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'One Year Old' Franklyn Cudjoe Must Stop Peddling Untruths
 
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16-Dec-2013  
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'ONE YEAR OLD' FRANKLYN CUDJOE MUST STOP PEDDLING UNTRUTHS

Our attention has been drawn to certain remarks made by Franklyn Cudjoe, a self-styled Executive Director of Imani. Franklyn Cudjoe is reported to have said on 'Burning issues' a political discussion program on Adom FM that he has not seen corruption on the scale under President Mahama in his entire life. He is also reported to have asserted that since being appointed unto some Boards of public organizations by the President he has uncovered more corruption.

As a known surrogate of the New Patriotic Party, Cudjoe's comments come as little surprise and can be readily dismissed. What is astonishing however is the blatant falsehood he put across when claiming he has been appointed unto some Boards by the President. We wish to state categorically, that Franklyn Cudjoe is not a member of any Board of any known state organization. His long history of reckless attacks on people who disagree with his often untenable views on National affairs does not stand him in good stead to be part of the leadership of any state organization. Only a few weeks ago he was heard loudly raining insults and abuses on the person of the President for no apparent reason in a barbering shop. This haughty, foul-mouthed attitude cannot be mistaken for intellectual prowess.

Contrary to the claims of Franklyn Cudjoe, President Mahama has shown beyond all reasonable doubt that he has the strong wit and mettle to deal with the canker which reached dizzying heights under the NPP administration. We believe that President Mahama's posture against corruption has contributed significantly to Ghana's improved performance on Transparency International's corruption perception index.

Owing to the palpable untruth in his claim that he hasn't seen corruption like in President Mahama's government, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that Franklyn Cudjoe was either born only a year ago when John Mahama became President or he has been away from earth for all of his life until President Mahama assumed office.

Being only a year old, Franklyn Cudjoe definitely would not have seen the systematic and organized looting of the public purse as well as public property under his beloved NPP government.

Just so that he is apprised of what happened in this country by way of corruption before his coming of age, we publish below, just a few glaring instances of corruption and waste under the NPP government.

We would like to know what he makes of these instances.

1. KUFOUR ADMITS TO CORRUPTION IN HIS GOVERNMENT AND SAYS HE WONT EXPOSE IT

Unlike President Mahama who has taken action on allegations of corruption ,the NPP government under Kufour refused to either expose or punish corruption. At a 2003 NPP delegates conference held in Cape Coast, President Kufour in his address made excuses for corruption in his government. Among other justifications he said corruption "was as old as Adam" and that on a daily basis he and his officials are tempted with all manner of things including the proverbial apple of the Garden of Eden. He admitted that people come with all manner of inducements but he only tells them to go and come next time. He also stated that he was not going to expose corruption in his government lest his government collapses and what he did when instances of corruption came to his notice was to call the offending Minister or appointee and caution him not to repeat the corrupt act.

2. ESSEKU GATE

In 2005, then National Chairman of the NPP, Mr Haruna Esseku was caught on tape telling NPP supporters that President Kufour was the chief recipient of kickbacks from contractors at the castle. He lamented that unlike in the past when he could go to the castle and have his car boot stashed with kickback funds, President Kufour was at the time withholding those funds and this affected his ability to provide resources for the running of the NPP. For this revelation Mr Esseku was held hostage and prevented from attending the NPP delegates conference at Legon that year.

3. HOTEL WAAWAA

In the first term of President Kufour and his NPP government, Gizzelle Yadzi revealed that she had been asked by Kufour to negotiate the purchase of an US $ 8 million Hotel for him. Of course later we were told that it was Chief Kufour and not President Kufour who bought the hotel. Chief Kufour had no business track record prior to his father becoming President and had also not demonstrated any capacity to raise US $ 8 million dollars to buy such a hotel.

4. LOOTING OF STATE LANDS

The looting and sharing of state lands is still fresh on our minds. A recount of the sale of government bungalows and public lands to Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, President Kufour, Kwodwo Mpiani and other NPP Ministers and cronies points to evidence of corruption. Jake Obetsebi Lamptey bought his official bungalow which sat on over an Acre of prime Land at Ridge for a paltry GHC 390, 000 when the property is valued at USD 2,000,000.

Documents available from the lands commission show clearly that from President Kufour, his Ministers, party functionaries and cronies all bought state lands at ridiculously low prices. The former international students hostel land was carved out and shared among more NPP Ministers, party functionaries, and cronies.

5. DIVERSION OF 6O BILLION CEDIS OF TAX PAYERS MONEY TO FUND NPP PROPAGANDA MACHINE

A 2009 audit report revealed that up to 60 billion cedis of the tax payer's money taken from the TOR debt recovery levy, the HIPC etc. was used fund a so called communication strategy which was only a euphemism for a conduit used to siphon state funds into the NPP campaign. The auditors could not find details of this strategy or how it was executed except dubious payments to shady groups such as BLOW, PRIM, and FIRST RESPONDERS.

Most of the people who make the loudest noise about corruption these days (Anthony Karbo, John Boadu and Samuel Abu Jinapor) are on a list submitted to National Security under the NPP for these payments to be made. This looting of the TOR coffers contributed in no small measure towards the difficulties it currently faces.

