Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, and thank you for honoring our invitation at this short notice.
We notice with deep regret the malicious efforts being made by some assembly members intended to impugn the integrity and hard won reputation of the Mayor and the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly as a whole.
We wish to state unequivocally, that the allegations being leveled against the Mayor are fabricated, baseless, unfounded and have no merit whatsoever. These bogus allegations do not merit any dignified response. However, for the sake of clarity, and in order to safeguard the hard-won reputation of the Hon mayor of Kumasi, which some disgruntled individuals are bent on tarnishing for no apparent reason, it is important to set the record straight.
First and foremost, our colleague Assembly members allege that the Kejetia terminal is being managed by the Mayor without due recourse to law. We the concerned Assembly members of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly cannot fathom how on earth these colleagues of ours who are also members of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, are oblivious of the issues surrounding the management of the Kejetia Lorry Terminal.
Being obviously up to some mischief, these individuals have forgotten that until the determination of the impending court suit filed by FREKO FD LTD against the Assembly over the management of the lorry terminal, the mayor reserves the right to appoint an interim management team to oversee the management of the terminal, which he has duly done.
Besides, the concerns raised over the existence of a purported World Bank contract with the Assembly over the management of the terminal are completely false. There is no such provision in the Assembly’s contract with the World Bank compelling the Assembly to engage a private entity to manage the Kejetia terminal at all times.
Secondly, the Hon. Assembly members allege impropriety over the management of revenues accruing from the Kejetia terminal. They claim that revenue figures have fallen from 12,000 Ghana Cedis to 9,000 Ghana cedis due to mismanagement. What these individuals have forgotten is the fact that the Assembly generated an average of 12,000 Ghana Cedis from the terminal at the peak periods of last year (November to December, 2013) at which time the Kejetia terminal was a busy hub of economic activity towards the Christmas festivities
However, after the festive period, revenues accruing from the terminal began to drop, which is an expected occurrence. Besides, the decongestion of the terminal by relocating the three northern region stations to Suame Hill Top terminal and Western Regions stations to the Abinkyi market has contributed to the dwindling fortunes of revenues accruing from the terminal.
At this juncture, we would like to state that instead of churning out these wild allegations, our Hon colleagues could have utilized several avenues to access information regarding the management of revenues by the KMA. Our Hon. Assembly members could have contacted the Metro Coordinating Director, Metro Finance Officer or even raise queries on the floor of the Assembly for answers to their questions if their motivations were genuine.
Ladies and gentlemen of the ink fraternity, On the issue of the Adehyeman lands, we wish to state unequivocally that per the court ruling of 2012, the contentious piece of land at Adehyeman was vested in the custody of KMA, and hence as Mayor and the custodian of all Assembly properties, the Hon. Mayor could not have sat down unconcerned for some private individuals to eject and destroy the properties of about 300 hardworking traders who are engaged in legitimate business under the supervision of the assembly.
This explains why the mayor held a press conference to address this issue and subsequently ordered lawyers of the Assembly to file a rejoinder to the case. Therefore contrary to the claim that the mayor has brought the Assembly into disrepute by his actions in this matter, we are of opinion that the Hon mayor has rather taken the right steps to safeguard the interest of the people of Kumasi.
We wish to register our disappointment at the seeming complicity of some Assembly members who have chosen to support certain families and individuals falsely claiming ownership to this plot of land that is duly owned by the KMA. One would have expected elected assembly members as representatives of the people to co-operate with the mayor in his efforts to develop Kumasi, and not to team up with certain individuals whose agenda is to thwart the development efforts of the Assembly and the mayor for that matter.
Friends of the media, it is very important to make this point forcefully, that as concerned Assembly members, our aim is not to put up a defense for the mayor necessarily, but we seek to lay the facts bare, in order to prevent this flagrant attempt to throw dust into the eyes of the public and drag the Assembly in the mud. The development of a playground opposite Golden Tulip Hotel, Kumasi City which is alleged to be happening at the blind side of the Assembly is a classical point of this indecent haste by these elements to expose the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly to ridicule in the eyes of the public.
We wish to state in unambiguous terms that the said project has received the approval of the Executive Committee which represents one-third of the members of the Assembly and has been duly captured in the action plan and budget for this year, both of which have been approved by the General Assembly. Hence the allegation that the project is being carried out without due approval can only be described as a malicious attempt by these individuals who are doing the bidding of their unknown pay masters, to forestall the development efforts of the Assembly.
Ladies and gentlemen, our Hon colleagues have also made damning and spurious allegations regarding the sale of the piece of land opposite the K.M.A main office to a Korean Firm and the sale of precast lands at Asokwa. We wish to state that there is no evidence whatsoever to substantiate the allegation that the aforementioned lands were sold by the current administration of Hon. Kojo Bonsu, no wonder our colleagues have woefully failed to back these claims with any shred of evidence. Instead, our checks have shown that all transactions involving the said parcel of lands predates the assumption of office of the Hon. Mayor, hence he cannot be faulted for any wrong-doing in these matters.
In a nutshell, we have no doubt in our minds that we have adequately and critically responded to all the above-mentioned allegations contained in the release issued by our Hon. Colleagues. We however cannot hide our disappointment at the dogged determination of our Hon. Colleagues who have chosen to go to town with absolutely unfounded and half-witted allegations, which to all intents and purposes are a deliberate attempt to score mischief to denigrate the Kumasi mayor and the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly for that matter. We however welcome the efforts by the Hon. Mayor to seek adequate redress to these issues in the law court.