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Opinions of Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Ivor Greenstreet vindicates me in Mahama's Ford 'payola' case

I suppose he was simply echoing the findings of the landmark Jibowu Commission, in the 1950s, which found then-Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah to have been the recipient of a considerable sum of payola “loan” money which the tough-talking leader of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) claimed to have used in the purchase of an American-made Cadillac luxury automobile.

Is there any coincidence that the payola automobile involving President John Dramani Mahama, the 2010 edition of a Ford Explorer, is also an American-manufactured automobile? It is also interesting to observe that both Prime Minister Nkrumah and President Mahama headed governments with leanings towards the East. This is precisely what the proverbial Show Boy meant when he pontifically declared as follows: “We neither face the West nor the East; we face forward.”

Of course, I am in the above observation referring to the rump-Convention People’s Party’s Mr. Ivor Greenstreeet who was widely reported to have glibly riposted that he saw absolutely nothing wrong with President Mahama’s Ford Expedition payola vehicle “gifted” the latter by a Burkinabe citizen who had been awarded a government contract worth some GHc 82 million (See “ ‘Ford Expedition Gift Doesn’t Feel Wrong’ – Greenstreet” 6/16/16). The Young Wing of the rump-CPP has roundly condemned the party’s 2016 Presidential Candidate for grossly misrepresenting the ideals of the party.

In the Jibowu Commission’s exposé, which also involved Prime Minister Nkrumah’s own cousin, Mr. Yaw Djin – the details have somewhat receded down my mnemonic bank – the legendary Pan-Africanist leader had also not felt anything to be ethically amiss with the receipt of his quite handsome largesse.

In exchange for the Cadillac and other assorted forms of payola, the Convention People’s Party government had permitted the Mr. Djin the free use of vehicles and employees belonging to the erstwhile Cocoa-Marketing Board (CMB), presently renamed COCOBOD, for the running of his private ventures.

What is even more interesting, even if also none the least bit surprising, is the fact that scarcely three years ago, President Mahama unveiled an executive code of ethical conduct which forbade all cabinet members and political appointees from receiving gifts of any items worth more than GHc 200.

The latter monetary value is equivalent to $ 50. In the case of the Burkinabe payola, proffered him by a contractor named Mr. Gibril Kanazoe, we are told that the Ford Expedition was valued at $ 100,000 (One-Hundred-Thousand American Dollars). My primary school arithmetic knowledge tells me that the Ford Expedition was worth at least 2,000 times (Two-Thousand Times) the value of gifts acceptable from any individual at any particular moment per the ethical code of executive conduct laid down by Citizen Mahama.

Now, let’s talk about George Orwell and the inexcusably dirty politics of the Animal Farm Republic of Ghana. About the only tragic edge to this scandal is the fact that it came to light just about the same time as the announcement of the passing away of the First Mother of our Republic who had, as of this writing, just been interred. May her soul find lasting rest and quiet.

Where my vindication comes in is in regard to the fact that I have always maintained that fundamentally speaking, there is absolutely no difference in the ideological and ethical practices between the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the rump-Convention People’s Party, as well as all the other left-leaning splinter political parties and organizations in the country.

The r-CPP’s 2016 presidential candidate thinks that it reeks of nothing short of a patent absurdity for anybody to raise the possibility of impeachment proceedings against President Mahama because, somehow, the former Rawlings’ Communication Minister stands head and shoulders over and above the laws of the land, including Ghana’s 1992 Constitution which clearly states in its Article 284 Code of Conduct that any occupant of the Office of the President of the Republic of Ghana who subjects the integrity of this high office to public ridicule and embarrassment offers himself legitimate grounds for impeachment and possible removal from office.

Based on quite a considerable amount of gleanings from some of the most respectable and prominent opinion leaders in the country and media operatives, it is highly unlikely that the law will be allowed to take its logical and/or natural course.

You see, even as the late President Hilla “Babini” Limann once had occasion to bitterly lament, Ghanaians in the post-colonial era have generally never demonstrated any admirable and/or remarkable respect and interest in upholding the laws of the land, especially where professional ethics are concerned.