Saturday, February 25, 2012
“This is a particular time when the country has major security challenges. There are explosions everyday, people are dying and are being killed daily without any reason”. These were the comments of Nigeria's president Goodluck Jonathan after it became known that some members of his own government as well some members in the judiciary, legislature and the armed forces have been secretly supporting the Boko Haram terror group.
As the above statement by President Goodluck Jonathan shows, Nigeria now resembles a war zone with Boko Haram terrorist group in the north attacking security officers and massacring innocent civilians almost on the daily basis.
On Friday the 20th of January Boko Haram members placed several bombs in key locations in the city of Kano and detonated the bombs accompanied by shootings with security forces. More than 211 people lost their lives making it one of the bloody days in the history of 'democratic' Nigeria. But the violence is not limited only to the north.
In the South of the country, petro-insurgency has been going on for years. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF), Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force (NDPVF) and other ethnic militia groups and criminal networks operate freely with the style of American gangsterism: robbing, kidnapping civilians for ransom, murdering rivals of their political masters and bunkering oil on a daily basis.
In 1982 Chinua Achebe noted in his book “The Trouble with Nigeria” that General Olusegun Obasanjo before handing over as Head of State of the coup that brought Murtala Mohammed into power, predicted that Nigeria would be counted among the “ten leading nations in the world by the end of the [20th] century” but that prediction was never to be. Instead the country descended into chaos and ultimately became a failed state. Things are falling apart and there are fears that Nigeria may disintegrate altogether.
Professor Wole Soyinka, in a BBC interview, described members of the Boko Haram group as not lawyers, bankers, engineers, or doctors; but rather people schooled in the Islamic madrassas in Kano, Kaduna and Maiduguri in the north of the country; then employed by the elite in the north who supplied them with arms and other weapons to cause mischief and mayhem. Along the line the Boko Haram boys grew powerful until their handlers could not control them anymore.
But members of Boko Haram also realised that they had been misused by their political and economic masters and decided to demand a share of the cake. When the masters refused, the Boys joined forces and metamorphosed into a radical movement i.e. Boko Haram. They however, continued to receive the backing and support of the elite who are still bent on using violence to maintain and control the country. In November some senior figures of the Nigeria political class including Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume were arrested after it was discovered that they had met and supported Boko Haram.
In January 2012 President Goodluck Jonathan announced that members of his own government were supporters and sympathisers of the Boko Haram terror group. That child-cry did not surprise anyone who is familiar with political patronage in the country. In other words Boko Haram is both a project and a product of the corrupt political and economic system that has been allowed to fester since the 1960s. It is a project developed and used by the corrupt political and economic elite to advance their political and economic interests and ambitions. At the same time the violence that has come to be associated with Boko Haram is both a product and a response to the corrupt political and economic system that allows the rulers to deny the poor masses their share of the national cake.
In the south of the country unscrupulous politicians, using stolen oil money, pay thugs to cause mayhem, steal ballot boxes, disrupt voting exercises and cause destruction to life and property. Nigerian politicians of all colours hire unemployed youth as political hit squads and assassins to kill and disorganise the political machinery of their opponents. The Area Boys, as they are popularly known in Nigeria, are provided with guns and money (stolen from the state coffers) to attack their political opponents. Afterwards these same guns are used to rob oil tankers, kidnap oil workers for ransom and to terrorise the population.
In Ghana I can see similar pattern being fashioned out by the ruling NDC with their Azorka Boys and the opposition NPP with their Bamba Boys. In Ghana it is a common knowledge that the Azorka Boys and the Bamba Boys are not men of any magnanimity or good behaviour.
Like the Boko Haram group in northern Nigeria, the Tamale based Azorka Boys and Bamba Boys are no lawyers, doctors, or engineers. They are known to be violent and lawless thugs who are paid by their power hungry political masters to criminally cause mayhem and disturb the peace of Ghanaians especially before and during elections. Like their counterparts in Nigeria, the Azorka Boys and the Bamba Boys follow orders given by their NDC and NPP masters. The ruthless tactics used by Azorka and the Bamba Boys and the political support they enjoy in the NDC and NPP are no different from those used in southern Nigeria. During elections they are supplied with all kinds of weapons by their paid masters to undermine the integrity of political processes in the country. The Akwatia and Asewase by-elections and the 2008 elections are clear examples of the threat posed by these Boys.
