The Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has given strong indications that the minority in parliament will use other avenues available to them to summon the Minister of youth and Sports, Mahama Ayariga, to come and account for taxpayers’ monies spent on the national team in Brazil.
In a press statement released on Friday, August 1, the minority leader said the minority was still not satisfied with the manner in which the government was handling investigations into Ghana’s abysmal performance at the World Cup, and the way taxpayers’ monies were expended on the preparation and participation of the Black Stars in the just-ended tournament.
He said the ‘sacking’ of Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, the then Minister of Sports who superintended over the World Cup ‘mess’, and the subtle way in which government prevailed on the majority in Parliament to thwart attempts by the legislature to look into the issue raised a lot of concerns. He noted that it was worrying that the government was trying to do a ’cover up’ on such an important national issue.
“Article 37(5) of the 1992 Constitution obligates the state to ensure that sports are promoted as a means of fostering national integration, among other things. But if state officials decided to use sports in a manner that has the potential of? dividing the country, then that action would have to be investigated in order that it may not have any further procreation,” the? minority leader said.
According to the minority leader, Ghanaians need to know the travel arrangements that were made for 700 Ghanaians who were sent to Brazil to support the national team, including their feeding and internal travel arrangements.
He said Ghanaians will also need to know why the lead sponsors of the national team, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), which had been very reluctant to account to Parliament about monies allocated to it for its operations, could ferry some other Ghanaians independently to Brazil and put them in plush hotels at the expense of the state.
The minority leader explained that Parliament as the gatekeeper of the public purse would have to enquire into the criteria used in the selection of the people who were sent to Brazil, adding that the setting up of a Commission of Enquiry at the instance of President Mahama in the manner in which it had been done will definitely attract sanctions from FIFA.
“The track record of this government in the setting up of committees does not provide comfort that all the matters relating to the debacle of Brazil would be unearthed,” he said, stressing that even when all the wrongs were unearthed, they would be covered up by the government.