Workers Forced Apologize To Peter Mac Manu Or Risk Dismissal…
The Staff Union of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), have withdrawn all allegations leveled against the Board Chair and New Patriotic Party (NPP) strongman, Peter Mac Manu, but leaving the board he head deeply divided.
Their earlier revelations had caused the dismissal of Paul Asare Ansah, as Director-General of GPHA and replaced by the Director of Port in Tema, Edward Kofi Osei, who many have described as a very ambitious man, who had done everything possible to head GPHA, and will play ball with the powers that be, to remain at post.
The Herald is informed that, Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), has been aware of the rot at GHPA and the confusion between Mr Mac-Manu and Mr Asare Ansah, who many say was fighting to do away with the suffocating situation created by the Mac-Manu-led side of the board.
It is not clear, what EOCO investigation at the GPHA, which started long before the May 22, 2018 press conference, has been able to unearth. But the nervous-looking workers at their latest press conference, insisted that they did not call the earlier press conference “out of malice” just to level the allegations against the Board Chairman.
However, many Ghanaians are unconvinced about the latest press conference held on Friday 22, 2018 by the workers, especially coming days, after the board chairman, threatened to drag them to court to prove their claims of nepotism, favoritism and corruption against him.
A number of them who expressed surprise, especially on social media about the sudden u-turn of the workers, say they retracted and apologized under duress. They say it is not only absurd, but a betrayal of the labour movement.
While, some said the workers had to beat retreat because of fear of victimization and sacking, others insist they had been bribed to refute the allegations. A few others also agreed with the decision of the workers to retract and apologize to the ex-NPP National Chairman, Mr Mac Manu.
The Tema branch Chairman of the Authority’s Senior Staff Union, John Aseeph said: “some facts have come to our notice, and in hindsight, we should not have gone into the public domain against Mr. Peter Mac Manu and his family at our press conference.”
“We, therefore, withdraw the allegations against Mr. Peter Mac Manu, in particular, his wife and sons, and unreservedly apologize to them. We are sorry for the embarrassment and the inconvenience our press conference might have caused Mr. Peter Mac-Manu and members of his family.”
It will be recalled that in the course of the allegations exactly a month ago, President Nana Akufo-Addo, sacked the acting Director General of the GPHA, Paul Asare Ansah.
No reason was assigned to the ousting of Mr Asare Ansah, who went home on the same day with the Managing Director (MD) of BOST, Alfred Obeng, the Executive Secretary of Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Gifty Klenam and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr Felix Anyaa.
Mr Mac Manu is powerful when it comes to the governing NPP politics.
He was the Campaign Manager for the NPP Presidential Candidate in the 2016 general elections.
Shortly after the earlier press conference, he threatened legal action against the workers, warning them to retract and apologize or meet him in court.
This paper’s sources within the government is that, the board has split, thus there is a part that takes instructions from the Board Chairman, while the other takes orders from other powerful power brokers from the government and the party.
It would therefore not be surprising that the workers derived their information from some members of the board, and not necessarily from elsewhere.
At the press conference monitored by The Herald, Union Chairman, John Aseeph, flanked by his “serious looking” executives said “Nevertheless, we, as a union with a role to protect public interest, will not shed our responsibilities as a watchdog for accountability in the governance of public institutions.”
Last month, the workers accused Mr Mac Manu of awarding to himself a GH¢4 million contract for the wiring of a newly-constructed electrical and material block at the port.
They also accused him of running a family-and-friends administration by awarding various contracts to his wife and children.
According to them, Mr Manu, was breaching procurement processes for his personal benefit, so they impressed on President Akufo-Addo to dismiss him.
Chairman of the Union, Joseph Assiph, had accused Mr Mac Manu, of conflict of interest and issued a two-week ultimatum to the government to relieve him of his position.
He said, Mr Mac-Manu, had registered some seven companies and awarded contracts to same, without seeking the Board’s approval.
Mr Mac-Manu, refuted these claims through a press conference and threatened to sue the workers, if they failed to retract the allegations and apologize to him and his family.
He described the allegations as lies, describing the claims as painful.
Following from that, Mr Manu’s lawyers, formally wrote to Mr Aseeph, to retract and apologize for the “spurious allegations of corruption and conflict of interest” claims else he would be sued.
In a letter dated May 30, Mr. Mac Manu’s lawyer’s, described the union’s allegations as “highly defamatory and toxic.”
“Our client finds your allegations highly defamatory and toxic to his reputation which he, as a businessman and politician, has worked tirelessly over many decades to build,” the letter addressed to Mr Aseeph said in part.
He then gave the Union 10 days to retract and apologize for the allegations of corruption.