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Opinions of Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Columnist: Al-Hajj

ADB: Create, Loot, Share and Grab at Play

Donkome ooo!

The rapid decline in the fortunes of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) over the last three years has compelled The aL-hAJJ to ask the question: Is our beloved President Mahama cursed, or is it a matter of sheer conspiracy of his appointees to see to it that he fails as a president.

Virtually all the appointees of the President across all the sectors of his government are consciously or unconsciously working to ensure that the President is badly disgraced in his first tenure as the leader of the land, never mind the big expectations of Ghanaians before they elected him.
Not a day will pass without one damaging scandal after the other staring the nation at the face. From GYEEDA, to SADA to 2014 World Cup scandals to now the ADB scandal.
All these scandals have one thing in common: CREAT, LOOT, SHARE & GRAB.

The President seems being held captive or spooked by the enormity of the problem. Thus, he is said to be incapable of acting to punish the wrongdoers. Some have even tried to link his person accusing him of being complicit in all the scandals we have mentioned above.
His appointees, including some of those who have made tremendous contributions under President Mills to turn the economy around are working tirelessly to reverse and destroy what has been built by this government in its first term under the late Professor.
The corruption, the inaction from the President coalesced with the punishing economy, especially from the beginning of the fiscal year 2014, are beginning to be an embarrassment not only to the President and his government, but also to the generality of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) party.

In our last edition, we revealed and raised some pertinent issues bordering on corruption and lack of accountability in the state-owned ADB.
For us at The aL-hAJJ, it is like a macabre spectacle to see ordinary people dying in our rural areas and urban slums because of prevented and curable diseases while people put at responsible positions in the country are dissipating the tax payers money for their selfish ends.
All indications, per the evidence available to The aL-hAJJ, are that the ADB is tethering towards imminent collapse and the earlier we raise the alarm bells the better it will be for the people of Ghana and the government itself and no individual or group of people can stop us from this route.
We will never be ostriches like those media houses which have turned against us for unraveling the naked corruption, greed and sleaze at the state-owned bank.

Instead of beating about the bush by using irrelevant issues of ethnic identity to divert the pertinent issues we raised, they should rather answer to us whether ADB is soaked in corruption or not! Whether there are deliberate (or perhaps unconscious) attempts to cripple the bank to pave the way for its divestiture!
Whether its properties are being sold to cronies left, right and center! Whether its office was sold for $10m! Whether the bank is being deliberately and recklessly run down or not!
If those people can accuse this paper of anything, then it is not the issues of ethnicity or tribalism because we at The aL-hAJJ believe that tribalism is anachronistic and highly irrelevant in this modern world. If they are still clinging to tribal or ethnic issues in today’s diversified world, then is up to them.
We believe that things should be done on their own merit and we are vindicated by the kind of stories we publish. If they care, those media houses should just simply pick our past editions and do a content analysis to see whether we care about tribal matters.
We can say with pride that, among all Ghanaian newspapers, The aL-hAJJ can be counted among few newspapers critical of President Mahama and has often taken on his government.
This is despite our ethnic affinity to that of the President Mahama, if at all ethnicity is something to talk about or is something worth talking about in this modern globalized world.
We took on the President in all fronts from the economy, to the issues of corruption, numerous presidential gaffes, arrogance of power etc.
Don’t those media house have eyes to see or ears to hear about what we write on our own President?
We have been called names for taking on the President and his government by some faceless people in government. We did not ruffle in our analysis of the dire nature of the national economy.
Some even went to the extent of describing our analysis on the national economy as misleading when we were clamouring for an IMF-supported stabilization program to correct the macro-economic challenges we are facing. Those shameless individuals who were attacking us for insisting on better policies and directions for the national economy have made a disgraceful retreat, as the President announced that the nation was entering into an IMF-supported program with immediate effect.
It is also largely to our credit that the President begins beefing up his economic management team. It is also to our credit that the local currency, the Cedi has at least begun showing some signs of stability. We still hold the opinion that the best way to help the President is to tell him the real truth that nobody close to him is prepared to do. Hero-worshipping and sycophancy are not and will never be in our lexicon.

We would not be dragged into wasting our time in talking about irrelevant issues, and if that is the objective of those faceless individuals, then is better they change their strategy.
The aL-hAJJ will continue to write about the issues of the economy, corruption, arrogance of power any time we deem it fit. That is our mandate with the people of Ghana and we will not shirk that mandate.
We shall continue to ask questions on how the ADB could sell its Accra office for $10m and use almost half of the amount to invest in a new building near Cedi House in Accra for which the bank would own only three floors and a banking hall after completion!
We shall continue to ask questions on how senior management members could throw transparency to the dogs and use their influence to purchase the bank’s properties at very questionable prices!

We shall continue to ask questions on how the banks will be so cash-strapped that between 2011 and now it has to virtually give away its landed properties ostensibly to raise funds to shore up its declining capital adequacy ratio as it prepares to join the stock exchange market by early next year!

We are aware that some of the properties so far sold out include plush houses at Airport residential area of Accra, Tesano, Cape Coast, Kumasi, Tamale and Obuasi, some at very ridiculous prices and in most case, in conflict of interest situation.
Even though some management members and staff involved have told this paper that they acquired the properties on merit as they were the highest bidders in most of the cases, The aL-hAJJ is alarmed by the sheer greed and insider trading that has characterized the selling of those properties.
Full list of beneficiaries of this daylight rape is being compiled by this paper and will update our readers very soon.