General News of Thursday, 6 December 2012

Source: Philip Kofi Ashon

GII report is preposterous – Gov’t

A Deputy Information Minister, James Agyenim Boateng has described the latest Ghana Integrity Initiative's (GII) report on the abuse of incumbency as "preposterous".

The report which was released on Tuesday, sighted instances of vote buying by political parties as campaigning wraps up across the country.

The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) tops with instances of distributing computers and gas cylinders to a target group.

The incumbent party has also been accused of using state functions for partisan purposes and launching new projects at the last minute and using it as campaign strategy.

In an interview with Citi Fm in Accra, he described the report as “preposterous….I don’t know what they call last minute project. The last time I checked this administration like any other administration under the fourth Republican Constitution has a four year mandate. Are we within the time? Are we within the four year tenure of President John Dramani Mahama?”

According to him, the distribution of computers which was referred to in the report “is not a new project, it is not beginning from yesterday or the day before yesterday…..So what is this issue about government pursuing the science, technology and innovation project in ICT and that becomes an issue of vote buying? It is not true.”

On the issue of the distribution of gas cylinders, the Deputy Minister said it is impossible to even think the NDC will act so desperately.

He said: I have been quite amazed to hear that NDC is giving out gas cylinders. I am not aware of the NDC giving gas cylinders, I am not aware of any branded gas cylinders which have come in or are being distributed or being given out to people branded in the colours of the NDC or its Presidential candidate, President John Dramani Mahama.”

Mr. Agyenim Boateng however stated that if an agency of the state “has been mandated in discharging these, I will have no problem or issue with that to the extent that these cylinders if indeed they are being given out, are not branded in any NDC colours and it is an agency of the state discharging its lawful duty; I do not see how that constitutes abuse of incumbency.”