President Nana Akufo-Addo has rejected assertions that he is a corrupt person presiding over a corrupt, ‘family and friends’ government.
Nana Akufo-Addo, who in the run-up to the December 2016 election declared to fight corruption and not preside over ‘family and friends’ government, was asked whether three years on, he can go back to the electorates to tell them he has lived by those promises.
“I’m certainly not corrupt, I’ll continue to say that I’m not corrupt, I’ve not been corrupt,” he responded at the 2019 Media Encounter with journalists at the Jubilee House in Accra Friday.
He added: “I’ve not taken any money to give anybody contract…” for which reason he argued, cannot be accused of being a corrupt president.
The NDC at a news conference last week presented some 51 names of persons it the party claimed were relatives and cronies within the Akufo-Addo government.
National Communications Director, Sammy Gyamfi, quoted then candidate Akufo-Addo as having said: “I will not operate a family and friends’ government” but the party claimed he has upon winning the election field his government with family and friends as well as cronies.
I’ve only 2 relatives in my government
Nana Akufo-Addo, however, admitted to having hired some of his relatives in his government but denied presiding over a family and friends government as alleged by the National Democratic Congress.
For him, only two people, including the Finance Minister, who are his family members in government, but justified their appointment which he said was based on their competencies.
“I’m not presiding over a government of family and friends” Nana Akufo-Addo stated, but said, “Yes, one or two members of my family, Ofori Atta who’s the Minister of Finance is my cousin”.
The President said Mr Ofori-Atta was responsible for the New Patriotic Party’s fundraising drive while in opposition, which nobody criticised him for.
“I don’t think it’s so difficult for somebody who’s been the fundraiser to translate into a finance minister,” he justified.
Nana Akufo-Addo said he has no regrets for fielding Mr Ofori-Atta in his government because “he has done a yeoman’s job”
“As far as I’m concerned he’s amazingly capable; he’s been like a magician having regard to where we were and where have been able to find a way raise money for us to do many of the things we’ve been able to do,” he stated.
The President said he has been “very, very satisfied” about the work that Mr Ofori Atta has done, adding “he is not there because he is my cousin; he is there because he is a very capable man”.
He touted him as an investment banker who has built a very successful business over the years and “extremely highly regarded” in the business world both locally and internationally.