The Azorka Boys and the Bamba Boys have not yet become Boko Haram (i.e. terrorist group). At the moment they are still obediently taking orders from their political masters and being fed with the crumbs that fall from the tables of their NDC and NPP financial and logistical backers. But anyone with critical eyes will agree with me that Azorka Boys and the Bamba Boys have all the hallmarks and characteristics of Boko Haram.
Is it by accident that the Azorka Boys as a group is based in the north? Is it also coincidental that majority of the Bamba Boys, if not all of them, belong to a certain religious order? Will Azorka Boys and Baba Boys develop into Boko Haram in Ghana?
At the moment the condition in Ghana is ripe and all that these violent and lawless Boys need is a radical person who will indoctrinate them with dangerous ideologies and philosophies and turned them into bombs and killing machines as Boko Haram is doing in Nigeria. The massive corruption on the part of the elite class i.e. politicians, top civil servants, judges, the police; extreme poverty and inequality in northern part of Ghana; the neglect of the youth by corrupt and insensitive government; politics based on ethnocentric, tribalistic, jihadists and highly inflammable language; poor and failing educational system that offer little or no skills to graduates; massive unemployment faced by a frustrated population; corrupt and complicit police; and most importantly the NPP and NDC penchant use of the violent Azorka and Baba Boys to achieve political power are the necessary conditions needed for Boko Haram style activities in the country to occur.
NDC and NPP must know they are sowing the seed of terrorism in Ghana with their use of Azorka Boys and Bamba Boys. In other words the Azorka Boys and the Bamba Boys are a threat to the political and economic order in Ghana and they are a threat to the long term security, stability and prosperity of Ghana and should be disbanded before they metamorphosed into Boko Haram style terror groups.
By Lord Aikins Adusei
Mills a visionary or nation wrecker?
Even though every 6th March we march and dance, few Ghanaians are aware the difficulties Dr. Nkrumah went through before Ghana finally gained independence in 1957. When Nkrumah was brought in from Britain to act as the United Gold Coast Convention's (UGCC) Secretary, he came to find Ghanaians who were working with the British colonialists who were raping the nation while its people lived in complete illiteracy, ignorance, and disease.
Nkrumah was completely appalled by what he saw: lack of electricity, education, health and transport infrastructures. After watching how the British were duping the country he decided to stop it but the elite UGCC guys who had worked with the British imperialists wanted the system to continue for a while. Nkrumah said no. Ghana and its people must have their freedom and their resources used to develop the country for all the people to benefit. His message was “independence now”.
Nkrumah was not a crook like Ghana's current leaders who are just like the British stealing oil, gas, gold, timber, and diamond without putting any of the money into the places that produced the resources. Nkrumah understood the needs of Ghana and Ghanaians and was prepared to make sure Ghana and its people had the best just like how a father would want his children to have the best in life. After becoming the Prime Minister in 1957, Nkrumah realised that Ghana could not develop as a nation without energy infrastructure. He instituted measures to have Akosombo dam constructed and despite frustration and sabotage from the British and the Americans, Dr. Nkrumah managed to have the dam completed in January 1966.
Nkrumah's aim was that Ghana would be the industrial hub of Africa just as Korea and Taiwan are the industrial hubs of Asia today. He wanted to show to the world that the Blackman and indeed Africa is capable of building cities, and building and managing large scale factories and infrastructures. He constructed Tema City from scratch. He built Tema Harbour and linked it to Accra with the Tema Motorway to ensure smooth transportation of goods and people from the two cities. The Tema Harbour was also constructed to make sure that whatever Ghana produced could be exported and the money used to further develop the country. He established Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and Cape Coast University to serve as the training centre for Ghana's future engineers and scientists. Major industries were built across the country not only to offer employment for Ghanaians but also to add value to raw materials produced in the country before export.
In short Nkrumah's main aim for Ghana was to rapidly transform the country into industrial powerhouse and to bridge the poverty gap between Ghanaians and the British. Unlike Mills and his sycophants who can only promise but cannot deliver any tangible material thing, Nkrumah set about building factories, schools, universities, health centres and major roads. I mean all these were done within few years of taking office.
We are told that Nkrumah managed to carry out his goal to industrialise Ghana because he was handed a lot of money by the British. That argument may be true but just having money is not equal to development. To have money and also bring development to the people you will need to be visionary, to have a plan and ideas about what you can use the money for. That is the difference between Prof Mills and Dr. Nkrumah. President Mills now has access to millions of dollars from oil and gold but do we see any major project going on? That is the difference between someone who has money and can use it for development and someone who has money and cannot do anything.
