‘One man thousand’ Mills needed support from Ministers- Baako

President John Atta Mills at press conference in Accra

Editor in Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper has hailed the performance of President John Mills at his third Editors Forum at the Castle but said the president needed to have enlisted the support from some of his ministers in order to provide detailed response to specific questions asked.

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Malik Kweku Baako Jnr said the “one man thousand coming to face an army of journalist” impression created by Mills was one of the low points in what was otherwise an impressive forum.

That he said, denied some journalists, himself included, the opportunity for the president to provide detailed answers to some specific questions asked.

For instance he was not impressed with Mills’ answers to his questions; answers he said lacked adequate briefing and proper information.

He had sought to find out from the president the history and trajectory of loans secured for the construction of fishing harbours, landing sites, cold stores, and the year in which two boats were procured for the fighting of pair trawling which was outlawed in the country.

His questions he said became necessary because the NDC had named the loan for the fishing harbours, landing sites and cold stores as part of the TOP 50 achievements of the NDC, a project he said started under the New Patriotic Party administration.

The president answered that it was through his personal effort that Ghana secured the loan for the projects, but Kweku Baako insists that is untrue.

On Joy FM’s news analysis programme News File on Saturday the New Crusading Guide Newspaper editor brought a copy of the contract signed between Ghana and China for 99 million dollars for the landing sites and 12 fishing harbours, the contract he said was signed in 2006, way before the president assumed power in 2009.

Whilst the TOP 50 NDC achievements claimed pair trawling was outlawed within the reign of the NDC, trumpeting the purchase of two boats to fight pair trawling on Ghanaian waters, Mr Baako said the facts does not support the claims, neither did the president’s answers.

He said pair trawling was outlawed in November 2008, per a copy of a Parliamentary Hansad he quoted, contrary to the claims by the president and officials who drafted the TOP 50 achievement documents.

On the construction of the boats, Baako noted the Ministries of Fisheries, Agriculture as well as the Ghana Navy agreed with the Chinese government in 2006 for the construction of the two boats. Because of its make and specifications the boats had to take three years to be built and were finally completed in 2009. It can therefore not be passed as a Top 50 achievement by the NDC, he said.

Mr Baako said if the president had come with his minister of Agriculture, perhaps some of these information will be brought to the fore.

He also said the president should have been made to sit, instead of the unnecessary sweating he was made to endure by standing for well over two hours.

There was no need for him (president) to show us he is strong, he observed.

Minister of Communication, Haruna Iddrisu who was also on the show agreed in part, with the concerns raised by Mr Baako.

He was however not prepared to engage in a debate with Mr Baako on the TOP 50 claims except to find solace in the constitutional provisions under the directive principles of state policy.

He quoted Article 35 (7) of the constitution which states: “As far as practicable a government shall continue and execute projects and programmes commenced by the previous government”

He however added that government must be sincere with the issues they claim credit for.

Mr. Kojo Twum Boafo of the NDC who was also on the show accused the NPP of taking credit for some projects begun by the Rawlings led NDC.

He cited the Tetteh Quarshie project which he said was began by the NDC but the credit taken by the NPP.

Joy Online