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Another Nigerian Governor Strikes
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The baseless allegation by a Nigerian private website, amplified by the notorious anti-Rawlings New Patriotic Party (NPP) press in Ghana that some Nigerian Governors bankrolled the 2008 election campaign of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and President John Atta Mills through former President Rawlings, has been met with yet another fierce rebuttal.

Former Lagos State Governor, Mr. Bola Ahmed on Monday in Lagos, reacted to the allegation by pointblanknews.com, on his purported role in bankrolling the election of President John Evans Atta Mills, saying those who are helping Nigeria to stimulate lies and those who are resorting to name-calling and blackmail should not be part of the country’s democratic struggle because they are not democrats.” The Governor of the Rivers State, who was mentioned together with the former Lagos State Governor was the first to react to the damning allegation, describing the report as not only the “figment of the imagination of a mischievous writer” but “rubbish” and “arrant nonsense.”

According to media reports from Nigeria, Mr. Bola Ahmed said he did not find the need to rush to react to the allegation because he was not obliged to react to speculations. He spoke with reporters at celebrated journalist, Wole Soyinka’s, 75th birthday organized by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism at the Muson Centre, Onikan, in Lagos last week. Surreptitiously drawing an analogy between Ghana and Nigeria as far as democracy is concerned, the former Nigerian governor likened his country to a suckling baby. He called on those behind such unfounded allegations to stop worsening the country’s already bad story by lying to the people, especially about the man who, even though a military leader at the time, kick-started Ghana’s current widely acclaimed successful democracy in 1992 and gave it a shot in the arm in 2001 by surprisingly handing over peacefully to an opposition party after supervising a peaceful election.

“Nigeria is about to be fifty and it is still in the incubator and using diapers; A fifty year old baby that bed-wets in elections, lying to its own people,” the former Governor reportedly fired. He advised those behind such wild claims to redirect their energies to helping build a better democracy in Nigeria. The former Nigerian Governor’s advice could perhaps be more beneficial to Ghana, which is considered to be at the centre of Africa’s democracy presently, if the Ghanaian collaborators in the spread of these palpable lies would take a cue.

The Nigerian-owned and diaspora-operated pointblanknews.com, on 24th June 2009 published that “intelligence reports” available to it said that about $3.5 million belonging to the people of Rivers State in Nigeria was criminally used by the governor to fund the NDC campaign through former President Rawlings. It also mentioned the former Governor of Lagos State in a similar allegation. As usual, a section of the Ghanaian media wholeheartedly embraced the allegation by the Nigerian website and amplified it to the high heavens, prompting the Rivers State governor to send an emissary to Ghana to pump some sense into the heads of the Ghanaian propagators of the falsehood, described by him in an official statement as “arrant nonsense.”

Prior to the unexpected visit by the emissary of the Rivers State governor to Ghana to clear the air about his bosses innocence, a man who called himself Ude Jackson and claimed to be the editor of pointblanknews.com who spoke on Citi FM, an Accra-based private radio station, failed to show a single proof to back his claim as he spent the whole time flip-flopping around “credible sources.” Despite attempts by some elements in the Ghanaian society to demonise former President Rawlings, it is no secret that apart from the unparalleled following he enjoys back home in Ghana, the former President who ruled Ghana for 19 years, enjoys tremendous support internationally with Nigeria being no exception.

Former President Rawlings has been the target of a deliberate ploy by his opponents who have gone to all lengths to dent his image through allegations of corruption, which can be least described as imaginary. As the evidence shows however, the Rawlings naysayers have time and again failed in their wily track. Since he left office as head of state in 2001, there have been myriads of claims by former President Rawlings’ sworn enemies like Mr Malik Kweku Baako Jnr to smear the incorruptible NDC Founder with allegations of corruption.

It would be remembered that the then managing editor of the now passive Crusading Guide published an imaginary Swiss bank account number in his paper, which he claimed belonged to the Rawlingses, in which the former President was supposed to have stashed away Ghana’s stolen money ‘Mobutu Sese Sekou style’ whilst in office. Mr Kweku Baako’s baseless allegation crashed right on the runway before takeoff. The failed adventurous visit to Norway by Mr Kweku Baako and Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko of now ‘off the newsstands’ The Statesman, to seek out evidence to nail former President Rawlings in the SCANCEM bribery allegation, is another ample proof of a vicious agenda against the former President.

There is a relentless effort to bring former President Rawlings down to the level of former President John Agyekum Kufuor, who is generally believed not only to have prevailed on the most corrupt administration in Ghana as President, but that he was personally involved in massive corruption during his reign. This belief was reinforced by the exposure by Mr Harona Issekou, then NPP chairman that former President Kufuor was involved in kickback corruption at the seat of government, the Castle, Osu. The belief was also given impetus by the claim by Ms Giselle Yazji that ‘Hotel Kufuor de Waa, Waa’ was not bought by the former President’s 41-year-old-accountant-son as he would make Ghanaians believe but that Mr Kufuor is the real owner of the $8million private property.
Source: catalyst newspaper

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