Alfred Agbsi Woyome has become a well-known name on the lips of many people across the streets and in many households in Ghana over the last two months. My grand mother asked me rhetorically if Mr. Woyome was able to have a sound sleep. I told her he brought this to himself. He bit off more than he can chew. Let us not forget last year, on Citi FM he attacked the integrity of Hon. Kennedy Agyapong and he admonished the security apparatus to arrest Mr. Agyapong. Subsequently, Mr. Agyapong on Adom FM also attacked the integrity of him and quoted portions of the Auditor General’s report to substantiate his points.
This 580 billion old Ghana cedis doled out to Mr. Woyome per the 2010 Auditor General’s report would not have gained the same magnitude in the media if it went through the normal rituals on the Public Account Committee (PAC) in parliament. All other judgment debts should also be scrutinized thoroughly and those found culpable should be made to refund our moneys and if possible appropriate criminal charges should also be preferred against the culprits. A lot have been said on this Woyome saga and I would not want to bore my readers. I will look at the Atta Wayo saga on three cardinal points; Corruption, Governance and Integrity.
Corruption: Woyome, which many people mistakenly pronounce as “Wayome” and its saga thereof has become a cancerous cell in the flesh of the ruling NDC. The colossal amount of moneys doled out to Mr. Woyome, Water Ville Company and other judgment debts captured in the Auditor General’s report and the complexities involved smells of conspiracy and gross corruption.
Last year, December 22, I heard David Annan, a solicitor for Mr. Woyome say on Radio Ghana that the NPP is a looting brigade. And that President Kufuor and his cohorts abrogated Woyome’s contract because it was getting to election 2008. They (NPP) thought Mr. Woyome would use the money in financing the NDC campaign. When asked about the contract Mr. Woyome had with President Kufuor’s administration he resorted to the agreement between the erstwhile government and Water Ville Company. His client, Mr. Woyome on Peace FM’s morning show said categorically he had no contract with President Kufuor’s government. I still cannot understand the negligence and irresponsible manner the government has handed this matter. For the Auditor General he should bow down his head in shame for his unnecessary “busy-body U-turn” press statement.
Governance: The Woyome saga has exposed the bad governance in this current administration. Whilst President Mills requested for a report during his vacation in New York, the deputy Chief of Staff, Alex Segbefia was defending Mr. Woyome on a national radio. Benjamin Akyena Brentuo, a special assistant to the deputy Chief of Staff was also acting as a media liaison officer to Mr. Woyome. Now, President Mills comes back to Ghana from his long trip and has asked the Economic and Organized Crimes Office (EOCO) to institute a fact finding into the Woyome saga. EOCO has also said they are interested in crimes and are not a fact finding body. The deputy Attorney-General, Ebo Barton Oduro also said on Joy FM the state has a bad case hence, they did not enter defense in court to challenge Mr. Woyome. I have catalogued these few events to show how insensitive the government has been with respect to this saga. Mrs. Betty Mould Iddrisu’s resignation has even been long overdue and many appointees connected to these losses of moneys should be fired.
It was pathetic when I heard a group called “Concern Members of the NDC” on various radio stations spew out ignorance. They are either misinformed or/and they deliberately want to be mischievous. They claim President Kufuor, Mr. Yaw Osafo Marfo, Hon. O.B. Amoah and others should be arrested and dragged before EOCO. Are they not aware Mr. Osafo Marfo and the others have gone to court to challenge the jurisdiction of EOCO to interrogate them? Until the court gives it verdict nobody can arrest them. They have also argued the 25 member committee (13 MPs from the majority and 12 MPs from the minority) of the PAC have the exclusive right to interrogate them in connection with the findings of the Auditor General’s report. And the sittings of the PAC would be broadcast on television and radio for the ordinary Ghanaian to know what actually happened.
I think Mr. Martin Amidu has done well by amending the earlier writ. But he should have resigned after releasing his explosive statement on Thursday, January 12 before his sack. As usual because of the incompetence and unnecessary faux-pas by this government, they have given an ambiguous reason in relieving Mr. Amidu of his post. Was it necessary at all? Because of insincerity and dishonesty on the path of government in this Woyome saga, we are told Mr. Amidu was fired because of misconduct in a meeting presided by President Mills. The said meeting was held on Friday, 13 January and later Daily Graphic reported that its sources at the castle told the paper Mr. Amidu pleaded for lenience. This has not been challenged by the presidency so far. On Thursday, 19 January, a statement was released and signed by the Chief of Staff, Mr. Martey Newman that’s says Mr. Amidu has been fired because of misconduct. What confusion!
Indiscipline which the NDC want Ghanaians to see as democracy, lack of coherence and hands off leadership in government is shameful to say the least. An independent investigation should be constituted to bring to light the allegations made by Mr. Amidu. If the former Attorney-General and former running mate to then candidate Mills, Mr. Amidu alleges his life is in danger under the Presidency of Prof. Mills, are the rest of us safe? He should also come out with the name of his former colleague minister who wanted to conceal a gargantuan crime against the state.
Integrity: President Mills’ intergrity has been fractured by this Woyome saga. I am yet to come to terms with what President Mills meant by, he was unaware of the money given to Mr. Woyome. Interestingly, our President says his target is not Mr. Woyome and that he is not about to embarrass the recipients of judgment debts. He is interested in how the liabilities came about. Is it that President Mills is not in charge or/and he is condoning broad daylight corruption? Both sides of the coin are not in the interest of Ghana. Sincerely, I see no reason why Mr. Woyome and Water Ville Company should not be target for a criminal investigation aside the civil matter in court. Mr. President, you have the opportunity to redeem yourself and the government from this Woyome scandal. Ghanaians and the international communities are watching keenly to unfolding events.
And to those defending the indefensible, there is a saying that “If a hooligan isn’t repulsive to you, it’s easy to tell that you are one yourself; admire a robber, and then you may be a crook”
The future of this country belongs to we the youth and if we are endearing this high economic hardship meted to us, why should the tax payers money be given to some few individuals for no work done? The dishonesty that shrouds these colossal amounts of moneys given to selected individuals is heart breaking. And, we the youth especially have the power to send this government to opposition for a more responsible government to reclaim what belongs to us and also to put this country on the right pedestal.
God bless us all.
Solomon Kabu ([email protected]) 0241133727