Over Atuabo Freeport Project
By Alfred Dogbey
A pressure group, Mass Action Committee (MAC), has issued a stern warning to the Minority Caucus in Parliament to as a matter of urgency, call four of its members who are engaged in “mischievous” politics to “derail” a national project; the Atuabo Freeport Project to order or face their wrath.
The convener of the group, Atik Mohammed, who described as “destructive, mischief and ill-motives” stance taken by the four New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs, is questioning the motive of their action and “the reason for the loud silence of the NPP’s leadership on this matter”.
In a strongly worded statement copied The Herald yesterday, the group said, “If not for mischief and ill-motives, we shudder to see what these MPs hope to achieve by continually issuing threats after their very claim has been rendered moot by the words of the GHPA boss”.
Mr. Atik, who is also a Policy Analyst with the People’s National Convention (PNC) noted that, “it becomes worrying when projects such as the Atuabo Freeport project with the prospects of creating jobs, giving meaning and effect to our local content policy in the oil and gas sector and more importantly, enhancing our economic development become targets for destructive and dark partisan attacks”.
The obviously angry group, also chided the minority MPs, asking them whether they had “quantified the effect of this needless “back-pulling” on investor confidence in the sector?”
The group’s outburst, followed a statement issued by the MP for Tema Central, Kofi Brako, on behalf of some four other MPs namely, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Joseph Cudjoe, Hawa Koomson, and Kwaku Kwarteng, aimed at deliberately frustrating the progress of the laudable Atuabo Freeport Project.
But Mr. Atik explained, “it is instructive to note that, ordinarily, (MAC) takes no issue with any Member(s) of Parliament seeking answers to questions regarding any project(s) however, such a quest becomes objectionable when it assumes the direction of mischief and a deliberate attempt to derail national progress.
According to him, “It has become clear from the statement that, the MPs themselves do not seem to understand what they claim they are fighting for” adding “such confusion to all intents and purposes, can only be a function of malice cloaked in the pretence of protecting state institutions”.
The group pointed out that, “the claim by these MPs that, their failed legal gymnastics are meant to protect the Takoradi Harbor from the so-called hazards of the Freeport, has been heavily defeated by the public utterances of the Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbor Authority; Mr. Richard A.Y Anamoo”.
They said, it was worthy to appreciate the explanation by the GHPA boss when, “he underscored the fact that, the operations of the Atuabo Freeport do not in any way pose a threat to the survival and viability of the Takoradi Harbor”.
The statement indicated that, Mass Action Committee, “still strongly stand by that earlier position. The institution of Parliament should be protected from such destructive partisan tendencies, otherwise every decision by that House will become a matter for further legal determination defeating its essence and relevance”.
The group is, however, questioning, if the said MPs on this destructive journey had “the endorsement of the NPP’s leadership” and whether “this action by the MPs got to do with any attempt to starve our beloved brothers and sisters in the Nzema land of deserved development?”
It said, “Whereas we await answers to these questions, it is important to note that, the actions of these MPs are positioning their political establishment that has failed to call them to order in a bad light as regards their commitment to national development” warning “the earlier they acted the better”.
The group warned, “We wish to state that, the promise of a crusade to frustrate the project as contained in MP’s statement will be met by a more than proportionate struggle to see the project survive”.
The orientation of Mass Action Committee, the statement said “is rooted in the need to empower the masses of our people through employment, provision of social services and equitable distribution of national wealth among others”.
To this end, MAC warned, “we will wage an unwavering struggle against anybody or group whose intention it is to overthrow the achievement of these objects for whatever reason (s)”.