Veteran journalist Kweku Baako has reacted to a statement from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) which sought to discredit his claims that former President John Dramani Mahama cut sod for projects when budgetary allocations had not been made for the said projects.
Baako on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, said on Peace FM that the Mahama government and the NDC could not criticize the NPP for cutting sod for projects with months to the elections as the party did the same while in office.
Baako noted that in the construction of the Kumasi International Airport, John Mahama did the sod-cutting at a time when funding had not been secured for the project.
”My checks indicate that that particular sod cutting was needless. It had no real foundation because it’s true Parliamentary approval for that particular loan facility had been effected but there were conditions precedent which were laid out that without that the agreements will not come into force. Some were value for money audit and others were that he should sign the loan agreement before they can proceed with the construction. At the time he cut the sod, the financing agreements had not been signed. Indeed, these things were done in 2018”, Baako said.
The NDC in a sharp rebuttal sought to set the records straight on the circumstance under which the sod-cutting ceremony was held for the project in 2016.
A statement signed by the party’s Director of Communications stated that Baako’s assertions were false.
“The facts show, that even though the preparatory works and funding for the said project (a US$55 million grant from the Japanese government through JICA) was secured by the erstwhile NDC/Mahama government, H.E John Dramani Mahama never cut the sod for the commencement of the project when he was President of the Republic of Ghana between the period of 2013 to January 7, 2017,” the NDC said.
Baako has responded to the NDC statement with further details and evidence to validate his earlier statement.
Describing the statement as ‘flawed’, Baako referenced a number of publications and government documents which proves that at the time of cutting the sod for the Kumasi International Airport, conditions precedent had not been met.
He said as many as four conditions which had to be fulfilled before the sod-cutting was done had been satisfied at the time Mahama led the sod-cutting ceremony in Kumasi.
“The contract for the project isn’t a backyard garden contract. There were seven condition precedent to be fulfilled before this contract will come into full force. There were four conditions precedent that had not been touched at all when John Mahama went cutting the sod”.
“Sammy Gyamfi’s statement that the contractor had finished the first phase and moved to another site to develop the second phase also is not true. It’s false. The contractor who did the first phase is different from the one who did the second phase. The first contractor is PW Ghana Limited. Their contract was from March 7 2013 and they finished September 15, 2015. They were nowhere to be found at the time Mahama was doing the sod cutting. The second phase was for Contractor Construction UK”, Baako said.Source: www.ghanaweb.com