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Let's not be influenced to overlook the harm Mahama is causing the nation

Sun, 19 Jun 2016 Source: Statesman

All discerning, objective and patriotic Ghanaians, by now, should be very much worried about what awaits the nation if the electorate should make another mistake of voting in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections to give a third term mandate to the National Democratic Congress government, led by President John Dramani Mahama.

President Mahama simply sees governance as a means to create opportunities for family relations and friends to make wealth without thinking about the ramifications of such unpatriotic mentality. This was what caused Majority Leader Alban Bagbin to once describe his administration as 'family and friends government'.

It is all about what he and his close allies can get and not what can be done to accelerate the development agenda of the nation to enhance the socio-economic wellbeing of the suffering masses.

That was why he influenced the lifting up of a ban on Armajaro Holdings, a company that had been sanctioned for engaging in smuggling of cocoa from Ghana to Cote d'Ivoire, after its Chief Executive Officer and others had met President Mahama, and received assurance from him to do something about the ban.

With the UK Minister who made a phone call to fix a meeting with then Vice President Mahama said to have received £40,000 for that service, one wonders how much President Mahama received from Anthony Ward for helping to lift the ban on his company.

It was also for the same reason that President Mahama spearheaded the abortive STX Korean Housing deal. The Korean partners said in open court that they had to pay $10,000 as facilitation fees to Ghanaian officials even though the deal could not see the light of day. The money was not paid to the government. It was paid to an individual. The deal was President Mahama's brainchild.

With the latest scandal involving his receipt of over $100,000 worth of Ford Expedition vehicle from his Burkinabe friend and contractor, we at the Daily Statesman are left with no doubt that President Mahama came into office to amass wealth, and not to improve the wellbeing of the people who voted to give him their mandate.

This man who had been struggling, without any headway, to win road contracts in Ghana secured a juicy contract from the NDC government after a friend had advised him to go and 'salute' then Vice President Mahama. What could have changed for the man to begin securing contracts after going to 'salute' President Mahama? It is clear something must have exchanged hands.

And subsequently the man decided to thank the president with a Ford Expedition vehicle after executing that contract and getting paid for the outrageous amount he charged and collected from the poor Ghanaian tax payer.

Following this, the nation's procurement laws and guidelines suffered obvious manipulations to enable the president's friend secure more contracts through sole-sourcing. Yet, Ghanaians are being made to believe that there was no presidential maneuvering, and that he Burkinabe businessman won his contracts on merit.

At this stage, we want to caution Ghanaians that another term for President Mahama and his functionaries will only extent their opportunity to steal more from the national coffers, and thus create more hardships for all of us.

The only way out for the nation now is to boot out this corrupt president from power and replace him with the more patriotic, incorruptible Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who has convinced the nation that he is not in politics to amass wealth, but to seek the wellbeing of the masses.

For those who decide to allow themselves to be somewhat influenced to overlook the harm President Mahama and his government are causing the nation, we want to urge them to always listen to your conscience, and also consider the future of their children and grandchildren.

WHEN A PRESIDENT RECEIVES CAR GIFT FROM A BENEFICIARY OF PROCUREMENT ABUSES

"I still can't understand why the GHC3.6 million rebranding of 116 buses project was awarded to Selassie Ibrahim's company, Smarty's Management and Production, without passing through the tendering process just like the way the $510 million Ameri Scandal deal was initiated. Mr President, the way Ghana's procurement process has consistently been undermined under your watch leaves much to be desired. It's clear you are not willing to give the Ghanaian people value for money in any business you transact on their behalf, and I ask if Ghana was your private business, would you have been happy with the way things are going?"

This was a post a worried Ghanaian put on his Facebook wall recently in the wake of the Smartys and Ameri scandals.

And the post certainly captures why President John Dramani Mahama has been handling the affairs of the country the way he is doing now, just as it captures the worries of all well-meaning Ghanaians.

Corporate Ghana is not a private business enterprise President Mahama inherited from his father, hence the extent to which he has reduced governance to a money-making enterprise, characterized by corruption, naked stealing and looting of the national coffers.

Now, the fact cannot be gainsaid that governance in Ghana under the leadership of President Mahama has been reduced to the business of creating opportunities for the purposes of amassing wealth at the expense of the collective good of the country.

That is the why he has been supervising the direct abuse of the procurement process to give contracts to his allies who obviously pay him back in kind and cash.

The accounts for why Mrs Selassi Ibrahim's Smarty's Management and Production, for instance, was motivated to charge about GHC3, 649,044.75 for just re-branding of 116 buses for the Metro Mass Rapid Transit, which were imported at an obviously inflated cost of $250,000 each, five times the original cost of $50,000.

It is now clear that President Mahama's appreciation of governance is an opportunity to amass wealth. And the confirmation is seen in the many dubious and corruption-laden deals that have been used by his government to fleece the nation of millions of cedis that could have otherwise been used to carry out projects to better the lives of the people.

And, in almost all these cases, the name of President Mahama has always been directly associated with the scandalous deals through which monies have been siphoned from the state coffers. Talk about the abortive Korean STX deal, the dubious Brazilian Embraer Jet deal, the American Amarjalo deal, and the name of President Mahama features at the very heart of the deals, just as he is directly associated with many phantom projects that were used to siphon funds from the national kitty on the eve of the 2012 general elections: the GYEEDAs, the Asongtabas, the LESDEPs, the SUBAHs and many more.

When he was recently asked in an interview with the BBC about whether or not he had taken bribe before, he could not answer the question immediately, just as his answer was not direct. He first asked if the interviewer was referring to him as a president or person. Even though, he later struggled to answer the question in the negative, the conclusion drawn by many people was that President Mahama had taken bribe before, and was only telling lies.

Now, many think his "cup is full" with the disclosure by a Burkinabe contractor that he gave a Ford Expedition vehicle to him, after he had apparently circumvented the procurement process to enable him secure some juicy contracts for which he parted with unreasonably huge sums of money.

Columnist: Statesman