We must not “lose sight of the need to ensure probity and accountability particularly in government in order to lay a firm foundation for development.” – Hon Abuga Pele then
Minority spokesman for sports on 12th July 2006, after GhanaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s return from the 2006 World Cup.
Mr Abuga Pele was calling for an independent investigation following allegations about the NPP governmentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s financing of 150 serial callers of the then ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to watch the World Cup.
The CPP would like to condemn the NDC governmentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s inappropriate decision to use tax-payers money to sponsor 2600 Ghanaians to go and watch the World Cup in South Africa at a time when the nation is enduring economic hardship.
According to the Minister of Youth and Sports, Ms Akua Sena Dansua who herself stands to benefit from this State largesse, the move is to ensure that as many people as possible make the trip to cheer on the Stars to make a positive impact. As laudable as this motive may be, most Ghanaians have discerned that this is a ruse by the non-performing NDC government to reward their foot-soldiers, just as the NPP had done in 2006.
We are told that the slots would be allocated to parliamentarians, political parties, government officials, the clergy and supporters groups using a Ã¢â‚¬Å“formulaÃ¢â‚¬Â that the NDC appointed planning committee has devised. We are not convinced by this, as it is undoubtedly clear that the bulk of the slots will go to NDC foot-soldiers, so that the involvement of non-NDC affiliates who will form the minority will act as a cover for the NDC.
We recall that this is not the first time the NDC government have made similar claims, and cite Hajj 2009, CHAN 2009 and the African Nations Cup 2010 as examples when scarce tax-payersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ resource were wasted on a select group of NDC officials and supporters when the resources could have been better used to benefit many more Ghanaians.
While the CPP understands that the cost of airfare and accommodation could be covered by philanthropic gestures, this will depend on the benevolence of others and hence not guaranteed. It is more likely than not that in the event that the fundraising target is not met, the responsibility would fall on us the taxpayer. At a time when Ghanaians are suffering from economic hardships exacerbated by the incompetence of this NDC government, this World Cup fanfare project cannot be regarded as a priority to the nation by any stretch of imagination.
If the NDC government wants to do the right thing, then they could for instance, hold a raffle that would be open to ALL Ghanaians with the winners getting subsidized trips to cheer the Stars. Such a raffle could generate more than enough to cover the cost to the taxpayer and make a decent profit that could be invested in the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), our education system or sports facilities across the country.
GhanaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wealth and resources must be of benefit to all Ghanaians and not just a select group of well-connected Ghanaians.
The CPP wishes to encourage the millions of Ghanaian voters who will not benefit from this ill-conceived and exclusive state sponsored fanfare to collectively express their increasing disbelief and anger at these incidents of misplaced priorities at the 2012 general elections and vote for the true party of the people.
CPP International Communications Directorate