Norway Chancery Deal: NDC Professionals Forum calls for resignation of Minister.

The NDC Professional Forum International is calling for the immediate resignation of Ghana’s Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey for her injudicious conduct in parliament which resulted in a near brawl with colleagues from the minority; a video of which went viral.

The commotion by the Foreign Minister followed revelations by the Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa which sought to seek clarification on a shady deal by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a building in Norway to be used as a chancery.

The altercation in the foyer of Parliament on Monday, between the Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam George, and the Foreign Affairs Minister who was heard raining insult at her colleague received missed reactions on social media.

The Foreign Affairs Minister was addressing some Minority MPs explaining the Ministry’s budgeted expenditure on the Chancery when she ostensibly heard Sam George making catcalls and taking a video record of her engagement with Okudzeto Ablakwa and some minority MPs. The Minister was however held back by her security detail averting a possible brawl.

President of the NDC Professionals Forum International, Arnold Appiah says, “I’m highly embarrassed about our foreign minister. I recall how she was criticized when she was nominated for the position on the grounds that it’s too big for her. I believe this video has proven critics right! A portfolio that has been handled by high profile individuals such as Hon. Hannah Tetteh who is currently working in a top position in the UN. A foreign minister is supposed to be a diplomat and it appears there’s a sharp contrast. She needs to resign for her undiplomatic and unprofessional conduct. You can’t represent a nation with so much potentials in such a fashion”. Mr Appiah speaking for the forum from his US base said the NDC Professionals support the call for a presidential probe, prompted by the minority caucus in parliament.

At a media encounter with the President on Wednesday, there was an anticipation of a decision of the Presidency to probe the matter following the expose’ by the minority in parliament but Ms. Ayokor Botchwey was given the platform to repeat what she had already said in the media, that no monies have been disbursed. Government has brushed the revelations as mere allegations and that a probe cannot be formed when there is no evidence that the transaction had taken place.

But Mr. Appiah believes the botched purchase of what he called an opulent and grossly over-priced piece of property in Oslo for use as a chancery and residence of the Ghana ambassador is an act that sums up the essence of the governing New Patriotic Party under Nana Akufo Addo.

He said it is a demonstration of the intense, even tone-deaf, insensitivity of the NPP administration to the plight of ordinary Ghanaians and speaks to the level of corruption that has become systemic and endemic of the government.  “Life has become increasingly difficult for people but the government can waste the nation’s foreign exchange, loot some of it and shortchange the people at every turn. This government is the very embodiment of the create, loot and share mentality which it erroneously tagged the previous administration”.

He further laments that the state cannot provide decent accommodations for school children but can afford this opulent, overpriced, piece of property for an Embassy and fight with MPs who blow the whistle on the activities of people whose actions amount to financial malfeasance, gross dereliction of duty and corruption of the highest order.

“The Hon Minister of Foreign Affairs who has been exposed as complicit or at best incompetent and dishonest and is fighting people who have exposed this corruption should apologize to the nation and tender her resignation. If the NPP is building its war chest for the 2020 elections, it should be put on notice that its activities will be monitored closely. A government that campaigned on rooting out corruption has become the very embodiment of corruption”. Mr. Appiah said.

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