Thursday, March 23, 2017

NDC CRACKS DEEPEN

By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, March 23, 2017

Nemesis appears to be catching up with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as members admit that cracks in the former ruling party were more than the picture being painted about the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).

With just three months in opposition, the NDC may be heading for implosion as accusations and counter accusations are freely traded.

A top member, Yaw Boateng Gyan, yesterday admitted that the cracks in the NDC are wider than what the public perceives.

Mr Yaw Boateng Gyan, who was once the NDC national organizer and presidential staffer under President Atta Mills, said the then ruling party was more divided than the then opposition NPP, even before the crucial December 7, 2016 general election - although then President John Mahama created the impression that the party was the most united in Ghana’s history.

The Mahama administration invested heavily in creating divisions in NPP in order to get an electoral advantage – reportedly doling out cash and expensive vehicles to leading members through slush funds set aside for that agenda; but it has turned out to be an albatross hanging on his neck.

Glaring Pretence
Exactly one month before the general election in which the NDC was humiliated thereby confining Mr. Mahama to becoming a one-term president in Ghana’s political history, he was in the Ashanti Region pretending all was well with the then ruling party and that the NPP was not ready for power because its then candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was a divisive leader.

President Mahama had said at New Edubiase on a campaign tour that also took him to Adansi Asokwa, Adansi Akrofuom, Obuasi West and East Constituencies on November 7, 2016 that he wanted the electorate to continue to keep the NPP in opposition until, as he put it, “they put their house in order.”

The opposition party, he claimed, was more divided than any other political grouping and therefore noted that it could not govern the country when given the mandate.

“Today, the party that is ready to govern this country is the NDC. Why am I saying so? Today, the NDC is the most united and well organised party than any other party in Ghana. Look at what’s going on in the NPP. The NPP is divided into two factions. If that party is rife with these divisions even in opposition, what will happen if we give them power?” Then NDC presidential candidate Mahama jabbed.

Pure Deceit
However, it is now turning out that, then President Mahama was only throwing dust into the eyes of the public in order to make the NDC look presentable to the electorate by condemning the NPP and its candidate, President Akufo-Addo.

In just over two months in opposition, utterances of most of the top executives of the party have shown clearly that the NDC is heavily divided and Mr. Boateng Gyan’s claim lends credence to the facts available.

Frank Assessment
Speaking on Abusua FM in Kumasi yesterday on a wide range of issues affecting the NDC, Mr Yaw Boateng Gyan said,  “Kwame,” (referring to the host) “believe me…the NDC was much more divided than the NPP but we pretended as if all was well and decided to talk about the NPP’s troubles.”

“People who dared to talk publicly about the party’s challenges were vilified and sidelined, how were we going to hear diverging opinions internally?” he asked.

“If we had paid attention to what people, our own party people, were saying, I am telling you the NDC wouldn’t have been in opposition by now,” he observed.

Arrogant Officers
“The other issue has to do with the way and manner our people were talking to the electorate…very arrogant and disrespectful, how would we have appealed to the voters?” Mr. Boateng Gyan added.

“Kwame, some of us couldn’t talk because they said we had been voted out of the executive position of the party and so we shouldn’t talk…a lot of things went wrong.”

“The grassroots of the party were angry because they were not resourced to work for the party, rather outsiders and strangers were enjoying all the party’s resources for campaigns.”

“For example, common party billboards…the party had to send people from Accra to come to my hometown in Sunyani to erect billboards when our own local people could have been engaged, so they felt sidelined and so refused to contribute their energy to the campaign.”

“If you look at all these factors, must you be told that the party was deeply divided? ….we were even lucky the grassroots of the party didn’t rise up in anger against those sent from Accra to fix campaign materials at the local level,” he posited.

Small Boys’ Management
Immediately after the NDC’s crashing defeat, Mr. Boateng Gyan vowed to ensure that “small boys” will never manage ex-President Mahama.

“President Mahama is the most marketed person in NDC and if he’ll come back as the flag bearer, he will not come with those small boys. We’ll not allow those small boys to surround and manage him again. Stan Dogbe and the rest who have no political experience but yet managed President Mahama let the NDC down in this election,” he said on December 14, last year when the party was reeling under the shock of its election defeat.

