President John Dramani Mahama exhibited carelessness in accepting the much-criticized Ford Expedition gift, from a Burkinabe contractor, according to the Executive Director of IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe.
“The president was careless in receiving the gift,” Mr. Cudjoe said. But he also criticized the government set up that allowed indiscriminate access to the President making him susceptible to such gift giving.
The Burkinabe contractor in question, Djibril Kanazoe, has been accused of bribing President John Mahama with the expensive vehicle in an attempt to win a bid to execute a road construction project.
Djibril Kanazoe, admitted giving President Mahama a Ford Expedition vehicle, for which the President called to thank him.
‘The structures have to be looked at’
This issue notwithstanding, Franklin Cudjoe asserted that the bigger problem of the government set up ought to be assessed because “until we do, the gift-giving issues won’t end”
“This is Africa, every village chief, fetish priest, linguist who dies, people want to come to the president and tell the president; he is dead, can we do this? When you are president and the type of presidential monarch we have in his part of the world because the constitution makes them Captain Planet, everybody wants to come to the president to do something,” Mr. Cudjoe explained on Cit FM’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue.
“We should look at exactly how we are set up as a government, as a state, because this thing [gift giving] will not end today, it won’t end tomorrow… the structures have to be looked at,” the IMANI boss stated.
President should have said no
Despite this, Mr. Cudjoe maintained that President Mahama acted carelessly and he felt the President should have just said no to the gift.
He suggested that the President “probably didn’t even know that this was going to get nasty” but he ought to have known that “somebody giving a gift of that magnitude possibly wants something.”
“I am saying careless because he just assumed that this is a gift he is giving us, and probably we are good friends but these things have a way of boomeranging and so that is the point I am making,” Mr. Cudjoe concluded.