General News of 2014-02-12

If you don’t expose me you are a bastard – Murtala tells critic

If you don’t expose me, you are a bastard,” the Deputy Minister for Information and Media Relation, Murtala Mohammed, on Tuesday, told Ernest Owusu-Bempah, a Communicator for the National Democratic Party (NDP).
Mr. Mohammed said this on “Eko Si Sen”, a political talk show on Accra-based Asempa FM.
The deputy Minister's comment followed accusations by Owusu-Bempah to the effect that he (Mohammed) had been arrested on Visa fraud charges in Nigeria in the past.
The allegation appeared to have infuriated Mr. Mohammed, who challenged Owusu-Bempah to prove what he said was a false allegation.
He said if Owusu-Bempah failed to prove the allegation, then he was not the child of his parents.
Mr. Mohammed, whose voice was rising as he spoke, added that if Owusu-Bempah managed to prove the allegation, he would resign his position as deputy Minister and also step down as MP for Nanton. He said he would retire from politics for good.
For his part, Owusu-Bempah insisted that the allegation was true and pledged to prove it.
He, however, stressed that Mr. Mohammed was not fit to be a deputy minister, saying he was incompetent and was an embarrassment to the President.
Allegations that Mr Mohammed was arrested in Nigeria came to the fore after he criticised Nana Konadu Rawlings, a former first lady, over comments she made in relation to economy.
Nana Konadu had at a public forum, questioned government’s decision to increase VAT from 15% to 17.5% and place taxes on many more items.
She had argued that the imposition of too many taxes in a developing country like Ghana harmed the private sector and discouraged further investments.
The former National Democratic Party (NDP) Presidential Candidate had added that it made more economic sense to reduce taxes in order to attract more private investment.
The comments, apparently, did not please Mr. Mohammed, who remarked that Nana Konadu was not an economist and she was only looking for public attention with her “confusing” economic analysis.
This prompted the NDP to call for him to be sanctioned by the President for what they said was an attack of the former first lady.
Mr Owusu-Bempah is reported to have described Mr Mohammed as ungrateful, saying he was assisted by Nana Konadu when he was arrested in Nigeria on visa fraud charge.
The deputy minister vehemently denies the allegation.