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Re-Is NPP Ashanti Regional Chairman Wontumi Facing An Uphill Battle

Thu, 8 Jan 2015 Source: Haruna, Mahama

Re-Is NPP Ashanti Regional Chairman Wontumi Facing An Uphill Battle Justifying…?

Rockson Adofo is by all standards a prolific writer but his feature titled;“Is NPP Ashanti Regional Chairman Wontumi Facing An Uphill Battle Justifying…?”(see: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/features/artikel.php?ID=341231) left me disappointed.

The feature was full of deliberate distortion of facts, ethnic bigotry, blatant disregard for decency and honestly spiced in absolute character assassination of an innocent, serious and hardworking young businessman-Ibraihim Mahama.

This comes on the heels of a similar feature on 3rd December titled; “Do concerned citizens watch Chairman Wontumi suffers alone?”

From the time John Dramani Mahama a brother of Ibraihim Mahama became Vice-President of Ghana to date when he is President, propaganda machinery has sought to portray Ibraihim as a rogue businessman.

It is clear from information available publicly that the only reason for the antagonistic stand by some people over the financial transaction between Engineers & Planners and Merchant Bank is the fact that, Mr. Ibrahim Mahama, the owner of Engineers and Planners is the brother of the President John Dramani Mahama. Why a purely private financial transaction should become a political issue is really baffling.

In the just concluded cocaine scandal in which a Ghanaian woman, Nayele Ametefe travelling on an Austrian passport got busted at the Heathrow Airport in London with 12.5 Kg of cocaine, every attempt has been made to smear link Ibrahim to the accused. But each time they make allegations of Ibrahim's link to Nayele Ametefe, it turns out to be false.

“He who brings ants infested fagot to his house should not complain when lizards visit his house”, says an African adage. If Wotumi thinks he did nothing wrong, let him defend himself at court.

Rockson want Ghanaians to rise in defense of Wontumi. Rise for what? Rise because Wontumi’s loose mouth has landed him in trouble? Wontumi should face the consequences!! He should face the music squarely!! The law should take its cause!! Support for loose talk by some personalities in the NPP is fast diminishing and destroying the chances of the party winning the 2016 elections.

Ibraihim Mahama has been in business long before the brother became President so there is no truth in some of the assertions of Rockson put there. He is a hard working -self made man who many people we are looking up to. As a developing country, we certainly need more of Ibraihim Mahama’s to propel our development to higher heights and not to pull them down as some people have been frantically trying to do in this country.

I know Rockson Adofo to be an expert in attacking the Asantehene, sometimes justified, but to veer into an area he knows nothing about presents him in a negative light.

The success story of the relatively young Ibrahim Mahama cannot be delinked from that of Engineers & Planners, (E&P). The two have become synonymous and household names in the business world not only locally but internationally.

This young man in his early forties has supervised the growth and transformation of E&P since 1997 when he set up the firm. His knack for business can never be over emphasised. His original idea for E&P was heavy duty equipment rental company- renting construction equipment such as bulldozers, Road Trucks, Graders, compactors among a host of other heavy duty equipment. Later he decided to enter into service provision for the construction industry and won some contracts to move earth at some road construction site. The notable one being the Sankara Circle now Ako-Adjei Interchange.

The story behind the Sankara contract will amaze readers. At the time he got the contract to move earth from the construction site, he didn’t have a single truck. However, he got in touch with a friend contractor who willingly gave him his trucks for the job. “I took the trucks, got a printer to print E&P stickers for me. I removed my friend’s stickers off the trucks and put mine on. And when we started work, Construction Pioneers, the company that sub-let the movement of the earth to us was surprised at the number of trucks we had for the job.”

In the late 1980s through the 1990s, the Ghanaian mining sector witnessed massive transformation with government’s decision to open up the sector for private participation. Government therefore offloaded majority of its stake in the State Gold Companies such as Teberebie Mines, Prestea and Bogoso Gold mines and several others. Ibrahim Mahama saw the opportunities within this sector and decided to diversify his business interest, venturing into mining as a mine contractor.

Ibraihim draws his strength from Ghana’s first President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, who once said on the eve of the country’s independence “that the black man is capable of managing his own affairs”. According to Mr. Mahama, that was a profound declaration that we all must embrace because, “it is only us who can build Ghana. The expatriates who come here with all their sweet talks, business proposals and policies are not seeking the betterment of Ghana. It is their private interest they seek. They make all the monies here and repatriate them. How much is left for the development of Ghana” he asked.

E&P has close to two thousand (2000) employees and majority of the employees are Ghanaian locals whose immediate and extended families depend on them for a living. Ibrahim Mahama is a people’s person-very compassionate and seeks the welfare of all especially the vulnerable in society. This is reflected in his employment policy. “For me, the existence of E&P is not about profit per se, it is about ensuring that Ghanaians are empowered financially to be able to keep body and soul together. So even when there are no contracts to execute, we still keep the employees on our payroll until another contract comes our way.” He further added “that the advantage with this is that we do not lose our experienced hands to the competition.”

Ibrahim Mahama reiterates his believe in the capabilities of the African. “You see, all my employees are locals. The only foreigners you will see around my business are the technicians sent by the manufacturers of the equipment we use on site. They come down periodically to help train the locals and also help in resolving some of the challenges with the machines”.

Talking to Mr. Mahama, one could feel his humility in the face of all the wealth he has made from his business operations. He is a Chief Executive with a difference. He ensures that he is able to operate any new equipment that is bought by the company. According to him, humility is very important in the success of every entrepreneur. This is because without the clients you are not in business. One of his major challenges with business in Ghana is the “pull him down” syndrome. Rather than celebrating our own, we will prefer to bring down the Ghanaian and rather prop up the foreigner. Such an attitude is killing a lot of young Ghanaian businesses. More often than not politicians would haunt Ghanaian businesses out of existence while shamelessly paying lip service to the saying, ‘the private sector is the engine of growth’ of the Ghanaian economy. Those in authority will give all assistance to foreigners who parade their corridors most often without a pesewa in their pockets to establish viable companies and repatriate huge amounts of our hard earned foreign currency out of our poor country to the detriment of Ghanaians.

Let all of us stand up for the Ghanaian in whatever sphere of life we find him or her. That is the only way we can grow our economy, grow our nation and grow our democracy.

Apart from E&P, Ibrahim Mahama owns several other businesses. He has the franchise for MAN DIESEL Trucks across the West African region. This company known as MBG is located in Tema Industrial Area. They sell MAN Diesel Road Trucks and undertake after sales servicing of the trucks. He also owns the biggest poultry farm in Ghana, the Asutsuare Poultry Farm producing over hundred thousand birds a year. Soon to come is a Cement Processing Plant whose construction is underway in Tema.

Finally, I have also realised Rockson Adofo’s feature has serious undertones of ethnic bigotry. Hear him; “It is alleged that Ibrahim Mahama, a self-nicknamed Pepeni No. 1 & 2, has wantonly been exploiting his brotherhood with President Mahama to illegally enrich himself”.

By Mahama Haruna

The writer is the PRO of the Gonjaland Youth Association

Columnist: Haruna, Mahama