Nkrumah decided not to steal the money he inherited from the British but rather to use it for total development of Ghana. But Mills despite claiming that the country has no money has been able to pay 58 million cedis to Alfred Woyome. Building one secondary school in Ghana will not cost more than 1 million cedis. That is if Mills had decided to use the money paid to Alfred Woyome to build secondary schools (just like the ones Nkrumah built in Koforidua, and in Accra) he could have built 58 secondary schools. Yes 58 secondary schools. But Mills and his NDC nation robbers and nation wreckers decided to rob the people of Ghana by sharing the money among themselves, building 20 million dollars national headquarters and rewarding party financiers with money that should go into providing water, electricity, schools, clinics and computers to schools in rural areas.
The districts in Ghana currently without secondary schools could have been given secondary schools but Mills said no, Alfred Woyome alone should have it so he can continue to finance the NDC at the expense of Ghanaians who continue to live in poverty and total deprivation. Mills and his NDC prefer Ghanaians to live in ignorance so that they can continue to manipulate them to achieve their own diabolical political intentions. Between 1990 and 2000 the P(NDC) sold 194 factories built by Nkrumah and squandered the money on Pajaros and Land Cruisers. They never thought about productivity and the future of Ghana.
But Mills and the NDC are not alone in the robbery of the country and denial of its people the basic necessities of life. Under Kuffour's administration Raymond Archer of the Enquirer caught Haruna Esseku, then NPP Chairman, talking about how the NPP cheated Ghanaians by charging 10% of every major project carried out in the country and then pocketed the money at the expense of the nation. Between 2001 and 2003 the Kuffour's administration also sold the 31 viable national assets to nobody knows who. Ghana Telecom now Vodafone was also sold before he left office. And the money? It is better to ask them.
Ghana today is a miserable poor country with massive unemployment, infrastructure decay, and the cities filled with filth thanks to the leadership of the leading political parties. The leadership failures coupled with the massive corruption in government has reduced the country and its people to beggars and its youth, children have been stripped of their future as is evidenced in our streets where Kayayos and children selling ice water has become the order of the day.
Ghanaians must free themselves from the tyranny of the corrupt NDC and the NPP. It is only when a people begin to see how bad and wicked their leaders have been to them that they will be able to overthrow them democratically. Be careful who you vote for.
By Lord Aikins Adusei
President Mills and the NDC have serious work to do
In part one of our analyses we identified internal crisis in the NDC as a major strategic factor that could cost the party its reelection effort. We argued that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will be able to avoid catastrophic defeat in the 2012 elections if it dealt seriously with the internal division, factionalism, disunity, accusations and counter accusations within the party. We added that the NDC could win power if it brought calm, discipline, unity, and worked to bring the Rawlingses, Dr. Spio Garbrah, Dr. Kwesi Botchway and the other disgruntled party leaders into the campaign machinery.
In this part two of our analyses we focus on those national issues that may cost the NDC its effort to retain the presidency as well as those issues that the opposition is likely to use weaken the government's chances of getting reelected.
The first is government performance regarding the promises it made to the people during the 2008 elections. There are many of the electorates who are going to look at those promises and see if they have been fulfilled or not. These promises include fuel price reduction, solving the Ya Na murder issue, unemployment, building two universities in Volta and Brong Ahafo, stadium in Cape Coast, fighting the drug menace in the Ghana and ending corruption.
The NDC may lose votes among certain key voting blocs for its failure to deliver certain specific promises. For example the STX housing issue which has not gone down well with the security forces may force them to vote against the government.
Similarly voters in Tamale and Yendi and the greater Northern Region may vote against the NDC for the promised but unsolved murder of Ya Na. In addition the NDC government is likely to encounter the wrath of voters in the three northern regions for the handling of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) issue. SADA became a serious issue in 2011 and voters who feel that the president and his government have not kept their promise may decide to vote against it.
The politicisation of the school feeding programme where people already contracted under the previous regime to provide meals for pupils had their contracts abrogated may cost the NDC some votes not only those who lost their contracts but also parents and guardians who suffered unnecessary from the confusions that came to be associated with the programme in some schools. On the other hand those who got the contracts after they were abrogated may also reward the government.
In addition the constituencies that were promised their separate districts but have so far not obtained them may also decide to punish the NDC for its failure to deliver on those promises.