Mr Boateng Gyan had added, “We’ll not allow them to disgrace Mahama the second time. We’ve vowed to let these small boys know that there are elders in NDC with vast political experience and they’ll manage our future flag bearer. We have the likes of Kojo Tsikata, Ato Ahwoi, Totobi Quakyi, Iddrisu Mahama and Issifu Ali. These are the people who will work with our next leader. As for these small boys, we’ll fight them. Politics is no child‘s play.”

Mills’ Death
Mr. Boateng Gyan was the same man who said if the NDC ‘pushed’ him to the wall he would spill the beans over who killed President John Evans Atta Mills.

His outburst had come in December 2014 when the party was going to congress to elect its national officers.
He eventually lost his position to Kofi Iddi Adams in an acrimonious fashion and later blamed the presidency for ensuring his defeat in the party’s election.

Liability
However, the NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Yunyoo in the Northern Region, Joseph Bipoba Naabu Mahama, has stressed that Mahama may not have a second chance because he is a liability to the party.

The Yunyoo MP said if the NDC makes the mistake and fields John Mahama for 2020, he will lose more miserably to either Nana Akufo-Addo or Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia; and the party will see more disintegration.

Some other top executives like Deputy General Secretary Koku Anyidoho and Anita Desoso, a vice chairperson of the NDC, have made their intentions known by displaying their desire for another candidate for the 2020 presidential election apart from President Mahama.



NDC PLOTS TO DITCH MAHAMA

By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The plot to ditch ex-President John Dramani Mahama for the 2020 presidential election by some powerful opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) members is thickening by the day.

The party’s leadership is currently embroiled in what can be described as a blame game following the massive defeat suffered by it (party) in the hands of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the December 7, 2016 general election.

Some of the top figures like Deputy General Secretary Koku Anyidoho and Anita Desooso, a vice chairperson, have reportedly made their intentions known by expressing their desire for another candidate for the 2020 presidential election apart from former President Mahama.
The NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Yunyoo in the Northern Region, Joseph Naabu Bipoba, has also joined the fray, saying John Mahama’s candidature is out of the equation just like former MP for La Dadekotopon, Nii Amasah Namoale.
The Yunyoo MP says the former president lacks “competence”  to lead the NDC’s re-election bid in the 2020 general election. Nii Amassah Namoale also has called on Mr Mahama to rescind his decision to contest in the 2020 polls since he would not win the party’s primary.
 “I will beat anyone who would contest with me, including John Mahama…,” he said on Accra-based Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ programme yesterday as the NDC gears up for re-organisation.
Bad Choice
Naabu Bipoba told journalists in parliament yesterday that former President Mahama would be a bad choice for the NDC.
“He was the president and contested with Nana Akufo-Addo and lost miserably so if President Mahama comes, what is he going to do? Is he the only person?” he asked.
The Yunyoo MP said former President Mahama is to blame for NDC’s shameful defeat in the 2016 general election because he surrounded himself with political neophytes like former Communications Minister, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, at the presidency “who told him nothing but lies.”
“People at the presidency were just telling him lies. Take Omane Boamah; what experience has he got in politics? If he goes to contest an election at where he comes from, can he win? But the president listened to such people,” he wondered.
Explosive Interview
Koku  Anyidoho recently said in an explosive interview with GHOne TV that leadership in the NDC would have to rotate, indicating that the NDC might not front Mr. Mahama as its candidate in 2020.

 Anita Desooso is also currently in a fierce ‘fight’ with some NDC members for saying that the party’s executives were undermined during the election s which the NDC presidential candidate managed only 44.4%.

Mr. Anyidoho reiterated his ‘love’ for Prof John Evans Atta Mills who died suddenly in July 2012, giving ex-President Mahama, who was then the vice president, the chance to contest the 2012 election without any opposition from within the party.

Axe To Grind
The Deputy General Secretary clearly showed in the interview that he has an axe to grind with ex-President Mahama.

When asked whether he loves President Mahama, Mr. Anyidoho rather brazenly reiterated his ‘love’ for President Mills and could only say that he only had a working relationship with President Mahama.

“I will never regret working for him… President Mills, I salute you in your grave. Nobody will take that away from me,” he said forcefully.

He then went on to state boldly that he loves the NDC as a party and that “leadership will rotate,” insisting that “I loved President Mills; I worked for President Mahama.”

