The newly-appointed Executive Director of Danquah Institute, Mr Richard Ahiagbah has debunked a publication which supposedly quoted him to have described former President John Mahama as “a shameless old man without sense.”
According to him, he only sought to engage the former president with regards to the use of State Capture in the ongoing PDS saga and not to use distasteful words against him.
The news article published originally on mynewsgh.com quoted Mr Ahiagbah to have said amongst other things that, “with no scintilla of shame, John Mahama after accepting his ex-gratia of GH¢568, 000 still had the audacity to contest flag bearer position with the hope of returning to the Presidency…John Mahama is an exception to the adage that ‘wisdom’ comes with age”.
But the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute in a statement copied to www.ghanaweb.com has vehemently debunked and described the publication as false and a typical example of misreporting.
Below is a copy of his rejoinder:
My attention has been drawn to a headline story claiming I have referred to the former President John Dramani Mahama as, as a shameless old man without sense, in a purported interview.
These are very strong words, and I wish to state in the clearest of forms that, the caption is false, misleading and amounts to a mean attempt by the author to distort and divert attention from the issues.
It is unimaginable the extent some journalists are willing to go, to engineer stories out of thin air to pollute the political space. I have not at any time conceived or referred to the former President John Mahama in such distasteful terms.
Insult has not been part of my discourse and it will not be the way I discharge my duties as Director of the Danquah Institute.
The statement released to the newspapers and published on 28th October 2019, explained a principled disagreement with the former President’s characterization of the PDS agreement as “state capture.”
In doing so, the story showed why the PDS agreement which allocated 51 per cent for Ghanaian participation and 49 per cent foreign participation is superior to the former President’s allocation of 20 per cent Ghanaian and 80 per cent foreign participation.
The release showed that, while there have been some public relations challenges with the PDS agreement, no aspect of the process that constituted it, amounts to “state capture.”
On state capture, the release referred to a state agreement in which 80 per cent of Ghana’s Bauxite was signed to Mr Ibrahim Mahama when Mr John Mahama was President of this Republic.
That Bauxite agreement has everything in common with state capture, and not the PDS agreement whose procurement process began with former President Mahama and completed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
My role as Director of the Danquah Institute is among other things, the principled promotion of policy views that contributes to the growth and wellness of property-owning democracy in Ghana.
As an Institute, our interest remains the ethical defence and promotion of values and policies that prioritize the best interest of mother Ghana. And I am committed to doing so with utmost objectivity and deference.
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