The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has expressed disappointment at the careful attempt made by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), in avoiding to address issues at the heart of the matter in the sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz and rather concentrated on issues at the periphery at its press conference last Thursday.
He explained that the main reason why the leadership of the NDC got interested in this debate was whether there had been any conflict of interest on the part of President Mahama, President Mills or any other NDC government official in the granting, disbursement or recovery effort of Merchant Bank of any loan to Engineers and Planners or any of the other leading loan defaulters.
‘’However, when Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Minority leader, addressed the press conference held by the Minority NPP Caucus in Parliament on Thursday January 9, 2014, and after reading the full statement, I became very disappointed because of the careful attempt made by the NPP to avoid any of the issues I raised which go to the heart of the matter and rather concentrated on issues at the periphery,’’ Mr Nketia declared.
These were contained in a statement issued by the General Secretary of the NDC in reaction to the Minority’s press conference.
According to the statement, the leadership of the NDC was not surprised because that had always been the strategy of the NPP. “When you cannot stand the logic of the argument, attack the personalities involved; if the subject of the debate is not convenient to our interest, let us divert the attention of the nation to something else.”
The statement said the NPP failed to take up the challenge thrown at them when “I invited anyone of them who had any credible information to contradict the positions that had been canvassed about the sale of the Merchant Bank during my interview on ASEMPA FM’S “EKOSII SEN” programmme on Wednesday, January 8, to make same public so that we could engage in a constructive debate over the issues at stake.”
The statement noted that the whole purpose of the Minority NPP’s press conference last Thursday, was to deliberately attack the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Doe Adjaho, so that the focus of the debate would shift to whether or not the perpetrators should be hauled to the Privileges Committee of Parliament.
‘’Let them be told that I am not going to fall for that bait. I will leave honourable members of the august house to deal with the issues of discipline in their own time,’’ the statement stressed.
According to the statement, “since we cannot be dealing with the symptoms of the disease without bothering about the cause, the first question that comes up is, how did Merchant Bank get to its current predicament?’’
The statement asked whether it was in the best interest of the workers of Ghana and the nation at large for SSNIT not to do anything about the bank so that the bank would collapse.
The statement further asked the Minority to provide constructive criticism if there was a better way of dealing with the bank than that which was contained in the Fortiz deal and whether there were representatives of workers (contributors of SSNIT) involved in all the board decisions of SSNIT on the Merchant Bank issue.
The statement concluded that the good people of Ghana eagerly awaited for answers to those questions so as to put the Merchant Bank issue at rest.
Source: Daily Graphic/Ghana
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