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General News of Thursday, 2 November 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Mahama had no hand in COCOBOD guest house – Mogtari

The office of John Mahama has refuted claims that the former president influenced the construction of a guest house in his hometown of Bole, in the Northern Region, using funds belonging to the Ghana Cocoa Board, for his personal comfort.

A statement signed by his aide, Joyce Bawa Mogtari, clarified that, the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana Research Station Guest House, “has been in existence since 1975.”

The statement also described the accusation by the COCOBOD Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, as falling into “a regrettable pattern of false and inaccurate information.”

Mr. Boahen Aidoo was speaking at a press conference on Wednesday to respond to allegations of mismanagement of the cocoa sector by the Minority in Parliament, where he leveled a number of allegations against the Mahama government.

“The penchant to siphon funds through inflated contracts was rampant in the NDC-Opuni administration through ill-conceived construction contracts in the cocoa sector. These contracts were awarded without proper value for money analysis, bringing into question the motive for the contract for instance, to construct a guest house at Bole in the Northern Region, which was needless at the time it was awarded. President John Mahama was said to have influenced the awarding to enable him enjoy a comfortable holiday during his visit to his constituency,” he said.

But Mr. Mahama’s office contends such claims are “intended to slander the former President as a way of covering up bad management practices and decisions identified and highlighted by the NDC Minority in Parliament about the country’s cocoa sector.”

“Such an unwholesome practice will only serve to detract from the important business of managing the Cocoa sector which is the lifeblood of the Ghanaian economy,” it added.

Focus on task at hand

The office thus urged Mr. Boahen Aidoo “to pay greater attention to discharging the weighty responsibility entrusted to him devoid of unnecessary partisanship and mudslinging.”

It also defended the decision to renovate the guest house saying: “a decision by the Board of COCOBOD to renovate the facility, after many years of use cannot be needless, and does not require the influence of the President of the Republic, as he then was.”

Find below the full statement

CRIG Guest House was built in the 70s, not for Mahama
The Office of Former President John Dramani Mahama has learnt of a number of claims by Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo, at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday.

Among others, Mr. Boahen Aidoo stated that President John Dramani Mahama influenced the award of a contract to construct a guest house at Bole in the Northern Region to “enable him enjoy comfortable holidays during visits to his constituency.”

For the avoidance of doubt, the Office of the Former President wishes to state that this claim is false.

The guest house in question, the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) Research Station Guest House, has been in existence since 1975, and could not possibly have been constructed during the tenure of President Mahama.

The assertion therefore that he influenced its construction is also false.
The Station conducts research into Shea nut and Cashew, to boost production of these two crops in the Brong Ahafo, Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions that constitute the Northern Savannah zone.

Also, the CRIG Research facility includes the guest house that has always provided commercial accommodation services to officials of COCOBOD and any other person that requires its use.


A decision by the Board of COCOBOD to renovate the facility, after many years of use cannot be needless, and does not require the influence of the President of the Republic, as he then was.

The Office of the Former President has noted a regrettable pattern of false and inaccurate information put out by the Chief Executive of COCOBOD intended to slander the former President as a way of covering up bad management practices and decisions identified and highlighted by the NDC Minority in Parliament about the country’s cocoa sector.

Such an unwholesome practice will only serve to detract from the important business of managing the Cocoa sector which is the lifeblood of the Ghanaian economy.

The Office wishes to encourage Mr. Boahen Aidoo to pay greater attention to discharging the weighty responsibility entrusted to him devoid of unnecessary partisanship and mudslinging.

SIGNED
Joyce Bawah Mogtari

Special Aide to HE John Dramani Mahama.

Thursday Nov., 02, 2017.