If the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni has any conscience, and is as responsible as he would want Ghanaians to hope, then Thursday November 10, 2011 should go down in his lifetime diary as the darkest spot in his life, if not in his professional carrier. This was the day when the Hon. Minister was invited by our parliament to answer what ideally, should have been simple questions, in relation to compensation paid to beneficiaries of Ghanaians murdered in the Gambia.
It will be recalled that when the NDC was in opposition, they never spared any opportunity to hit at the NPP and its flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo, blaming them for failing to protect the interests of Ghanaian nationals abroad. The Vice-President, John Dramani Mahama, who was then minority spokesperson on foreign affairs, led this campaign by going around bundling all kinds of stories on the matter.
Rationally, when the NDC assumed power in 2009, and it was announced that their government had chalked some success where the NPP had failed, we were all happy. Finally, “justice was going to be served”; the dependants of those who had been murdered were going to be adequately compensated, so that life would go on.
What we did not factor into our celebration was that the compensation to be paid by these Gambians was going into the accounts of some greedy bastards who are fond of drinking exotic, expensive tea, with expensive cutlery, set on expensive dining furniture, mounted on expensive carpets. Worse was the fact that the voodoo expenditure incurred by Mumuni and his boys were all deducted from the monies released by the Gambian government, no a single dime from Ghana.
If there is still any doubt about the record high level of incompetency of the NDC government, then Mumuni’s latest display of irresponsibility and disrespect for the good people of Ghana should ebb those doubts.
For me, Mumuni’s exhibition of arrogance and irresponsibility does not come as a surprise at all. I remember when, he was running mate to Professor Mills in the 2004 elections; the man, after having lied to his family that he was attending a campaign meeting, shunned his colleagues at the meeting place and sneaked to his mistress’s lair for a long night of bonking. It seems the lioness drained the then running mate Mumuni because when he was returning home at dawn he drove his car straight into a ditch, while sleeping at the wheel; and that is what he did this time when he was called to render some accounts: he slept at the wheel! When he was pressed to tell us where he was coming from at that ungodly time, some G. string consultant to Drug Baron Vasquez, Rojo Mettle Nunoo went around town carrying an umbrella, shouting: “I smell an elephant, I smell an elephant”!
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Mumuni was invited to Parliament to answer a question raised by the NPP MP for Jaman South, Hon. Yaw Afful, on how the compensation package released by the Gambian government had been expended. Going by the rich experience Mumuni has, as a lawyer, MP and Minister for Employment and Social Welfare, one would have least expected him to come to Parliament with the calculations that he had under his armpit.
Take a look at what the Minister took to Parliament:
According to Mumuni, a whooping ¢250million was spent on Khebab, Meat Pie, Fanta and Champagne, for NDC big wigs who had gone to mourn with the bereaved. Another ¢179million was spent to purchase red carpets which had to be laid around the displayed caskets, as NDC dignitaries would be filing past the dead. This was supposed to be a sign of respect to big shots of the party who had worked tirelessly to secure the dough for the bereaved families. ¢120million was used to buy some expensive spirits for the consumption of dignitaries of the high table. Bottles of Martini, Red, Black and Blue Label Whisky, White Horse, J&B, Baileys, and others were in abundance. ¢166million was spent on the construction of grave tombs whilst ¢70million was deducted from the money given out by Gambia as Ghana’s contribution to the bereaved family.
Fellow Ghanaians, so of the about¢7.8billion given by the Gambian government as compensation to families of the deceased, a whooping ¢1.3billion was spent on the funeral of 8 people whilst ¢2.7billion was given out as compensation to 27 families. By calculation therefore, a total of about ¢4billion has been spent so far, leaving about ¢3.8billion in the Minister’s accounts.
According to Mumuni, they are expecting more people to come forward sometime in the future to make claims so they are saving the balance for that time. If you ask me, this is a ruthless, disingenuous way by conscienceless crooks to still, steal the small monies being given to some poor families who have lost their bread winners. But who says Mumuni cares? After all, he is a member of the family of greedy bastards.
I am not being harsh; far from that. I am only being candid. Unless Mumuni comes out to apologise to the people of Ghana, unless he comes out to admit that he did not go through the figures before presenting them to parliament, unless he openly admits that he was baffled at the figures he read out to the house, I am sorry I have to accuse him of conniving to steal monies from the family of the dead. This is because one cannot justify the expenditure Mumuni presented to us; one simply cannot. If he is, even in the extreme case, to be given some benefit of the doubt, then at least, he has to be truthful enough to admit that he received some kickback for such an expensive funeral.
Minister Mumuni has demonstrated the gross disrespect the NDC has for Ghanaians. After lying their way to power, Mumuni and his boys are confident that they can lie about anything and get away with it. After all when a government announces to the world that the underlining policy of their communication strategy is “sheep equals cow”, what do you expect?
I take this opportunity to lend my full support to the call by the NDC Propaganda Secretary, Richard Quarshigah, for full scale investigations into this smelly malfeasance, starting with the Minister. I go further by calling on Alhaji Mumuni to resign, or at least proceed on leave and visit his constituency whilst investigations are being conducted into this rot. By his call, Richard has aptly conveyed the message that he is paid to lie about the NPP and its flagbearer, and not to cover-up the thievery of members of his party in government.
As for Minister Mumuni, at a time when prominent Ghanaians are calling for reduction in monies spent on funerals, he deems it economically expedient to preside over the direct opposite. He has disappointed Ghanaians, and one wonders what he will do next if the issue of protecting the interest of Ghanaians abroad comes up again; won’t he think of his pocket first?