Anita’s Crusade
Anita Desooso on the other hand, has vowed to help restore dignity to the party’s leadership by ensuring that the structures of the party are respected.

According to the former NDC National Women’s Organizer, the various groups formed to campaign for the second term for President Mahama caused the party’s defeat.

In the run-up to the crucial election, the NDC, with state resource at its disposal, formed many splinter groups to promote the second term bid for the president.

Groups likes Girls Girls for Mahama, Zongo Girls for Mahama, Zongo for Mahama, Youth for Mahama, Celebrities for Mahama, Mahama Ladies, I Choose JM, Ambassadors for Mahama, Doves for Mahama and others, were formed with massive resources at their disposal to prosecute the agenda which failed woefully in the end as Ghanaians overwhelmingly rejected Mahama.
Some have said the pro-Mahama groups even became more powerful in terms of campaign resources than the party’s structures, including the national executive.

So-called Groups
Anita told Kasapa FM recently that there was no doubt that the so-called groups contributed to the party’s defeat because the party’s structures were ignored.

“These campaign groups which emerged in the run-up to the December 7, 2016 elections contributed to our loss in that election. After these groups were formed, the structures that are known to the party rather suffered as they were denied resources,” she said.

Executives Shortchanged
She stated categorically that the party lacked the needed resources to project candidate Mahama saying, “The groups were rather benefitting as they went for funds from certain quarters, and while they were happy, the grassroots were complaining.”

Anita Desooso said, “Some of these groups could go to the Volta Region purporting to do campaigning, but went there to speak English instead of the Ewe language,” asking, “How can you do such a campaign?”

As a result, she asserted, “I’ve vowed to make sure that the NDC amends its constitution; whichever group it is should start from the structures…start from the branch level.”

NDC sources say apart from National Organizer Kofi Iddi Adams who doubled as the Campaign Coordinator of the failed Mahama second term bid and Siidi Abubakar, the National Youth Organizer, almost every powerful executive member is seriously working against the return of President Mahama as NDC candidate - including General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia.

Subtle Plan
There are also claims that Mr Johnson Asiedu-Nketia aka General Mosquito was instrumental in the formation of the 13-member committee being Chaired by Professor Kwesi Botchwey to investigate why the party lost massively in the December general election.

A source has said that the powerful General Secretary could be using the committee to prepare the grounds to contest as the party’s national chairman as he claims the current one -  Kofi Portuphy - has become unpopular due to the fact that he is being accused of supervising the party’s humiliating defeat at the hands of the Akufo-Addo-led NPP.

Mahama’s Humiliation
The NPP’s candidate Nana Akufo-Addo made sure that President Mahama became a one-term president in the history of Ghana by flooring him ‘one-touch’ with 5,716,026 votes, representing 53.85% while Mr. Mahama secured 4,713,277 votes, representing 44.40%.

The NDC has now entered into a new political dispensation as minority in parliament with only 104 seats against the NPP’s 171.







Monday, March 13, 2017

MAHAMA SNUBS NDC ORGANIZERS

By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, March 13, 2017

Former President John Dramani Mahama has distanced himself from a programme purportedly being organized by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to celebrate him.

He says he is not aware of any such programme, neither was the intention to have such a programme even communicated to him.

There are NDC posters making the rounds that the former president is going to be celebrated on Saturday, March 18, in Accra.

The programme, which is going to be in a form of a rally, is expected to take place at the Kawukudi Park at Nima from 10am to 2pm, and prospective participants have been asked to wear ‘NDC/JM colours’ as the dress code.

Titled, “Celebrating former President John Dramani Mahama,” the poster displays the picture of the former NDC presidential candidate in black and white wearing smock and also includes photographs of some of his flagship infrastructural projects like the Community Day Senior High School, the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange aka Dubai and what looks like the University of Ghana Medical School Hospital as side attractions.

However, the office of the ex-president issued a statement yesterday through his spokesperson, Joyce Bawa Mogtari, denying Mr. Mahama’s involvement in the said programme.
“The Office of the Former President, John Dramani Mahama has become aware of an advert announcing an event for the 18th of March, 2017 and intended to celebrate him,” the statement said.

“While the former President appreciates the kind of thoughts of the initiators of the said event, he has directed me to indicate that he is unaware of the said programme; he has not been informed or invited to any such programme, and he has not provided any form of endorsement for the programme,” it stated.

