Kufour Must Come Clean

Posted by Kwansema, Ekua on 2009/02/04 | Views: 12 |

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Kufour Must Come Clean

It has been a little over a week since Ghanaians woke up and received the bombshell concerning the “mother of all” end of service package deals for ex-president Kufour.

It has been a little over a week since Ghanaians woke up and received the bombshell concerning the “mother of all” end of service package deals for ex-president Kufour. I have been shaking my head every single day, telling myself that, if Kufour is a reasonable person who indeed cares about the welfare of the millions of suffering Ghanaians, for once he would prove his skeptics wrong and organize a press conference to request for a review of the package. It is this wrong held view that has prevented me from commenting on this issue all this while. I kept telling myself that I will wait until I hear from Kufour speaking directly to the cameras to request for a review of the package. But every single passing day is turning my dream into a nightmare.

First of all, it does not matter whether the Chinery Hesse committee that was constituted by Kufour to draft his end of service benefit goofed by attempting to rip-off poor Ghanaians with the astronomical deal for the ex-president. It does not also matter whether Kojo Mpianim sneaked the report under the cover of darkness to parliament for approval. Oh yes, it does not matter whether the parliamentarians took the time to thoroughly debate on the merits and demerits of the benefits. To me and to a large extent other millions of Ghanaians, what matters most today is when Kufour would come out of his hideout, hold a national press conference, look through the cameras and inform Ghanaians that he rejects most of the items that were recommended for him.

Certain things have never ceased to amaze me. To me how some people fail to understand what the word shame means, amazes me all the time. I have thought and thought and come to the conclusion that if one person can get so much from Ghana as his end of retirement benefit, then Ghana must be extremely rich. I do not buy the “huhudious” story that was written by Daily Guide and attributed to Kufour. What Kufour needs to do is to come out and openly talk to Ghanaians. The way he is hiding behind the scenes is a clear indication that he is just bidding his time for Ghanaians to stop talking about the issue. It is also another indication that he knows everything about the report from the beginning and likes everything that was recommended for him.

I will want to take issue with just a couple of the items recommended for him. It was reported by Joy FM that the Chinery Hesse committee recommended that Kufour be given $1 million as seed money to establish a foundation. What a nice way to rip-off a country or steal in the name of helping the people. It is okay if Kufour wants to establish a foundation to help the needy in Ghana. But why should the country give him the seed money of $1 million to establish the foundation? If Kufour really wants to help the needy in Ghana, he should rather raise funds from countries and friends he make around the world while globe-trotting. Ghana, I repeat Ghana cannot afford to dole out $1 million to Kufour while most of our medical equipment at hospitals are grounding to a halt.

I have read from multiple Ghanaian writers who have stated that ex-president George Bush will get a life time secret service protection. I beg to differ. In 1994 the U.S. congress passed a law to cut the secret service protection for ex-presidents to only 10 years. Anybody who doubts what I am saying should do further research on this or check the information from this site (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20061218/ai_n16895839). If United States of all countries have even seen the need to cut down on cost on protecting its former presidents, I do not see why Kufour wants to pile on Ghana’s debt.

It is a fact that Kufour has a house in Kumasi. He also has another one in Accra. I do not care if he has more than one house in those big cities. Considering his age, why would Kufour want another house in Accra and possibly another one in Kumasi to be built for him at the expense of Ghana? Someone would say he has kids. Yes, he has kids, just like million other Ghanaians who toil day in and day out to at least eat one square meal before they go to bed. But the argument supporting this rip-off is even laughable. To make ex-presidents willing to hand over power when their term of office expires. This is one stupid argument that should never have come out of anybody’s mouth. This argument would have held a little water if Kufour was a dictator. But why would Kufour even think of not relinquishing power when he has served his two-terms in office?

By asking Ghanaians to build him two houses, Kufour is still day-dreaming about the “Ownership Society” that he blindly propagated throughout his term leading to many of his cronies to rip-off the country. I cannot believe that Kufour trumpeted the Ghana @ 50 celebrations with pomp and confidence, yet he failed to press those who were in charge of the organization to render proper accounts to the state. Such is the mark of Kufour who does not want to go away quietly but wants poor Ghana to bath him in pomp and comfort till he dies.

Kufour was to be given 6 cars including one armored car. It is good for the ex-president to be protected. There are of course some bad people all over the world so as an ex-president you need to feel secure. But if ex-president Rawlings does not have an armored vehicle why should Kufour have one? And I do not think Ghanaians are so crazy to go chasing after an ex-president that is why Kufour needs an armored vehicle so badly before he feels secure to travel around the country. There is a saying that one has to live within his or her means, but this saying does not seem to be the cardinal principle of the NPP, which is why during Kufour’s last two years in office, some organizations were allowed to spend more than seven times their budget. Is it any wonder why the Ghana @ 50 accounts have still not been reconciled since two years the event ended?

My heart simply jumped when I read that Kufour was also to be given $400,000 (4.8 billion cedis) as “pocket money”. My God, why would one person create so much attention to himself by wanting to drag a whole nation to the drain? Ghana has had many leaders, but Kufour is the only leader who traveled almost every month when he was in office. And he made sure that any time he traveled outside the country, he stayed additional days just to make extra money in terms of per diem. Ghanaians would recall that even during one-day state visits, it took Kufour four or five extra days for him to return home. I have never forgotten when Kufour left Ghana on a supposed state visit a day after hundreds of Ghanaians were trampled to death during the Accra Stadium disaster on May 9, 2001. Normally, when presidents are away on state visits and national calamities occur, they return home immediately to console the country, but Kufour who was right inside Ghana when the calamity occurred found a nice excuse to leave the country. Yet, in spite of his many travels and hundreds of thousands of per diem paid to him, he still wants Ghana to part with $400,000 to him. If this is not the extreme form of greed, then I do not know how to coin it.

Now I have this simple advice to Kufour. We know that he served Ghana for 8 years. It was his choice to serve Ghana. Nobody pushed him to do it. He wanted to offer his services to the country. But we never knew that the underlying factor was to turn round after the end of his service to demand so much from Ghana.. There was another “Kweku Ananse” story that during his 8 years as president Kufour lived in his own home. Nobody argues with him for living in his own home, but before he run for president, Kufour knew the nature of the seat of government. But because he hated Rawlings so much to the extent of not wanting to touch anything that Rawlings has touched before, that is why he decided to live in his own home.

Ghana cannot afford to spend so much on Kufour and his family. In the present state of the country coupled with the economic uncertainties throughout the world, we are waiting for Kufour to come out of his hideout and speak about the issue. This issue is never going to go away until he speaks about it. Even some prominent NPP diehards have spoken against this rip-off. I am yet to hear Akufo-Addo’s take on the issue. All what I hear is his preparations for 2012. Kufour has to prove that he is a reasonable person. If he fails to come out, then I will this time round compare him to Ferdinand Marcos, the former Philippino President who raped his country of millions of dollars before he fled into exile.

ekwansema@yahoo.com

Source:
Kwansema, Ekua

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