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Opinions of Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Columnist: Abubakari, Seidu

Corruption allegations against John Mahama will not fly!

It seems some people are trying hard to recycle the discredited and dead Armajaro issue. The attempts to paint the Vice-President as the most corrupt living politician of the 21st century is utterly pathetic and repugnant!

John Mahama is the most outstanding Vice-President Ghana has ever had. But that he will be interred under the vile barrage of unfounded accusations is not surprising. The integrity of Vice-President is intact. So those who think they can use communist inferior tactics will be put to shame. Every right thinking, logical and rational Ghanaian will see the moves by the Vice-Presidents detractors to be hollow, empty and only aimed at tarnishing his good name.

Envy, self-interest and ethnic motivations take precedence in Ghana so much so that the articulate, intelligent, handsome and visionary Vice-President will be lucky to evade nightly attempts to impugn his great name. But Vice-President John Mahama should be rest assured that he is already a colossus primed for the pantheon of our greats and any endeavour to rehash stale gossips against him will not see the light of the day.

On this Armajaro issue the Vice President has explained his case. He did nothing wrong! But because of some peoples shallow mindedness, they are making attempts to bring the issue back. Did not John Mahama challenged those who accused him of taking a bribe from Armajaro to go to CHRAJ?

The Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Jake Obestebi-Lamptey, was the first to speak publicly on the Armajaro issue. According to him a report in the London Sunday Times newspaper stated that our Vice President, John Dramani Mahama was lobbied to have the ban removed.

However, in an interview with Radio Ghana on Thursday, 4th November

2010, Vice President John Mahama made a categorical statement that he personally did not intervene to get the Armajaro ban lifted. He explained that he only advised a British politician who met him to get Armajaro to petition the appropriate authorities in Ghana, Cocobod.

The matter should have died after the explanation from John Mahama and after the media ignored Jake's porous arguments.

But one Mahama Haruna, the spokesman of a now phantom group, the Alliance for Responsible Office Holders (AFROH) and an avowed critic of the Vice-President decided to wage a 'crusade' to discredit John Mahama. He organised a press conference to accuse the Vice-President of impropriety in the Armajaro ban lifting but later backtracked and even apologised. I believe he did so because he has no evidence to support his claims and would have been defeated if he had proceeded to CHRAJ.

What is surprising to me is that, this Haruna a distant blood relation of John Mahama has been a thorn in the man's flesh. Is he being paid to do his dirty work all these years? As a Gonja myself, I am aware he mounted political platforms in Bole-Bamboi since 1996 to peddle all sorts of outrageous lies against the Vice- President.

It was the same Haruna who in 2002 accused John Mahama, then Member of Parliament for Bole of creating panic and fear in the Bole town and its surrounding areas through the use of explosives to celebrate June 4.

Haruna's outrageous story was that the sound of the explosives was so frightening that people were forced to run into their houses for shelter, thereby creating panic and chaos. Haruna who was secretary of the NPP in a statement said, "The incident was so frightening with the heavy explosives used by John Mahama, such that most of the people were driven to bed as early as 9 am until their celebration ended at about 10 pm. What a lie!

Not even the explanation of John Mahama that the fireworks were viewed by a large number of mostly youth and children, who enjoyed every minute of it and were calling for more and that he had no report of any panic or any adverse reaction on the part of any resident of the town made Haruna to stop his vitriolic attacks on John Mahama both on Radio and newspapers.

Shortly after John Mahama was appointed by then candidate John Evans Atta Mills in April, 2008 as his running mate, he granted interviews, questioning the competence, contributions and service John Mahama rendered to the people of Bole-Bamboi constituency and Northern Region during his tenure as Member of Parliament for the area and Minister of Communication..

He was the same man who said John Mahama’s selection to partner Atta Mills was a surprise to many people because according to him John Mahama failed to live up to the expectation and aspirations of the people of Bole, Northern Region and Ghana. I was surprised John Mahama dignified him by accepting media interviews with this nonentity.

I just hope after his apology he is not up to anything sinister again because he will continue to fail in his attempts to portray the Vice-President as a corrupt person. Haruna knows very well that his party folks are more corrupt than John Mahama.

Recently one Akwasi A. Afrifa Akoto in a feature Article of Friday, 11 March 2011 presented to the media and entitled "Mahama: The Most Corrupt V.P. of the Fourth Republic" reached a conclusion of corruption against the Vice -President without really providing much by way of evidence.

Using one's position of influence in doing a lobbying work is subject to Codes of Conduct. Hence, as far as Akwesi failed by way of evidence that the Vice-President took cash or was influenced by material gain, then I am afraid he did not break any rules using his Vice-Presidential influence in helping overturn the freeze on the business activity of Amarjaro Holdings in the country.

Lobbying becomes illegal when guiding rules and regulations are broken by way of monetary and material reward. Akwesi should provide that evidence and I will help him campaign for the removal or prosecution of the Vice-President on corruption charges! All corruption allegations against John Mahama will not fly!

More anon.

Seidu Abubakari