Mrs. Bawa-Mogtari, a former Deputy Minister for Transport, has herself appeared to have stoked fire in the NDC with her recent purported comment that she would not care if the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government rules for two terms (8 years).

The former deputy minister, who was the spokesperson for Mahama’s re-election campaign last year, reportedly said on Starr FM last Wednesday during the commemoration of the International Women’s Day that it is normal for the NPP to rule in from 2016 to 2024 and that “shows the beauty of Ghana’s democracy.”
“Well, I don’t really mind if NPP rules for eight years; it’s democracy and really not an issue. When they lost, you can imagine how they felt when we moved into Flagstaff House and I know the feeling… We’ve all been there and that is the beauty of our democracy,” she is reported as saying.


Friday, March 10, 2017

MAHAMA BOUNCES BACK

By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, March 10, 2017

Posters indicating a possible return of ex-President John Mahama for the 2020 elections are surfacing.

The poster displays a beautiful picture of the ex-president wearing a black and white smock with the inscription, “John Mahama for President 2020”and an additional message underneath the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) umbrella logo which reads, “Still Changing Lives…Still Transforming Ghana.”

Dubai Trip
President Mahama reportedly jetted out to Dubai immediately after attending the 60th independence anniversary national parade at the Independence Square, Accra, on Monday where he celebrated his wife, Lordina’s 54th birthday with their children using a red colour.

It is however, unclear who might be behind the posters, as the former president has not also made any official statement announcing a comeback or otherwise.

But his spokesperson, Joyce Bawa-Mogtari, says talks over whether or not John Mahama would make a comeback to lead the NDC in the 2020 general election after sending it to opposition were not over.
 According to Ms. Bawa-Mogtari who was the campaign spokesperson for the John Mahama 2016 campaign team, the former president still receives numerous calls from high-ranking party members persuading him to soften his earlier stance which suggested that family members had advised him against leading the NDC in 2020.
She told pro-NDC Radio Gold on Wednesday that the former president constantly ignores discussions of his possible return to active politics and that he is yet to make up his mind.
Bawa-Mogtari, a former deputy transport minister under the Mahama regime, indicated that she is for ‘Mahama 2020.’
‘Thank You’ Tour
There are unconfirmed reports that the former president is going to embark on a ‘Thank You’ tour nationwide when he returns from Dubai.

Some party sources have said he is going to use the tour to ‘test’ his popularity and make a final determination on whether he would contest for the NDC in 2020.

DAILY GUIDE learnt that the tour could be undertaken with party people and some opinion leaders coerced to openly canvass for his return to form the basis for his declaration to contest the 2020 polls.

He had wanted to embark on the ‘Thank You’ tour last December after he had failed to secure a re-election but changed his mind following criticism that it was imprudent to do so, especially coming at a time the NDC had been defeated by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the government was on its way out.

New Candidate
DAILY GUIDE has learnt that there is going to be a keen competition in the NDC over who should be the party’s candidate for the 2020 presidential election.

Majority within the party’s leadership are said to be looking for a new face to lead the party, but others have moved forcefully to get President Mahama to contest again.

Names like former Finance Minister Dr. Kwabena Duffuor,  former University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA) Rector Prof Joshua Alabi and former National Health Insurance Authority (NHIS) boss Sylvester Mensah are coming up strongly within the NDC circles.

Dr Duffuor and Sly Mensah have denied any interest in the NDC flagbearership race for now.

However, probable candidates like former Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and former Trade and Industry Minister Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah are said to have ‘cooled’ down their interests in the race and it is getting clearer that the two stalwarts may not contest at all. Goosie Tannor, a cadre, has also come out strongly for the NDC presidential candidature slot.

Family Pressure
Already, family members of ex-President Mahama have reportedly been persuading him not to contest the presidential election in 2020.

Some analysts have said the huge gap of over one million votes garnered by President Akufo-Addo against Mahama showed that the ex-President will have a daunting task if he considers contesting again for 2020.

During the period of the investiture of President Akufo-Addo, the junior brother of the ex-president, Ibrahim Mahama said, “John has given his all in politics to the NDC and Ghana and we think it is just fair that we allow him to rest. We were very supportive and instrumental in convincing him to partner Prof. Mills, and when the time came for him to contest for president, we supported and advised him to go for it…now we have advised him not to make a comeback in 2020.”