Brong Ahafo and Volta Regions may also deny the NDC the votes it needs to retain power due to the government's failure to build them the Universities as promised. The voters in Volta Region may not necessary vote for the opposition NPP but may abstain from voting which may as well scatter the government's chances to retain power.
Voters in Cape Coast may as well punish the government for failing to build the stadium promised them. Unless the government can convincingly explain why these promises have not been kept the elections may not go well for the NDC.
The people of Western region may vote on whether or not the NDC has enabled them to benefit directly from the oil and gas find. The failure of the government to grant the people of Western Region the 10% oil revenue they demanded may cost the NDC some votes if the people interpret the government's decision as being insensitive to their plight. Additionally the recent brouhaha surrounding the citing of the gas project in two communities may as well cost the government some votes if they are unable to pacify the people of Bonyere in the Jomoro District who are angry about the government's decision to relocate the gas plant to Atuabo in the Ellembele District.
The youth and particularly holders of university degrees, Higher National Diploma (HND) and Senior High School certificates who are willing to work but cannot find jobs may vent their anger and frustration on the government and may decide not to vote for the government.
On a national level electorates are going to vote on whether fuel prices which the NDC promised to reduce has in fact been reduced or not. In other words voters are going to vote on whether or not they consider fuel prices higher and biting compared to what existed before the NDC replaced the NPP.
Cost of living including food, accommodation, clothing, electricity and health may play a strategic role in determining whether or not voters will vote to retain the government or not.
Of critical importance is the government management of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). The government has so far failed to deliver on its promise of the one-time payment policy. The poor handling of the NHIS and the controversies in Hospitals where patients have been refused treatment or have been forced to pay for healthcare despite having their NHIS contributions may cost government dearly. The recent demonstrations in Ashanti region should give the government a clue that all is not well with the management of the NHIS. Under the fourth republic many households believe that the National Health Insurance Scheme is one of the best things that have ever happened to them and therefore their inability to access healthcare despite their NHIS contributions may cost the government a good number of votes.
Additionally parents and guardians' ability to meet education expenses: fess, books, transportation and accommodation may be a decider in the 2012 elections.
The second is how the government has dealt with issues that have come up in the 4 years that they have been in power including allegations of corruption, incompetence, mismanagement, cover ups, and embezzlements.
We believe that the government can campaign on its economic record particularly the low inflationary figures and high economic growth rate. For example the 12% growth rate in 2011 could be used by the government to highlight its achievement. But low inflation and high economic growth rate may mean very little to voters if they cannot feel its impacts in their life. In other words voters will vote on those records if they can concritise or feel it in their pockets.
Another critical issue that may help the government is its bold implementation of the single spine salary programme. Those whose income and salaries have gone up due to the policy may decide to reward the government with their votes. However, those workers whose incomes and salaries have been slashed as a result of the policy change, as recently complained by doctors, may decide to punish the government for that. Of even critical are those workers who have still not been transferred to the scheme despite promises by government officials.
The government will be in great danger if the opposition parties particularly the New Patriotic Party (NPP) decide to make political capital out of these promises that have not been fulfilled. We believe that the opposition parties particularly the NPP will make political capital out of certain key issues that have taken place over the last three years under the current NDC regime.
On top of the issues are the Alfred Agbesi Woyome fiasco and what appear to have been a presidential cover up as well as the silence, confusion and contradictory statements from the communication team of the presidency and the party. The claim by president Mills that he had no knowledge of the debt payments together with allegations that his own ministers refused to obey his orders to stop the payments are likely to be used by his opponents to portray him as a weak president who is not on top of his administration.
Another issue that is likely to make campaign issue was Agyemang Konadu's decision to contest the party's flag bearership which was interpreted as an indictment of the performance of the government. Mrs. Konadu's decision is likely to give the NPP argumentative ammunition to punch the government.
The STX housing debacle will definitely be used by opponents of the president to portray him as someone who is full of promises but is always found wanting when it comes to delivering.
The gargantuan crime statement by the sacked minister of Justice, Martin Amidu and the Betty Mould-Iddrisu, Sipa Yankey and Muhammad Muntaka resignation on corruption allegations will likely put the government on defensive position. The opposition parties are likely to portray the government as ridden with corruption and hence does not deserve to be given a second chance.
