The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the northern Region is calling on investigatigative bodies such as the special prosecutor to look into the recent revelations by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) 2020 parliamentary candidate who doubled as the party’s 2nd vice chair regarding how the COVID-FUNDS were spent in her constituency to get votes.
According to the NDC at a press conference today, this is in the supreme interest of the country and in the Ghanaian tax payers who contributed hugely to raise the funds, adding that it was only disbursed to party cronies.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the investigative apparatus of the state must rise up to the occasion and investigate this revelation in the supreme interest of the Ghanaian taxpayer as such public funds must not and should not be utilized in such bizarre manner”, the NDC Regional Communications Officer said.
“We therefore, welcome the directive of the Speaker of Parliament in asking the Finance Minister to appear before parliament to account for the Covid funds but this is not enough for us to establish the truth of how the monies were spent. We believe a full blown special audit into the Covid related expenditure is the best approach in line with the call by Former President John Dramani Mahama’s nationalistic call for a special audit. We call on Parliament and the Auditor General to step up to this call of the Ghanaian people and audit these expenditures”, he added.
Read the full statement below:
PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE NORTHERN REGIONAL COMMUNICATIONS BUREAU OF THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS ON THE REVELATIONS OF MADAM FELICIA TETTEH
Ladies and Gentlemen we have extended an invitation to you this day to discuss an important issue of national concern.
Ladies and Gentlemen, you would recall the NDC through the Former President John Dramani Mahama raised serious concerns and questions about how the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia led government expended over GHC 30 billion in the fight against Covid-19 and called for an audit of the Covid expenditures for the Ghanaian public to know how these monies were expended in their name.
The NDC MPs in Parliament have also through Parliamentary process called for an audit of the Covid expenditures.
You would note that the government has deployed every gorilla and opaque tactics to escape accountability in respect of this call for them to account for the huge Covid expenditure.
As we witnessed how Covid relief support which was meant to support hard-hit businesses was dissipated and abused by the government all in an attempt to win the 2020 elections.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have recently intercepted a tape of Madam Felicia Tetteh who was the NPP Parliamentary candidate for the Sagnerigu Constituency and the 2nd Vice Chairperson of the NPP in the Northern Region making claims of how the Covid Funds was distributed to her and other NPP apparatchiks.
For the avoidance of doubt, Madam Felicia Tetteh in the audio claims that “The COVID fund came. My quota was 50,000 as a regional 2nd Vice. I was given another 50,000 because I doubled as the Parliamentary candidate for Sagnarigu. The constituency was given 200,000. MCE was given 30,000. Chairman was given 20,000. Other executives were given 10,000 each.”
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, it is extremely a sad state of governance and an abuse of the trust of the people of Ghana that at a time when Ghanaians and the world were battling a major pandemic that claimed thousands of lives and left many families in agony and pain the government riding on the back of this mobilized money and expended it on winning an election than protecting the lives of the people. Indeed, the government through this revelation prioritized spending to win an election than the lives of Ghanaians.
Ladies and gentlemen, as we are learning from Madam Felicia, each constituency was given GHC 200,000 of the Covid support funds. This money which was meant to be given to businesses that were extremely hit by the ravages of the pandemic was rather distributed to constituencies in this manner. We have 18 constituencies in the Northern Region and by the words of Madam Felicia, each constituency was given GHC 200,000 a conservative estimate will mean GHC 3.6 million was distributed for the purposes of winning an election in the Region rather than using such colossal sums to support business and the fight against Covid-19.
It must be extremely worrying to all of us that a government mindful of the dire ramifications that Covid came with will be expending GHC 200,000 to constituencies of Covid related funds for elections. It stands to reason that based on Madam Felicia Tetteh’s infamous revelation the government expended over GHC 55 million in this regard. Imagine what GHC 55 million could do for the people of Sagnerigu Constituency? This huge monies shared to party elements can provide electricity for the communities in the constituency without electricity, pay the school fees of over 18,000 tertiary students in the constituency, provide portable water, provide business capital for the teeming unemployment youth in the constituency among others.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Madam Felicia Tetteh also claims that as the second regional vice chairperson of the NPP in the Northern Region, she was given GHC 50,000 and another GHC 50,000 as the Parliamentary candidate. This means that the NPP Parliamentary Candidates were given such amount of the Covid funds meant to support business and fight the pandemic for the purposes of winning their respective seats.
Friends in the media like the sharing of state resources like groundnut to NPP apparatchiks we have witnessed over the last 6years, the constituency and regional executives of the NPP also benefited from this wanton dissipation. Imagine that all constituency, regional and branch executives of the NPP received such colossal sums of monies meant to fight Covid across the 16 regions of this country the drain this puts on the national kitty?
Ladies and Gentlemen, in the 2020 election we drew attention to the monetization of the elections by the NPP. We all saw how the NPP Parliamentary candidates and operatives were sharing money to electorates against the tenets of democracy and good governance. In the Sagnerigu constituency where Madam Felicia was the NPP Parliamentary Candidate much was seen and can be said of how she was sharing money and other goodies to electorates in the constituency all in attempt to buy the votes of the people to become the MP. But the “Bulchinima” that the good people of the Sagnerigu Constituency are, they showed that money will not buy their conscience and voted decisively for the NDC.
Ladies and Gentlemen we believe that what has been revealed by Madam Felicia is just a tip of the iceberg and there’s a lot to how the Covid support funds was expended. The sad and worrying part is that these monies that the NPP government led by Nana Addo/Bawumia dissipated with careless abandon, the Ghanaian taxpayer will be called upon to pay for it when the money was used for the government’s selfish and narrow interest of winning an election.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the investigative apparatus of the state must rise up to the occasion and investigate this revelation in the supreme interest of the Ghanaian taxpayer as such public funds must not and should not be utilized in such bizarre manner.
We therefore, welcome the directive of the Speaker of Parliament in asking the Finance Minister to appear before parliament to account for the Covid funds but this is not enough for us to establish the truth of how the monies were spent. We believe a full blown special audit into the Covid related expenditure is the best approach in line with the call by Former President John Dramani Mahama’s nationalistic call for a special audit. We call on Parliament and the Auditor General to step up to this call of the Ghanaian people and audit these expenditures.