Govt Angry With Kufuor’s Attacks On Mills’ Performance

Government says it has taken notice of the ‘‘unprovoked attack’’ on the performance of the President Mills led Government by former President John Agyekum Kufuor.

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President Kufuor told a gathering of NPP supporters Saturday night that “Corruption is becoming incarnate. We see corruption everywhere.”

In a statement signed by a Deputy Information Minister, Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa, government said it is wondering if President Kufuor was speaking of Ghana under his tenure or present day Ghana.

The Following is the Full Statement:-

Government Responds to Former President Kufuor’s Unprovoked Attacks

Government has taken notice of the unprovoked attack on the performance of the President Mills led Government by former President John Agyekum Kufuor. President Kufuor told a gathering of NPP supporters Saturday night that “Corruption is becoming incarnate. We see corruption everywhere.”

Government is wondering if President Kufuor speaks of Ghana under his tenure or present day Ghana. We will like to remind President Kufuor that President Mills since becoming President has not had his private residence renovated under suspicious circumstances. Nobody from the President Mills household has suddenly purchased a multi-million dollar hotel, neither has any child been given a multi-million dollar pre-paid meter contract nor another given a juicy jute sack importation contract in the Cocoa sector all under hazy and controversial circumstances.

We wish to also remind President Kufuor that it is his own associates and former working colleagues like Mr. Kwame Pianim and Hon. P.C. Appiah Ofori who have publicly lamented and condemned the nasty levels and quantum of corruption which he President Kufuor presided over when he was President.

It is also important to emphasize that President Mills’ Party Chairman has not accused him of overseeing the receipt of unexplained cash at the castle and keeping same whiles refusing to give the Party Chairman his “fair share” as we all witnessed in that disgusting episode involving former NPP Party Chairman Mr. Haruna Esseku.

It is still important to emphasize that President Mills has not been in the business of awarding contracts himself without recourse to the Procurement laws of Ghana unlike the now infamous Mr. Craig Murray saga in which the former Chief of Staff Mr. Kwadjo O. Mpiani publicly confessed that he was directed by President Kufuor on humanitarian grounds to give a multi-million dollar energy contract to Mr. Craig Murray, the former Deputy High Commissioner to Ghana.

It is significant to stress that despite the fact that President Mills is centuries apart from President Kufuor’s sordid corruption record which even the opposition including Mr. Kwame Pianim and several others concede to, President Mills has not awarded himself at state expense.

President Kufuor also stated “Since we stepped down the economy has stalled, the rule of law has been put in bracket somehow, and the atmosphere of freedom is now under threat.”

Indeed, what has stalled is the reckless expenditure that took place from 2007 to 2008 culminating in a twin deficit with a budget deficit of more than 15%, huge indebtedness and long years of unpaid salaries. These certainly have stalled given way to fiscal prudence.

It is also obvious that inflation which President Kufuor left at 18.3% is now 9.5%. The Cedi which depreciated by over 23% in the last half of 2008 has been stabilised against all the major currencies and has even appreciated at some point. The Bank of Ghana reserves which stood at 2 billion dollars in 2008 is now in excess of 3.5 billion dollars. Interest rates continue to fall much to the excitement of the business community. Clearly one of the strongest points of this NDC Government is the economy and like many Ghanaians, we are proud of what is happening in this sector.

On the rule of law, we are not quite sure by what President Kufuor means by “the rule of law has been put in bracket” except to state that President Mills will continue to deepen the rule of law.

He will not pack the courts to overturn unfavourable rulings as President Kufuor did in the Tsatsu Tsikata case even to the embarrassment of his colleague Head of States as they pointed out in the APRM report neither will he ignore the cries of the victimized as President Kufuor did when his protégé Mr. Asamoah Boateng showed Mr. Hodary Okine where power lied.

President Mills will also not refuse to act when gruesome murders are perpetrated as in the Yaa Naa and Issa Mobilla cases.

On the atmosphere of Freedom, President Mills will continue with his calm, sincere and humble disposition towards all. He will continue to forgive those who abuse press freedom and rain insults on him. President Mills like many Ghanaians is proud that Ghana ranks number one in Press Freedom in Africa.

Unlike in the case of the Kumasi based mechanic who was arrested and detained for simply saying President Kufuor was travelling too much when Mr. Kufuor was President, President Mills will continue to entrench his believe in tolerance and in a free democratic society based on equity and social justice.

It has been said that those who live in glass house don’t throw stones but if the new strategy of President Kufuor and the NPP is one that ignores this dictum and launches unprovoked attacks on the President Mills led Government then Government will be left with no choice but to reluctantly defend itself.

These unprovoked attacks will however not distract us from delivering on the Better Ghana promise. There are many more schools under trees which we must eliminate, many more pupils are awaiting their free school uniforms and free exercise books, many workers are waiting for the single-spine salary to reflect in their accounts, Ghanaians are awaiting the one-time premium, the housing deficit must be drastically reduced and we must restore dignity and cleanliness in our politics and for these noble objectives we refused to be distracted by such unprovoked attacks.

Samuel OKUDZETO ABLAKWA

DEPUTY MINISTER FOR INFORMATION ACCRA