Mr Razak Kojo Opoku, a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has stated that the calls for the resignation of the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta over the botched Sputnik Vaccine Supply deal were baseless and needless.
He said the agenda of dragging Mr Ofori-Atta into the whole discussion was out of hatred against the person of the Finance Minister, because he is a cousin of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Mr Razak Opoku in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday said, ‘the noise from the NDC elements and the call for the resignation Mr Ofori-Atta, was just an attempt to divert Ghanaians’ attention from the on-going discussion on the Saglemi Housing Project Scandal caused by former President Mahama and the NDC Administration.
He said there were many questions that the NDC needed to answer themselves before requesting the Mr Ofori-Atta to resign, asking whether Dr. Kwabena Duffour resigned as the Finance Minister. when he paid a whopping GHC51.2 million to Mr Alfred Agbesi Woyome under the Mills/Mahama’s Government and Mr Seth Terkper$3 million cash-filled plane to Brazil during the World Cup tournament?
He again asked whether Mr Terkper ever resigned over the alleged payment of GHC3.6million Smarty’s Bus branding saga, the $600million Ameri Power deal, the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneur Development Agency (GYEEDA) and the Savanna Accelerated Development Agency (SADA) scandals under former President Mahama’s Government
Mr Razak Opoku again asked if Mr Terkper ever resigned over Airbus scandal, the alleged payment of $179 million for $64million work under the Saglemi Housing Project and the embezzlement of $114million by NDC official on the same project.
He said it was imperative for the officials,” Members of Parliament and communicators of the opposition to stop the noise, the double standards, political hypocrisy, political blackmail and propaganda against Mr Ofori-Atta and family members of President Akufo-Addo.
“Mr Ofori-Atta shall not resign today, tomorrow or in the future over the procurement of Sputnik Vaccine by the Minister of Health”.
He said since Sheikh Al Maktoum had agreed to refund the money for the vaccines, ‘what was the basis for calling for the resignation of Mr Ofori-Atta if not for sheer hatred, political blackmail and propaganda against his person by NDC members.
“It is also needless to attack the Health Minister more especially, considering the difficult situation the Country was going through during the peak of the COVID-19 cases. Clearly, any rational and emotionally intelligent person who cherishes lives of human beings over money would do everything humanly possible to save the lives of his people at the expense of money and procurement procedures, and that is exactly what the Health Minister did as a compassionate reasonable human being who cherishes saving lives of human beings than protecting money”.
Mr Razak Opoku added that Section 18 of the Public Financial Management Act 2016 (Act 921) passed by former President Mahama’s administration, the Health Minister did no wrong in the procurement of the vaccines considering the critical situation at the time.
He said: “Section 18 of the Public Financial Management Act 921 states that, a fiscal target or rule provided for in the fiscal strategy document may be suspended where there is any event of a natural disaster, public health epidemic or war. In this instance, the COVID-19 clearly falls under the Section 18 of the Public Financial Management Act 921”.
Mr Razak Opoku however called on Ghanaians to appreciate the fact that, the best decisions taken by President Akufo-Addo and his Finance and Health Ministers counted Ghana as one of the best managers of COVID-19 globally.
“If Sammy Gyamfi, Mr Clement Apaak, the Minority and then Majority in Parliament under the Mills/Mahama’s Administration could not call for the resignation of Mr Terkper and Dr. Duffour over Woyome, GYEEDA, SADA, Ameri, Airbus, Smartty’s Bus Branding, Brazil World Cup and Saglemi Housing Project Scandals then certainly, the NDC have absolutely no basis and justification to call for the resignation of Mr Ofori-Atta over the refunded $2 million which was meant for the procurement of the Sputnik Vaccine with the sole intention of saving the lives of Ghanaians from COVID-19 pandemic”.
He said it was equally important to point out that, it was absolutely childish to compare the procurement breaches of Charlotte Osei to that of the Health Minister who was under enormous psychological pressure and stress to save the lives of Ghanaians from the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“The procurement breaches of the Health Minister was meant to save the precious lives of Ghanaians as a responsible Citizen. What lives did Charlotte Osei’s procurement breaches save”? The NDC people need to be serious thinkers with compassionate hearts for human lives. Protecting human lives from COVID-19 is more important than procedural errors in procurement.
“Mr Ofori-Atta has done absolutely nothing wrong to warrant resignation. The calls therefore for his resignation is needles, baseless and without any form of merit”.