon, the managers rejected the money, claiming that air conditioners at the main hall where the event was to take place were not functioning, raising suspicion that there had been an ‘order from above.’

This obviously came as a surprise to the organizers who left with signs of disappointment written all over their faces.

They had no other option than to immediately look for a new venue, considering the publicity the proposed programme had gained.

The National Theatre, which is a minute or two drive away from the Conference Centre, then became the most probable option.

Venue for the highly publicized lecture, which would be under the theme: “The State of the Ghanaian Economy – A Foundation of Concrete or Straw,” has therefore been changed to the National Theatre, barring any further attempts to frustrate the organizers – considering the fact that the new venue is also state-run.

A statement issued from the office of Dr Bawumia yesterday and signed by his press aide, Kwabena Boadu, explained, “The change in venue follows a decision by the managers of the Conference Centre (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to deny organizers of the programme the use of the facility.

Despite the setback, organizers of the event assured the general public that everything is set for the lecture at the National Theatre today.

Public lectures of Dr Bawumia, who is a celebrated economist and former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), have often ignited thought-provoking debates in the country, sometimes unsettling the government and making officials fall over each other in a desperate attempt to deny his claims, albeit without success.

He usually delivers and explains his submissions in simpler terms, using things that affect the ordinary Ghanaian as examples and backed with facts and figures.

He delights many people, including his political rivals who watch and listen attentively whenever he mounts the podium to speak.