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I Have Not Built Guest House – Mahama

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Former President John Dramani Mahama has debunked claims made by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo, that he (Mahama) influenced the award of a contract to construct a guest house at Bole in the Northern Region during his term of office, to enable him enjoy comfortable holidays during visits to his home constituency.

A statement signed by his special aide, Joyce Bawah Mogtari, indicates that the guest house in question, Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) Guest House, has been in existence since 1975, and could not possibly have been constructed during the tenure of the former president.

“The Station conducts research into Shea nut and Cashew, to boost production of these two crops in the Brong Ahafo, Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions that constitute the Northern Savannah zone”, the statement read.

He stressed that the facility includes the guest house that has always provided commercial accommodation services to officials of COCOBOD and any other person that requires its use.

The statement accused Hon Aidoo an intention to slander the former President as a way of covering up bad management practices and decisions identified and highlighted by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority in Parliament about the country’s cocoa sector.

“Such an unwholesome practice will only serve to detract from the important business of managing the Cocoa sector, which is the lifeblood of the Ghanaian economy.”

He further encouraged Mr. Aidoo to pay greater attention to discharging the weighty responsibility entrusted to him devoid of what he described as ‘unnecessary partisanship and mudslinging’.

The CEO of COCOBOD, at a press briefing on Wednesday, accused the Mahama-led NDC administration of ‘syphoning’ millions of dollars from the Board’s accounts.

Aidoo, who made the revelation in a sharp response to cocoa-related allegations levelled by the Minority in Parliament at Bodi in the Western Region, noted that the former COCOBOD boss, Stephen Opuni, used export duty payments from the Board as conduit to syphon funds for activities not related to cocoa.

Source: Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum/ thePublisher

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