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Opinions of Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

This is exactly why Ghana cannot entertain NDC ever again

It should be a grave concern to all patriotic Ghanaians on how individuals can form an alliance with a view to creating, looting and sharing gargantuan sums of money that belong to the state.

Given that corruption is a serious economic, social, political and moral impediment to the nation building, our corrupt public officials are bent on duping the nation.

And despite the harmful effects of corruption, there is no cynosure of deterrence for political criminals.

If that was not the case, how come political criminals more often than not go through the justice net, in spite of prima facie evidence?

If we take a stroll down memory lane, somewhere in October 2010, the British media brought up sensational reports about how the then Vice President John Dramani Mahama, was lobbied by a British Cabinet Minister to get a reprieve for the ban imposed on Armajaro Holdings, one of the cocoa buying companies who were found guilty for smuggling the commodity out of Ghana.

It would be recalled that Armajaro Company was banned together with a few other companies, when the award winning investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas exposed the smuggling of countless bags of cocoa into neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire.

The British media shockingly reported that subsequent to the meeting between the then Vice President John Dramani Mahama and the British Cabinet Minister, Armajaro Company was given a needless reprieve and then started its operations.

Well, what action did the then majority NDC operatives who have now found their voices take back then?

Let us face it, though, Ghana’s transgressed and incompliant politicians often get away with murder.

Take, for example, the Manasseh Azuri investigation which exposed former President Mahama’s furtive gift of a brand new Ford Expedition vehicle worth over $100,000 by the Burkinabe Contractor, Djibril Kanazoe.

According to the report, the Burkinabe Contractor Kanazoe undertook a number of contracts which were secured through sole-sourcing and handpicking, amid allegations of former president Mahama’s influence.

Manasseh reported that Djibril Kanazoe over the years took part in the bidding process for contracts in the country. However he was not successful until a middleman led him to meet then Vice President Mahama.

Subsequent to meeting the then Vice President Mahama, Kanazoe was handpicked to build the $650,000 Ghana Embassy fence wall in Burkina Faso.

In September 2014, when officials of the Bank of Ghana met the Public Accounts Committee of Ghana Parliament (PAC), it came to light that an amount of $656, 246.48 had been spent on the construction of a fence wall over a parcel of land belonging to the Ghana Embassy in Burkina Faso.

Apparently, PAC requested the Bank of Ghana to look into what it referred to as: “the outrageous” cost of the project.

However, it came to light that the procurement process was violated to the advantage of former President Mahama’s Burkinabe friend.

Amazingly, during an interview with Manasseh, Djibril Kanazoe admitted that he did not put in a bid for the contract, but it was rather the Ghana Embassy in Ouagadougou that wrote to his company to request price quotations for the project. And, he subsequently forwarded the necessary quotes and was selected.

“Subsequently, the Burkinabe contractor delivered to former President Mahama, the ‘gift’ of a brand new Ford Expedition vehicle in 2012, the same year his company was selected, again through sole-sourcing, to execute more projects” (See: ‘Burkinabe Contractor offers controversial gift to President Mahama’ ; myjoyonline.com, 15/06/2015).

Shockingly, despite unobjectionable evidence of wrong doing, the then majority NDC operatives kept defending former President Mahama until discerning Ghanaians rightly voted them out of power.

It is also worth emphasising that the majority NDC operatives back then, went to sleep over the then Vice President Mahama’s dreadful handling of the STX Housing deal, which was supposed to provide affordable housing to the security agencies.

In spite of the fact that the deal did not materialise, the then Vice President Mahama, gave us a bill of an excess of $200 million. How strange?

Well, what is the minority NDC saying about the dubious deal then?

Moreover, after the failed deal with STX to build 30,000 housing units for the nation's security agencies, the NDC government entered into another deal with the GUMA Group, for the construction of 500 housing units.

The deal which was spearheaded by the then Vice President Mahama was widely criticised by various stakeholders, just as the STX deal following the decision to side-line local construction firms in favour of the foreign company. The unusually high cost of the project was also a source of concern to many.

As a matter of fact, the minority NDC operatives approached their duty lackadaisically whilst in power, so I am not surprised that the good people of Ghana showed them the exit on 7th December 2016.

And given the circumstances, I do not think they deserve another chance in power. Indeed, they have needlessly taken Ghanaians for granted for far too long and it is about time they are taught hard lessons.