Former Ghana High Commissioner to the United Kingdom under the Kufuor administration, Mr. Isaac Osei has described the action by the Mahama-led government to fly a cash of $3 million to the Black Stars in Brazil, as a loss of international trust in the nation.
According to him, the action did not only show that the Black Stars do not have any trust in government, but also made it clear to the world that the government of Ghana cannot be taken for their word. Mr. Isaac Osei, in his own words, said “the mode in which the money was sent, shows that even the stars do not believe in government. Trust is what is missing in this government, people simply do not trust them, when they say one thing, the next minute they say another.”
The Ranking Member on Parliamentary select committee on Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and Member of Parliament for Subin, noted that it be would wrong on any individual’s part to defend the government’s action. To him, the world has become more modern and smaller and every nation is expected to adhere to International practices.
Mr. Isaac Osei said it was totally wrong for members of the National Democratic Congress to be defending the action of government by saying the NPP had in the past flown cash to players. “In this age of money laundering and we do not even know if the cash was more than $3 million or less. Armed guard had to escort the cash to the players, we don’t do this anywhere, it is like a movie and we cannot justify that on the grounds that it was done in the past”, he noted.
Things are evolving; the world is becoming more modern and smaller. We are now the laughing stock of the world. Even the English captain is laughing at us, is it that Ghana cannot do things neatly and right? “, he queried, in an interview with The Chronicle yesterday. He could not fathom why even the first gentleman of the land agreed to fly the amount of $3 million dollars, even in the light of the directives from the Bank of Ghana that no person should carry more than $10,000.
To him, the only solution was to set up a bipartisan committee as proposed by the minority to look into issues pertaining in Ghana’s participation at the World Cup. “It is more embarrassing to claim we know and we have ended up as a laughing stock, if we all agree that we are wrong, then let us set up that committee to tell us what went wrong and how we should go in the future”, he added.
Earlier, on the floor of Parliament, The Honorable Member of Parliament for Wa West in the Upper West Region, Joseph Yieleh Chireh sought the Speaker’s guidance on the criticism the opposition are making on government for flying the cash to Brazil.
According to him, the action of government was not new to history of Ghana’s football, since the opposition has done same in previous football tournament outside Ghana.
This, he said, has been confirmed by the Ghana Football Association President, that indeed the opposition NPP during their time sent cash by air to the stars. But the then Minister for Youth and Sports under the Kuffuor administration, Hon Papa Owusu Ankomah, vehemently denied the submission by his colleague.
He told the House that it was not factual, saying “Mr. Speaker, if scandalous statement has been made outside this House, should members come on the floor of the house and repeat the same thing. The Hon. Member (Yieleh Chereh) is a senior member of this House and I expect him to know better”.
But Hon. Yieeh Chereh in a swift response said he maintained his statement because it is not coming from him and it is the truth, “Mr. Speaker, I attributed it to the GFA president and he is still talking on a radio programme as at now”. Their argument continued for some few minutes until the speaker, Rt. Hon Doe Adjaho, who presided over the House, directed that they both withdraw their statement, which they did accordingly.