President John Mahama is incorruptible, Minister of Communication Dr Edward Omane Boamah has said.
Denying allegations that a car gift given to the president by Burkinabe contractor Djibril Kanazoe was meant to influence Ghana’s eventual award of a number of contracts to him, including a $650,000 deal to fence a huge tract of land around Ghana’s mission in Burkina Faso, Dr Omane Boamah told Samson Ladi Anyenini on Multi TV’s news analysis and current affairs programme Newsfile on Saturday June 18 that: “My president, your president, our president is not corrupt and is incorruptible.”
“This mud will not stick on him,” he added. Dr Omane Boamah’s comment ties in with similar sentiments expressed by presidential staffer Dr Celment Apaak in connection with the Ford Expedition gift given in 2012.
Dr Apaak told Prince Minkah on the Executive Breakfast Show of Class91.3FM on Thursday June 16 that the exposé by Joy FM’s Manasseh Azure Awuni was shabby attempt to sully his image and reputation.
Anti-graft body, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), described the president’s acceptance of the gift as smacking of conflict of interest. Opposition MPs including Joe Osei-Wusu and Isaac Asiamah have also described it as “shameful”.
The government earlier issued a statement denying the gift influenced the President in any way, as far as the award of the contracts was concerned. The statement, signed by Dr Omane Boamah, noted: “The said vehicle, which was placed in the vehicle pool at the presidency as per established convention, had nothing to do with the award of the contracts.”
Additionally, Dr Apaak told Prince Minkah that: “Ideally, I think this statement should put this attempt to try and malign the good image of our president to rest.”
“If you had taken the pain to go through the so-called exposé and you listen very attentively, you’d notice (the types of persons, who were featured) it is clear that it’s indeed a very poor attempt to malign the image and reputation of the president and it is not going to fly”.
“First of all, I don’t know any Ford Explorer [sic] that will cost up to $100,000; I don’t know if you know that but that in itself is a very questionable attribution to make. Secondly, I don’t know of anyone, who takes a bribe and then allows that to be documented. If you had listen to Ghana’s Ambassador to Burkina Faso at the time, who is on record …to have received the gift, and then [brought] it across the border with documentation, then it certainly begs the question. I mean, you and I know that if somebody is going to take a bribe, and indeed the intent is to take a bribe, which is an illegality, you don’t get it documented, but this vehicle from where it came from, was properly documented and brought into this country before it got to its final destination, and when it got there, it was not registered in the name of the president or a member of his family. It was registered in the name of the republic of Ghana and then added to the pool of vehicles for use by the office of the president, so how do you describe this as a bribe? And in any case, truly, are they saying that our nation Ghana has been bribed with a Ford Explorer? You see, the vehicle is there for use by the state. It is not there for the use of His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama. Quite certainly, the man [Djibril Kanazoe] said that he was the one that gave the gift to [the president] but the recipient of the gift, when the gift got to him, the processes that were deployed and the final use of that gift certainly do not connote or even in the wildest imagination of any fair-minded person, suggest an act of bribery,” Dr Apaak explained.