THE YOUTH wing of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Young Patriots, on Wednesday released pictures of several luxurious mansions believed to be owned by key personalities in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Released at a press conference in Accra to expose what they claim is the NDC’s abuse of incumbency, the group alleged the party and government officials had acquired superfluous properties estimated to cost several hundreds of thousands of Ghana cedis apiece.
According Richard Nyamah, John Kumah, Hopeson Adorye, Fred Amankwah Sarfo and Yaw Adomako Baafi- conveners of the Young Patriots who released the pictures, the properties are owned by key personalities in the NDC including President Mahama himself, Johnson Asiedu Nketsiah, NDC General Secretary, Bernard Allotey Jacobs, Central Regional Communications Director, Felix Ofosu-Kwakye, a member of government’s communications team and Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, Mayor of Accra.
The attention-grabbing properties occupy prime locations in Accra and other parts of the country. The properties are believed to have been constructed in record-time within the almost four-year tenure of the NDC. Some of the mansions are said to have sprung up in less than seven months. The tastefully constructed edifices consist of either single-storied or two-story mansions befitting Arabian kings.
“The President himself, in the name of probity and accountability needs to explain to the Ghanaian people how they managed to put up these mansions in the last four years,” the Young Patriots charged
“We will be very grateful if the President can answer himself and also direct the others to answer to him and the people of Ghana as to how they put up these mansions in the last four years,” it said.“The integrity of the President is at stake and the earlier he finds the moral courage to answer to these, the better for his image and the image of the government.”
The group linked the alleged arbitrary spending of the NDC to the mounting public debts of the country.
Official figures show that in 2008, public debt peaked at GH¢9.1bn, but when the NDC took over power, the rate of the debt escalated considerably and by July 2012, the figure had ballooned to over GH¢28 billion, accumulating over GH¢18bn in less than four years.
In terms of expenditure, between 2001 and 2008, total government expenditure was GH¢35bn but again, when the NDC took over the reins of power, public expenditure between 2009 and 2012 has shot up to GH¢45bn.
“The question is what has Ghana got to show for this? Collapsed NHIS, collapsed school feeding, caput capitation grant, and a youth employment programme which can no longer pay its workers and this is in an oil economy,” stated the pro-NPP group.
“Whilst state institutions and structures are collapsing under the weight of no funds, the NDC party, its foot soldiers and members of government are bloating up,” they noted.
“On the matter of abuse of incumbency there has been a deliberate policy to cripple every social intervention scheme introduced by President Kufour and diverting the funds into party and private pockets. It is the aim of the NDC to impoverish Ghanaians so they can turn round and give us hand outs so we can be grateful and vote for them,” stated the Young Patriots.
According to the group, the alleged lavish lifestyle of the NDC is a threat to peace and might undermine the ideals of the peace pact that was signed on Tuesday by all the aspiring presidential candidates in Kumasi.
Source: Raphael Ofori-Adeniran/D-G
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