Sunday, 31 May 2015

Who Else Does The NPP Owe Money To - And How Does It Intend To Repay Its Debts?

It is instructive that the national organiser of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. John Boadu, was so uncomfortable when the issue of the indebtedness of the NPP to the Prudential Bank, was being discussed on Peace FM's Kokrokoo morning show, hosted by Nana Yaw Kesse, last Friday.

It was obvious that John Boadu did not want Ghanaians to know about his party's indebtedness to the Prudential Bank - as the sources of their party's funding are a top-secret-matter that the John Boadus would rather ordinary people did not take an interest in.

Clearly, if instead of giving blind support to political parties, ordinary Ghanaians took more of an interest in precisely how political parties are funded, perhaps it would eventually help rid our homeland Ghana of high-level corruption.

The opaqueness surrounding the funding of political parties in Ghana is totally unacceptable in this day and age. The Byzantine world of secret party funding is the mother and father of all corruption in Ghana. It is an issue civil society groups like #OccupyGhana ought to take up urgently.

And it is an indictment of the Ghanaian media - a large section of which,  instead of being society's watchdogs in such matters, act instead as guard-dogs for politicians and political parties - that a major political party can be indebted to a bank without any journalist questioning the propriety of banks lending money to political parties "to pay polling station agents" ( to quote the sly John Boadu). It is an intolerable situation.

(One hopes that a similar situation does not exist in the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) too - which has apparently paid a media consultant GHC100,000: as a result of which sundry groups (including farming associations) are busy making statements in the media backing the bank's management. The question is: precisely how many of those farmers have actually ever been given loans by the ADB? And why is President Mahama's government still reluctant to sack the ADB's current managing director and dissolve its board - for the bank's steady decline over the years, and for asset-stripping the bank, and selling its properties cheaply to themselves? One hopes that the National Democratic Congress is not indebted to the ADB. But I digress.)

It is typical of the politics of our country  that it now turns out that those politicians in the NPP, who made such capital out of the  indebtedness of President Mahama's brother,  Ibrahim Mahama, to the Merchant Bank, themselves belong to a political party that is indebted to the Prudential Bank - with interest on the principal piling up: and the party clearly in no hurry to clear the ballooning debt, because it is confident it will win power in 2016. That is amoral. A political party like that does not deserve to rule Ghana.

What hope is there for our nation when the largest opposition party, which many think will come and change Ghana for the better after the 2016 presidential election, is so casual about its debts to banks?

The question the more responsible sections of the Ghanaian media ought to ask is: who else is the NPP indebted to - and exactly how does it intend to find the money to repay those debts?

The NPP must make sure it repays its debt to the Prudential Bank, as soon as practicable. How can its leaders talk about ruling Ghana more responsibly - when their party refuses to repay its debts to banks?

That is amoral - and hypocritical. What do the Dr. Bawumias have to say about that outrage, one wonders? They must bow their heads in shame for their hypocrisy. Let them come and tell Ghanaians who else the NPP owes money to - and precisely how it intends to repay those debts.

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