Mahama Cars Are Bribes – Bishop

Rt. Rev. Stephen Richard Bosomtwe-Ayensu
President John Dramani Mahama’s Wednesday presentation of 13 new vehicles to the members of the National House of Chiefs has attracted various interpretations, with an accusation that the gesture was an attempt to bribe the chiefs.

According to Dr. Richard Amoako Baah, Head of Political Science Studies Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), the President was attempting to bribe the chiefs with the donation of the four-wheel drive pick-ups to the traditional rulers.

Dr. Amoako Baah
Dr. Amoako Baah said the President’s gift ‘appears to be a bribe.’

According to the Political Science lecturer, as the nation struggles to cope with myriad difficulties, the donation of 13 pick-ups was a misplaced priority,’ asserting that it was meant to influence the chiefs.

‘I’m sure the chiefs will tell you in private that they don’t need the pick-ups at this time when the country is struggling to cope with difficulties in the management of the economy and resources,’ he told Hello FM, a Kumasi-based radio station yesterday.

Corruptible Gift
The Methodist Bishop of Obuasi Diocese, Rt. Rev. Stephen Richard Bosomtwe-Ayensu, also shared the view of the university don saying, ‘The vehicles, coming at the time when there is untold hardship in the country, could not be anything but ‘corruptible gift.”

In his view, ‘It is inconceivable for a government struggling to manage the country’s resources to use huge sums of money to buy vehicles for traditional rulers in the wake of energy crisis and abject poverty.’

President Mahama on Wednesday presented 13 pick-ups to the National House of Chiefs to be distributed to the 10 Regional Houses of Chiefs and the Chieftaincy Secretariat to help the traditional rulers in their work.

He had earlier in 2012 – just before the December 7 elections – donated 12 Toyota Land Cruisers to the chiefs.

Less than two years down the line, the President has again made 13 cars available to the same chiefs, making some people suspect that he was bribing them to keep quiet in the face of the hardships.

President Mahama said the donation underscored the commitment of his government in assisting the chieftaincy institution to play leading roles in the promotion of peace and development in the country.

But the Methodist Bishop believed the move was a waste of the country’s resources for political expediency.

He told DAILY GUIDE that the vehicles had the tendency to corrupt the traditional rulers and eventually make them ‘government’s errand boys.’

Rev. Bosomtwe-Ayensu said the timing of the donation was wrong and that government ought to have waited to ‘take the nation out of the present economic challenges before buying such expensive vehicles for our chiefs.’

The Bishop asked the chiefs to return the 13 vehicles for the sake of patriotism.

He expressed worry over the hardship that the citizenry are going through, insisting that the chiefs should have told the President to invest the money used to buy the vehicles in water or road projects.

The Methodist Bishop said most of the roads in the country are in deplorable state and that a section of the populace does not have access to potable drinking water.

He said if the President had not recognised the plight of the people, he (Bishop) expected the chiefs, who live closely with the grassroots people, to draw the President’s attention to it.

Bishop Ayensu said the numerous demonstrations being witnessed across the length and breadth of the country is a clear indication that things are very rough for the ordinary Ghanaian.

From Ernest Kofi Adu & I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi ( [email protected] )

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