6. E.O GROUP SHARES IN JUBILEE FIELD

While 25 million Ghanaians had to make do with only 13.6% stake in the Jubilee field. Two NPP top shots, George Owusu and Ambassador Edusei were given 3% shares which amounts to a colossal US$300 million. It is instructive to note that in one of the Wikileaks cables President Kufour was quoted as having told a US senator that his interests in Ghana's oil are being coordinated by Mr Kwabena Darko of Darko Farms. When investigations were carried out into the EO group's affairs by Ghanaian authorities, it emerged that their company address was the same as the address of Darko Farms!

The explanations given for how EO group came to own such a significant stake in the Jubilee field do not wash. We are told that they found Kosmos and brought them in to discover oil for Ghana. It is strange that GNPC which was formed in 1983 and which has all the expertise one can think of in the oil industry could not find a partner to discover oil but it took a two-man company with no experience or track record in the oil industry to find a partner for us.

Even stranger is the fact that the EO group was allowed to be part of the joint operating agreement signed among the partners in the jubilee field when they did not meet the basic requirements to be part of such a venture. First they have no track record of having being part of such a venture in the past neither did they possess the financial capacity to make good their part of the cash calls which are necessary for the operation of the jubilee field. As it turned out they were carried by Kosmos and seeing as Kosmos is no father Christmas, the conclusion that can be drawn is that the EO group shares was made a conditionality for giving Kosmos the exploration license. We recall that Franklyn Cudjoe and his so-called think tank were loud in their defence of this unconscionable action when public outcry greeted the exposure of this deal.

7. DAN BOTWE QUESTIONS SOURCE OF FUNDS FOR LAVISH NPP FLAGBEARERSHIP CONTEST

In 2007 Mr. Dan Botwe, former General secretary of the NPP and Former Information Minister expressed worry about the ostentatious nature of the campaigns that were being waged by seventeen aspirants who contested for the 2007 flag bearer slot of the NPP.

In an interview with Citi FM in 2007, he lamented how the NPP in opposition could not afford to purchase even flags and T shirts and yet in power it was possible for 17 people to spend so much money on a flag bearer race. Some aspirants could even afford to charter aircrafts for campaign tours and hire aircrafts to fly their banners in the air.

Hackman Owusu Agyeman himself an aspirant in that contest also bitterly complained about the extravagance that was displayed in that campaign. Where did the NPP get all that money from if not through corrupt kickback collection?

8. GHANA @ 50

After spending a whopping US$ 75 million dollars on Ghana's 50th birthday celebration, it emerged that Dr Wereko Brobey, Chief executive of the Ghana @50 secretariat made cash payments to supposed contractors and service providers in polythene bags without any supporting documentation.

9. AMOATENG HEROIN SCANDAL

NPP MP for Nkoranza North was arrested in the United States of America for trafficking large quantities of heroin and is currently languishing in in jail in the US. Amoateng was a key NPP financier and received his party's full support in the wake of his arrest.

10. SEKYI HUGHES LOOTS HIS BUNGALOW

Former speaker of Parliament under the NPP Ebenezer Begyina Sekyi Hughes when leaving his official bungalow looted it empty. He carried along all the curtains, furniture and fixtures in the house. Some media reports had it that Mr Sekyi Hughes even took away flower pots.

The above should give Franklyn Cudjoe ample proof of the crony capitalism that he purports to lament when launching his unwarranted attack on the President and his government. Of course he is unaware of all this looting because he was born only when President Mahama took office a year ago.

If Franklyn Cudjoe were not blinded by partisanship he would have been honest enough to admit that President Mahama has done more to win the fight against corruption than any of his predecessors.

He;

1. Has not allocated prime state lands to himself or his cronies .In fact he has put an end to the shameful looting of state lands which was the order of the day in the Kufour administration. He has also barred all government officials from taking away their official vehicles after leaving office

2. Has not set up a bribe-collecting syndicate at the Presidency.

3. On the specific issues of GYEEDA, SUBAH and others which Cudjoe recites as evidence of corruption, President Mahama has caused the relevant state agencies to probe the matters with a view to bringing any culprits to book through due process.

4. Has appointed a Sole Commissioner to probe the phenomenon of Judgment Debt payment in order to forestall their recurrence. It is through the work of the sole commissioner that the scandalous sale of the GNPC Drill ship was unearthed

5. Has led the approval by Cabinet and laying before Parliament of the Conduct of Public officers Bill which is a key prerequisite in the fight against corruption

6. Has taken several measures aimed at cutting down on government expenditure including;

-Taking a 10% cut in his salary as well as those of all his appointees. Funds from these cuts will be used to set up specialized CHPS compounds to deal with maternal health care.

-Compelling all his appointees living in state residential facilities to pay their own utility bills

-Regulating the use of government vehicles

-Stopping the purchase of hampers and other gifts with state funds

While we respect the right of citizens to express concern about national problems including corruption, it is imperative that a balanced assessment of the situation is undertaken to prevent the lopsided narrative put forth by Franklyn Cudjoe whose motivation is not necessarily the protection of the National interest.

PETER BOAMAH OTOKUNNOR

SAMUEL GEORGE NARTEY

GEORGE SPENCER QUAYE
 
 
 
 
 

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