26 June 2016

Mahama’s ‘I don’t use American cars’ ‘indiscreet’ – Akomea

Nana Akomea, NPP Dir. of CommunicationsPresident Mahama’s comment that he prefers Japanese cars over American automobiles has been described as “indiscreet” by Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Akomea.

Mr Mahama has come in for criticism for his decision to accept the present of a Ford Expedition vehicle from a Burkinabé contractor, Djibril Kanazoe, in October 2012, which is believed to have won him several government contracts subsequently.

Mr Mahama, while addressing clergymen at the seat of government on Thursday June 23 in connection with the gift, said: “I don’t use Ford. I don’t like American cars. I use Japanese cars. Toyota is my car.”

But speaking on Newsfile on Joy FM Saturday June 25, Mr Akomea said the president should have considered the cordiality between Ghana and America before making those pronouncements.

“This business about ‘I don’t even like American cars’ is an indiscreet statement to be made by a president. We are in a certain relationship with the United States, where we are getting so much support from them. Recently we took their unwanted detainees (in reference to the country’s decision to accept to host two Yemeni – Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby – who had been held at the Guantanamo Bay for 14 years without charge). We go and take their unwanted detainees and we go out into public and say we don’t like their technology. It’s an indiscreet statement from the president.”

To him, the gift was a “bribe” and the president only made a flat effort to explain away his action, made more egregious by the breaching of his own code of ethics to his appointees, which stated that they were only to accept gifts which came with no conditions and with their worth not exceeding $50.

“You tell your appointees that to avoid the appearance or creation of an obligation they should not accept gifts in cash or kind from a commercial enterprise or any other organisation and then you go ahead to accept a gift from a commercial organisation,” observed the former Okaikoi South Member of Parliament.

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