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Mahama should not be on the ballot at all!

On Tuesday, television cameras of Joy News visited Nkwanta in the newly-created Oti Region and re-lived the controversy over the bribery allegation leveled against come-back kid John Dramani Mahama, with its readers.

The pictures relayed to readers showed the four year-old Eastern Corridor road sporting craters on several parts of the construction job that Mr. Mahama praised to the high heavens, and highlighted in the Green Book of fathom achievements as an example of an excellent construction job which Ghanaian contractors ought to emulate.

I have always believed that God Almighty is not a Nigerian. One rainfall exposed the shoddiness, and the Burkinabe contractor abandoned the job and fled from this country. It emerged that all the presidential praises did not owe their origins to the exquisiteness of the job.

Apparently, the contractor, Oumarou Kanazoe, had done his home work. It emerged that in 2012, as the nation prepared to go to the polls in that election that required the Supreme Court to authenticate, the contractor had presented a Ford Exhibition four-wheel-drive vehicle to the sitting President on the blind side of the good people of Ghana.

One needs no ghost to pontificate on the bribery scandal. Somehow, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, headed by men lacking balls, pronounced that the unusual gift was not a bribe. Not many Ghanaians sided with the commission's pronouncement though.

It emerged that following the presentation of the vehicle in October 2012, the Burkinabe contractor was awarded the 46.4 kilometres Dodo-Pepeso-Nkwanta road on the much publicised Eastern Corridor.

Mr. Kanazoe's road construction was pronounced complete and was inaugurated by then President Mahama himself. The praises from the then presidential mouth were loud and clear.

'I also want to take this opportunity to thank Messrs Oumarou Kanazoe Contractors Limited of Burkina Faso for the very high quality of work they have done on this stretch of road. As I have said, perhaps, this is one of the best quality roads in Ghana today, and I will urge the Minister of Roads and Highways to bring other contractors to come and see, so that they can emulate it in other parts of the country.' That was the presidential lips at the time.

An investigative piece by conducted by Manasseh Azure Awuni, then an investigation journalist with Joy FM, revealed that Mr. Kanazoe had previously executed many other juicy contracts awarded by the Government of Ghana through sole sourcing. He was awarded the juicy US$650,000 contract to renovate the Ghana Embassy building in Ouagadougou, for instance.

The Ministry of Roads and Highways, led by the then sector minister, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, was in the process of awarding Mr. Kanazoe another juicy road contract worth GHS82 million on sole sourcing basis, when the Ford bribery scandal broke out. Mr. Fuseini announced at the time that the Burkinabe was hand-picked to construct the 28-kilometre project on the basis of his excellent job on the Eastern Corridor road.

Long before the brouhaha over the Ford Exhibition bribe, there had been allegations that the deceased former President John Evans Atta Mills had wanted to probe his deputy on the basis of shady deals involving the acquisition of Embrae aircraft for use by the Ghanaian military in 2009.

Though Mr. Martin Amidu, now Special Prosecutor, sheepishly sat before the Appointment Committee at his vetting and ate back his own words, there are many Ghanaians out there who believe the allegation to be true.

As you read this piece, no one has spoken to the mother of all scandals emanating from the Southwark Crown Court in London, just before the Coronavirus condemned most of us to a lockdown in March. Prosecutors in London say Government Official 1 connived with Intermediary 5 to collect a huge five million Euro bribe money from Airbus SE, the United Kingdom-based largest aircraft manufacturer in the world, in a deal that led to the State of Ghana acquiring three aircraft for use by the Ghanaian military.

Incidentally, one of the aircraft was involved in an accident on the runway of the Kotoka International Airport not too long ago. Many Ghanaians, including myself, believe that Government Official 1 could not be any other person than the sitting President at the time. That is not the only reason, I hold on to the view that there is need for a commission of enquiry to examine this bribery scandal for former President Mahama to purge himself.

In his autobiography, Mr. Mahama wrote about a lost brother who was sent to the United Kingdom at a very early age. One does not need to stretch his or her imagination to come to the conclusion that Intermediary 5 is, indeed, Mr. Mahama's half brother.

In any case, whether or not Mr. Mahama is Government Official1, it is his duty, as the sitting President at the time, to brief the people of Ghana on what happened in the Airbus bribery scandal.

There are too many scandals in and around Mr. Mahama for him to be allowed to stand for another presidential election - a theme harped on by Mr. Sekou Nkrumah, son of the first President of the Republic of Ghana, recently.

Read the lips of the son of the man credited with the founding of the State of Ghana. 'It baffles me that the NDC leadership think that Ghanaians have forgotten so soon their corrupt and incompetent eight years in government under Mills and Mahama? Why the leadership was not changed for 2020 is another mystery.'

He strongly recommends to the party Jerry Rawlings founded to wait for four more years before thinking of seeking the leadership of Ghana. 'NDC should wait for another four years! Change Mahama and come back strongly,' he advised.

'I think Ghanaians are more interested in what the NDC has to offer, and not what NPP has not done. Again, how can they convince us that with the same leadership, we will not have the same corruption we had under them? Personally, I have not forgotten the rot at the NYEP (National Youth Employment Programme), and the subsequent jailing of the boss over there!'

Sekou said the Ghanaian voters... in less than six months to the December poll might not be interested in what the ruling NPP has been able to do under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Rather they would be interested in what the opposition has to offer.

'The opposition needs to convince Ghanaians that with the same leadership we will not have the same corruption we had under them,' he said.

He wondered why some Ghanaians keep demanding a manifesto from the NDC. He believes the only option is to get the NPP manifesto and 'read the opposite.'

Under Mr. Mahama's administration, corruption was perfected into an art. For instance, a guinea fowl project, conceived to domesticate the bird and make its meat available to the people, collapsed because the entire bird population of all the farms located in the then three regions of the north, migrated to Burkina Faso. No one has since told the people of Ghana the kind of compass all the birds used.

We were told too that an afforestation project undertaken in the then three northern regions with state cash collapsed, because, according to state officials, the exercise was conducted during the dry season, and that all the trees withered.

The plain truth is that state officials apparently made use of the resources meant for the two projects. Under Mr. John Mahama, corruption was the norm rather than the exception.

We were told that as much as US$100 million was advanced to the owner of Rlg Communications network, said to be a friend of the former President, as an interest free loan to expand his business in Ghana. Instead of using the funds for local use, Mr. Roland Agambire re-located his software enterprise to Dubai.

Sole sourcing, a device under which state contracts are awarded without competitive bidding, was the order of the day under the Mahama administration. In one particular instance involving the distribution of school desks across the country, contractors in Bawku and Bolgatanga, where wood is not native to the land, were asked to supply wooden desks to schools in Atiwa, the heart of the forest canopy in this country.

Likewise, contractors in Ho and Hohoe were awarded contracts to supply the same types of desks to schools in Samreboi, which is the epic centre of the wood industry in Ghana.

I am sorry, but Mr. Mahama is bad news for national politics. I do not know what the law of the land says about the disqualification of candidates based on improper conducts.

I understand the former president says he would not accept the results of the December vote if it is flawed. Meanwhile, he and his NDC say they are opposed to the compilation of a credible register. I bet that statement is a euphemism for stating that he would reject the vote when he loses.

As a matter of fact, Mahama should not be on the ballot paper at all.

I shall return!
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Publication:Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra, Ghana)
Geographic Code:6GHAN
Date:Jun 25, 2020
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