Afriyie-ankrah saves NDC & gov’t

Sat, 23 Aug 2014 Source: The Catalyst Newspaper

Detractors of Hon. Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah especially those within his own party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) wanted him hanged, using Ghana’s abysmal 2014 World Cup participation in Brazil as an alibi, The Catalyst can state. Others who belong to the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) as well saw it as an opportunity to spite the NDC government have done their worst in vilifying the former Minister of Youth & Sports. But these detractors must be biting their fingers in disappointment after the former minister of youth and sports after his testimony before the Presidential Commission of Enquiry probing issues surrounding Ghana’s participation at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

From what transpired at the Commission yesterday, The Catalyst can state that Hon Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah has saved both the NDC as a party and the President John Mahama-led NDC government from public ridicule, as his general conduct in the way he jealously guarded the image of the government in his presentation shows him as someone who, unlike his detractors within the NDC, places the interest of the party above his personal interest.

Yesterday’s sitting covered aspects of the preparations leading to the World Cup including funding, the committees that handled various aspects of the preparations, issues involving the supporters, the World Cup ambassadors, travel arrangements, collaboration between sister ministries, appearance fees for the players, which is to be continued today and so on.

Hon. Afriyie-Ankrah has been accused of running a one-man show leading to the World cup and has since been put on trial in the media. He has been said to have personally taken charge of the receipts and disbursements of funds and was ‘judged’ as being corrupt based on claims that he had appropriated monies meant for the world football fiesta to himself and expended the cash as he felt like it.

For example, it was surprising to many when he took his time and painted a clear picture of how monies accrued to the Fund and the mode of access and disbursement, as he brought to the notice of the Commission and Ghanaians that all monies were paid into an account at Zenith Bank, which account is still being run by the Ministry of Youth & Sports and that he is not signatory.

The paper is aware that his woes regarding his former office as Minister for Youth and Sports are mostly ‘homegrown,’ as there are some highly-placed persons (names withheld) in the party and government who are bent on destroying him for parochial reasons.

What the Afriyie-Ankrah hate squad within the high echelons of the NDC and the government may be oblivious of is that the former Youth & Sports Minister has decided to stomach a lot of things in order to safeguard the interest of NDC as a party in particular and the Mahama-led government as a whole, irrespective of the provocations by these elements who obviously are bent on not only seeing him out of the current government but destroying his promising political carrier at all cost.

Hon. Afriyie-Ankrah, who has been virtually quiet since his return from Brazil except for a single interview on TV on the day he returned, made certain startling revelations that The Catalyst believes would help the findings and recommendations of the Commission, at the end of its sittings, settle the matter once and for all. .

But for the paper, one thing that came out clearly is that he proved himself to be a true party man who is mindful of the image of the Mahama government and is ready to protect that image at all times, as one can deduce that he had jealously guarded the interest of the government and his party throughout the session.

It could also not go unnoticed that Hon. Afriyie-Ankrah has succeeded in disarming his detractors whose main weapon has been the spreading of deliberate falsehoods against him.

In our subsequent publications, The Catalyst will reveal why some highly-placed group of individuals from his own party have decided to make him a target of media attacks. It will be interesting in the coming days. More soon.

Columnist: The Catalyst Newspaper