We also believe that the alleged $20 million Adabraka NDC party mansion which the NDC failed to explain to the people of Ghana, and the contradictory statements by party officials will surface again during the campaign.
Additionally the sacking of Professor Frimpong Boateng; the handling of strike by doctors and other workers; President Mills' Ivory Coast “dzi wo fie asem” statement; the Kwabena Adjei's cleansing the judiciary comments; Teye Nyawunu's statement about Yutong buss statements; the power struggle between Mahama Ayariga and Koku Anyidoho; Asiedu Nketiah's Bui Dam cement corruption saga; Mahama Ayariga's tractor deal and other issues will force the government on the defensive.
Our analyses of these issues show that if the government and its strategists fail to appropriately respond to these issues and convince the electorates, it may send the government into opposition after the 2012 elections.
By Lord Aikins Adusei
Saturday, February 18, 2012
He said it would be in the interest of the NPP to get over the “Woyome jaundice” they are suffering from, saying the earlier NPP wean themselves from it, the better it would be for them.
Speaking on Joy FM’s flagship programme, Newsfile hosted by Matilda Asante-Asiedu Saturday, Haruna Iddrisu stated that Ghanaian electorate would vote massively for the ruling National Democratic Congress based on its infrastructural and economic achievements.
He said so far as the Woyome scandal is concerned, President Mills has shown enough commitment to getting to the bottom of the case.
“The New Patriotic Party, I am sure that they are suffering from a Woyome jaundice, and they think that by far it has become their most veritable campaign promise or campaign issue for 2012. Arguably, the president has taken the most decisive decision that any president anywhere in the world would have dealt with…the NPP should give us a break. What else could they have done?”, the Communications Minister asked rhetorically.
Haruna Iddrisu further asserted: “Woyome or no Woyome, listening to President Mills [delivering his State of the Nation Address,] I became increasingly confident that he will prevail and he will win the 2012 elections - notwithstanding the Woyomegate scandal.”
He said, overall, the president’s performance over the three-year period has been very impressive in terms of the macroeconomic indicators, placing emphasis on sustainability.
“If you talk of infrastructure, which is part of the theme of the President’s Better Ghana Agenda, he’s also indicated a number of road projects that have been undertaken; in the energy sector, a number of initiatives have been taken, more rural communities connected to electricity grid. These would spur some of those communities to undertake their own basic industrialization. So for the president and for the government, government is on course in pursuing its Better Ghana Agenda.”
Mr. Kobina Tahir Hammond, Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, however insisted that the indiscretion on the part of the then Attorney General (Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu), leading to the award of GH¢51 million in judgement debt to businessman Alfred Woyome, would definitely cost the NDC in the 2012 elections.
Myjoyonline.com | Isaac Essel
Addressing thousands of party faithful and sympathisers at the Mantse Agbonaa Park in James Town, Saturday, a fired up Nana Addo said, President Mills and his economic team have caused the country’s development to retrogress instead of progressing.
He challenged the President to prove otherwise by making his record known to Ghanaians.
Nana Addo questioned the President’s ability to rule the nation, since according to him, the President is now a ceremonial leader who is not directly in charge of state affairs.
He cited the woyome saga and the fact that the President’s directive to the Finance Ministry to withhold the payment of the judgment debt to Mr. Woyome going unheeded as reasons for submissions.
Nana Addo reiterated his commitment to make Ghana a country free of corruption as well as make education at the senior high school level free.
He stressed that he will not be fazed by attempts from his political opponents to dent his image.
“I want to assure you of one thing, no amount of lies and insults against my person or threats to me are going to put me off,” the NPP flag bearer charged.
“Again, let me repeat that, no amount of insults, lies or propaganda, no amount of threats directed at my person are going to stop me in my attempts to move this nation forward.”
According to Nana Addo, he had never and will support the use of violence in politics and promised a free and fair election in December.
He later charged supporters of the party to register during the upcoming voter registration exercise on March 24, and tasked them to be very vigilant during the exercise to prevent a bloating of the voter’s register and the registration of foreign nationals as well as underage children.
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor who also addressed the gathering intimated that Nana Addo was the best candidate for the presidency of Ghana since he is deeply rooted in the political affairs of the nation.
He also challenged supporters to partake in the voter registration exercise noting that failure on their part to do so could lead to the party losing the December polls.
The “gargantuan rally” was used to introduce the NPP’s parliamentary candidates for the Greater Accra region and for all 230 constituencies to the charged crowd with a call on them rally behind the candidates to ensure that their victory is secured in the December polls.
