President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor and John Dramani Mahama
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is set to host all former presidents today in what many have hailed as a positive step for the country’s forward march.
The meeting with the former leaders – Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor and John Dramani Mahama – is expected to dwell on the state of the nation, particularly steps being taken by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to improve the living standards of the people.
They are supposed to look at the economy, security and other socio-political issues that breed tension in the country and government’s intervention. President Akufo-Addo is also expected to tap from the rich experiences of his predecessors. It’s a novelty in the governance of Nana Akufo-Addo.
Retrieval Of Stolen Vehicles
One of the issues likely to come on at the meeting is about the retrieval of stolen government cars.
Former President Mahama has not been happy with the way the taskforce formed by the NPP government to retrieve missing vehicles from former appointees has been operating and recently described its operations as thuggery when he met his former appointees.
He said he was going to tell President Akufo-Addo in the face that the taskforce could not go on the way it was doing and appeared to blame him (President Akufo-Addo) for not cracking the whip.
“You can’t look for vehicles in a more civilized manner than having shock troops going into people’s houses, breaking down their gates and say you are looking for vehicles. You can’t go to DVLA and look through the database and find out what kind of government vehicle there is, then what kind of efficiency do we have in government?” he complained.
“Just this morning I hear Agyekum’s house was raided, Agyenim Boateng, everybody and they would always come back and apologize because those vehicles don’t belong to the state,” he claimed.
“And so the government is telling me they can’t find a more efficient manner in looking for vehicles than forming storm troops to raid people’s houses? I think that it is wrong. I am going to have the opportunity to tell Nana Addo (President Akufo-Addo) that it is wrong. I’ll tell him he should stop this. Fortunately, he is meeting ex-presidents and I’m going to tell him. This thuggery is not good for our country.
“The point is, we thought we had had a good transition but it sets examples that make it difficult in future when there is another transition for another government to be able to restrain party supporters because all these thuggery, removing people from offices, beating them and things are unfortunate. And so we must say it in the strongest terms. If they heed it that’s fine, if they don’t it’s a learning curve for our country.”
Strangely, Mahama himself had outlawed the sale of state vehicles to appointees only to vacate the ban after he had lost the 2016 election, opening the floodgate for all manner of people to purchase state vehicles at ridiculous prices as parting gifts.
In the heat of the political power switch, Chairman of the Executive Sub-committee of the NPP’s Transitional Team, Joseph Ayikoi Otoo, revealed that 234 government vehicles out of about 700 could not be accounted for.
“We’ve been able to identify 67 government vehicles not listed but we were able to identify them…that came to 67. We still have 234 vehicles that cannot be accounted for. So the figure that came from Mr Ayew’s Office that it is over 200 is correct and if they want me as the Chairman to confirm, I’m confirming, I’m saying that the figure is over 200. If you take away the 67 that we ourselves identified out of the 301, the missing vehicles will be 234, and they are yet to be accounted for and this is from the list that they themselves supplied from the office of the President,” Ayikoi Otoo said in the heat of the confusion.
In February, the NPP government set up a task force to retrieve state assets that are unlawfully in possession of individuals.
By William Yaw Owusu