A prominent member of policy think tank and pressure group OccupyGhana, Mr Kofi Bentil, has expressed shock at the revelation that President John Mahama received a car gift from a Burkinabe contractor who was incidentally awarded a $650,000 contract to fence a parcel of land for Ghana’s Embassy in that country.
The government has issued a statement denying that the gift influenced the President in any way.
A statement signed by the Minister of Communications, Dr Edward 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.”
However, Mr Bentil, in a post on Facebook wondered: “Must THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT be accepting gifts from Contractors? I am so ashamed to hear people say the vehicle was put in the pool so it’s not a problem…,” adding: “This thinking is appalling, to say the least and reveals the dearth of knowledge of the people in power about fighting corruption!”
“So don’t they know that this is an absolute no-no? And Mr. [Daniel] Batidam [The President’s Advisor on Governance and Corruption] goes to work every day? What does he do?” Mr Bentil asked.
He said: “If our presidency is this open to contractors, then our nation is for sale to the highest bidder because Ghana doesn’t have a proper process for managing gifts to the President. So, anything goes! If we want to accept gifts at the presidency, let’s develop a proper procedure (like they have in the US) for that. So that it’s clear to everyone.”