Gov’t missing cars saga comedy of lies- Ayariga

Member of Parliament for Bawku Central has described as “complete lies” government claims that 276 state vehicles are missing.

Mahama Ayariga said the false claim is only part of the government agenda to make the previous government functionaries look bad.

“All these things about cars are lies. Right from the beginning they are absolute lies,” he rebutted on Joy FM’s news analysis programmes Newsfile Saturday.

He was commenting on the controversial issue about missing cars that seem not to be going away any time soon.

Shortly after winning power, Eugene Arhin who heads the communications department at the presidency publicly stated that some 208 officials vehicles could not be traced.

A former Deputy Chief of Staff released a statement insisting all vehicles, numbering 641 were handed over by the previous administration before leaving office.

However, the total number of vehicles deemed to have been left behind were 37 less than what the Administrator General David Yaro had indicated was the total number of vehicles he audited.

This week, the head of the Assets Committee of the transition team Ayikoi Otoo released a statement claiming 237 vehicles were still not accounted for.

This appeared to have resuscitated the car controversy which found its way on the Newsfile programme Saturday.

Mahama Ayariga, said before the John Mahama government left office, every sector- ministries, agencies and the office of the president presented its list of assets to the incoming government and it could not be the case that functionaries of the previous government stole any cars.

He revealed that as part of the transition arrangement the previous government officials were allowed to buy the saloon cars they were using but if government has changed its mind and does not want to sell them anymore it should tell the former government officials to return the cars for their monies.

Malik Kweku Baako Jnr who was also on the show did not understand why Mahama Ayariga was accusing government of lying.

He quoted transition reports in 2009 in which the then NDC government also complained of missing vehicles.

“Was the NDC also lying then?” he asked.

The New Crusading Guide Editor stated emphatically that a source within the NDC confirmed to him that a total of 271 vehicles were sold to officials of the outgoing John Mahama administration.

Quoting a book written by Prof Sai, the ace journalist said it is time issues about government assets, particularly, state vehicles should be taken off the shoulders of the Chief of Staff.

Prof Sai argued in the book that the Chief of Staff is burdened with so much responsibility he does not need to oversee how state cars should be handled during periods of transition.

He would rather a separate office is created to handle that activity, a suggestion Kweku Baako agrees to.