President John Mahama has broken his long silence over the accusations of bribery against him following his acceptance of a 2010 Ford Expedition vehicle, meant as a ‘gift’, from a Burkinabe contractor.
Speaking on the matter for the first time since the news broke last week, President Mahama dared his critics accusing him of corruption, to deal with him using the constitution if they deemed it fit.
The President’s comment come barely hours after the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), at a news conference today [Wednesday], demanded that he speaks on the matter.
“If you believe I have indulged in corruption, you have the constitutional means to do what you want to do but when you make baseless rumors and accusations, it won’t win you the presidency,” the President stated firmly.
President Mahama’s remarks follow sustained public criticism over an alleged US$100,000 Ford Expedition car given him as a gift by a Burkinabe contractor which some have argued constitutes a bribe.
Government has since admitted receiving the gift but denied it amounts to corruption or conflict of interest on the part of the President, since the vehicle has been added to the pool of government vehicles.
Addressing residents of Ashiaman as part of his Greater Accra Regional ‘Accounting to the people’ tour, the President hailed Ghanaians as discerning, and said they would see beyond the “baseless rumors” of corruption.
According to him, “The people of Ghana are discerning and I believe that come November 7, they will make their decision.”
President John Dramani Mahama has come under intense public bashing for accepting the car gift worth about US$100,000 from a Burkinabe contractor, allegedly to influence him.
The Burkinabe, Djibril Kanazoe, has admitted giving President Mahama a Ford Expedition vehicle, for which the President called to thank him.
The gift, according to reports, was prior to an attempt by the contractor, to win a bid to execute the Dodo Pepeso-Nkwanta road construction project.
The same contractor had also been contracted to build a wall, at a cost of over half a million dollars, for the Ghana Embassy in Ouagadougou.
Parliament must probe Burkinabe contractor
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has requested for a parliamentary probe into all contracts awarded the Burkinabe contractor.
The NPP’s demands come days after the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) indicated that it will drag President Mahama before the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) over the matter.
A day after the PPP’s threat, CHRAJ indicated that it had initiated steps that could lead to an investigation of President John Mahama, following the receipt of two petitions from the youth league of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and another complainant, a private individual.
The petitions, according to the Commission, made claims of conflict of interest against the President.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana