Deputy Editor of the Daily Dispatch newspaper, Peter Ankoma has said it is very problematic for the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto to rundown the Akufo-Addo government by trying to exploit it for personal gains.
The Minister has come under fire recently after meeting some party executives in his home in Kumasi where he allegedly disclosed presidential ambition on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to them.
The minister has denied doling out 1 million cedis cash to the power brokers and maligned his party, but Ankomah who was speaking on the Morning Update on TV XYZ said his conduct was problematic.
The seasoned journalist told host Eric Ahianyo that “for a Cabinet Minister to meet delegates and then virtually rundown the same government he is part of its quite problematic.”
“And that is something a government in-terms of the President and the party should be able to discipline him on,” Ankomah suggested.
Ankomah in furtherance said the minister has denied the allegations but it was a fact that he actually met the delegates which he [Akoto] confirmed in a statement which indicated he had gone to Kumasi to rest after he had fever.
“He actually met them and he said they raised issues of welfare and other issues, among other things he said he admitted that yes may be government has not done enough in terms of roads for the people in Ashanti Region” Ankomah said as he contended Afriyie Akoto erred.
To him, there is nothing wrong with individuals within a political party having ambitions to become president, MP or even chairman but there is procedure to go through which the minister ought to have followed.
The NPP is yet to open nomination for interested persons file to contest for the flagbearer position, but Dr Afriyie Akoto’s name has appeared in the media alongside Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Minister for Trades and Industry, Alan Kyerematen as persons eyeing the top position after President Nana Akufo-Addo.
However, in a statement copied to Myxyzonline.com Afriyie Akoto rubbished the ‘planting for votes’ reports saying, “…The New Patriotic Party, nominations have not been opened for interested candidates to announce their intentions to contest for any position in the party. It is therefore unfortunate for anyone to seek to create the impression that I held a meeting to announce my bid for the “flagbearership” position of the party.”
He stated he only granted audience to some party executives who had been making calls for a meeting to discuss matters concerning the welfare of the party and therefore, there was not a discussion on his intentions to be a flagbearer of the party.
“The narrators claimed that I spent up to GH 1, 000,000.00 Ghana Cedis at the said meeting to announce my bid for the position. This is not only incorrect but it could only be in the imaginations of the one making those claims,” he said.
He continued, “Meeting 17 constituency executives for each of the 47 constituencies in my house meant I was receiving about 700 delegates. My house does not have the capacity to accommodate such numbers. How therefore can one assume that I paid almost One Million Ghana Cedis to these NPP executives in one day?”
Discounting rumours that the minister was preparing to distribute tractors to the delegates to get him elected as fllagbearer for his party, Akoto said ” This is another lie. Being mindful of the fact that these tractors are purely meant for farming purposes, I will never use their allocation or distribution for my personal political ambition.”
He said the processes for the acquisition and distribution of these equipment “are clearly spelt out and there is no way it will be compromised for other purposes apart from being given to deserving farmers and farmer groups in the country.”