NDC pressure group, Young Cadres has warned journalists to desist from depicting Ghana as a “cheap” country to the international world.
This comes after the brouhaha of President John Dramni Mahama’s alleged car gift from a Burkinabe contractor.
Investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure in a latest investigation claims President John Dramani Mahama (then Vice President) was presented with a new Ford Expedition vehicle as a gift by a Burkinabe contractor, Djibril Kanazoe, purportedly for helping him to secure contracts for fencing Ghana’s embassy in Burkina Faso and also winning a 46.4km European Union funded Dodo-Pepesu Road Contract.
Government communicators have denied strongly the gift as bribe but have confirmed the car is being used for governmental purposes.
However, the group in a statement described journalists who intend to tarnish the president’s reputation as ‘impish’
“For any journalist to suggest that the President of our nation will accept a car bribe is the height of mischief and ridiculousness,” Bright Botchway said in a statement copied to Peacefmonline.com
Read below the full statement
Ghana is not cheap, and our journalists must not make the nation appear so. Our nation is not rich, but we are far advanced and richer than Burkina Faso and most countries in Africa. For any journalist to suggest that the President of our nation will accept a car bribe is the height of mischief and ridiculousness.
Our national ethics and respect for authority are gradually being trampled upon, all in the name of free speech and a liberalized media environment, and those held as the conscience of the state must speak up.
In a rather bizarre happening that stands against our traditional customs and cultural practices, Manasseh Azure, a purported investigative journalist, and his Multimedia ltd. released a so-called investigative report against the President, on a morning when the first gentleman of the land had lost his mother.
At least common sense and courtesy will dictate to us that the worst one can do to even his enemy, in times of grief, is to commiserate with him and celebrate or add salt to his wounds. Manasseh Azuri and his Multimedia rather decided to throw custom and common sense to the dogs and came public with this hastily-packaged and biased report.
This so-called investigative report purports to indict His Excellency John Dramani Mahama for engaging in corruption by accepting a vehicle gift from a Burkinabe contractor. How low can we come as a nation?
Young Cadres, as an association, will want the public to avert our minds to some historical antecedents in relation to gifts.
First, it is a historical fact that the Peduase Lodge was a gift from the contractor of the Tema Harbour to the first President of our dear nation, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, who in turn donated it to the state. Former President Kuffuor received vehicle gifts from the ex-Libyan President, Col. Muammar Qathafi, who in turn donated it to the state of Ghana.
It is this same trend that President Mahama followed when he received this Ford Expedition vehicle gift from the Burkinabe businessman. After receiving this gift, the President simply gave it to the state which was then added to the state vehicle pool.
Now out of pure mischief and a deliberate attempt to soil the hard-won reputation of President Mahama, Manasseh Azure is impugning corruption into this whole issue.
For the avoidance of doubt, every President in this world receives gifts. In order not to cause diplomatic row or to offend the sensibilities of the giver of the gifts, such gifts are accepted and then handed over to the state, in most jurisdictions. Because there is always the tendency to link such gifts to corruption, the United States of America, for instance, has instituted laws that require its Presidents to hand over gifts to the State Department anytime they receive such presents. We, as a nation, are yet to get there but we will.
We will want to take this opportunity to sound a word of caution to Manasseh Azure and his paymasters that President Mahama is incorruptible and will not stoop so low to accept a mere Ford Expedition with a view to offering contracts in return.
The President, even before ascending the highest throne of this land, had more than enough to afford the most expensive vehicles there is to buy. The President does not need a Ford Expedition for anything.
In their haste to paint the President corrupt, Manasseh and his backers have forgotten that this same President is the one who has been accused of buying V8 vehicles for officials of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). How does someone who gifts V8 vehicles accept a relatively cheaper 2010 Ford Expedition as a gift? This is a President whose junior brother is so wealthy that he is able to buy an aircraft for his company. Is the President so cheap as to accept a USD30,000 – 40,000 vehicle for his personal use?
In the name of politics, if journalists would want to sell their conscience and sacrifice the truth, Ghanaians are watching. Manasseh Azure and Multimedia can close their eyes to the massive development President Mahama has initiated in this country in the areas of health, real estate, transport and education among others; they can keep on carrying out their smear campaign against the President; they can continue with their evil campaign to unseat President Mahama and install their septuagenarian darling Akufo Addo. But they should know that, it is only God who installs kings and not men.
Long live Ghana
Long live NDC
Long live YCA