Home » Features » Opinion » How We Were Robbed: TELLING THE STORY OF THE US$14M VEEP RESIDENCE
Vice President, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur


Iddi Muhayu-Deen writes…

Some people call it indiscretion, others call it misappropriation or corruption, but I call it daylight robbery. It is about time we stopped romanticizing with words when describing acts of thievery perpetuated by our politicians. We must learn to call a spade a spade regardless of who is involved. How on earth can any sane person seek to justify why you and I (the poor taxpayers) should be paying a whopping US$14 million (an equivalence of GH¢64 million) for a residential facility to house our Vice President?

Yes, just house oooo, where he would sleep k3k3. It doesn’t come with an office facility because the Vice President would be operating at the Jubilee House, where his office is located. I tried converting this money to the old currency just so that you would appreciate how humongous it is but I couldn’t. I couldn’t do that because my ‘makola’ as well as scientific calculators could both not contain the several zeros it comes with. The results I get after keying in the figures, is ‘calculator error.’ But that is how much you and I are paying for the sleeping place of one man.

And if you think this can only happen in the realms of phantasmagoria, then I’m sorry to disappoint you. You are not having a wild dream my friend. You are being confronted with a stark reality involving the immediate past NDC government under H.E. John Mahama and the Ghanaian people, who are the taxpayers. If you see the details of this contract document and compare same with say, a physical inspection of the facility in question and you don’t get sick, then I have every reason to doubt if you would ever get sick.

Indeed, when the current Vice President, H.E. Alhaji Bawumia first saw this document, he was completely astounded and I dare say, he went through, arguably, one of the worst nightmares in his life. No wonder he’s had to ask, whether the house was being  made of gold. If His Excellency Dr. Bawumia, as energetic as he is, could not withstand this shock, I can only imagine what would have happened to my 89 year old grandmother in Kete-Krachi, if she was confronted with this reality, considering how she suffers to pay her taxes. If you are a true Ghanaian taxpayer and you tell me this doesn’t make you crazy, then I have every reason to question your love for country.

The most annoying part of this development is that the nation doesn’t even need to put up any house to accommodate our Vice President, because we already have an official vice presidential ‘palace’, where all previous Vice Presidents lived comfortably. The only Vice President in our history who didn’t live there is H.E. Paa Kwesi Amissah Authur, who was denied access to that facility because his boss, H.E. John Mahama deliberately refused to take a cue from all his predecessors upon leaving the office of Vice President.

President John Mahama, unlike any President in the history of Ghana, chose to occupy both the Vice President’s official residence as well as the Flagstaff House in flagrant disregard for our laws, which entitle the President to ONLY ONE official residence. As if this is not bad enough, President Mahama, upon leaving office, also attempted to appropriate this facility (the Veep’s official residence) to himself for life until same was met with strong public outrage and opprobrium which then compelled him to do the honourable thing.

Regrettably, it is this voraciousness on the part of H.E. John Mahama to necessarily grab the Veep’s official residence at all cost that is today, compelling you and I, to pay some US$14 million in the name of putting up another so called residential facility for Vice Presidents. I guess you now see that this new structure wouldn’t have been thought of in the first place, if President Mahama had not sought to forcibly grab what he is NOT entitle to.

Even in awarding this ‘needless contract’, they wouldn’t respect our laws on public procurement. Not only did they FLOUT these relevant laws, but they also surreptitiously INFLATED the cost of the project by over 1000%, experts say. US$14 million for a house? How outrageous! Even the most expensive mansion at almighty TRASSACO, where we have the most expensive buildings in Ghana, does not cost up to $1 million. And here, we are talking about one single house, not even a mansion.

Do you know how much money that is? I’m not surprised that when H.E. Alhaji Dr. Bawumia initially broke this story, they said he was lying and that, he had mischievously exaggerated the cost of the project until they were confronted with the relevant incontrovertible documentary evidence before they admitted his claims. The document also revealed that the ‘looter government’ had already effected some payments of over US$8 million in respect of this needless facility. I doff my hat for Nana Akomea and others for this great service to God and country.

Meanwhile this is a nation where we are struggling to raise some $3.4 million to  start the implementation of free SHS, so that, my younger brothers and sisters in Kete-Krachi [soon to be one of the leading towns in the Volta north or Oti region] and elsewhere can have a bright future. Awwww such social injustice! I’m sorry that I’ve had to shed tears as I put my thought together in this writeup. But unfortunately, my tears and that of many Ghanaians, who have keenly followed this matter do not mean anything to anybody. That is how insensitive we have become. God is watching.

I guess the immediate past NDC government which superintendent over this daylight robbery is probably, untouchable. Ex-president Mahama is also a superman. The NDC is bringing him again to run for president in 2020. So who are we to question his moral judgements under these circumstances? You and I can only have our say and ‘cry our cry’ but ultimately, President Mahama and the NDC would surely have their way. Posterity, they say, is our judge and in posterity, we take solace. The lamentations of a responsible  citizen not a spectator.

Assalamu alaikum

Iddi Muhayu-Deen

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