Comeback Dream
However, ex-President Mahama appears to want to give it another shot and there are ongoing behind-the-scene moves to ensure that the comeback agenda is on course.

An NDC source alleged that before Mahama emplaned for Dubai, “he met some people and urged them to stage-manage as if NDC people were calling on him to contest.

“He wants to start it by a ‘Thank You’ tour across the country but for now, we are still searching for who is going to lead us in 2020.”

Cadres Front
According to the source, the NDC is looking for what he called ‘a grass root party person’ whom the cadres have deep trust in since they were of the view that they were neglected by both the Mills/Mahama administrations.




Wednesday, March 08, 2017

EOCO CHASES SSNIT

By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, March 08, 2017

The Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) is reportedly investigating the alleged financial rot at the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).

The EOCO is said to have written to the acting Director-General of the Trust to furnish it with information on some private companies believed to be prominent during the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.

A source at EOCO mentioned some of the companies as Pro-Vision Consulting Limited and Perfect Business Systems - both IT companies that provided wide-ranging consultancy and other services even to state-owned institutions, including SSNIT.

Perfect Business Solution is the company handling the SSNIT biometric project dubbed ‘Operation Business Suite,’ popularly called (OBS) which has run into troubles after several millions of cedis had been paid to the vendor.

The OBS has become an albatross on the Trust with some people using it to milk the distressed pension fund managers.

All these dodgy deals were under the supervision of the immediate past SSNIT Director-General, Ernest Thopmson.

The EOCO was said to be acting pursuant to Section 19 of the Economic and Organized Crime Office Act 2010 (Act 804).

EOCO Letter
The letter to SSNIT, signed by Acting Executive Director ACP K.K. Amoah(rtd), requested for information on all contract documents between SSNIT and Pro-Vision Consulting Limited, including all charges requests and service level agreements for the provision of all Oracle-based software.

The Office also asked for all contract documents between SSNIT and Perfect Systems, including all charges requests and service level agreements for the provision of Operation Business Suit (OBS) software.

The EOCO further requested for payments made by SSNIT to Pro-Vision Consulting and Perfect Business Systems on legacy and currently used systems.

SSNIT Boss
SSNIT immediate past Director-General, Ernest Thompson, was relieved of his appointment in January by President Akufo-Addo.

The sacking of Mr. Thompson was reportedly received with excitement by the staff who were of the view that SSNIT was allegedly run down under him, with most of its priced assets including banks like Merchant Bank, being offloaded.

The outgoing SSNIT board under Joshua Alabi also gave approval for the trust to put a number of its expensive management residential facilities in Accra on sale at the eleventh hour when the NDC was on its way out of government.

The buildings include six residential properties and two guest houses located in plush areas like North Ridge, Cantonments and Airport Residential Area - all in Accra - but there are concerns that the facilities will be sold at very cheap rates as most state properties are being sold allegedly to cronies.

Unpopular Decision
The decision raised public concerns because some observers believed that SSNIT needed to protect the properties and not dispose of them, while others claimed that the powerful management and the board might turn around to buy the affected properties for peanuts.


















