General News of Thursday, 23 February 2017
Former president John Mahama has said the Ford Expedition that was given by a Burkinabe contractor as a gift during his term of office, is still in the service of the government of Ghana at the Flagstaff House – seat of the presidency.
The SUV, which Mr Mahama said was never given to him as a personal gift, was reported to have been one of 208 state vehicles that are allegedly missing at the presidency following the exit of the National Democratic Congress.
Speaking to Power FM in South Africa on Thursday, 28 February, Mr Mahama said: “That vehicle still is in the pool of government and even as I handed over to my [successor], that vehicle is in the service of the government of Ghana.
“I was never under any illusion that that vehicle was given to me as a gift, personally, and, so, I never ever considered it as a personal gift and the vehicle continued to serve government under my administration and has been left to the new administration.”
Mr Mahama is in South Africa to deliver the keynote address at the African Leadership Magazine (ALM) Person of the Year 2016 Awards Programme in Johannesburg.
The former president will be speaking on the theme of the Awards Programme: “How can Africa win the progress race?”
The ALM Person of the Year Awards, according to the organisers, is in keeping with a tradition of presenting the positive sides of the African continent, which hardly finds space on the global stage, and celebrating exemplary leadership and individuals who have contributed to shaping the global perception of the African continent.
President Mahama is expected to be decorated with the African Political Leader of the Year Award for his contributions towards deepening and enriching Ghana’s democracy and his towering status as one of Africa’s best.
In the words of the Chairman of the International Advisory board of the ALM Awards, Ambassador Joe Beasley, “it is gratifying to know that Africa still have leaders like you bestriding the political space.”
He also noted that Mr Mahama made a significant contribution to Ghana’s economic growth and development; spearheaded and completed some ambitious projects; went into the elections and respected the wishes of the electorate – a feat uncommon amongst many leaders in the continent.
“Africa has found in you and leaders like you, the perfect Apostles of Good Governance and Democracy, who would help in spreading the gospel to the rest of the continent.”
Mr Mahama is also expected to be presented with the Georgia Congressional Commendation from the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus during the event, according to a statement signed by Joyce Bawah Mogtari, Special Aide to the former President.