By Nsikan Ikpe
President John Mahama is clearly fighting for his political life at the moment with pressure being piled on him from veral fronts ahead of the November presidential polls in Ghana.
One such pressure has to do with a controversial gift of a Ford Expedition car made to him by a Burkinabe contractor.
With just about five months to the scheduled November presidential elections, a lot of the uproar is expectedly, coming from the political opposition.
One such combatant, The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) last week advised President John Dramani Mahama to submit himself to a public enquiry to allow for a full investigation of the issue.
On its part, the CPP youth have presently dragged the embattled President to the Commission on Human and Administrative Justice, CHRAJ even as the media is awash with stories, angles and presentations on the subject.
In his official reaction to the developing story, the Minister of Communications, Dr Edward Kofi Omane Boamah has described as “absolutely false and untenable” claims that President John Dramani Mahama accepted the Ford Expedition vehicle from a Burkinabe contractor.
The vehicle, according to an investigative news report first broadcast on the Accra-based Joy FM on Wednesday, might allegedly have influenced the award of two major contracts to Djibril Kanazoe, the President and Director-General of Groupe Kanazoe.
But in his sharp rebuttal, Dr Omane Boamah stated that the president was not, at any stage in the two contracts, involved in their award.
“The President remains committed to transparency and accountability in governance and has worked over the past years to make that a cornerstone of his administration,” a statement issued by the Minister of Communications said.
Analysts say that of all of the incidents of pressure, the one that may perhaps be most damaging should it be sustained would be the petition before CHRAJ.
Considered to be relatively credible and impartial, the commission had in the past investigated and ruled upon petions involving former President John Kufuor, former minister for roads and transport, Dr Richard Anane and Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka, a former member of parliament for Asawase.
And in a related development, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has officially communicated its decision to not particpate in any debate organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) ahead of the November elections.
In a statement signed by its General Secretary Asiedu Nketia and issued in Accra on Tuesday, the NDC said the decision to boycott the IEA was taken by its functional executive committee.
It ordered all party structures, especially the youth and Women’s wings, to take note of the decision and comply accordingly.
Before this formal notice, the party had previously hinted that it would boycott the presidential debate over what it described as the disrespectful conduct of the IEA.
“IEA cannot disrespect the National Organiser of the party, it cannot disrespect the structures of the party. Let them continue to disrespect themselves and deal with individuals but the NDC is a very disciplined structure and nobody can disrespect us…We will not participate in the IEA debate,” Koku Anyidoho, the NDC deputy general secretary had said in May.
The party subsequently went ahead t0 bycott a meeting organised by the IEA to discuss plans for the debate.
Observers however believe that the real reason behind the boycott would be the severe economic challenges facing Ghana at the moment which the ruling party would really be hard put to provide answers for at the planned forum.
The latest economic challenge for example is the decision of the West Africa Gas Company to halt further gas supplies to Ghana on account of the accumulation of unpaid bills, a move that is very likely to accentuate the West African state’s power troubles.