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Opinions of Thursday, 11 October 2012

Columnist: Agyemang, Chris

Akuffo Addo And The NPP Can't Be Trusted.

Truth is the property of no individual, but is the treasure of all men. Ralph Waldo Emerson(May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882)

Is NPP Kuffuor different from NPP Akuffo Addo? I'm sure your guess,is as good as mine.If the NPP's claim of Free Education,isn't a fallacy,why was it not implemented during ex president Kuffuor's Administration,which Akuffo Addo served as Attorney General and Minister of Justice as well as foreign affairs minister.

The fact is, tones of Non-NPP Ghanians cannot figure out any visionary and audacious big thinking that Mr. Akuffo Addo has exhibited in his entire political life,Nor has he demonstrated any worthy accomplishments in his political life except for organizing and leading violent and deadly demonstrations as a means of blackmailing and destabilizing governments.In fact, Akuffo Addo is not noted for any tangible achievements as MP for Akyem Abuakwa South for a whole twelve years or as a cabinet minister holding two positions in the eight miserable,year rule of the NPP.

What vision did he show to fellow Ghanians who were murdered in the Gambia and their respective families when he was then foreign affairs minister? Was there any vision on his part when some diplomatic passports got missing from the foreign affairs ministry under his watch as the substantive minister? Does the divisive and war mongering,Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo recall Tsatsu Tsikata flooring him in the courts as the Attorney General,leaving ex president Kuffuor no choice but shamefully packing the courts to reverse that ruling?

As indicated above, there is no known visionary and audacious big thinking or concrete achievements that this NPP flag bearer has bequeathed to the country but we surely know his string of failures for the periods that he served as Attorney General and Minister of Justice as well as the foreign affairs minister when his NPP was in power. For the reasons assigned below, we can say that we don’t know the man of being a visionary nor an audacious big thinker but we do know that he was a sore loser for eight years and therefore does not and should not be given the mandate to rule our peace-loving and beautiful country Ghana,where we are striving hard to shrug off the “Cocaine Coast” that the country was christened with when he was the A-G and Foreign Minister.

Akuffo Addo was a leading member of NPP and practically the presidential candidate when tons of cocaine got missing from the police headquarters under CCTV. Did he make any comments on such a glaring negligence, if not an act of criminal conspiracy? Or did he make any conscious efforts to apprehend the culprits? What did he know about this daylight robbery as A-G? Why did Akuffo-Addo, as Attorney General, oversee the De-confiscation of frozen assets of Raymond Amankwah, a reputed global Cocaine Baron? And how did Raymond Amankwaa come in possession of Ghanaian Diplomatic passport (s) and roamed the world until he was caught in Brazil?

Does he know that by literally presiding over that act,a terrible precedence was set and cocaine barons all over the globe were sent a signal that the NPP government was in bed with drug peddling and that the government had no problem with the trafficking of narcotic drugs? What about the three NPP Dzorwulu branch executives who were busted with narcotics at Kotoka in February 2002 when Akuffo-Addo was the AG? Is it not interesting that under his tenure as AG, all those three arrested NPP drug queens just vanished into thin air? Their dockets also just magically disappeared?

Was Akuffo-Addo not a prominent member of parliament who was pushing hard for a law (described by Ghanians as Amoateng Bill) to be passed that will essentially allow Ghanaian drug offenders, languishing in foreign jails to be sent back to Ghana to complete their term? Does Mr. Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo still believe in the Amoateng Bill? Does he think that it will be useful to bring back to Ghana, top NPP drug financiers like Eric Amoateng and Raymond Amankwah?

On CORRUPTION,the NPP has the worst track record.

In 2005, then National Chairman of the NPP, Mr Harruna Esseku was caught on tape telling NPP supporters that President Kuffour was the chief recipient of kickbacks from contractors at the castle. He lamented that unlike in the past when he could go to the castle and have his car boot stashed with kickback funds, President Kuffour was at the time withholding those funds and this had affected his ability to provide resources for the running of the NPP.

In the first term of President Kuffour and his NPP government, Gizzelle Yadzi revealed that she had been asked by Kuffour to negotiate the purchase of an US$8 million Hotel for him. Of course later we were told that it was Chief Kuffour and not President Kuffour who bought the hotel. Chief Kuffour had no business track record prior to his father becoming President and had also not demonstrated any capacity to raise US$ 8 million dollars to buy such a hotel. It is important to note that initially attempts were made by the Kuffour regime to distance themselves from Gizzelle Yadzi who was in fact an economic adviser to Kuffour.

When questioned initially about Gizzelle Yadzi’s revelations, Presidential spokesperson Kwabena Agyapong said he did not know the woman. He was later to admit that he indeed knew the woman when Gizzelle provided evidence of her relationship to the Kuffour administration.

