General News of Friday, 4 January 2013

Source: Chronicle

Deputy Minister's Missing GH¢250 Million Booty

There are many Ghanaians out there who would want to forget about the Christmas festivities in a hurry. There were many homes throughout the country, where the heads of households could not afford chicken for the family's Christmas celebration.

With the miserable Christmas and New Year holidays over, many heads of households are now scratching their heads over the ability to raise money to pay the children's school fees. In spite of the roof-top advertisement of building a 'Better Ghana,' the large mass of the people are unable to eke out any meaningful living.

To compound the situation, prices of goods and services are going through the roof. Life in Ghana is threatening to b e brutish and short. Unfortunately, there appears to be no solution in sight with President John Dramani Mahama promising more of the failed policies of the National Democratic Congress.

The so-called Better Ghana agenda was dead at birth. With a number of young men and women thrown on the scrap heap of unemployment, life promises to be more difficult for the mass of under-privileged Ghanaians.

For the attention of the President-elect, life in Ghana is getting harder and harder. The roof-top advertisement of building a 'Better Ghana' would no more wash against the naked rape of the economy by those who have perfected the art of shouting slogans in place of the implementation of well-thought out policies.

At a time most Ghanaians could not afford basics needs at the Yuletide, it is depressing to note that a deputy minister in this moribund administration, has had GH¢25,000 stolen from his car.

The circumstances under which this huge money, translating into GH¢250 million of the old currency got missing, should inform this administration that a lot is basically wrong.

We are told that the loss was discovered only when the car, belonging to the Deputy Minister of Information, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa was sent to the washing bay at Nima, a suburb of Accra, to be cleaned.

The Chronicle would like to know from the Deputy Minister whether or not the taxman was aware of the huge money in his car? In societies built on equity and concern for the state, the equivalent of $13,000 getting lost from the car of a political appointee, would be of much interest to the taxman.

We do not believe it is too late in the day. The Chronicle is inviting the taxman to quiz the Deputy Minister on the source of the money. There might be a very interesting revelation. For all we know, Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa was not a businessman before joining the Government in 2009.

In fact, our information indicates that the Deputy Minister of Information never held a job before being thrust into front-line politics. What this means is that he might not have that kind of money before becoming a deputy minister, whose life-style is funded by the tax-payer.

For these reasons and for the sake of long-suffering Ghanaians, the interest in this money is not only the arrest of the poor driver on suspicion that he might have an idea or two about how the money got lost from the minister's car.

The large mass of Ghanaians ought to be interested in the source of the money and whether or not the tax-man has ever been briefed about the existence of the booty in the minister's car.