He said the persistent bitter complaints by a section of Ghanaians concerning the high standard of living in the country for the past three years, is a reflection of his claim.
Speaking at an NPP rally held in Accra Saturday, Mr. J.A. Kufuor said the Atta Mills-led government is incompetent and too arrogant to listen to common advice on how to solve some of these concerns of the people instead; "it makes waste of quality time afflicting Ghanaians with immature talks and accusations".
He said he did not understand why the government upon countless complaints that the country was broke; yet was able to pay a total of GH¢600million as judgement debts.
He said the only way through which Ghanaians can be separated from their misery is by voting for the NPP's flag-bearer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The huge turnout at the rally ground would be a reflection of what would be seen at the upcoming rallies in other regions of the country, he said.
He attributed the massive attendance to Ghanaians being fed up with the NDC government under the leadership of John Evans Atta Mills.
Myjoyonline.com | Benedicta Anane
He told thousands of New Patriotic Party supporters at a rally in Accra Saturday that President Mills has doubled Ghana’s debt in three years and has presided over corruption.
Nana Addo said the failure of the president to address issues confronting the nation such as unemployment, struggling businesses, high cost of education and widespread corruption in his Thursday’s State of the Nation Address is an indicative that “he is no longer in touch with the concerns of the ordinary Ghanaian”.
He promised that if he, Nana Addo, is voted into power all these would be a thing of the past. He reiterated that he will make education at the senior high school free, create more jobs among other things which would be made known in the party’s manifesto for 2012.
The New Patriotic Party, he boasted, “has got the men and women who are capable of giving this country first class governance and a first class administration. Our party has a programme for the rapid, economic and social transformation of our nation.”
Mincing no words, the NPP flag-bearer asserted that President Mills would certainly not have the moral ground, in this election year, to campaign on any achievement.
“The President and his advisors have decided that they cannot campaign on his record; they cannot campaign on his performance; he cannot campaign on the programmes he has for the future of this country; [and] he cannot campaign against my public record.
“But they are right. They are right to say they cannot campaign on his record and his performance: the record is poor and the performance is weak. That is why they cannot campaign on that record or that performance.”
Nana Akufo-Addo made a subtle reference to the Woyome scandal, saying the huge sum of money given to Mr Alfred Woyome for "no work done" could have been used for many development projects.
According to the interim report by the Economic and Organised Crime Office, President Mills twice advised that the money should not be paid, but his appointees went ahead to pay about GH¢51 million to Mr Woyome. Nana Addo therefore posed a rhetorical question, “Who is in charge of Ghana today?”
Speaking to recent mudslinging on his person, he averred that those attacks would not succeed. He added the ruling party have resulted to insults and indulging in unnecessary issues because they have no campaign message.
“The only campaign weapon that they have is to attack me and blackened my name and reputation in this country. But I have news for the president; I have news for his so-called advisors: no amount of verifications, no amount of insults, no amount of fabrications, no concoctions against me is going to stop me from doing my work for the people of our country and for the progress of our nation. Nothing is going to stop me.”
The first rally by the opposition New Patriotic Party for the 2012 general elections was attended by many bigwigs in the party including former President John Agyekum Kufuor.
Myjoyonline.com | Isaac Essel
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Ablakwa told Joy FM President John Mills has ordered the actions to be carried out to serve the national interest, ensure accountability and the culpable punished.
Woyome was arrested Friday afternoon and has since been in the custody of the Ghana Police Service at its headquarters in Accra. Indications are that he will spend the weekend in custody and processed for court on Monday.
“It is important to establish that what is being unveiled before us now is the beginning of a series of actions which the president has outlined to be carried out in this matter and his objective is to ensure that the national interest is served, is to ensure that whoever is in the wrong possession of monies belonging to the state of Ghana, that person is dealt with according to law and as much as possible retrievals are made so that the state of Ghana can get its money back and we can also be looking at possible prosecutions in this matter. So there are series of actions which the president has outlined and this is just the beginning,” he told Joy FM’s Dzifa Bampoh.
Early Saturday morning a police detachment mounted a combat-ready front at the entrance of the section of the Police Headquarters where Woyome is being held. On Friday five women were arrested for storming the police headquarters to demand his release.
The payment of about GHS58 million judgment to Alfred Woyome has been the focus of media and political discussions for the past two months and only on Thursday, the Economic and Organised Crimes Office presented an interim report of its investigations to President Mills. The report indicted Woyome and other serving and past public officers who all face arrest.
