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General News of Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Source: GNA

NDC demands accountability from NPP

Accra, July 15, GNA - The National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Tuesday urged Ghanaians voters and media practitioners to demand accountability from the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) as it seeks a mandate for another term.

The Government must give detailed account of the tax payers' money spent on the recent controversial national awards, the cost of the 515 insignia and medallions and why did they ordered a three-year stock, Mr. Elvis Afrieyie Ankrah a Deputy General Secretary of the party, stated at a news conference in Accra.

The NDC therefore called on civil society and all well-meaning Ghanaians to rise up, find their voices and speak against this sheer plundering and misapplication of national resources.

The news conference attended by high ranking NDC officials was organized to catalogue some alleged governmental "bizarre actions and expenditures" and appeal to the media to lead the crusade to demand accountability from NPP.

The bizarre actions and expenditures include the use of GH¢ 1.4 million on the national award medals and insignia and refusal of President John Agyekum Kufuor to use an executive jet bought by his predecessor when he assumed office yet has decided to order two luxurious jets.

Others are the benefit derived from about 167 foreign trips by the President since January 7, 2001, the use of large presidential convoy at a time when the nation is grappling with fuel crisis and economic hardship, and the procurement of goods and services in the name of the incoming government.

The NDC also challenged the NPP Government to account for the 25 million dollars spent on the 50th anniversary celebration and provide evidence of the hundreds of places of convenience that were supposed to be built along major highways during the golden jubilee celebration.

Other issues were the whereabouts of the 50 state-of-the-art Mercedes Benz, Chrysler and BMW saloon cars that were purported to have been acquired for the use of dignitaries during the 50th anniversary. The NDC also demanded from the government the current owners of Ga lands acquired by the state at the La Wireless area for the construction of villas for the visiting dignitaries during the African Union summit and Ghana@50 celebrations.

"How much was paid to the La Traditional Council, owners of the land and the Ga state in general?" the NDC asked.

On the sale of 70 per cent share of government in Ghana Telecom, the NDC condemned it and assured the public that a future NDC government would review the whole transaction.

The NDC said it would review the national award process so as to ensure that the choice of the people to be honoured was made more participatory and non-partisan to ensure that the awards were not steeped in controversy to taint the dignity and respectability of those honoured.

The NDC said its criteria for honours would seek to recognise Ghanaian creativity and ingenuity as local craftsmen would be engaged to design the national medal to promote the Ghanaian jewellery industry. 15 July 08