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Opinions Tue, 5 Mar 2019

Will discerning Ghanaians forgive and forget Mahama’s dreadful errors in judgement?

I was indeed flabbergasted when I heard former President Mahama gleefully articulating his consuming desire to have another opportunity at the presidency so as to correct the calamitous errors in judgement which obviously brought untold economic hardships to the good people of Ghana.

Unhesitatingly, however, it would be extremely disastrous if Mahama was to reclaim the presidency, given the irrevocable wastefulness which led to the massive economic downslide.

Considering the circumstances back then, it is quite unfair and somewhat bizarre for former President Mahama and the NDC faithful to travel the length and breadth of the country and unblushingly scold President Akufo-Addo, who is prudently fixing the unprecedented mess left behind by the erstwhile Mahama administration.

Dearest reader, trust me, Ex-President John Dramani Mahama was not joking when he once alluded to the fact that Ghanaians suffer from chronic memory loss and hence cannot recollect past events, including his dreadful errors in judgement which brought the country to its knees (emphasis mine).

Well, if Ex-President Mahama is not holding on to the phantom belief that Ghanaians suffer from memory loss and therefore cannot recall the revoltingly ugly events which took place under his watch, what would then drive a president who brought the country to its knees through catastrophic decision-making to persistently accuse his successor who is doing everything possible to fix the massive mess?

It is absolutely baffling to see the brassbound supporters of NDC moving heaven and earth to reclaim power barely 26 months after being voted out of power by discerning Ghanaians for the terrible errors in decision-making amid massive economic meltdown.

All the same, we can only hope and pray that Ghanaians will miraculously overcome their perceived beguiling, albeit harmful memory loss so as to hold Mahama and NDC accountable for the catastrophic errors which brought massive economic mess.

It is our expectation that discerning Ghanaians will shrug off their memory loss and take Mahama and NDC to task over Ibrahim Mahama’s GH12 million import tax evasion.

Indeed, but for the Honourable Agyapong’s whistling blowing prowess, Ghana would have been GH12 million worse off.

Hopefully, Ghanaians will recover from their perceived memory loss in earnest and hold Mahama and NDC responsible for woefully dragging the 14% economic growth in 2011 to a disappointing 3.6% in December 2016.

Ghanaians may well recover from their memory loss and hold NDC to account for wilfully raising Ghana’s debt from GH9.5 billion in 2009 to an incredible GH122.4 billion by December 2016 with a little to show for.

Frankly stating, the good people of Ghana cannot so soon forget and forgive former President Mahama and NDC for the business crippling dumsor in the last five years of the erstwhile NDC administration.

How can Ghanaians so soon forget that Mahama and his NDC government shrunk Ghana’s GDP from $47 billion in 2011 to $37 billion by December 2016?

Who says that every Ghanaian has forgotten and forgiven Mahama and NDC for carelessly giving out large portions of Ghana’s scarce resources to parasitic creatures like Madam Akua Donkor?

Ghanaians have indeed stencilled on their mental sheets for unjustifiably giving apologists like Madam Akua Donkor of Ghana Freedom Party (GFP) two four wheel drive cars and a luxury bungalow (estimated to cost a staggering $470,000) for no work done.

Hopefully, Ghanaians will recuperate in time to hold Mahama and NDC responsible for flagrantly giving away 58% of Ghana’s bauxite to Ibrahim Mahama on 29th December 2016, just a little over one week before exiting power.

What is more, discerning Ghanaians cannot so soon forget the over GH800 million dubious judgment debt payments, including the GH51.2 million to Woyome, $30 million to the Waterville and $18 million to Isofoton which resulted in the drastic reduction of capital expenditure, and as a consequence, most contractors were not paid by the erstwhile NDC administration.

Besides, the $175 million loan facility secured in 2012 meant to provide seven district hospitals which the NDC hierarchy misapplied is still fresh in the memory of Ghanaians.

To be quite honest, some of us would be extremely surprised if Ghanaians failed to teach Mahama and NDC a great lesson for clandestinely diverting $6 million of a government loan facility of $175 million meant to provide seven district hospitals into researching the then governing NDC party’s chances of winning the 2016 general elections.

Ghanaians cannot let go the sadness over the GH200 million SADA funds wasted on trees and the guinea fowls which flew to the neighbouring Burkina Faso without a trace. How bizarre?

Who says discerning Ghanaians will so soon forget the scandalous Bus Branding, the Brazil World Cup, SUBA, GYEEDA, SSNIT, NCA, the NDC MPs double salary, amongst others?

Dearest reader, there are more bribery and corruption scandals hanging on the neck of Ex-President Mahama than any other president in the history of Ghanaian politics.

If you may recall, somewhere in 2018, four valiant Ghanaians petitioned the Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu to probe into the alleged E.O. Group’s $13 million corporate social responsibility fund towards the development of the Western Region which the petitioners claimed to have been diverted by Ex-President Mahama.

If we cast our minds back, a few years ago, the investigative work carried out by the award winning investigative journalist, Joy FM’s Manasseh Azuri, exposed former President Mahama’s clandestine gift of a brand new Ford Expedition vehicle worth over $100,000 by the Burkinabe Contractor, Djibril Kanazoe.

According to the report, the Burkinabe Contractor Kanazoe undertook a number of contracts which were secured through sole-sourcing and handpicking, amid allegations of former president Mahama’s influence.

