The Minority in Parliament is calling on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to, with immediate effect, strip Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Health Kwaku Agyeman-Manu and Frontiers Healthcare Services Limited of the national honours conferred on them on Tuesday, March 14.
According to the caucus, the conferment of the Order of the Star of Volta award on the two ministers, in particular, while they are subjects of parliamentary probe smacks of corruption-clearing antics by the President.
“Inasmuch as the Minority agrees with the principle of duly recognising the effort of deserving awardees, we are of the opinion that yesterday's event lowered the high standards previously set and maintained by previous awardees by commingling deserving and undeserving awardees at the event,” Minority Spokesperson on Health Kwabena Mintah Akandoh said while addressing journalists at a press conference on Wednesday, March 15.
“For the first time in our history, persons whose conduct are being probed y a committee of inquiry were publicly decorated by 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.”
Frontier Healthcare Service was also awarded for its role in ensuring that the disease does not spread from arriving passengers into Ghana.
But Mr Mintah Akandoh said a health minister who flouted Ghana's procurement laws in the award of Covid-19 contracts is not deserving of such national honours same as an information minister who was cited several times in the Auditor-General's Report over allowances paid staff of his ministry.
He said the President has only lowered the standards of the national awards by his move.
“The sensibilities of Ghanaians are ever being tested by this government and it beats the imagination of reasonable Ghanaians how a minister who not so long ago was investigated for the manner in which he flouted our procurement laws to award overpriced contract for the procurement of Sputnik-V 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 for Information who was cited by the Auditor-General for having made unauthorized allowances payment to staff of his office during the pandemic was also publicly stripped 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 inquiry.
“Ladies and gentlemen, of greater concern is the conferring of national honours on Frontier Healthcare Services Limited, a company whose ownership is opaque and whose formation and operation was brought into being by a contract that parliament is yet to be apprised of.”
The Minority said the three must be stripped of their awards with immediate effect.