Okudzeto Ablakwa intimated no one who must face the law in the matter will escape. “That won’t happen, because the president is very much on top of this situation, he knows what he has rolled out and there is no cause for alarm. We can assure the good people of this country that nobody will escape the net.”
There have been two demonstrations, one for and the other against him and yet more fallouts, some of which are still unfolding.
So who is the man, Alfred Agbesi Woyome?
An old student of Bishop Herman College, Mr. Woyome was born at Dabala in the Volta Region. His mates in school recall him as a very stern and disciplined fellow.
A very prosperous businessman, Mr. Woyome is famed for his generosity especially when it comes to sports. He is believed to have been the philanthropist who paid for planeloads of Ghanaian supporters to go to South Africa to cheer on the senior national football team, the Black Stars at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Mr. Woyome is said to have made a considerable amount of his wealth as a consultant to the deceased Libyan leader, Muammar Ghadafi in connection with the fallouts of the Lockerbie bombings.
He has a foundation named after him, Woyome Foundation for Africa which aims to bring relief to HIV/AIDS sufferers on the continent by offering them anti-retrovirals.
Famed South African jazz musician, Hugh Masakela is listed on the website of the foundation as a board member. On that same website he describes himself as someone with wide experience in international affairs and finance whose job as a consultant and a businessman has taken him round many African, European and other countries.
His background in finance explains his financial engineering role in the sourcing of funds for the construction of stadia for the African Cup of nations in Ghana in 2008, which has brought him the unprecedented attention and controversy currently.
Amongst the companies he owns is Anator Holdings, a group of companies with varied interests across various sectors and yet another group of companies, Stewise, with several subsidiaries including a shipping wing, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and construction.
He is also the former Honorary Vice Consul of Austria to Ghana. Mr. Woyome has strong links to the NDC and is said to have contributed significantly, finance-wise, to the 2008 presidential bid of President Mills. He was also recently spotted at the NDC Parliamentary primaries at the Odododiodoo Constituency here in Accra.
Members of the NDC are however quick to also point out bouts of generosity to members of the NPP.
Mr. Woyome has meanwhile denied suggestions that the judgment debt was doled out to him as payback for his financial backing of the NDC in 2008.
More recently, Mr. Woyome has insisted whatever monies he received was for honest work and that he is being unfairly singled out for vilification if as much as 640 million cedis has been paid out as judgment debt and yet his 52 million has been the subject of public scrutiny.
In a private telephone conversation with Joy News he said he is a typical businessman in Africa who wants to test the law in relation to government-private sector relations. He says he believes the judiciary is under attack and he has decided to fight on the side of the law.
Social media is rife with talk about Woyome, what some have christened woyometrics, woyomisation, woyomisticy. These are some of the new words that trace their roots to, yes, Woyome. Here are a few.
Woyometically: The systematic process of Woyomization
Woyometicable: A system that can easily be Woyomised
Woyomized: To be overwhelmed with Woyomism
Woyomee: Someone who has been Woyomised
Woyomer: Someone who Woyomises people
Woyomator: The brain behind a Woyomistic act
Woyometre: An instrument used in measuring a Woyomistic act
Woyomistic: A wicked act of Woyomism
Evans Mensah/Assistant Editor/Joy News
News of his arrest sent scores of his supporters and others said to be supporters of the ruling National Democratic Congress, NDC, to the police command center, but their presence and subsequent confrontation with the police led to the arrest of five of the supporters.
Woyome, thought to be a financier of the NDC, was also visited by party chairman, Dr. Kwabena Adjei and propaganda secretary, Richard Quashigah. Neither of the two was available for comment.
Late into the night, however, Woyome was still being held by the police ostensibly to be processed for court on Monday on charges said to border on ‘defrauding by false presentences’. The police are known to keep suspects they arrest on Friday’s throughout the weekend and sent to court on Monday, with several condemnation of the practice going unheeded.
Woyome’s arrest comes on the heels of the interim report of the Economic and Organised Crimes Office following its probe into the controversial GHS51 million judgment debt paid him.
Legal watchers claim he and his suspected collaborators could face over a dozen criminal charges.
Current and former public officials suspected to have neglected to do due diligence or who were complicit could also face a more serious charge of willfully causing financial loss to the state.
