The Publisher of the Daily Searchlight, Mr. Kenneth Agyei Kuranchie, has described recent threats emanating from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and directed at the Minister for Special Development as amounting to retarded, empty statements.
He has said that a party with the resources of the NDC could have done much better than vising the site of just one dam construction to come to the conclusion that a crime has been committed.
“Dams are constructed to store water, when water is available to be stored and all the conditions, such as ground conditions, and others facilitate the storage of water. To go to a dam site and claim financial loss because no water is present is illiterate, childish and juvenile. The NDC can do better,” Mr. Kuranchie said.
Mr. Kuranchie was reacting to a press conference by the NDC at a dam site yesterday, where they party claimed that a future government of the NDC will prosecute Mavis Hawa Koomson, the Minister of Special Development Initiatives, for causing financial loss to the state. According to the NDC as far as the one village-one dam (1V1D) programme is concerned, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has failed therefore the NDC would prosecute people for causing financial loss.
The NDC made the threats at a press conference organised at the site of a dried-up dam at Nakpachie in the Northern Region, which is just one of dozens of dams constructed by the Ministry of Special Initiatives. The Communication Director of the NDC, Mr Sammy Gyamfi, said: “The much-touted one village-one dam programme of the government has failed to achieve its intended purpose of driving all-year agriculture in northern Ghana”.
“You’ve heard Bawumia brag about one village-one dam; you’ve heard President Akufo-Addo himself, shamelessly, brag about having constructed dams in northern Ghana. What you see here today, this structure, this excavated area, which doesn’t even have a drop of water, not even a teaspoon of water, is what this government has been bragging about.
“That should let you know how dishonest, how deceptive, and wicked this government is”, Mr Gyamfi told journalists.
Reacting, Mr. Kuranchie said that just because there is no water in that particular dam does not mean that the construction does not meet technical and other specifications.
“As a lawyer, Mr. Gyamfi should know that proving the charge of causing financial loss is a charge that must be proved beyond doubt. He should not go about bandying such threats on the flimsy conclusion that there is no water,” he said.
Mr. Kuranchie said that Mr. Gyamfi knows that you cannot base a general conclusion on a single sample.
“How many such dams did Mr. Gyamfi and his crew visit to jump to the conclusion that the entire 1 village 1 dam (1V1D) program did not meet specification? He is better trained than that,” Mr. Kuranchie said.
According to him, the “shoddy” job done by the government, is a total waste of taxpayers’ money.
Mr. Kuranchie marveled that a representative of a political party that believes in a contrary development paradigm to the ruling party would make threats of prosecuting people just because their government would employ different methods.
“Mr. Gyamfi says that if his government were in power, they would employ JICA to construct the dams at a cost of GHS2.5 million per dam. He therefore finds fault with the NPP government for constructing dams at a much lower cost of GHS256, 000. But this is exactly what governance is about. You would spend greater sums on single projects whilst I would spend smaller sums putting up more dams to reach a higher number of villages. Surely, that is not something you can criminalize?” Mr. Kuranchie wondered.
He advised the NDC and the likes of Mr. Gyamfi to devise methods of winning power first, before issuing empty threats of prosecution.
“My advice to Mr. Gyamfi is to devise ways to help his party to power through positive messaging. So far he seems to think that throwing about wild allegations would help his party win, but he needs a second think,” Mr. Kuranchie said.