Tuesday, March 07, 2017

EOCO FREEZES NDC CAPO ACCOUNTS

By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, March 07 , 2017
The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has reportedly frozen the bank accounts of Daniel Ohene Agyekum, former Board Chairman of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) during the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.
A source at EOCO told DAILY GUIDE yesterday that the action had been taken as part of efforts towards the investigation of alleged financial irregularities during the tenure of Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COCOBOD.
Mr. Ohene Agyekum, who was Ghana's former Ambassador to the United States and former Ashanti Regional Minister, was appointed board chairman of COCOBOD in January 2014.
Recently, the assets and bank accounts of Dr. Opuni were also frozen by EOCO as part of a similar investigation into some contracts the ex-COCOBOD boss reportedly signed during his tenure and financial irregularities uncovered by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
Specifically, government intends to probe some supposed fraudulent multi-million dollar contracts he’s believed to have signed before leaving office.
EOCO, under its new Executive Director, ACP KK Amoah, recently sent invitations to some businessmen who won some contracts from COCOBOD. 
One of them is Seidu Agongo, who was invited in connection with an ongoing investigation into shady COCOBOD contracts about which so much has been published in the media in recent times.
Ali Seidu and Kofi Job were the first to be invited by EOCO regarding the contracts awarded them during the NDC regime because of their supposed links with former President John Dramani Mahama and his brother Ibrahim.
The COCOBOD contracts to construct roads and supply fertilizers were sole-sourced and in a manner thought to have breached value for money principles, with a chunk of the contracts going to the three individuals.
Dr. Stephen Opuni is at the centre of the alleged instances of financial impropriety at the national cocoa management institution and under whose aegis many contracts were awarded in breach of best procurement practices.
In the next few days important details of the investigations, it is believed, would be made public, considering the grounds covered by the investigators so far, a source has hinted.
Many calls had been made on the government of President Nana Akufo-Addo to without delay take action on the many instances of shady contracts at COCOBOD.
It is alleged that some of the fertilizers supplied under one of the contracts turned out to be ironically killer inputs which caused enormous anguish to farmers.
Dr. Opuni was on January 12, 2017 asked to vacate office barely a week after the NPP government was inaugurated.
The former CEO of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) was appointed by former President John Mahama on November 30, 2013 to head COCOBOD.
Since then the sector has never been the same again, with cocoa production alarmingly dropping under his tenure as well as allegations of malfeasance leveled against him.
Currently, issues of alleged corruption in the cocoa sector are being investigated and he can be brought before the court of law if EOCO finds any concrete evidence of financial malfeasance against him.
There have been calls for probe into the administration of the former COCOBOD boss since the New Patriotic Party, led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, took office about six weeks ago.
Some staff of COCOBOD alleged that Dr. Opuni awarded contracts without following laid-down regulations and that fertilizers meant for cocoa farmers were also alleged to have been smuggled into neigbouring countries.
The workers claimed Ghana lost more than $10 million because of the alleged dealings of Dr. Opuni.
Managers Sacked
About 11 top managers of COCOBOD were also directed by the government to proceed on leave after the dismissal of Dr Opuni.
The directive, which was contained in a letter signed by the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto, asked the affected managers to proceed on leave effective January 30, 2017.
The managers included Deputy Chief Executive (Finance & Administration), Deputy Chief Executive (Agronomy & Quality Control), Deputy Chief Executive (Operations) and the Director of Finance.
The rest were Deputy Director of Finance, Deputy Director of Audit, Director of Civil Works and the Procurement Manager.
At the Cocoa Marketing Company Ltd, the Managing Director (MD), Deputy MD, Director, Legal Services, Deputy Director and the Finance Director have reportedly been asked to go home.











Thursday, March 02, 2017

FEAR GRIPS NDC COMMITTEE

By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, March 02 , 2017
It has emerged that some disgruntled foot soldiers of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) are putting fear in members of the 13-member committee the then ruling party tasked to investigate the circumstances leading to its overwhelming defeat in the December 2016 general elections.

The committee, chaired by Dr Kwesi Botchwey, is said to be having a tough time in some of the constituencies they have visited to investigate the party’s defeat, due to the continuous threats and other verbal abuse members have been receiving from some party activists.

There is credible information that some NDC members are planning to beat them up, particularly in the Northern Region, when the committee goes there for its assignment.

Clandestine Notices
The committee has reportedly been sending clandestine notices to the party’s executives at the local level, informing them about its intended visits for meetings due to fear that angry foot soldiers might ambush the members at such meetings.

As a result, some former Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) who are supposed to be part of the meetings, are reportedly wondering why such important confabs should be announced almost at midnight and expect participants to attend the next day.

“We are wondering why such an important meeting was announced close to midnight for people to attend today. The committee can do far better than it’s currently doing!” an aggrieved former DCE in the Volta Region said, adding, “They are afraid party members will beat them.”

There are claims that NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia aka General Mosquito, who was instrumental in the formation of the committee, could be using that process to prepare the grounds to contest as the party’s national chairman.

Surprise Inclusion
According to one of the committee members, who did not want to be named, General Mosquito did not ‘consult’ some of the members before their names were mentioned as being part of the committee and said he even heard his name on radio.

The said member was not happy to learn that the committee’s formation was engineered by Mr Asiedu Nketia and a few other national officers just to ‘calm’ the angry party supporters for fear that the foot soldiers, particularly the youth, might storm the NDC headquarters to close the office down.

