A group of constituency executives of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has descended on Onua FM presenter, Captain Smart, for impugning corruption and thievery on Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin.
In a statement, the group character-sketched Mr. Smart as an “undisciplined, reckless and disrespectful liar with no regard for “commonsensical facts.”
“We just want Mr. Smart to know that he and his paymasters cannot pull the people’s Speaker down,” the statement which was signed by Amarh Evans, Deputy Organizer for Tema East NDC said.
It is in response to Mr. Smart’s dig-up of portions of the Auditor General’s report for 2,000 or so, in which Hon. Bagbin, who was then Minority leader, had been cited by the Auditor for 66,860,237 old cedis that he is said to have received from the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.
According to the report, the money accumulated in the form of 18.57 million old cedis (about Ghc1.8million) that had been given to a group of women, the Sombo women’s group to fund livelihood projects through the instrumentality of Hon. Bagbin, who was then Minority Leader.
Then there was also the issue of the GPHA releasing three vehicles for Bagbin and fueling it for him to use for an election campaign and when one of the cars was involved in an accident, the GPHA had to pay for the insurance and medical bills of the driver.
Claiming that the amount at the time is the same in value as today, Captain Smart took on Bagbin, lumping him together with politicians who in his estimation been embezzled public funds.
“They have been stealing from us for a long time,” Captain Smart said. To this, the NDC executives said Captain smart, “goofed badly” adding the presenter exhibited, “pure bias stewed in yellow journalism.”
“First and foremost, everybody knows that the value of the cedi is not the same as he claims. 18 million old cedis is just some Ghc1.8million now.
“Secondly, Hon. Bagbin did not ask for the money in his name but for Ghanaian women who were going to use it to improve their livelihoods. Is it Captain Smart’s position that these women never got the money?”
“Thirdly, about the cars donated by the GPHA and the same GPHA having to settle the insurance from the accident and the medical bills, what was Captain Smart expecting, that Bagbin should cater for that? Then what would be the purpose for the insurance already covering the car before GPHA gave it to him for the so-called campaign?”
The group dismissed Captain Smart who vowed that the money will be taken from Bagbin, pointing out that “if a proper journalist like Manasseh Awuni were to have been the one who got such a document, the first thing he would do would be to call Hon. Bagbin for his side of the story.
But without calling Hon. Bagbin for clarification, you go out and insult the Speaker as a thief, are you really normal?”
The group pointed out that the supposed indictment of Bagbin happened in 2002, by the Auditor General, happened 20 years ago and if there were really anything to it, the current Speaker would have been prosecuted.
“It bears reminding that at the time the NPP was in government and Bagbin was the Minority Leader.”The statement reiterated that “Captain Smart and his paymasters have already failed. They are on the same path as Kevin Taylor and Sammy Gyamfi who tried but failed miserably to bring Bagbin down.”
It also reminded us that Bagbin is not an ordinary person, but the most experienced MP in Ghana’s Fourth Republic who has groomed many people, including parliamentarians and a former president.
“It is unfortunate that this is being done to Speaker Bagbin immediately after his election as President or Chair of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in Canada.”
Source: Kojo Kuma, Contributor