Manasseh reported that Djibril Kanazoe over the years took part in the bidding process for contracts in the country. However he was not successful until a middleman led him to meet then Vice President Mahama.

Subsequent to meeting the then Vice President Mahama, Kanazoe was handpicked to build the $650,000 Ghana Embassy fence wall in Burkina Faso.

In September 2014, when officials of the Bank of Ghana met the Public Accounts Committee of Ghana Parliament (PAC), it came to light that an amount of $656, 246.48 had been spent on the construction of a fence wall over a parcel of land belonging to the Ghana Embassy in Burkina Faso.

Apparently, PAC requested the Bank of Ghana to look into what it referred to as: “the outrageous” cost of the project.

However, it came to light that the procurement process was violated to the advantage of former President Mahama’s Burkinabe friend.

Amazingly, however, during an interview with Manasseh, Djibril Kanazoe admitted that he did not put in a bid for the contract, but it was rather the Ghana Embassy in Ouagadougou that wrote to his company to request price quotations for the project. And, he subsequently forwarded the necessary quotes and was selected.

“Subsequently, the Burkinabe contractor delivered to former President Mahama, the ‘gift’ of a brand new Ford Expedition vehicle in 2012, the same year his company was selected, again through sole-sourcing, to execute more projects”.

Shockingly, despite unobjectionable evidence of wrong doing, the likes of Sammy Gyamfi kept defending former President Mahama until discerning Ghanaians rightly voted them out of power in 2016.

Honestly stating, some of us would be most grateful if the energetic NDC anti-corruption crusaders can revisit the puzzling corruption scandals such as STX housing deal, the Brazilian aircrafts, the Ford Expedition Vehicle and the Armajaro corruption scandals.

If we take a stroll down memory lane, somewhere in October 2010, the British media brought up sensational reports about how the then Vice President John Dramani Mahama was lobbied by a British Cabinet Minister to get a reprieve for the ban imposed on Armajaro Holdings, one of the cocoa buying companies who were found guilty for smuggling the commodity out of Ghana.

Armajaro Company was banned together with a few other companies, when the award winning investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas exposed the smuggling of uncountable bags of cocoa into neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire.

However, the British media reported that subsequent to the meeting between the then Vice President John Dramani Mahama and the British Cabinet Minister, Armajaro Company was given a needless reprieve and then started its operations.

Dearest reader, if you may recollect, a few years ago, Mr Martin Amidu came out and told the whole nation that in July 2011, there was a hue and cry about the prices for the acquisition of five (5) aircrafts for the Ghana Armed Forces which were negotiated by your former President John Dramani Mahama.

Mr Amidu however stressed that even though on 26th July 2011 the late Mills attempted to defend the purchase of the five aircrafts, he became convinced of the necessity to set up a Committee to investigate those purchases.

Mr Amidu’s stressed: “a Committee to Investigate the Processes of the Acquisition of Five Aircrafts (5) including Embraer 190 Aircraft and hanger for the Ghana Armed Forces consisting of Mr. William Aboah, Mr. George Amoah, and Brig. Gen. Allotey (Rtd) former Judge Advocate-General was put together”.

Mr Amidu avouched : “the terms of reference of the Committee as I was instructed and drafted them for the late President were: “(i) to investigate the processes adopted in selecting, negotiating, and agreeing on the acquisition of the aircrafts; (ii) to investigate the competitive advantage, prices of the aircrafts and the level of economic and financial due diligence conducted by relevant agencies in the process of acquisition of the aircrafts; and (iii) to investigate any other matter that in the opinion of the Committee is reasonably related to the foregoing terms of reference”. “Pressure groups never allowed the Committee to take off”.

“But the very fact that the late President Mills even contemplated this Committee meant that he was uncomfortable with and suspicious of the alleged inflated prices of the aircrafts”.

Dearest reader, don’t you think that the dubious aircrafts deal stinks to high heaven?

Trust me, discerning Ghanaians cannot easily forgive and forget the STX Housing deal which was supposed to provide affordable housing units to the security agencies, and in spite of the fact that the deal did not materialise, the then Vice President Mahama is alleged to have given us a bill of an excess of $300 million. How strange?

Dearest reader, it beggars belief that despite the wanton corruption, the arrogance of power and the crass incompetence exhibited by the erstwhile Mahama administration which resulted in massive economic collapse, the NDC faithful would still have the moral authority to accuse others of non-existent corruption.

Given the illimitable rot in the Mahama’s administration, some of us cannot help but to giggle over the NDC faithful’s renewed zeal to return to power so soon.

Apparently, the Progressive Nationalist Forum (PNF) estimates that monies lost to corrupt and dubious transactions under the presidency of John Dramani Mahama amounted to GHC5billion.

However, the total of my calculations in respect of all the recorded corrupt and dubious transactions exceeds that of the PNF; I recorded GH7 billion.

Hopefully, the good people of Ghana will shrug off the chronic amnesia and then ventilate their arousing disgust over Mahama’s dreadful errors in decision-making which culminated in harsh socio-economic standards of living.

In ending, some of us, as a matter of principle cannot end our arousing disgust anyhow and anytime soon over the erstwhile Mahama government’s irreversible incompetence and the corrupt practices which nonetheless destabilised Ghana’s macroeconomic indicators.

Columnist: K. Badu