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Opinions of Monday, 30 October 2006

Columnist: Oto, Kwadjo

The Lies Of Mr Pratt

Mr. Kwasi Pratt has consistently branded some government officials and people in prominent positions as liars, finding fault with almost everything they say.

One has to be of very good moral standing before accusing another person of wrong doing. Mr. Pratt has no moral justification to brand anybody as a liar since he himself is a fragrant and a big liar, who lies through his teeth, casting insinuations and innuendoes against government officials, MPs and even the President on radio stations, especially Alhaji and Alhaji of Radio Gold every Saturday in order to put food on the table.

Mr. Pratt appeals to only simple minds, if not, nobody would have taken him seriously for most of the things he says, especially when he tried to reduce the Millennium Challenge Account to nothing on Radio Gold. He intimated that if the money is shared among the 20 million Ghanaians, each citizen is going to get US$ 5; therefore the US$547million is nothing, knowing very well the money is not to be shared among Ghanaians. This is indeed a simple argument from a simple mind which will only be accepted by a simple mind.

Mr. Pratt is pursuing an agenda of implicating the Ashanti King. I am not an Ashanti, but as Ghanaians we are known for the respect that we have for our elders especially our chiefs and leaders. On Wednesday 18th October 2006, Mr. Pratt’s paper published a story captioned “COCAINE (35) The Evidence, Was Otumfuo Mentioned on Tape?” Paragraph 6 of the story says that ACP Kofi Boakye said on the tape and I quote “OK. Then I did not understand you. We were therefore conducting investigations. Three days ago I got a call from (OHENE) Chief/King that they have information that some Columbians have come to town and that the goods belong (to) the Columbians ……” meaning it was Otumfuo who informed Kofi Boakye about the Columbians. I challenge anybody to go and read the original and certified transcript of the tape that the fusion of (OHENE) CHIEF/KING in the story is a lie, it was not on the tape. This is the imagination and diabolical intention of Mr. Pratt to implicate the Ashanti King and also to whip up tribal sentiments. The actual name mentioned there by kofi boakye was Tagor not Ohene.

Kwasi Pratt again lied on Radio Gold when he castigated this government for putting so many taxes on fuel prices. Mr. Pratt intimated that past governments never put taxes on fuel prices until the introduction of petroleum taxes in 1989. This again is a big lie.

These are the facts: even before independence in 1953/54 the colonial government imposed taxes on petroleum products. The Statement of Revenue and Expenditure for the year April 1, 1953 to March 31, 1954, page 11, table 2, indicated that tax on a gallon of oil increased by 4pence while gasoline, petrol and aviation spirit increased from 1shilling to 1shilling 3pence. Under Kwame Nkrumah on October 22, the 1963/64 Budget Statement read by the then Minister of Finance Mr. S.K.D. Gokah; page 12 says that tax on petroleum increased by 4.4pence per gallon, diesel and fuel oil by 6pence per gallon. On page 18 of the same document, kerosene went up by approximately 1pence per bottle. Under Limann’s administration, in the 1981/82 budget statement, taxes on premium increased from 11.30 cedis to 13 cedis, regular 10.5 cedis to 12 cedis, diesel 6.6 cedis to 12 cedis and kerosene maintained at 5.5 cedis.

On Radio Gold’s Alhaji and Alhaji a couple of months ago, Pratt is on record to have said that the World Bank has issued an official report that HIPC has failed. This came out to be one of his usual and perpetual lies. I sent an email to the World Bank and this is the reply I got from Mr. Edward Mountfield-senior economist at World Bank. “Thank you for your enquiry. The information you attribute to a senior journalist is incorrect. The World Bank has most certainly not issued a report stating or implying that the HIPC Initiative has "failed". On the contrary, the HIPC Initiative continues to make progress. Twenty-nine countries have reached the decision point and are already receiving debt relief under the Initiative Sincerely yours, Ed Mountfield” The report issued by World Bank concerning HIPC can be found on this website: http://www.worldbank.org/ieg/hipc/ And the World Bank address is: “Ed Mountfield-Senior Economist, Economic Policy and Debt Department. The World Bank, 1818 H Street, NW Washington, DC 20433, USA Phone: (+1) (202) 473 1247; fax: (+1) (202) 522 3740 Email: emountfield@worldbank.org Web: www.worldbank.org”.

It is obvious that Mr. Pratt is a habitual and perpetual liar. He should remove the log in his eyes before calling Ministers, public officials and even the president liars. They are people who have been accepted and voted for by the people. Mr. Pratt himself contested for the 1996 Parliamentary elections at Ayawaso Central and lost miserably to Hon. Sheikh I.C. Quaye who the people saw as credible, truthful, respectful and worthy of the Honourable position as an MP.

If Mr. Pratt alone should contest for the Presidency without anybody contesting him, still Mr. Pratt can never get the 50% + one vote. He should know that, he only appeals to simple minds. He can never win any national election, not even becoming assembly man. He should therefore exercise restraint and take a sober reflection before insulting the President, MPs and people in high positions who have been voted for and accepted by the people of Ghana as their leaders with his lying mouth.

Kwadjo Oto – Takoradi.

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