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Opinions of Monday, 11 June 2018

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

Where is the correlation between Nyantakyi’s allegations and Mahama’s Ford Expedition?

Where is the correlation between Nyantakyi’s allegations and Mahama’s Ford Expedition?

Undoubtedly, Mr Nyantakyi has profoundly regretted for indulging in an abhorrent playful act that has the potential to tarnish the hard earned image of the incorruptible President Akufo-Addo.

Given the circumstances, it would be somewhat unreasonable for anybody to assume that President Akufo-Addo has engaged, or is engaging in corrupt practices.

Frankly speaking, it is only the naysayers and the adversaries of Akufo-Addo who would take Mr Nyantakyi’s apparent pompous declamation seriously.

This is no political equalisation, but if allegations often amount to culpability, then people like Ex-President Mahama would not have air to breathe.

Well, our elders have made us to believe that dead and buried secrets will resurrect one day, so it was not at all surprising when Manasseh Azure Awuni managed to come face to face with a “resurrected” secret about President Mahama over a furtive gift of the most expensive Ford Expedition vehicle from a Burkinabe Contractor.

Obviously, President Mahama never thought his surreptitious car gift or bribe from a Burkinabe Contractor was going to surface one day. But it resurfaced to his extreme puzzlement, thanks to the inquisitive Manasseh.

A few years ago, the investigative work carried out by the award winning investigative journalist, Joy FM’s Manasseh Azuri exposed former President Mahama’s clandestine gift of a brand new Ford Expedition vehicle worth over $100,000 by the Burkinabe Contractor, Djibril Kanazoe.

According to the report, the Burkinabe Contractor Kanazoe, undertook a number of contracts which were secured through sole-sourcing and handpicking, amid allegations of former president Mahama’s influence.

Manasseh reported that Djibril Kanazoe over the years took part in the bidding process for contracts in the country. However he was not successful until a middleman led him to meet then Vice President Mahama.

Subsequent to meeting the then Vice President Mahama, Kanazoe was handpicked to build the $650,000 Ghana Embassy fence wall in Burkina Faso.

In September 2014, when officials of the Bank of Ghana met the Public Accounts Committee of Ghana Parliament (PAC), it came to light that an amount of $656, 246.48 had been spent on the construction of a fence wall over a parcel of land belonging to the Ghana Embassy in Burkina Faso.

Apparently, PAC requested the Bank of Ghana to look into what it referred to as: “the outrageous” cost of the project.

However, it came to light that the procurement process was violated to the advantage of former President Mahama’s Burkinabe friend.

Amazingly, during an interview with Manasseh, Djibril Kanazoe admitted that he did not put in a bid for the contract, but it was rather the Ghana Embassy in Ouagadougou that wrote to his company to request price quotations for the project. And, he subsequently forwarded the necessary quotes and was selected.

“Subsequently, the Burkinabe contractor delivered to former President Mahama, the ‘gift’ of a brand new Ford Expedition vehicle in 2012, the same year his company was selected, again through sole-sourcing, to execute more projects” (See: ‘Burkinabe Contractor offers controversial gift to President Mahama’ ; myjoyonline.com, 15/06/2015).

Shockingly, despite unobjectionable evidence of wrong doing, the then majority NDC operatives kept defending former President Mahama until discerning Ghanaians rightly voted them out of power.

It is also worth emphasising that the majority NDC operatives back then, went to sleep over the then Vice President Mahama’s dreadful handling of the STX Housing deal, which was supposed to provide affordable housing units to the security agencies.

In spite of the fact that the deal did not materialise, the then Vice President Mahama, is alleged to have given us a bill of an excess of $300 million. How strange? What is the minority NDC saying about the dubious deal then?

Moreover, after the failed deal with STX to build 30,000 housing units for the nation's security agencies, the NDC government entered into another deal with the GUMA Group, for the construction of 500 housing units.

The deal which was spearheaded by the then Vice President Mahama was widely criticised by various stakeholders, just as the STX deal, following the decision to side-line local construction firms in favour of the foreign company. The unusually high cost of the project was also a source of concern to many.

As a matter of fact, the minority NDC operatives approached their duty lackadaisically whilst in power, so I was not surprised that the good people of Ghana showed them the exit on 7th December 2016.

In retrospect, little did some doubtful Ghanaians believe former Attorney General, Mr Martin Amidu, when he told Ghanaians that our late President, Mills, set up a committee to Investigate then Vice President John Mahama regarding the Processes of the Acquisition of Five Aircrafts (5) including Embraer 190 Aircraft and hanger for the Ghana Armed Forces.

In fact, if we are to mull over Mr Amidu’s exposition, we can infer that the late Mills lost trust in his then vice president Mahama because of the dubious handling of the deal.

Truly, if the late Mills set up a committee to investigate his vice Mahama, then he had a glint of suspicion on his mind . In other words, he felt Mahama was trying to rip off the nation, hence setting up a committee to unravel the furtive deal.

In a way, upon a carefully considered deliberation, reflective thinkers may conclude that late Mills was not happy with the deal. And, if that was not the case, why would he set up a committee to investigate Mahama, the architect of the whole deal?

Clearly, the late Mills dissatisfaction about the deal prompted him to set up a committee to investigate the then vice president Mahama. In fact, there are serious issues here that need to be considered by discerning Ghanaians.

Mr Amidu for example, observed: “But the very fact that the late President Mills even contemplated this committee meant that he was uncomfortable with and suspicious of the alleged inflated prices of the aircrafts”.

Undeniably, however, the Late Mills put his trust in Mahama. But if we are to critically assess Mr Amidu’s account of the corruption saga, we can then draw an adverse inference that Mahama betrayed the trust the late Mills reposed in him.