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General News of Thursday, 7 May 2015

Source: The Catalyst Newspaper

NDC To Review Ties With NPP’s IEA

The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is most likely going to review its relationship with the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) biased Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in the near future. This may result in the ruling party severing all with the Jean Mensah-led supposed civil society organisation.
The decision by the NDC, which was made known to the media in Accra by its General Secretary, Hon Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has been a fallout from the recent botched anti-corruption conference held by the IEA in Accra, which the NDC found to be offensive to it because of the partisan manner it was organized to favour the NPP.
According to Hon. Asiedu Nketia, he would refer the matter to the National Executive Council (NEC), which the highest decision making body of the party, to deliberate on and whatever decision is reached would be firmly implemented.
The NDC Chief Scribe has described as a huge joke the IEA programme, indicating that the hitherto respected civil society organisation is gradually descending into the abyss of political bias and thereby sinking its reputation, considering the palpable signs of its unhealthy stance against the John Mahama-led NDC government in recent times, ostensibly in pursuance of an agenda for a regime change.
He pointed out that the programme was a deliberate orchestration by the IEA to wrongly tag the NDC government as promoting corruption within its ranks without providing any factual basis for the wild claims.
According to him, the whole programme was a mere “roadshow and not any serious attempt” to create a platform of a melting pot of ideas aimed at contributing to the fight against corruption in the country.
The NDC General Secretary stressed that if IEA was really serious about fighting corruption, it would not have assembled only NPP gurus and sympathisers as speakers at the forum, which was turned into a platform for anti-government rhetoric.
Some of the NPP gurus and pro-NPP speakers paraded by IEA at the supposed corruption conference were Bishop Palmer Buckle, a known NPP biased clergyman who chaired the function, Prof Kwesi Yankah, known no less than a diehard NPP sympathiser, Mr Dua Agyeman, the ‘overage’ Auditor General under the Kufuor-led NPP government who the NDC Chief Scribe has taken to court over his legitimacy of occupying the position because of his alleged age of 61 at the time of his appointment as Acting Auditor General, a position he occupied for 8 years and Hon Kan Dapaah, an NPP guru.
Mr Nketia pointed out that no government official, party official or sympathiser was included in IEA’s choice of speakers, adding that he was denied the opportunity to make a statement after the submissions of the NPP gurus and sympathisers who had a field day bashing government amidst much falsity and reviling innuendoes.
He stressed that if IEA had wanted to be fair to the general public in ensuring dispassionate discussion on the issue of corruption and suggesting remedies to the canker, it would have allowed for some contribution from the NDC side of the political divide. This, he maintained was absent at the forum, which he said was purely an anti-government platform created, yet again, by IEA for the opposition NPP to have ago at the Mahama government.
According to Mr Asiedu Nketia, the opportunity given him to speak at the forum was a camouflage because in an apparently preconceived decision, Bishop Palmer Buckle stopped him from speaking after he made his introductory comment, which he said smacks of unfairness on the part of the organisers of the forum who gave opportunity to only NPP persons to attack government.
He said claims by Prof Kwesi Yankah that the presidency has been turned into a safe haven for corrupt ministers is not true, and wondered what logic must have informed the Political Science professors reasoning in order for him to arrive at such a weird conclusion.
He said it was a very sensible decision by President Mahama to move Hon. Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah to the presidency so that he could make way for the investigation ordered by the president to be carried out at the sports ministry without his interference and wondered how a whole professor to fail in seeing the wisdom in the President’s decision.
Again, he said the report of the Presidential Commission is currently with the Attorney General, who is expected to advise the President for action on it after its study, which is why it is difficult to understand Prof. Yankah’s logic that the presidency is serving as a “comfortable refuge” for corrupt ministers.
He also said he could not believe his eyes when IEA gave out ‘soli’ to journalists at the programme after Prof Yankah’s loud accusation of the Chief of Staff of corruption for giving the same journalists ‘soli’ after a function at the Flagstaff House recently.
Not too long ago, the IEA came out with what it called a research finding that indicated the John Mahama Presidency is the second most corrupt institution in Ghana. Wen pushed to explain, Mrs Jean Mensah’s IEA claimed its conclusion was based on pure perceptions of people in the streets.
Describing what happened as “a very shameful act,” on the part of the part of IEA, Hon. Asiedu Nketia indicated strongly that if the IEA wants to be taken serious by the general public as a civil society organisation, then it has to do more in purging its present image of political bias against a major stakeholder like the NDC and its government.