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Opinions of Thursday, 23 June 2016

Columnist: Owusu Stephen Atta

Dzifa Attivor’s Confession: NPP will jail me if they assume power

Dzifa Attivor Dzifa Attivor

This is what Dzifa Attivor told the people in the Volta Region: If you don't vote for NDC, I will be in jail if NPP comes to power.

This was a genuine concern from the former Transport Minister who had been involved in shady deals and corrupt malpractices. She tried to turn things in her favour by blaming the New Patriotic Party (NPP) of tribalism whose aim is to prosecute only Ewes if they happen to win the November 7th elections.

Dzifa Attivor continued remorselessly and deliberately to fan the flames of tribalism by singling out those Ewes who were tried and jailed when NPP assumed power in 2001.

The former Transport minister is frightfully aware of the skeletons in her cupboard and she is truly scared of being prosecuted when NPP comes to power.

The reasons she gave for this tribal allegation clearly revealed her deep hatred for Akans. According to Dzifa Attivor the aim of the NPP when they assumed power in 2001 was to prosecute only Ewes. This was never true. The fact is, President Rawlings, himself an Ewe, filled his government with Ewes.

Rawlings consistently overlooked the shady deals, corruption and greed committed by people in his government. When NPP won power in 2001, some corrupt ministers including Victor Selormey, Dan Abodakpi, both Ewes, and other ministers who were not Ewes were tried in court and sentenced to different years of imprisonment. Dzifa Attivor used this as her evidence that between 2001 and 2008 NPP targeted only members of her ethnic group for prosecution.

What Dzifa Attivor is refusing to understand is that these men were not prosecuted on grounds of tribalism but were sentenced purely for crimes against the state.

For the records, these ministers were tried in a fast track high court. Selormey was a former Deputy Minister of Finance under Rawlings regime. He received his jail sentence thirteen days to Christmas 2001. He was sentenced to a total of eight years imprisonment by an Accra fast track court. It is important for readers and Dzifa Attivor to note that the court was not motivated by tribal sentiments to convict him.

He was convicted on all six counts of defrauding by false pretense, conspiracy and causing financial loss to the state. President Kufuor granted him a presidential pardon after just three years into his prison term. He died on 18th April, 2005.

Another Minister who suffered a similar fate was Dan Abodakpi, a former Minister of Trade and Industry. The same court jailed him 10 years in August 2007. He was sentenced on three counts of conspiracy, two counts of defrauding and two counts of wilfully causing financial loss of $400,000 to the state. Once again, Dzifa Attivor must note that there was no tribal motive in Abodakpi's imprisonment but rather he committed a fraud when he and the late Victor Selormey co-chaired a Trade and Investment programme.

I want to stress here again that Dzifa Attivor is deeply afraid of the uncompromising axe of justice of the NPP because she is very much aware that she has committed crimes against the state. She was compelled to resign following the controversial bus branding saga.

The former Minister for transport, Dzifa Attivor and the government were accused of misplaced priority considering that the state could have raked in nearly Ghc5 million a month if it had given out the spaces on the 116 buses for commercial advertisement.

Investigations revealed that the amount quoted by the advertising company, Smartys Management and Production, was inflated by the Minister. Honest Ghanaians are painfully aware that nothing can be done to Dzifa Attivor once her party is in power.

A detailed pro-forma invoice for the re-branding of the buses has revealed that stickers on each bus cost Ghc11,000. The pro-forma invoice dated 17th July 2015, and signed by the Accounts Officer of Smarttys Management and Productions and copied to the Ministry of Transport, put the total cost of branding for each bus at Ghc30,420.00.

The Minister's action also comes a day after some seven Ghanaian citizens instituted a court action against government over the controversial contract. When she realized that her dishonesty and corruption had become an open secret, she resigned and deliberately began to extend her gratitude to President Mahama and the NDC party.

She was fully aware that she could easily get away with her booty on the bus branding and she was fully aware that the President would protect her from being prosecuted and jailed. After resigning her ministerial position she mounted a political platform during the launch of a group called, "Ketu South For Fiifi and Mahama."

She declared that prosecution hangs on her head like the sword of Damocles if they don't vote massively for NDC. She continued that NPP will always look out for her and Ewes to prosecute because they have done that before.

As a matter of fact, Dzifa Attivor is not the only corrupt person who is afraid of NPP coming to power. Those who hold secret fears include Woyome and Okudjeto Ablakwah. It is merely a coincidence that all of them are Ewes.

Columnist: Stephen Atta Owusu Author: Dark Faces at Crossroads Email: stephen.owusu@email.com

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