Mahama in Deep Waters?


“It is a 46.4- kilometre stretch of the Eastern Corridor Road that has been worked on, and if you take a look at the quality of the road, you can only admire the good work done. I don’t think that there is any other road in Ghana that is more pleasant to the eye, than this one. The road will bring immense benefits to the people of this area.”

–President John Mahama, on the Dodo-Pepesu Road. (See the DAILY GUIDE, Friday, June 24, 2016. P.2).

mahama4If President John Dramani Mahama does not consider himself the most ashamed and most disgraced person in Ghana today, I do not know who else must wear the accolade. In an attempt to score cheap political points, he hastily inaugurated a portion of a road whose serious technical defects he knew nothing of.

He poured fulsome and unstinted praise on the contractors, Messrs Umarou Kanazoe Construction Limited of Burkina Faso, and his bosom friend, Mr. Jibril Kanazoe, the owner of the company, the same person who, out of eternal gratitude, returned favours by buying a 2010 Ford Expedition vehicle for him (President Mahama).

He waxed rhapsodic, as he called on Ghanaian contractors to emulate that civil engineering genius from Burkina Faso, because, to him, the road was one of the best he had seen so far in the country.

Hear the President: “I also want to take the opportunity to thank Messrs Oumaru Kanazoe Construction Limited of Bukina Faso for the very high quality of work they have done on this stretch of road.”

He concluded, thus: “As I have said, perhaps, this is one of the best quality roads in Ghana today, and I will urge the Minister of Roads and Highways to bring other contractors to come and see, so that they can emulate it in other parts of the country.”

Some two months after the President inaugurated that road, media reports paint a totally different picture from what he presented to us.

It is the picture of shoddiness at its worst. It is the picture of conmanship at its worst. How can President Mahama insult Ghanaian contractors by asking them to emulate the example of a foreigner who had eyes, more on his fraudulently earned money, than the safety of Ghanaians who were going to use the road?

Some of us were under the impression that this was an asphalted road. Now somebody called Eric Addo, said to be a representative of the consultants, Louis Berger/Transtech Consults, tells a different story.

According to Mr. Addo, who is also said to be acting as the Resident Engineer, the road was initially to be asphalted, but the grant provided by the European Union was inadequate, so the government and the EU agreed to have the normal two-layer surface dressing type (the use of loose chippings and bitumen) in the interim.

I am sure this fairy tale; this cock-and-bull explanation; this annoying rationalisation, would be described by Africanus Owusu Ansah as “CHEAP, MEAN, CRASS, THOUGHTLESS, VULGAR and HEARTLESS”, as it seeks to exculpate that Burkinabe contractor.

So, Mr. Addo is reportedly telling us that Jibril Kanazoe, the contractor, was not given all the money he needed, hence the criminal job he executed? So was that a bitumen-surfaced road whose picture we saw behind President Mahama, as he waxed lyrical when inaugurating it?

This Burkinabe man, Jibril Kanazoe, was going to be given another contract on the Wa-Hamile Road. The way the Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr. Inusa Fuseini, spoke about this contractor, you could be forgiven for thinking that he constructed the Via Appia Antica Roma (the Appian Way) in Ancient Rome.

The Minister and his President thought that no other contractor in any part of the world could match in Kanazoe civil engineering expertise. Now, as our Nigerian brothers say, the wind has blown and the anus of the fowl has been exposed.

Yes, we are so stupid that a young Burkinabe contractor did a shoddy job, took our money, and left us a quickly-deteriorating, accident-prone apology of a road, and got the praise of a deluded President into the bargain. And the President’s Roads and Highways Minister joined the chorus!

I have been waiting to hear what the squealers (remember Animal Farm?), the lackeys, the side-kicks, the minions, and the gaping sycophants would say in President Mahama’s defence.

President Mahama really put his foot in his mouth, when he announced to the whole world that he does not like Ford vehicles or American vehicles in general. His preference is Japanese cars, especially, Toyota.

I sincerely hope somebody summoned enough courage to tell him what a serious diplomatic blunder he committed. Oh, so, the next time Washington invites him, he will take along his Japanese Toyota, will he? Oh, President Mahama, why?

Was that his defence against the accusation that contrary to the provisions of the 1992 Constitution, and his own Code of Conduct, he had received a “gift” or a “bribe” in the form of a Ford Expedition vehicle from his bosom friend, Jibril Kanazoe, the same man who built a road so pleasing to the eyes?

President Mahama stood in Parliament and boastfully assured us that while his predecessors merely “managed” the energy problem, he would “fix” it. He had a wizard of a Minister, who was an energy expert, able, ready and willing to wave away the problem (nay, a challenge) with a magic wand.

Today, President Mahama’s fixing of the energy challenge has left us with an annoyingly uncertain and intermittent power supply, unconscionably high, difficult-to-pay bills, falsehoods and implacable anger.

President Mahama boasts of being a better anti-corruption fighter than any of his predecessors. Yet, Mr. Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, one of his best friends, who even sees him as a brother, has drawn attention to what he describes as “the selectivity” in his (President Mahama’s) approach to fighting corruption.

He seems to be so hamstrung and emasculated by such a terrifying, blackmailing stranglehold, that he is simply unable to move against certain persons whose conducts clearly demand sanctions.

While this country has been hit by unemployment, serious deprivations, high cost of living, and a low standard of living, President Mahama wastes resources on a politically-cheap, but highly expensive electoral campaign, disguised as a so-called Accounting -To-The- People Tour.

Allah help us.

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