The member cited a nasty scene at the Ledzokuku Constituency in Accra where he said they were lucky to leave the meeting venue, saying, "The young men wanted to cause trouble there, so quickly we left when we heard they were organising themselves to come."

Committee’s Ability
He cast doubts on the committee’s ability to do a thorough work if the attacks persisted, asserting that it would be difficult for the NDC Election Review Committee to do comprehensive job because there were no broad consultations to solicit views from party members, especially former appointees and MPs who lost their seats.

He said “for instance, the founder didn't meet us because we didn't plan to meet all council of elders, and the founder asked that we meet some other time.
“The youth are not happy with us; MPs don't know our programmes; candidates who lost are not even aware of our visit to their constituencies; no funds to go round and other challenges which are difficult to handle," the member lamented.

Criticism
Already, some NDC members have criticized the setting up of the committee, saying everybody knows the reasons why the party shamefully lost the December elections.

Notable among them, he stressed, was their Central Regional Chairman, Bernard Allotey Jacobs, who described the formation of the committee as unnecessary because he said the reasons for the party’s defeat are know by all.

Committee’s Mandate
On February 7, the party announced that the 13-member committee had begun its work and called on the rank and file “to take note and must be ready to submit their evidence that would help the committee to come out with the right report.”

Addressing the media, Dr Botchwey, a former Minister of Finance and Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) under the NDC regime, said the committee was ready to engage party members in all the 10 regions.

He charged, "Members of the party are to note that each region has been zoned and each zone is made up of one or more constituencies, depending on size and distance."

Inauguration Day
During the inauguration of the committee in January, the NDC General Secretary had said, "The committee is expected to review and validate the results of the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections and find out the causes of the poor performance of the NDC in both the presidential and the parliamentary elections, as well as to deal with other matters reasonably related to the above objectives and to make recommendations to the National Executive Committee about the way forward."

Apart from Dr Botchwey, other members of the committee are Edward Doe Adjaho, immediate-past speaker of parliament; Alhaji Hudu Yahaya; Naval Capt. Asase Gyimah; Dr. William Ahadzi, director of research at the NDC headquarters; Ibrahim Zuberu, lecturer at Accra Technical University; Razak Abu, researcher; Juliana Azumah Mensah, former MP for Agotime-Ziope; Barbara Serwah Asamoah, former Deputy Minister for Lands and Forestry;  Alban Bagbin, former majority leader as well as three members from the current parliament.

Rude Shock
The NDC and its candidate John Dramani Mahama who was seeking a second term as president, had a rude shock when they were flatly rejected by Ghanaians at the polls on December 7, last year, and rather gave the mandate to the opposition candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his New Patriotic Party (NPP) to govern Ghana.

Nana Akufo-Addo polled 5,716,609 votes, representing 53.84 per cent, to snatch the presidency from incumbent Mr. Mahama, who secured 4,713,277 votes, representing 44.40 per cent.

Apart from President Akufo-Addo’s historic achievement, the NPP also secured majority in parliament, clinching 169 seats as against the NDC’s 106 seats.




Wednesday, March 01, 2017

HOW NDC GURUS GRAB ‘FREE’ CARS

By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, March 01 , 2017
More names of people who acquired state vehicles in the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration are popping up.

About 250 people, mostly ministers of state, appointees, chiefs, journalists and secretaries, were said to have grabbed some of these state vehicles after the assets were ‘privately’ auctioned for pea-nuts, without any public participation.

Heated Debate
The incident is generating heated political debate with some suggesting cynically that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government should take steps to push for the repeal of the law that allows politicians to acquire state properties including vehicles.

Ex-president John Mahama had outlawed the process, but was the first to violate it, opening the floodgate for his appointees to follow suit.

The list detailed how the NDC government under President Mahama had virtually dashed about 250 vehicles belonging to the state to its appointees and other staffers within three weeks.

The mass sale of the vehicles, majority of which were offered at ridiculous prices, was done between December 23, 2016 and January 7, 2017 in the period of the transition when the NDC had been heavily defeated by the New Patriotic Party and was on its way out of government.

It has turned out that some of the vehicles did not qualify to be auctioned under the law and some of the appointees that benefited from the auction did not qualify either, under the rules.