According to Kennedy Agyapong, any action by the state that will get to the bottom of the Woyome saga must be appreciated and welcomed by every Ghanaian regardless of one’s political affiliation.
He said it will be unfair to Alfred Woyome if he is the only one arrested while other government officials implicated in the EOCO report over the controversial GHS58 million judgment debt paid to Woyome walk free.
The arrest of Mr. Woyome was necessitated by assurances from President Mills that anybody found culpable in the raging Woyome judgment debt saga will face the law.
The Economic and Organized Crimes Office on Thursday presented to President Mills an interim report of its investigations on the matter, indicting Woyome of wrongfully suing the state when he had no basis whatsoever to do so.
Alfred Woyome has resigned his chairmanship of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBBSI) to allow full investigations into the matter.
Speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen on Friday soon after the arrest of Woyome, Ken Agyapong noted that the arrest of Woyome shows the law is now working but he should not go alone. ”I see the law is now working and I don’t care who is involved whether past or current officials.”
“It is sad Woyome does not think about Ghana and being led by money, money, money. He has now landed himself into trouble. Woyome is a nation wrecker who should not be countenanced at all,” ken said.
He stressed that some ex-government officials who were indicted in the EOCO report which was presented to the President, must also be arrested by the BNI to testify of what they knew of the Woyome saga. “Our own people who know about the deal must also be arrested to BNI and testify their side of the story. I know that the name Woyome has no contract with the government of Ghana but went ahead to claim money from the state”.
He also called for the immediate arrest of owner of Trassaco Valley, Tarraconi who he accused of also benefiting 38 million euros in judgment debt using the name of Waterville Engineering Company.
”Tarraconi must also be arrested for defrauding the country. His company has been compensated already but went ahead to claim another money from government. He is a fraudster and should not be left freely because he is a white. No!”
The NPP firebrand asserted that former Attorney General, Betty Mould Iddrisu who was involved in the payment of the money to Woyome must also be arrested immediately. “It is Betty Mould who put pressure on the Finance Minister to pay the money to Woyome so she is also culpable”.
Kennedy Agyapong said even though the arrest of Alfred Woyome is good news, it is an attempt by President Mills to exonerate himself and the party (NDC).
“Mills is just playing on the minds of Ghanaians by sacrificing Woyome and leaving out others. In politics, for a party like the NDC to be affected then someone must be sacrificed to save it. Mills is just sacrificing Woyome in order to save the NDC from shame and big disgrace but still Woyome deserves the treatment meted out to him,” he asserted.
He wondered why Waterville, clearly knowing that they had a contract and needed to be compensated, would use Woyome? ”You see Waterville knew they had nothing to claim from government of Ghana so they hid at the back of Woyome to claim cheap money from Ghana. Why is it that they gave power of attorney to Woyome to sue government for compensation instead of Waterville themselves?”
The Assin North MP who flayed President Mills over the Woyome saga called on him to remove Finance Minister Dr. Kwabena Duffour and Deputy A-G, Ebo Barton Oduro because they were all involved in the payment to Woyome. ”It will be unfair to Woyome if Betty, Barton Oduro, Duffour and others are not arrested for causing the nation dearly."
Friday, February 3, 2012
Reports reaching Citifmonline. com have it that three of his women supporters, who stormed the police CID headquarters to demand his release, have been arrested.
One is said to be a close relative of Mr. Woyome, who allegedly exchanged fisticuffs with a police officer at the CID premises.
Mr. Woyome is currently at the Police Headquarters for questioning exactly 24 hours after the Economic and Organised Crimes Office submitted its interim report implicating him in manipulation of documents and information to milk the country.
Woyome was arrested on his way to work on Friday and was virtually forced out of his car in traffic, but it is however unclear whether his arrest follows an advice from the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Benjamin Kunbuor on the EOCO report.
Dr. Kunbuor, according to a Deputy Information Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, is expected to brief President Mills on what decision to take in the never-ending Woyome saga by close of day today.
Mr. Ablakwa indicated that the President has and will always maintain his integrity to ensure that his reputation is not impugned.
President Mills tasked the Attorney General to study the interim report submitted by the EOCO and immediately advice him on government’s next line of action.
The report also established that an amount of GhC400, 000 was “paid to the wife of Mr. Nerquaye-Tetteh [Chief State Attorney] on June 16, 2011” but failed to mention reasons behind the payment.
By: Martin Asiedu-Dartey/Citifmonline. com
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