Government spokesperson Sam Dzata George has lambasted the opposition New Patriotic Party for their attempt to score cheap political points from the raging debate over a Ford Expedition Gift to President John Dramani Mahama.
Mr George who was speaking on Metro Tv’s ‘Good Morning Ghana show said any attempt by the NPP to tarnish the impeccable reputation of the President will not wash.
“The NPP is struggling to deal with the massive corruption that has engulfed their party. This is why they have sidelined their National Chairman and General Secretary because they were determined to fight it. Paul Afoko has said it and so this is not in dispute at all. President John Mahama has an impeccable record and the whole world knows that. The NPP is doing everything possible to dent the image of this affable hardworking man because they can’t simply match his unprecedented record of achievement. The NPP is desperate. They don’t have a message and so will be quick to take advantage of a non-issue like a simple Ford vehicle offered as a gift and handed over to the state to brain wash Ghanaians. I am even told the car is being used by the security at the flagstaff house,” he added.
His comments come in the wake of a raging controversy about the propriety or otherwise of the president accepting a gift from a contractor. This was after a Joy News investigation by Manasseh Azure Awuni revealed that a Burkinabe contractor, Mr. Djibril Kanazoe gave the luxury vehicle to the President in 2012.
He had won two contracts from government, raising questions about the propriety of the gift. According to a code of ethics for ministers and public servants, a gift received should not be more than $50. The luxury vehicle is reportedly valued at $100,000.
But dismissing allegations of potential conflict of interest and bribery, Mr. Sam George said he finds the allegations laughable and unfortunate. He said the chronology of events leading to when the contractor presented the car gift do not support the NPP’s allegation of bribery. In any case his checks as he put it have revealed that the actual cost of a brand new 2017 Ford Expedition model is $66,000.
“So it is not possible for a 2 year old 2010 home-used model to cost even close to $100,000. The said contract the NPP keeps harping on was awarded long before the contractor decided to give the Ford Expedition to the President so how can any right thinking person suggest that the President influenced the award of the contract to the Mr Kanazoue. In any case who will receive a bribe and document it. It doesn’t even make sense,” he told show host Randy Abbey.
In a related development, the Convention Peoples' Party (CPP's) flagbearer Ivor Kobina Greenstreet says he sees nothing wrong with the issue being raised. He was reacting to legal practitioner Kwame Boateng Acheampong and Prof Ken Attafuah who have condemned the President for accepting gift.
“I don’t have a feeling that there is a breach of protocol or conflict of interest,” he explained on Pulse in an interview with Francis Abban on Joy News channel on Thursday.
He dismissed talks about impeaching President John Mahama describing it as ridiculous after the two lawyers argued that the president has breached Article 284 of the Constitution.