Clear Breach
DAILY GUIDE currently has a list of all NDC bigwigs who benefited from the auction and the document explains how some of the vehicles which were barely two years old, were sold in clear breach of the law.

The document titled, “Auctioned vehicles for the period December 2016 to January 2017,” indicates date of approval, vehicle registration number, vehicle type, chassis number, present owner/address, new owner/address as well as issuing office.

Most of the vehicles were in the name of the Office of the President while a couple of them were in the names of some ministries and agencies.
Strangely, some of the beneficiaries had long left the Mahama administration but managed to grab some of the vehicles.

Big Names
Former sports minister and immediate-past MP for Ayawaso North, Dr. Mustapha Ahmed and Emelia Arthur, a leading NDC member, both grabbed 2013 Toyota Camry while Samuel Yaw Adusei, a former Deputy Minister of Water Resources Works and Housing, got 2014 Toyota Camry.

Babanlamine Sadat, Special Assistant to Mahama on Zongo affairs  and Mohammed Adamu Ramadan, a  presidential staffer, had 2014 Toyota Camry as well as Mawusi Lorlornyo Dzirasa, a secretary at the Office of the President, grabbing 2014 Nissan Teana. 
Kofi Abbew Nkrumah grabbed 2014 VW Passat and the present owner has been recorded as Students Loan Trust Fund, while Christopher Tulasi went home with a 2014 Nissan NP 300/UP from the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations.

Raymond Hiame took away a 2014 Nissan Sentra while Antoinette Kailey Ankrah also grabbed a 2014 Toyota Avensis with Baba Jamal, a former deputy minister, taking home a 2012 Toyota Avensis.

Dr. Bernice Adiku Heloo, a former Deputy Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovations, grabbed a 2010 Toyota Avensis with Henry Seidu Danaa, a former Minister for Chieftaincy, getting a 2013 Toyota Camry and Joseph Boateng taking home a 2014 Nissan Sentra.

Anthony Obeng Afrane grabbed a 2015 Toyota Corolla from the Office of the President while Kale Cezario grabbed a 2013 Toyota Camry, with Benjamin Fiakuna taking home a 2014 Nissan Sentra.

More Names
Benjamin Affisah took home a 2014 Toyota Camry while former National Security Advisor, William K. Aboah, annexed a 2013 Toyota Camry; Benedicta Micah also took home a 2014 Toyota Avensis.

Lydia Abi and Issah Ibrahim both grabbed a 2014 Toyota Camry and a 2014 Toyota Corolla respectively while both former Central Regional Ministers George Kweku Ricketts-Hagan and Aquinas Tawiah Quansah got a 2013 Toyota Camry each, with Rosetta Olympio, a special assistant to Lordina Mahama, grabbed a 2014 Toyota Avensis.

Sandow Seidu Kpebu, another aide to Lordina Mahama, also grabbed a 2014 Toyota Camry; Francis Nkrumah had a 2015 Toyota Avensis and Kyei John grabbed a 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser  from the Ghana Shipper’s Authority while Samuel Ofori Boateng sent home with a 2014 BMW 740i.

Magnus Jacob Yama Tampuri got a 2014 Toyota Fortuner from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
Chairperson of the Council of State whose tenure ended recently, Cecilia Johnson, annexed a 2014 Toyota Camry while R. Kofi Nyantakyi took a 2015 Hyundai Elantra home; Frank Annan took home a 2015 Toyota Avensis.

Alfred Amuzu grabbed a 2015 Hyundai Elantra from the Office of the President with a former Chief Director at the Ministry of Petroleum, Prof. T.M. Akabzaa, having a 2013 Toyota Camry; former Local Government Minister, Collins Dauda, also took home a 2013 Toyota Camry.

Doreen Annan took a 2014 Honda Civic from the Ministry of Transport; Cosmos Dikro also took a 2014 Toyota Camry home while Alhaji Alhassan Iddi grabbed a 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser - all from the same ministry - with Isaac Kwaku Mintah taking home a 2014 Toyota Camry from the Energy Commission.

Reverend Abraham Botchwey, former CEO of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, grabbed a 2013 Toyota Camry while Mbui Roland Kofi went away with a 2014 Toyota Camry from the Ghana Revenue Authority; Philip Senyo Tsagli had a 2015 Toyota Camry.