Prior to the 2016 general elections, most Ghanaians had confidence and hope in an Akufo-Addo presidency because, he was touted as incorruptible and a no-nonsense man.
It therefore, came as no surprise when Akufo-Addo got an overwhelming endorsement by the Ghanaian electorates to occupy the Flag Staff House. But three years down the lane, what are the stakes? Has the Akufo-Addo presidency lived up to its billing or hype? Or has it disappointed Ghanaians?
Your reliable news portal, ghanahotissues.com brings you five (5) scandals that rocked the Akufo-Addo government, leaving Ghanaians shocked and may cost Akufo-Addo the presidency in the 2020 elections.
1.Kelni GVG Scandal
The Kelni GVG scandal came about as a result of a contract between the government of Ghana and a Haitian ICT firm, Kelni GVG; which contract was to the effect that Kelni GVG was to install monitoring devices to monitor telcos in Ghana in order to prevent the telcos from cheating the government of Ghana through revenue under-declaration and its resultant effect of less tax payments by the telcos.
But before the deal could be sealed, policy think tank, IMANI exposed the sham that the deal actually was. The $89m deal was reported by IMANI as a rip-off as there weren’t any actual gains to be made by the government through that contract.
But the government disagreed. Represented by the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the government insisted that, Ghana was indeed going to make huge gains from the deal.
Shockingly, when IMANI, led by Franklin Cudjoe and lawyer Kofi Bentil requested for the contract documents covering the deal, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful was feet-dragging. Try as IMANI did, the minister declined IMANI’s request for the documents. Even after a court ruling that ordered the minister to release the contract documents, many months later, the minister could still not provide the documents, raising doubts and suspicions as to the veracity of the minister’s claims in defending the deal.
In spite of public outcry against the signing of the deal, the government, acting through the Communications minister, still “passed” the deal.
When Ghanaians queue to cast their votes in 2020, will they remember this deal as a game changer or as a rip-off of the tax payer? And, how will that work in favour of, or against Akufo-Addo’s 2020 electoral chances?
2. The Ameri Scandal
The erstwhile government of John Mahama signed the Ameri power contract worth $510m when Ghana was in the throes of the power crisis in 2014. The then Opposition, led by then candidate Akufo-Addo, described the contract as fraudulent. They then promised the electorate that, given power, they would review the contract downwards.
Truly, the NPP won the election and signed a new deal that was meant to review the Ameri power contract. Shockingly though, what was meant to save the tax payer money, rather escalated the cost of the contract far above the original one signed by the previous government of John Mahama. When details of the reviewed deal came to the public domain, Ghanaians were outraged. This led to the resignation of then Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, who, it was claimed, ‘misled’ the president into giving executive approval for the renegotiated contract.
Subsequently, the new contract was terminated, but that did little to undo the shock it visited on Ghanaians.
As the 2020 elections approach, how will this huge scandal impact on the chances of the Akufo-Addo government?
3. AWW By-election
Many Ghanaians who thought they would never witness a state-sponsored violence on innocent citizens during an election, had the shock of their lives when the government deployed masked and armed national security operatives to unleash violence on innocent citizens and voters during the Ayawaso West Wuogon parliamentary by-election, following the demise of the incumbent MP, Kyeremateng Agyarko.
In a Rambo style, state sponsored security forces unleashed untold violence on voters and innocent citizens. An opposition lawmaker, Samuel Gyata George was physically assaulted by one of such goons on the scene.
Following the sad incident, the government grudgingly set up the Emil Short Commission to inquire into the circumstances leading to the violence and to recommend appropriate measures and sanctions. After many days of sitting and compiling and presenting the report to the president, the government rejected almost seventy percent of the Commission’s recommendations which included the prosecution of the national security operative who assaulted the legislator, Sam George; a decision many legal brains opined was outside the president’s powers.
This became a shock to Ghanaians and we wonder how that will translate into electoral fortunes for this government.
4. Government “sponsored” militia training at the Osu Castle.
Unknown to many Ghanaians, the Akufo-Addo government had permitted the Christianborg Castle, Osu, formerly the seat of government, to be used by a militia group with links to government, as a ground for their training. Fortunately, investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni went undercover to expose the operations of the ‘De Eye Group’ at the castle.
Government quickly denied any links and involvement in the group’s activities at the Osu Castle. But the video evidence was very clear. Government further dragged Manasseh Azure Awuni and JoyNews which aired the documentary on the operations of the group at the castle, to the National Media Commission. But before the Commission would sit on the matter, faceless persons believed to be acting in defence of the government, threatened Manasseh Azure Awuni’s life, culminating in his exile in South Africa.
Although the Commission’s report later sought to clear the government of any involvement and wrongdoing in the matter, it was not lost on many Ghanaians that the report was bias and possibly designed to exonerate the government.
As Ghanaians approach the 2020 polls, how will this incident affect the chances of president Akufo-Addo?
5. Contracts for Sale Scandal
Before discussions on the militia expose would recede, Manasseh Azure Awuni, having returned from exile, went undercover again and exposed how some persons at the Public Procurement Authority were selling and redistributing government contracts like confetti to the highest bidder. The Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, Mr. A.B. Adjei was himself neck-deep in the circumstances surrounding the scandal. Though caught in the act on camera, Mr. Adjei still tried to portray himself as innocent. But public outcry would force the president to suspend Mr. Adjei while ordering investigations into the scandal. In spite of this, some people believed the government was involved in the scandal. And, as usual, once the buck stops with the president, it is expected he will bear the brunt of this scandal.
So when you take your turn to cast your vote in the 2020 elections, will you “punish” and vote against president Akufo-Addo for these scandals and many more, or you’ll “forgive” and vote for him?
We at ghanahotissues.com would be delighted to hear your opinion.
By a ghanahotissues.com staff writer