…To hold delegates’ conference
President Nana Akufo-Addo’s promise to protect the public purse proved to be just a speech in poetry, as he and his government acted in prose last Saturday.
To make the ruling New Patriotic Party’s national delegates’ conference in Cape Coast a memorable experience, the government splurged huge money to cart NPP faithful to Cape Coast, allegedly at the expense of the tax payer.
Regime actors had stormed the Central Regional capital in cozy V8 government vehicles fuelled by the state.
Sources say as many as 200 cars were involved.
The ruling party had apparently also halted the operations of the Intercity State Transport Company (ISTC) by commandeering buses of the company for the purpose of transporting party delegates to the conference.
To crown the massive abuse of incumbency, President Akufo-Addo had also delivered his address at the party’s conference from behind a lectern bearing the Presidential seal.
Sources of The Republic are gathering cost assaulted on the national purse as a result of the NPP’s delegates’ conference, which came off from Saturday to Sunday, but conservative estimates are already pointing at some Ghc17million.
In addition to over 200 vehicles that actors of government are said to have used to cruise into Cape Coast for the conference, the party had also accommodated delegates in hotels and fed them over the two days that they had been there.
Along with all that, the delegates had been paid allowances.
Due to a monopolization of STC buses by the NPP government, the State-owned Transport Company had not operated from Thursday, when preparations for the conference started, until yesterday, Monday.
Stranded patrons who had booked to travel on buses of the STC had experienced disappointment when they were informed that the company was not going to operate from Thursday until Monday.
Without explaining the reason for the cessation of operation, passengers had been constrained to resort to other means, especially the private buses, to travel within the period the NPP was holding its conference.
For some angry passengers, the most annoying thing about their inability to travel on STC buses was that upon query as to why buses were not available they were generally ignored.
The buses were said to have however been taken over by the NPP. The Daily Post newspaper which reported about the ruling party’s takeover of 39 suchlike STC buses described it as a ‘“hijack.”’
Meanwhile, at the delegates’ conference itself, President Akufo- Addo had delivered his address from behind a Presidential lectern etched with the emblematic coat of arms of the Presidential seal.
The development has since led to questions about the appropriateness of the President using the Presidential lectern at a party function.
Interestingly, highlights of the President’s speech include claim that his government, which is over-bloated with 110 ministers and deputies, mainly made up of family and friends, is the best in the 4th Republic.
According to Akufo-Addo, his government, which has come to be referred to as an ‘Akuffocracy – government of the Akuffos, for the Akuffos, by the Akuffos,’ is only comparable to that of ex- President Kufuor’s, in which he had served as Attorney General and later Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The President also reiterated his promise to fight corruption, but in so doing, appeared to scare would-be whistleblowers, as he warned that anybody who alleges corruption against his appointees must have proof backing the allegation.
“Any allegation about corruption against any official member of my government will be investigated by the law enforcement agencies. Every single one. Those who make that allegation, let them be prepared to support it when they are making these allegations of corruption,” the President said.
Many people have since pointed out that the President’s claim of poise to fight corruption flies in the face of corruption allegations flying all around his government.
The allegations include one about an extortionate scheme that the President’s cousin, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, is alleged to have set up at the Flagstaff House to enrich himself.
Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Ken Agyapong, recently revealed that Gabby and some cohorts at the Flagstaff House have instituted a scheme of extorting $20,000 from prospective investors as precondition for meeting the President.
The allegation had first been alluded to by Rev. Isaac Owusu Bempah, a man of the cloth, who flirts with the NPP openly, before Ken Agyapong would ultimately hit the nail on the head.
Even though the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has since expressed disquiet on the allegation, the President had only given a deaf ear to it until on Saturday when he issued what is seen as the veiled threats to whistleblowers such as Ken Agyapong, to back off.
According to the President, the likes of Ken Agyapong should be prepared to back their accusation with hard cold evidence.
Another whistleblower beset by this threat by the President is Kwame A-Plus, a musician-cum-activist of the ruling NPP, who has publicly alleged that President Akufo-Addo’s two deputy Chiefs of Staff, Francis Asenso–Boakye and Samuel Abu Jinapor, are corrupt, “stupid thieves.”
President Akufo-Addo is also seen to have swept the corruption-mired sale of 5million litres of contaminated fuel by the Managing Director of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport company (BOST) under the carpet.
In spite of the fact that the BOST MD had sold the fuel to unlicensed companies, one of which is allegedly owned by his business partner, the President has not caused it to be properly investigated.
A $2.25billion bond that the President’s cousin, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, also sold to his business partner’s company under shady circumstances is also yet to be fully investigated as the Attorney General’s office, has taken to the defense of the minister.
Interestingly, while the AG’s Department is defending the minister, the AG herself has publicly said that she is unaware of the facts of the issue.
Meanwhile, many Ghanaians have been given cause to pour scorn on the President over pontification of sincerity that he had indulged in at the NPP’s delegates’ conference on Saturday.
In his speech, the President had made the point that it was important for politicians to be sincere with voters, by delivering on their campaign promises, boasting that he was going to lead the way by delivering on all his promises.
“It is important, for the growth of our democracy, that the people will have confidence in their political leaders, will see people who come to tell them, if you give me the power we will do this, and do this and do this and that the people when they get the power do it.
“The situation whereby promises that are made are not kept, undermine our prospect for orderly, stable democratic government in our country. That is why it is important, that the promises that we made to the Ghanaian people, we begin to fulfill them.”
But the same President has gone total volte-face on a promise to illegal small scale miners that their vocation would be sustained. From promising never to end galamsey in opposition, the President has made its stoppage a focal policy of his government in power.
President Akufo-Addo has, since becoming President, also gone back on his promise to run a lean government, running the most over bloated government ever, instead. He has also walked away from his promise not to run a family and friends government, appointing his family members, friends and girlfriends into juicy positions in his government, instead.
A campaign promise that his government would not borrow has also been vandalized as his government has borrowed Ghc15billion already in just seven months in office, while a promise to drastically reduce fuel prices is still pending.
Even flagship promises, including free SHS education and one district, one factory, have taken on different characters, with the Free SHS turning out to be a scholarship scheme that will more benefit kids with privileged, well to do backgrounds, while so far, a pineapple factory that a private businessman is building at Ekumfi has been cited as the government’s launching ceremony for the one district, one factory policy.
Meanwhile, nobody knows when one village, one dam will take off.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Fiifi Samuels