The New Patriotic Party (NPP) is fighting one of its leading members and former Ambassador to Serbia and Montenegro, Dr Nyaho Nyaho Tamakloe, over his statements regarding the Ibrahim Mahama-Merchant Bank loan saga.
The party said Dr Nyaho Tamakloe could stay off in the quest to recapture power if he was not ready to put his shoulders to the wheel.
Last week, the tough-talking NPP chieftain descended heavily on some members of his party over their decision to question a deal involving Engineers and Planners, a company owned by the brother of President John Mahama, Ibrahim Mahama, which is believed to have contributed to the near collapse and sale of Merchant Bank to a South African company, FirstRand.
In the heat of his anger, Dr Nyaho Tamakloe described those behind the press statement that was read by Deputy Communications Director of the NPP Yaw Buaben Asamoa, in disparaging words, referring to them as foolish and stupid since he saw their action as tantamount to a ‘pull him down’ syndrome.
But at a press conference in Accra yesterday, National Youth Organiser of the NPP Anthony Karbo and convenor of a forum dubbed ‘The People Must Know’, had this to say: “If Dr Nyaho Tamakloe says that we are stupid, we are foolish; okay, this is the party he belongs to, so he is also proudly part of it.”
He was not surprised at the tantrums thrown by Dr Tamakloe on Asempa FM when he called into the live programme since according to the NPP youth organiser, the former diplomat was related to the vice president’s brother.
Dr Tamakloe is said to be a brother of Ibrahim’s late mother, Joyce Tamakloe.
Apart from that, he considered the man as a person who was detached from the general happenings in the NPP.
Much as he respected his opinion, the NPP youth organiser stressed the need for Dr Tamakloe to come to terms with the fact that the NPP as a party was bigger than him and for which reason “he cannot superimpose himself on this party”.
Karbo asked rhetorically, “Who will not defend his relative if he buys a plane?” He said, “I will defend anybody in my family who buys a plane because it’s very far from here to my hometown so one can engage in that way.”
He served noticed, “We in the party are not going to allow anybody who has his own interest or has his own personal affiliation with anybody to delay force.”
He stressed the firm belief that “the few days left are going to be very very engaging”; therefore “anybody who is going to be a distraction for us on our way; we will please ask you to step aside and allow us to prosecute our victory agenda”.
The Bank Deal
The NPP group is daring President Mahama to come clean on the bizarre circumstances leading to the sale of Merchant Bank, a fully-owned Ghanaian company to the South African company if he has no hand in the deal.
“The forum for ‘the people must know’ is asking President Mahama to help us unravel the mystery surrounding the sale of the Merchant Bank,” it said.
This was in view of the fact that Engineers and Planners company is indebted to the bank to the tune of GH¢57.2m, representing 19.1%, adding to its total burden of GH¢330million owed the bank before it was sold to the South African at GH¢170million.
Though Merchant Bank was sold to FirstRand for 746.2 million South African Rand, the equivalent of $91million for a 75 percent stake in a deal that was approved by the government, the NPP believed that it was the indebtedness of the president’s brother’s company that led to the virtual collapse of the bank since the loans were non-secured.
The president’s brother recently bought a private plane worth about $30million. The plane was recently used to ferry former Nigerian strongman President Olusegun Obasanjo to broker peace with NDC founder President Jerry John Rawlings.
The loans have become a bad debt in the bank owned by contributors of the state-owned pension scheme, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).
The NPP youth organiser therefore believed that “there are some unseen hands pulling some strings to further the interest of Mr. Mahama against the collective interest of all”.
The group sought to know why Merchant Bank was sold and why “Mr. Mahama has blatantly failed to honour his obligations to the bank since the NDC assumed office in 2009?” and “why Mr. Blaise Mankwa, a former Managing Director of Merchant Bank who got sacked by the Board of Directors for facilitating an unsecured loan to the tune of $46million to Mr. Mahama has been rewarded with an ambassadorial position by President John Dramani?”
The group also asked “why Mr. Jonas Koranteng Smith, the union chairman who was responsible for loan recoveries was sacked after testifying in court against Mr. Mahama’s Engineers and Planners?”
They equally sought to know why in spite of the fact that government had denied selling Merchant Bank, there was no official record produced to support its claim, wondering, “Why should state institutions like SSNIT and SIC life play lead roles in ring-fencing the debt of a private citizen of Ghana?”
By Charles Takyi-Boadu/ Daily Guide