By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Monday, January 6, 2014
So, Parliament reconvened because of the NPP’s motion over the sale of Merchant Bank?
Folks, I have been monitoring this brouhaha over the sale of Merchant Bank but not framed any prompt on it because it is one of those transactions that has more “dirty politics” driving it than the real “economic” substance that should determine it.
The circumstances surrounding the deal may not really be clear to us, especially considering the fact that too many cooks are involved in the cooking, which has only ended up spoiling the broth. Too much partisan politics has taken over the real issues involved to such an extent that entrenched positions have been taken.
Opponents have ganged up and made so much noise as to suggest that the deal was horrible. The TUC initially supported the deal only to backtrack and indulge in negative politics with it.
The so-called Christian Council or community of clergymen have also jumped into the fray, making so much noise to create the negative impression that will sustain their kind of hidden anti-Mahama agenda.
As for the legal action initiated by Andrew Awuni, it is not worth my bother because it lacks substance—as the Financial Court confirmed. His intention to appeal against that verdict is a mere exercise in futility. He has no locus (not being a contributor to SSNIT). No genuine contributor to SSNIT has taken the matter up either.
Allegations that President Mahama influenced the deal to favour his brother (Ibrahim Mahama) who was indebted to Merchant Bank can easily be dismissed as the machinations of those who have chosen to loathe him for what he is—the President of the country that they have desperately sought but could not get!!
Those in the NPP loudly condemning the deal haven’t told us why they are keen on getting the South African Rand Bank to buy Merchant Bank. They won’t because of how they did things undercover in Kufuor’s era, selling national assets (the telecom industry and others, including the shady petroleum exploration contracts favouring Kufuor’s pals in Anadarko and E.O. Owusu/Kosmos). They have their own skeletons to scare them. The hasty and criminal sale of the GNPC’s drillship is still being investigated.
Thus, when we heard that Parliament was being reconvened to deliberate on an urgent matter without our being told what that matter was, some of us suspected something likely to verge on the sale of Merchant Bank.
And, boy!! Have we not been proved right!!
Apparently, the NPP Minority in Parliament had drafted a motion for Parliament to endorse and cause an investigation to be done into the Merchant Bank transaction. Such characters, pretending to be more patriotic than everybody else!!
But their machinations have been shot down. The Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, has dismissed that motion filed by 80 Minority Members of Parliament demanding an investigation into the controversial sale of Merchant Bank to Equity fund, Fortiz (as reported by Myjoyonline.com).
I doing so, the Speaker said Parliament cannot be seen to be prejudicing a case that is currently before the courts. According to him two legs of the case are already in court with a third being on appeal. He would rather the courts ruled on the matters currently before them.
Led by the Majority Leader, Benjamin Kunbuor, and the Deputy Attorney General Dominic Ayine, MPs for Lawra and Bolga East respectively, the Majority side of Parliament argued that any decision by the House to investigate the Fortiz deal will amount to a usurpation of the powers of the Judiciary.
How could these NPP MPs not have known that fact? And they claim to be lawyers too!!
But the Minority, led by Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu and the former Attorney General Paapa Owusu Ankomah argued that, Parliament as representatives of the people had every right to investigate any matter that is of interest to the public.
The minority members who are unhappy with the verdict are planning to hold a press conference to make their opinions on the verdict known to the public.
I may have my own misgivings about the manner in which this Merchant Bank deal is being done, but I won’t be so naive as to point gossipping fingers at President Mahama and his government just to score cheap political points.
That is why all those blowing this deal out of all reasonable proportions should be guided by precedent.
Is it now that these NPP MPs know the value of investigation into the sale of national assets? Where did they put their thinking caps at the time Kufuor was disposing of Ghana Telecom and other viable state assets?
How about the innumerable happenings all over the country that should have been discussed by Parliament and appropriate measures taken to forestall the plain thievery, murderous lying, and raw swindling of Ghanaians by all manner of people? Have these NPP MPs any conscience left to know that a lot more important issues demand urgent attention?
You see, folks, for as long as this kind of politicking goes on, there is no way our country can be developed. Those who are bent on playing/pandering to the gallery are all over the place, doing things with careless abandon and creating needless tension.
I hope that those with a clean conscience will make their voices of reason prevail.
I shall return…