Minority expresses misgivings over nat’l awards ceremony
The Minority in Parliament has expressed misgivings over the national awards ceremony for Covid-19 pandemic heroes.
They were also worried about what they claimed was an attempt by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to use the decades old national awards ceremony to absolve his appointees of corrupt acts.
“The 2023 awards ceremony held in Accra on Tuesday where President Akufo-Addo conferred awards on COVID-19 heroes is a charade intended to clear his appointees who are subject of parliamentary inquiry of any wrong doing,” the Minority alleged.
Addressing the press in Parliament yesterday, Ranking Member on the Health Committee of Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, said the real beneficiaries of the award should be frontline health workers and not persons who had been cited by the Auditor-General’s Report to have misappropriated COVID-19 pandemic funds.
“In-as-much as the Minority agrees with the principle of duly recognising the efforts of deserving awardees, we are of the opinion that yesterday’s event lowered the high standards previously set and maintained by previous governments by awarding undeserving awardees at the event.
“For the first time in our history, persons whose conduct are currently being probed by a Parliamentary Committee of Enquiry, were publicly decorated with high honours in a desperate attempt by the president to finalise the corruption clearing process that he began during the message of the State of the Nation Address in Parliament,” Mr Akandoh noted.
According to him, President Akufo-Addo appeared unconcerned about the abhorrence of Ghanaians to his nonchalant attitude towards the fight against president watched it, the better.
“The sensibilities of Ghanaians are ever being tested by this government and it beats their imagination how a Health Minister who not long ago was investigated for the manner in which he flouted our procurement laws to award an overpriced contract for the procurement of COVID-19 pandemic vaccines in what looked like an underhand dealing to defraud the state was given the high honour of the Order of the Volta.
“Equally disturbing was the fact that at that same event, the Minister of Information who was cited by the Auditor-General’s Report for having made unauthorised allowance payments to staff of his office during the pandemic was also publicly draped in the high honours of the Order of the Volta even before his conduct or misconduct is fully Investigated and cleared by the Parliamentary Committee of Enquiry,” Mr Akandoh MP for Juaboso in the Western Regionobserved.
Mr Akandoh wondered under which circumstances Frontier Healthcare Services Limited “a company whose ownership is opaque and whose formation and operations was brought into being by a contract that Parliament is yet to be apprised was awarded.”
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI