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General News of Monday, 18 May 2015


NDC to boycott all IEA events

The governing National Democratic Congress has hinted that it would boycott all activities organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs - IEA following what the party describes as a deliberate attempt to denigrate them.

The NDC is of the view that the policy and economic think tank has shown clear bias in its dealings with them hence their decision to reconsider their relationship with them.

The latest in what the party refers to as a series of deliberate 'untoward' acts against them is the recently held IEA forum on dealing with corruption.

At that forum, the president of the Central University College, Prof. Kwesi Yankah opined that governments efforts at dealing with corruption and persons accused of corruption is nothing to write home about.

The professor further indicated that Ghana's presidency has become a safe haven for government officials who are accused of corruption and although no names were mentioned, many thought this particular point was in reference to former Youth and Sports Minister, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah.

He was reassigned to the Flagstaff house after the Brazil 2014 WorldCup debacle which left many corruption allegations and questions unanswered.

It was on the back of this and perhaps some other examples that Prof. Yankah said the presidency was shielding persons accused of corruption.

Several NDC officials condemned the Professor and the IEA for not getting their facts right and also not allowing them the opportunity to respond to the allegations.

Speaking to TV3 in an interview, Deputy General Secretary of the party, Koku Anyidoho said "there have been a number of things that are of concern to the party and on several occasions we have let it go…. But what is breaking the camel’s back is the recent IEA organised platform to discuss issues to deal with corruption and how it was pretty obvious that the whole platform was packed with people who obviously do not have any fair comments about or of the NDC government.

“Our General Secretary was also not given the opportunity to speak and address issues as cogently as he would have loved to and based on his report to the party and the facts available to us as a group, we are therefore reviewing our position vis-a-vis our relationship with the IEA.”

He added that "We have made several complaints but I don’t think that we need to write to the IEA to review our relation with them… I am aware though that publicly one or two political parties have also made certain comments concerning the recently held forum on corruption.

“We must begin to shake off the pretense, there is so much pretense going around. There is no problem if people support the NPP or other political parties but they should not hide behind these so called think tanks and play their politics which would hurt us."

The one time spokesperson to Former President John Mills denied public perception that the party was unable to take criticism in good faith saying "we are not against criticism. Late president Mills accepted it, President Mahama has made it publicly clear that he is not averse to criticism to do with the issue of corruption, the president has not run away from the fact that corruption does exist.

"It was president Kufour who told us that corruption existed from the days of Adams… Its successive governments pride to minimize and cut down the level of corruption so when the impression is being created that President Mahama has turned the presidency into a haven for corrupt officials, it is not fair.”