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‘Let Jamal And Abuga Pele Step Aside’   
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Baba Jamal and Abuga Pele
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Two opposition political parties, New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the People’s National Convention (PNC) in the Upper East region have called on President John Atta Mills to, as a matter of urgency, remove the Deputy Minister of Information, Baba Jamal and the National Coordinator of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), Abuga Pele from office to pave way for fair investigation into the alleged bribery of a section of the media with state resources.

The two parties also urged the President to take personal interest in the matter in order to convince Ghanaians of his readiness to fight corruption at all levels and appealed to the National Media Commission (NMC) to commence an independent investigation into the matter to enhance the image of the country’s media.

The two parties, which made the call at a press conference, described as embarrassing activities allegedly involving some members of the media fraternity and the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

In their view the alleged attempt to put some media personnel on the payroll of the NYEP to enable them take money monthly to repair the image of the NDC government should be investigated.

“This allegation and the accompanying evidence in the form of voices should be investigated independently and thoroughly with national development in mind. This allegation which has been in most of the media outlets has been brought upon the noble profession of the media as a result of the alleged selfish and criminal engagement with a desperate and corrupt government official and member of the NDC in the Upper East region. The allegation exposes moves in which some of your misguided and selfish colleagues allowed themselves to be lured into the criminality of having their names on the payroll of the NYEP whereby they will receive some GH¢160 each on a monthly basis in order to pursue the propaganda activities of the Mills-Mahama failing government.”

The group called on Ghanaians to desist from politicizing the issue in order to help preserve press freedom and integrity to fight corruption and educate the public about developments in the country.

“The government claims there is no money and that is why we need an independent investigation to confirm government’s claim or otherwise. For us we think it is not true and therefore use this opportunity to register our displeasure at the Mills-Mahama Administration for treating the people of the North with such contempt by their reckless spending of the country’s resources on bribery and luxury while our people remain impoverished.

“After deceiving Ghanaians, especially people in the North and riding on their backs to office, the Mills-Mahama administration has forgotten the North and denied the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) the resources it requires to develop the North yet committing some 3.7 trillion cedis to purchase five jets and luxury components on them for the comfort of the President and his appointees.

“We, the people of the North, are also very worried about the performance of government in the area of job creation. To be specific, the 20 million cedis Eco-Brigade Project is narrowly meant to benefit the coastal foot-soldiers of the party while SADA is being denied its proportional share of the cake. The 8 million cedis offered SADA to cover a period of three years is a stab in the back of the people of the three Northern regions without whose votes President Mills and Mahama could not have been in power.”

In the view of the two parties, the disrespect and neglect of the Upper East region by the NDC government has been highlighted by the inability to raise funds to develop the Bolgatanga Referral Hospital, as well as other infrastructural projects including the Bolgatanga Market, Bolgatanga-Bongo road, Bolgatanga Polyclinic, though sods had been cut for work to commence.

“The sod cutting, but-no-work-done syndrome of the NDC is not only affecting the people of the Volta region as reported by the media, but may be worse in the Upper East region, where the Bolgatanga Sports Complex project has since not recorded a bag of cement after the President of the Republic of Ghana cut the sod early this year, with the promise that it would be completed in three months.”

The members of the NPP and PNC said the alleged misapplication of a $500 million loan signed by the previous NPP administration in 2008 for the construction of 50 megawatts hydro-electric/irrigation dam on the White Volta at Pwalugu in the Upper East region and Joale in the Northern region was unfair.

“The money finally came in 2009 and to date the project has not been done. This dam was also to collect the water from the spillage of the Bagre Dam, which usually causes damage to lives and properties.”
Source: Ebo Bruce-Quansah, Bolgatanga

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