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General News Mon, 12 Jul 2010

Ndebugri: God set Rawlings' House on Fire

A Former Peoples National Convention MP for Zebila John Ndebugri says the 14th February fire that gutted the home of the Rawlingses, was an act of God.

Speaking on the Former First Family’s accommodation issue on Citi FM’s political talk show ‘The Big Issue’’, the PNC man, now a member of the opposition NPP said Mr. Rawlings and his family may have incurred the wrath of God for mocking Ex-President Kufuor who went through a similar ordeal at the hands of the Mills administration.

‘‘Mr. John Kufuor was being maltreated over his benefits which was an unnecessary controversy because nobody faulted the provision. The fault was that, it is too much and therefore why should you give two houses and six cars to a president. While all these were happening, Ex-President Rawlings and his wife were happy that it was happening to somebody else. They kept silent and did not intervene to say that it was wrong, which I interpret to mean that they were happy’’ he said.

He further alleged that Mr. Rawlings instigated the decision by government to evacuate Mr. Kufuor from the office he allocated to himself after his tenure of office had expired. He based his statement on the fact that the National Security Coordinator Gbevlo Lartey, a close pal of Mr. Rawlings, led the ejection of Mr. Kufuor from that office.

‘‘I suspect that he would have been happy about the manner in which former president Kufuor was hounded out of that office. So he was comfortable with an office and residential facilities to himself. The person he handed over to (Kufuor) was staying in his own house deprived of a house as provided by the constitution. When he had arranged for an office, he was hounded out, but he kept quiet. And God visited the fire upon him and razed down that house. He then was reduced to the position of former president Kufuor because now he also doesn’t have a house to live in. Then God has a way of testing us, so God said let me do this to this man so they become equal and let’s see how people would react. And that has led to all this confusion’’ he noted.

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The Former Legislator mainly directed his anger at the Mills- led administration for failing to implement to the letter, the provisions in the constitution that spells out benefits for retired presidents.

‘‘We must abide by the constitution not because we like individuals that certain provisions apply to, but because it is in a document. We are inflicting unnecessary suffering on ourselves. The executive must wake up and apply the relevant provisions of the constitution. I think that they should deal with President Kufuor first before Mr. Rawlings because his case came late. Kufuor left office since 2009, and he doesn’t have all his benefits. Why must he be paying his workers from his own pocket? What is good for the goose is good for the ganda. And if we want this to be sustained, we must stop picking and choosing. When I am in power, I will decide that these provisions will work, and another person will also decide this will not work, it won’t help us.

Mr. John Ndebugri also condemned Government for offering the Former first couple a privilege to engage their own contractor and choice of design for the refurbishment of their Ridge residence in Accra.

‘‘We must stop this dramatization. When God visits his leveling power upon us, then we begin to dramatize. Are the Rawlingses saying they could not get any decent accommodation in Accra where they could be given security in the meantime? If the Government is waiting for Rawlings and his family to decide what type of accommodation and design they want, does that also apply to Former President Kufuor? If that is the case, then why was he hounded from that office? That is where he preferred to be. Nobody is going to be president or a member of government in this country forever. The only thing that will be forever hopefully is the constitution of the republic. So I will advice everybody, every stakeholder in our scheme of things to give utmost respect to the provisions of this constitution no matter how limited they are’’.

This element about the Rawlingses deciding that they are going to engage their own contractor and a design of their choice, is the house going to be for them? The house is a state house and when the former President has died, it will be for the state. So how can they engage their own contractor? I only believe that they have a choice as to the location of the house, but I don’t think they should be the ones to engage the contractor and all the State will do is to pay the money. How about if they go and inflate the contract? He queried.

Source: Citifmonline.com
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