Gizzelle further revealed that she attended meetings to discuss the purchase of the Hotel with the seller Anthony Saud and Chief Kuffour present at these meetings. When asked about these meetings, NPP spokespersons said that both Gizzelle and Chief Kuffour were in the same meeting to negotiate on behalf of different clients i.e Chief Kuffour for himself and Gizzelle for a Spanish NGO. The question that immediately arises is how two different prospective buyers of one property can be in the same meeting with the seller at the same time and negotiate separately?

A 2009 audit report revealed that up to 60 billion cedis of the tax payer’s money taken from the TOR debt recovery levy,the HIPC etc. was used to fund a so called communication strategy which was only a euphemism for a conduit used to siphon state funds into the NPP campaign. The auditors could not find details of this strategy or how it was executed except dubious payments to amorphous groups such as BLOW, PRIM, and FIRST RESPONDERS.

While 25 million Ghanians had to make do with only 13.6% stake in the Jubilee field. Two NPP top shots, George Owusu and Ambassador Edusei were given 3% shares which amounts to a colossal US$300 million. It is instructive to note that in one of the Wiki leaks cables President Kuffour was quoted as having told a US senator that his interests in Ghana’s oil are being coordinated by Mr Kwabena Darko of Darko Farms. When investigations were carried out into the E.O group’s affairs by Ghanaian authorities, it emerged that their company address was the same as the address of Darko Farms.

The explanations given for how EO group came to own such a significant stake in the Jubilee field do not wash. We are told that they found Kosmos and brought them in to discover oil for Ghana. It is strange that GNPC which was formed in 1983 and which has all the expertise one can think of in the oil industry could not find a partner to discover oil but it took a two-man company with no experience or track record in the oil industry to find a partner for us. The worse is the fact that the EO group was allowed to be part of the joint operating agreement signed among the partners in the jubilee field when they do not meet the basic requirements to be part of such a venture. First they have no track record of having being part of such a venture in the past neither did they possess the financial capacity to make good their part of the cash calls which are necessary for the operation of the jubilee field. As it turned out they were carried by Kosmos and seeing as Kosmos is no father Christmas, the conclusion that can be drawn is that the EO group shares was made a conditionality for giving Kosmos the exploration license.

In 2007 Mr Dan Botswe, former General secretary of the NPP and Former Information Minister expressed worry about the ostentatious nature of the campaigns that were being waged by seventeen aspirants who contested for the 2007 flag bearer slot of the NPP. He lamented how the NPP in opposition could not afford to purchase even flags and T shirts and yet in power it was possible for 17 people to spend so much money on a flag bearer race. Some aspirants could even afford to charter aircraft's for campaign tours and hire aircraft's to fly their banners in the air. Hackman Owusu Agyeman himself an aspirant in that contest also bitterly complained about the extravagance that was displayed in that campaign.

At a 2003 NPP delegates conference held in Cape Coast, President Kuffour in his address made excuses for corruption in his government. Among other justifications he said corruption “was as old as Adam” and that on a daily basis he and his officials are tempted with all manner of things including the proverbial apple of the Garden of Eden. He admitted that people come with all manner of inducements but he only tells them to go and come next time. He also stated that he was not going to expose corruption in his government lest his government collapses and what he did when instances of corruption came to his notice was to call the offending Minister or appointee and caution him not to repeat the corrupt act.

In the early days of the Kuffour administration,Moctar Bamba a presidential staffer was fingered in a visa fraud scandal.Mr Bamba’s modus oparandi was to use letter heads of the office of the president to write to embassies to secure visas for people at a fee.

Dr Richard Anane was embroiled in a sex cum corruption scandal during his tenure as Health minister,attending an AIDS conference in the US, Dr Anane engaged in sexual relations with Alexander Obrien siring a child in process. He then used state resources from ailing Ghana Airways to support the child’s upkeep. It is instructive to note that this scandal raged on for several months before CHRAJ undertook investigations into the matter. At no point during the CHRAJ investigation did Anane resign his position as good governance principles require. CHRAJ in its report indicted Dr Anane for conflict of interest forcing President Kuffour to ask him to resign and pursue the case in court. Through a strange technicality Dr Anane managed to set aside the CHRAJ finding on the grounds that no one petitioned CHRAJ to investigate the matter.

Former deputy finance minister under the NPP Dr Gheysika Agambilla described the NPP’s approach to politics and governance as procurement politics in widely circulated book he wrote after he left office .Dr Agambilla also told American officials that there was widespread corruption in the Kuffour regime especially in the forestry sector. This was contained in the leaked US diplomatic cables.

Akuffo Addo must be told without mincing words that due to his inaction's and actions, his ineptitude as well as the lackadaisical and aloofness on his part when it comes to contraband drugs,most Ghanians think that he is not qualified to be leading this nation which wants to rid itself of organized crime, violent crime and crime of all shades and forms. In fact, Mr. Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo is a ticking time bomb ready to explode and therefore must be jettisoned by all right thinking Ghanaian electorates.