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Minority Vindicates Bugri Naabu?
 
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01-Mar-2017  
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In what appears to be a calculated strategy to use the Appointment Committee’s platform to have differences ironed out, one major allegation which was made in the dying embers of the 2016 elections was absolutely not touched by the minority members who have mastered the art of pinning down nominees to react to controversial statements.

The Bugri Naadu bribery allegation made against no less a person than the Ex-President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama and his brother the business magnate, Mr. Ibrahim Mahama conspicuously did not find a worthy space on the committee’s sitting when the man who broke the news on behalf Mr. Naabu appeared before the august house.

In an evidence-based press conference, the now Information Minister, Mustafa Hamid alleged that the duo bribed the Northern Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Bugri Naabu with an amount of Five Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHS 500,000) and a V8 so as to embark on a pilgrimage to tarnish the hard won reputation of Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo.

As has been the custom, many thought the presence of the Hon. Minister, would have afforded the minority the opportunity to subject him to strict proof, but surprisingly, none of the minority members  asked a question regarding such a serious matter.

This danming allegation should not be treated as one of the usual political talk. It is very unfortunate that those who were affected by the allegation did not take any step to redeem themselves.

There were speculations in the heat of the elections  that the then government had a mission of purchasing cars for chiefs and some known persons of this country in order to promote the electoral fortunes of the government. The Presidential Candidate of Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), Madam Akua Donkor openly confessed that her son (President Mahama) purchased a car and a house for her.

In fact, Akua Donkor did not say it was a bribe but in the case of Mr. Naabu, he was emphatic that the car and money he received from the Ex-President and the brother was meant to influence his political philosophy. The goodies to Mr. Naabu was accompanied by a clear mandate to tore apart the political fortunes of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and its Standard bearer.

It will be recalled that when Mr. Boakye Agyarko had his turn at the Appointment Committee, he was subjected to a strict proof on the matter that he had referred to the former President Mahama as one prioritizing corruption in his government.

Again he was pinned down to provide evidence to the effect that the previous government had purchased three Fuel Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) and that our development partners have expressed concerns and disappointment in the economic imprudence of the government. These were the matters that led to the minority initially hesitating in their quest to approve Hon. Agyarko by consensus because to them, he could not effectively back his claim with evidence.

Secondly, when the Minister for Children Gender and Social Protection appeared before the Vetting Committee, she was also confronted with certain comments she made in the course of the electioneering campaign against Ex-President Mahama. The minority tried as much as possible to have the minister withdraw her comments but to no avail. She defended her stands with all her power and might. She permitted her conscience to stand tall on that occasion.

The fact of the matter is that most of the nominees who were deemed to have commented on national issues in a way that was seen to have soared up their political aspirations where charged by the minority to provide evidence or retract and apologize.

However, when the Minister of Information had his turn with the committee, many are those who thought as the trend had been, he was going to have a difficult time with the committee to defend the allegation that sent many Ghanaians agog. What does that say to the competence of the allegation since no whimper was raised about it. Is it that the minority only refrained from opening the Pandora ’s Box?

Some pundits have posit that the issue appears to be the Achilles’ heels of the minority that is why they denied themselves the opportunity to subject the Information Minister to reiterate or retract and apologise to the Ex-President. 

The Information Minister was only faced with a comment he made in rebuttal to some remarks made by some NDC surrogates some months prior to the elections.

President Mahama is out of office but shouldn’t Ghanaians be interested in the closure of this case? An allegation leveled against no less a person but the former President of the Republic of Ghana. Even if the Police or EOCO or CHRAJ will not conduct any enquiry into the matter, shouldn’t the Ex-President elect himself to go to court in order to clear his battered reputation.

This matter should not be treated as business as usual as it does not only border the person but hinges on the sanctity of the institution of the presidency. This matter is too serious to be considered as a political talk. The era of political talk must be over. This is not student politics where senseless jabs are thrown at each other without taking the appropriate steps to remedy the situation.

The silence of the business mogul who is also implicated in this scandal needs much to be desired especially when he sued the NPP Ashanti Regional Chairman for allegedly making uncomplimentary comments against his person.

The allegation is more to believe than to doubt, in view of the kind of hard core evidence presented and names mentioned during the press conference. 

The curiosity of the matter is that why did the minority members conspicuously avoid entering the terrain of the matter as has been the case in most of those vetted. Your guess…

 
 
 
 
Source: Ernest Boateng
 
 

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