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General News of Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Source: NPP-USA

NPP-USA Calls for a No-Confidence Vote on Mills

The United States branch of Ghana’s New Patriotic Party has closely monitored events leading up to the prosecution and conviction of Mabey and Johnson, an engineering company based in the United Kingdom for bribery of government officials in Ghana and Jamaica by the Serious Fraud Office. As alarming as those events are, they pale in comparison to how the Mills administration has conducted itself since the British court ruling establishing beyond any reasonable doubt that members of the previous NDC government some of whom still hold high level positions in the current Mills administration..

The Mills administration has yet again demonstrated a level of incompetence and arrogance never seen in governance since Ghana obtained her independence 52 years ago. To that end, given Ghana’s enviable position in Africa in terms of governance, and given that all of us Ghanaians have worked too hard to bring Ghana to that position to allow it to regress any further, the NPP-USA has no qualms or reluctance in calling on Parliament to initiate a “Vote of No Confidence” against President Mills.

First, even though President Mills has instructed the Attorney General to investigate the court ruling, he also has publicly declared confidence in the very officials implicated in the proven court case, and who still hold high level positions in his administration. If a police chief publicly expresses confidence in a target being investigated by his own deputies, it is a foregone conclusion that the investigation would lead nowhere. That means not only has the ruling party presided over corruption that has been proven in a court of law, it is further insulting the intelligence of Ghanaians by wasting their time in a charade disguised as an investigation.

Second, President Mills has invested a great deal of time and resources on a much publicized public probe into an investigation into the affairs of Ghana @ 50 Celebrations, an exercise that amounts to a fishing expedition. Yet when it comes to corruption that has been proven in a court of law albeit a foreign court of law, he casually instructs the Attorney General to investigate, but would not publicize such an investigation for all Ghanaians to see. The Attorney General’s reason for not launching an independent public probe on the deceiving and out-of-control NDC bribery case is that evidence could be “tampered with.” If conclusive evidence can be tampered with during a public probe, then why are we wasting our time with the Ghana @ 50 public probe where no evidence of impropriety has been unearthed yet?

Third, President Mills, as vice president of the country at the time that these crimes were committed, cannot be insulated from blame. That he accepted a position left vacant after the previous vice president had been physically assaulted by then President Rawlings is indicative of the fact that Mills would not hesitate to associate himself with undignified behavior. Furthermore, he was head of the so-called economic team, a position that placed him in the known as to what transpired on matters concerning economics and developments. Mills was willing to sit silently while corruption and abuse took place then, and he has shown that he is willing to sit silently while corruption and abuses takes place now in an environment in which he always has the final say.

Fourth, since President Mills took office ten months ago, the number of unpunished behavior by his ministers and other appointees has been simply unacceptable. Of the many instances of corruption by officials in his administration, some of the most notables included former sports minister Mohammed Muntaka whom evidence proved he had misused government funds in a variety ways for personal gains. Mills’ own spokesperson Mahama Ayariga illegally purchased tractors exclusively designated for underprivileged farmers. Even if Ayariga was a farmer, and he is not, he certainly does not fit the category of ‘underprivileged.’ And who can forget over one million Ghana Cedis spent by NDC officials on tea and ‘chichinga?’ All these shameful corrupt practices went unpunished by an NDC government that spends an enormous amount of time investigating the perceived wrongdoings of one particular previous government.

Fifth, President Mills has performed so poorly in his first ten months in office that his ineptitude has reached proportions whereby his own party members are calling for a new direction. Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah, the man Mills beat to secure his party’s nomination, who rarely criticizes his own party, has come out to declare that President Mills is steering the bus (Ghana) in the wrong direction. In addition, the deceiving NDC’s own Majority leader in Parliament Honorable Albin Bagbin has characterized some of Mill’s appointees inept and unfit for the offices they hold. Even former president Jerry Rawlings has criticized Mills in his presence on several occasions on how badly he is running the country.

Sixth, President Mills’ deceiving and out-of-control NDC government has abdicated its primary responsibility of protecting Ghanaians. Since assuming control of the government, the Mills administration has stood by silently as innocent Ghanaians have been killed or beaten by members of his party or “armed robbers.” Street boys now have the power to enter government offices, beat the employees, evict them, and lock the buildings because those employees are perceived to be holdovers from the previous government. A sitting deputy regional minister can declare “Jihad,” a call that resulted in indiscriminate beatings and killings of members of the opposing political party in the Akwatia constituency.

That’s not all; a wanted murderer that had been on the run from the police was apprehended while hiding under the bed of a sitting deputy minister. A sitting Member of Parliament from his party publicly opens fire unprovoked on innocent civilians during a political rally and injures scores of people. Protester Salifu Maikanka dies at the hands of BNI officials. An owner of a public toilet facility in Western Region is killed by deceiving and out-of-control NDC hoodlums so that they can take over operating rights of that facility. Three members of the opposing NPP government are massacred at Aboloshie Market by a gang associated with the deceiving and out-of-control NDC party of which he is the leader. A number of officials of the NPP have been victims of “armed robbery” in what appears to be politically motivated attacks since no such incidents have befallen any member of the deceiving and out-of-control NDC.

All these crimes have gone uninvestigated and unpunished by a Mills administration which swore to protect the lives of Ghanaians. If Ghanaians cannot rely on their government to protect them, they would invariably resort to arming themselves to defend themselves, a development that could plunge the nation into chaos and anarchy; if Ghanaians have to endure the embarrassment of having their government feature proven criminals at high level positions; and if Ghanaians cannot rely on a leader who can take charge in a crisis and adequately manage a scandal of global proportions, then that leader would have lost the confidence in leading their country. In light of these, the NPP-USA calls on Parliament to exercise its oversight responsibilities and initiate a Vote of No Confidence in President Mills.