General News of Wednesday, 22 June 2016
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) says President John Dramani Mahama doesn’t practice what he preaches when it comes to issues of corruption and conflict of interest.
According to the opposition party, aside the controversial Ford Expedition gift, President recently placed himself in a conflict of interest position when he gave a contract to a female friend without competitive tender.
“…Yet, a year earlier, in another example of preaching virtue but practising vice, this same President had, on 12th May 2015, directed his Minister of Finance to give a multi-million-dollar contract, without any competitive tender, to a company belonging to another friend of his, a female friend,” the party alleged at a press conference addressed by its Acting National Chairman, Freddy Blay in Accra on Wednesday.
“President Mahama does not like to practice what he frequently preaches. Examples are plenty in the pages of the President’s own Code of Conduct for his appointees and all public officials. For example, it reads under Clause 1.4.4 (e) as follows: “To avoid the creation or appearance of an obligation, gifts in cash or kind are not to be solicited or accepted from commercial enterprise or any other organisation. An exception to this would be the acceptance of a presentation made during a visit to an institution,” he said.
The opposition party also asked the president to speak on the current controversy personally and not leave it to his spokespersons.
“The President, who is personally and directly involved in this bribery allegation, has thus far refused to speak on the matter, choosing, instead, to let his paid spokespersons. My message to His Excellency the President is this: Mr. President, please speak on your own behalf and in your own defence! The giver, your friend, has confessed that he has given his friend in government who has since helped him to secure government contracts a gift of a sports utility vehicle.
“On a matter as this, the President must come out personally to answer the allegations, not delegate it to his underlings, as if to imply that this is some petty or unimportant matter. This is no small matter, and the President must not seek to trivialise it by evading it. We cannot allow the culture to be entrenched and legitimised in Ghana, where public works contracts go only to the highest gift-giver or to those with close connections in high places,” he said.