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Opinions of Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Columnist: Amankwah, Kwabena

Ford Gift: The intentions of the Burkinabe contractor were clear

The latest bribery scandal involving President John Dramani Mahama's receipt of the over $100,000 worth of Ford Expedition vehicle from his Burkinabe friend and contractor is enough to leave any discerning, objective and patriotic Ghanaian with no doubt that he came into office to amass wealth, and not to improve the wellbeing of the very people who voted to give him their mandate.

To the cabal of 'greedy bastards' whose palm kernel nuts have been cracked for by 'the benevolent spirit of the Mahama presidency', no one can be surprised by their spirited and desperate attempts to justify the immoral, indecorous and reprehensible conduct of the president. After all, they are the direct beneficiaries of the president's corrupt nature and administration.

But for those who have decided to allow themselves to be influenced, by either alleged monetary inducement or other considerations, to overlook the harm President Mahama is causing the nation, through his innately corrupt practices, we at the Daily Statesman simply want to urge them to listen to their conscience, and consider the ramifications of their conduct on the future of the country.

The President has taken a vehicle from a contractor who was doing business with his government, and his own advisor on corruption says only irresponsible presidents would do that. According to him, this is something the president would never dream of doing. Yet, he has done it.

The president himself, while launching his Code of Ethics for Political Appointees, told the whole world that it was against his personal beliefs for a public office holder to do what he has done. Yet, people who want to be taken serious in this country insist there is nothing wrong with this: it's not a BIG DEAL, so they say.

We at the Daily Statesman, like other discerning Ghanaians who are not prepared to bury the truth for any consideration, will forever insist that the very circumstances that led to the friendship between President Mahama and the Burkinabe contractor is enough in concluding that the car he doled out was a bribe – pure and simple! The link is so clear for those who have not been blinded by some considerations to see.

A simple question: Would the Burkinabe contractor give the car to President Mahama if he was not looking for a contract and President Mahama was not a public officer in position to trust to influence decisions in his favour? Whoever answers his question from his 'heart' and not from the 'stomach' will come to the firm conclusion that a conflict of interest situation arises in the president's association with the contractor. This simply makes the consideration, which is the Ford vehicle, a BRIBE

This man, who had been struggling, without making any headway, to win road contracts in Ghana, secured a juicy contract from the government after a friend had advised him to go and 'salute' President Mahama. What could have changed for the man to begin securing contracts after going to 'salute' President Mahama? It is clear something must have changed hands even at the first meeting.

And no discerning person will ever attempt to refute any assertion that the man's motive of going to see President Mahama, in the first place, was to solicit favour to enable him get contracts.

And he, indeed, got the contract, after going to 'salute' Mr Mahama, and subsequently decided to thank the president with a vehicle, after executing that contract and getting paid for the outrageous amount he charged and collected from the poor Ghanaian tax payer.

Following this, the nation's procurement laws and guidelines suffered obvious manipulations to enable the president's friend secure more contracts through sole-sourcing. Yet, Ghanaians are being made to believe that there could not have been any presidential maneuvering, and that the Burkinabe businessman won his contracts on merit.

At this stage, we at the Daily Statesman want to caution Ghanaians that another term for the corrupt President Mahama and his cabal of 'greed bastards' will only extent the opportunity they have to steal more from the national coffers, and thus create more hardships for all of us.

The only way out for the nation now is to boot out this corrupt president from power and replace him with the more patriotic, incorruptible Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who has convinced the nation beyond every reasonable doubt that he is not into politics to amass wealth, but to seek the wellbeing of the masses