Akufo Addo appointee ‘nailed to a cross’ by the public on social media.

News Hub Creator

Since the release of an investigative piece on an alleged Christmas tree scandal at the Kotoka international airport which is causing a lot of chaos online, I have decided to save my ink and ignore the entire conversation. This was not because I felt Mr. Paul Adom Okyere was innocent or that the company did not err but because I have grown tired of this government’s posture towards the fight against corruption. The Ghanaian people are becoming more and more discerning by the day hence a never ending stream of accusing fingers pointing towards government officials who according to the people, failed or are failing the state. We have therefore reached the stage where people in authority should start living clean lives and be zealous in the task of safeguarding the country’s national coffers. It is therefore sad to find a social voice as Paul Adom Okyere muddied in a pool as stagnant as the Christmas tree scandal.

According to Manaseh Azure Awuni; an investigative journalist who is known for his stern anti corruption stance, the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) purchased three (3) Christmas trees and also decorated them for a whooping 118,000 Ghana cedis. In case you can not get the figure right, that is a total of 1.8 billion old Ghanaian cedis. It is also purported that certain remunerations due workers for December and Christmas, was not paid until January despite the company spending this much on Christmas trees. I gave Paul Adom Okyere, board chair of the Ghana Airport Company Limited the benefit of the doubt because I expected him to be better since I did not see him as a politician. However, Paul came out to do exactly what politicians do. He responded to the allegations on his Good Evening Ghana show on Metro Television, debunking his involvement in any corrupt deal yet confirming figures from the allegations. He further claimed that the company had spent even less as compared to the 5 previous years.

Firstly, Paul’s use of the Good Evening Ghana show on Metro TV on which he is a host to respond to these allegations instead of scheduling a press conference as the board chair of the GACL, confirms allegations that he is biased towards a certain political party on his show. Secondly, it confirms allegations that invoices were written in his name and that he was neck deep in the procurement process which is the job of procurement professionals. Thirdly, Paul by this posture is simply telling the people of Ghana that electing a new government is not the way to go even when the current one’ performance is abysmal because the next one will only come to do exactly what you voted the previous one out for. Why on Earth did he make that comparison? Did we vote out President John Dramani Mahama and the National Democratic Congress in 2016 only to replace them with a New Patriotic Party who are so keen on doing exactly what their predecessors were doing?

According to Paul, mounting of Christmas trees at airports is a norm all over the world but he forgot to add that just because it is a norm to eat chicken on Christmas does not mean that the pauper’s house will have chicken soup for Christmas. Maybe he has forgotten that what may be a norm in the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, Russia and the United Kingdom, may not be so much of a norm in a country where government is planning to task any poor man who has as much as 100 cedis (USD16.17)to send by electronic means.

Paul’s explanation which was meant to diffuse the tension and also salvage his fast deteriorating reputation, backfired as Ghanaian social media users descended on him heavily. Some people pointed out how heartless he is to pay such a huge sum from the national purse for Christmas trees while employees of the company suffer. Even though a few faithfuls patted him on the back for coming out or for whatever hidden reason, Paul will attest to the fact that public is not taking this matter lightly. Why even buy a Christmas tree at those figure at?

What is your take on the Christmas tree brouhaha? Is Paul Adom Okyere justified to use his platform on Metro TV to respond to issues of the Ghana Airport Company Limited

News Hub Creator newshub-gh@operanewshub.com

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