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General News of Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Source: THE ENQUIRER

NPP, AFAG Exposed

… Over Villification Of Mahamas After Attempts To Link JDM To Merchant Loan Was Shot Down by Members • Nyaho Says plot Is Nonsense and Stupid • Mpiani Too Speaks Against It

Following the shooting down of its attempt to play politics with the business dealings of Engineers and Planners by its own media allies and party gurus such as Dr. Nyaho Nyaho Tamakloe and Kwadwo Mpiani the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has resorted to using its satellite organisation, AFAG, as a last-minute face saving measure.

Sources within AFAG have told this paper they had earlier rejected efforts to wade into the matter without basis but were compelled to issue a statement last week following the embarrassment media allies of the party and some NPP gurus have caused it since the party waded into the issue.

According to the sources, AFAG had no alternative than to burden itself with the statement after the poor attempt by NPP Youth Leader Anthony Abayifa Karbo and the NPP Youth Forum to save the face of campaign official Yaw Buaben-Asamoah also collapsed.

The pro-NPP Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) last Wednesday called for the immediate freezing of the assets of Ibrahim Mahama, owner of Engineers and Planners company while investigations are conducted into the ongoing brouhaha over a loan contracted by the President’s brother from Merchant Bank.

The call, which has been described as baseless and laughable by National Democratic Congress (NDC) activist Felix Kwakye Ofosu, came in the wake of disagreements within the NPP over the issue, sources told this paper.

Speaking on an earlier attempt by NPP activists to link a plane bought by Engineers & Planners through a purchase agreement from one of its European creditors to President Mahama, NPP faithful and Nana Akufu Addo loyalist Nyaho Tamakloe described the effort to link the President to the business interest of his younger sibling as an envious, stupid act by a very, very mean person.

“Let’s get one thing straight in this country. When young men are coming up they have to be encouraged. Whoever brought this thing up, to me, is a very mean person. Very, very, mean person. This young man, you have to know where he came from and where he’s gotten so far. It will be very, very stupid for anybody to try and connect him with his senior brother. Indeed Ibrahim, standing on his two feet is, if l will say, better than his bother.”

The NPP die-hard then recounted the PNDC history of destroying businessmen through such negative methods and urged the nation to put an end to such conduct. “Years back we were able to destroy industrialists in this county. Three examples I can give (sic) Kwame Safo-Adu, may he rest in peace. Akenten Appiah-Menka…. Let’s put a stop to this. Whoever brought this up l wish l could see the person with my very own naked eyes and tell him in the face that he’s a fool. We should allow young people to build industries; we should allow young people to get involved in whatever is happening in this country. Now if this young man is not able to get jobs here and is able to get jobs outside this country, it is a big plus for this country. This sort of envy should stop now.”

Contributing to a Choice FM morning show programme two weeks ago, former Chief of Staff and NPP kingpin, Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani, is also reported to have kicked against playing politics with business activities of individuals, irrespective of their political persuasion.

Details of what he said were blocked from the listening public after it aired in the morning by the radio station, which is owned by NPP Vice Chairman Fred Oware, with the excuse that it was not recorded. Workers of the radio station have told this paper though that the recording was spiked because the interview did not go the way they expected.

Other notable allied NPP journalists have questioned the claims of the party and suggested that they were false.

Newspaper Editor and analyst Kweku Baako for example revealed three weeks on JOY FM Newsfile programme that evidence of payment exists to show that Engineers & Planners made some payments under the NDC administration contrary to claims by the NPP that the payment for its loan stopped once the NDC assumed office.

He said if the NPP activists had conducted some basic investigation it would have come to their notice that the claim put out there was false and without basis.

He also revealed that while Engineers & Planners’ problems with Merchant Bank started under the NPP administration following a variation of the terms of payment of the loans contracted, the problems worsened under the NDC due to the party’s own internal political wrangling.

Another journalist, Alfred Ogbamey, on his part revealed that the claim that pensioners fund had been used to rescue the President brother’s company was false as the sales process had not been completed and may not even come on following a petition by another Bank over the lack of transparency surrounding the Merchant\Firstand proposed deal.

Speaking on Peace FM’s Krokrokoo’s programme two weeks ago, he said his conscience would not allow him to be party to falsehoods in order to gain power.

“There are several reasons for which the NDC can be taken on. Not putting out falsehoods. I will not be party to that”

Engineers & Planners in a statement released on the issue two weeks ago and signed by its Chief Finance officer, Sulemana Ahmed Amidu, explained that it took the loan under the Kufuor administration for a five year period contrary to attempts and innuendoes by the NPP that the loan was contracted under the nose of then Vice President John Mahama.

Information available now suggests that the loan repayment period and payment schedules were deliberately reduced to three years penalize the company after the brother of the CEO became the running mate of the NDC in the 2008 election.

The company has since revealed that it had long agreed on a new repayment schedule with Merchant Bank and was in the process of settling its indebtedness contrary to claims that it had been bailed out.

Engineers & Planners is the largest indigenous (Ghanaian) contract mining company.

Founded in 1997 and employing over 1,500 Ghanaians, the company has gone multinational, operating in various African countries, including, Liberia and Congo. It is the sole mining company mining and processing iron ore for Arcelor Mittal, the world’s leading steel manufacturing company in its $1.5 billion project in Yekepa, Liberia.

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