Deputy Information Minister, Pius Enam Hadzide has said he was never “overwhelmed” by former Deputy Communication Minister Felix Kwakye Ofosu when the two cross swords on Accra-based Joy FM’s current affairs programme Newsfile last weekend to debate the National Democratic Congress’ Green Book.
Mr Hadzide was heavily trolled with memes on social media by supporters of the NDC after conceding to the host of Newsfile, Samson Lardi Anynini, that the Sanglemi Housing project does exist in reality at Prampram in the Greater Accra Region, as captured by the Green Book, although it has been widely described by members of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), including President Nana Akufo-Addo, as a catalogue of “fantasy” and “phantom” projects.
Asked by Paul Adom-Otchere on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana about whether he was overwhelmed by his opposite number on Newsfile last week, Mr Hadzide said: “I’ve engaged Felix several times, I’ve engaged Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa, I’ve engaged almost everybody in the NDC. I mean, that’s not the first time. Felix and I have had several encounters. Overwhelmed? Why would I be?”
The deputy minister insists the Green Book is replete with “phantom” projects.
“For instance, if you take page 68 of the Green Book, I pointed it out that they had put a picture there that, that was the Ada Sea Defence Project; that picture is not Ada, that picture was taken in Anloga, a village in Anloga, which I visited myself”, he said.
“Yes, there’s some work that was done; they dumped some gravel in Ada…” he conceded, but insisted the picture was a misrepresentation of the real situation on the ground.
Asked if it did not think it could have been a typo, Mr Hadzide responded: “No, it’s not a typo”, adding: “It’s deliberate deception because what is in Ada, actually, they know is unbefitting of a sea defence, so, they couldn’t put the Ada picture there, so, they deliberately, knowingly, went to take the sea defence picture in Anloga and presented it to the people of Ghana as a sea defence in Ada but my colleague from the other side [Felix] would not take it”.
Further, he pointed out that some artistic impressions had been used to portray projects which had not started as completed.
“I also pointed out some artistic impression of the Atuabo Free Port that was supposed to have happened and I questioned it that the Green Book was supposed to advertise your achievements and, so, I was at a loss as to why you would use artistic impressions to talk about your achievements”, he explained.
“There are several projects in addition to what I just gave you”, he told Paul Adom-Otchere who had asked him to point out the phantom projects.
“If you open the NDC’s Green Book, say page 191, you’ll find that they identify a project there as a dormitory block in Goaso SHS. In the first place, there’s no such institution as Goaso SHS. What we have is actually Ahafoman Secondary School. It is in Goaso alright but that is the proper name of the institution.
“Now, what fraudulently, again, happened is that they took the name of the Municipal Health Directorate of Ahafo Ano South District and represented it as a dormitory block in Goaso. It’s there, page 191”, he pointed out.
“Again, if you visit page, I believe, 144, you’ll notice that they represent a dam, Norbekor dam, as an achievement of the NDC. Paul, this morning, I brought a copy of the letter of acceptance that was signed in November 1, 2005… it’s signed by the company’s chief executive accepting the contract that was awarded in November of 2005 for the construction of that dam. That dam had been constructed long ago. Our colleagues in the NDC represented it in the Green Book of 2016 as an NDC achievement”.
Asked if it was a project which may have been completed by the NDC, Mr Hadzide said: “They did not. No. That’s not even correct. They didn’t even complete it. In fact, my checks today indicate that the dam is actually also not completed. As we speak, the dam still has some work to [be done on it]”.
“So, you didn’t start it, you didn’t complete it. So, there was no basis for you to cite it in your Green Book as an achievement. But I’m saying to you that Paul, for me, the Green Book is in the past. The people of Ghana passed a verdict on the Green Book in 2016. They rejected it”.