General News of Friday, 20 January 2017
Former Deputy Education Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, was ‘humbled’ by Senior Minister designate, Yaw Osafo Marfo when he attempted to question the nominee about some ‘scandals’ that happened during his time as Finance Minister.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu in the Volta Region taking his time at the committee to ‘grill’ the Minister sought to refer to some scandals that according to him occurred when the nominee was Finance Minister in the erstwhile Kufour administration.
Waving a photocopy from the Daily Dispatch newspaper, the MP sought to know about controversies that occured during during his time as Minister – the CNTCI loan which never materialized and the Atlas production controversy which occurred when the nominee was Education and Sports minister.
Chairman of the vetting committee, Joe Osei Owusu however interrupted and wanted the ‘newspaper evidence’ to be tendered in.
But Majority Leader, Osei-Kyei Mensah Bonsu didn’t believe a photocopy evidence was enough for admission. He however urged the chairman to allow the questions as the Yaw Osafo Marfo was ready to answer them.
“I think you were too young at the time to understand the issue,” he responded leading the audience to burst into uncontrollable laughter.
The shock on the face of the former Minister, who has been described as ‘one of the babies with sharp teeth’ commjnicated that he was unimpressed with the answer.
Vetting Committee Chairman, Joe Osei-Owusu was not impressed either and hence stopped the nominee from continuing with the answer.
Nominee Yaw Osafo Marfo withdrew and apologised for his ‘cheeky’ answer to the MP who in the past is noted for asking questions based on the CVs presented by nominees.
He proceeded further with the answer to the substantive question by the MP.
“There was a press conference to address all these things when they surfaced,” he said wondering why the MP did not produce the press statement that dealt with the matter.
Yaw Osafo Marfo further explained the Atlas production.
“Macmillan was chosen over Longman because it did 68% of atlas production that was why Macmillan was sole-sourced to produce the atlas. The article in the Daily Dispatch was mischievous,” he said.
The books, he continued were not even produced after he found out some underhand moves to frustrate him so he did not even go ahead with the deal.
According to him, the controversy as an attempt to ‘demonise’ him over frivolities.
After this, the MP did not continue with questions on the controversies diverting his attention to his ‘familiar path’, the Curriculum Vitae of the nominee.
“The CV does not state what the nominee has been doing for the past seven years. Why?,” he asked.
“I have been working with the World Bank to help with economies in East Africa. He has also been to Liberia on World Bank assignment to help with that country’s budget. I am a farmer as well so I spend a lot of time on my farm,” Osafo Marfo answered.