All is not well in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor, has not hesitated to show that openly as The Herald has gathered that last Thursday, he threw out the Minority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, from his rich Airport home.
Ex-President Kufuor, appears to have hard enough of the disrespect that elements within his party continue to subject him to, despite raising most of them from obscurity to political stardom.
The incident, follows Minority Leader’s notice served in the media shortly after the ex-President and his Chief of Staff, Kwadwo Okyere Mpiani, appeared at the rebranding event of the privatized Merchant Bank, that they (Minority) were gearing up to meet Mr. Kufuor at his home to query him over his presence at the event.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Suame in the Ashanti Region, whose utterances ahead of the much talked about “inquiry section”, may have infuriated the ex-Ghanaian leader, was booted out in the presence of ex-NPP MP for Asokwa, Maxwell Kofi Jumah and Mr. Mpiani.
The Herald was told that it was an embarrassing scene with Mr. Mensah Bonsu, who is otherwise verbally endowed, struggling to finds his words both in English and Twi, before he was embarrassingly given the marching orders.
Meanwhile, ex-Chief of Staff, Kwadwo Mpiani, who incidentally was with ex-President Kufuor at the programme, has strongly defended their presence.
Mr. Mpiani, who has reacted to the issue on several media platforms, including Joy FM’s news analysis programme News File, last Saturday, said that he together with Mr. Kufuor were invited to the programme by two separate friends.
He said, their presence was not an endorsement of the sale of Merchant Bank, and that whoever wants to probe can go ahead and do so.
According to credible information emanating from The Herald’s sources within the ex-President’s home, the ex-President saw the action by the Minority Leader as a continuous disrespect by the people he appointed into positions, whiles serving as president.
Mr. Mensah Bonsu, during the tenure of ex-President Kufuor served as Majority Leader in Ghana’s August House and a Minister of State in Parliament.
Speaking on Accra based Radio Gold last Friday, Mr. Jumah, a former Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) boss, confirmed being there at the meeting and disclosed that everything went well as the Minority group was satisfied with the clarification Mr. Kufuor gave.
It is, however, unclear why he has not spoken publicly about his meeting with the once powerful man of the country.
Meanwhile, a former chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, Albert Kan-Dapaah, has said that former president Kufuor’s presence at the re-branding of Merchant Bank now Universal Merchant Bank, does not legitimize its sale.
According to him, the NPP irrespective of Mr. Kufuor’s decision to grace the occasion, still maintains that the sale of 90 percent shares of Merchant Bank to Fortiz Equity Fund was fraudulent.
Mr. Kan-Dapaah, who served in several portfolios in Mr. Kufuor’s administration, was reacting to concerns raised by some members of the NPP, who have expressed grave displeasure at the former president’s decision to attend the re-branding ceremony.
They had argued that since the party was against the sale, his [Kufuor] presence at the occasion is a tacit endorsement of the sale.
But on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme, last Friday, Albert Kan Dapaah said former President Kufuor as a statesman, reserves the right to honour any invitation extended to him.
He indicated that a Board Member of Universal Merchant Bank, Mrs. Lokko, who invited Mr. Kufuor, contributed immensely to the success of the NPP administration therefore, “it would be extremely difficult for former President Kufuor to turn down her invitation”.
“Supposing Mrs. Lokko, had invited me, it will not mean I have endorsed something that hitherto I consider illegitimate”, he noted.
The former Energy Minister, therefore, cautioned party members to be careful about how they handle issues concerning the former president since, “Mr. Kufuor is key to the NPP’s success.”
He bemoaned what he described as intolerance in Ghana’s body politic, noting that if not checked, could plunge the country into chaos.
Mr. Kan Dapaah, also urged party members to overlook partisanship and contribute their quota towards the development of the State.
Universal Merchant Bank, as the rebranded Merchant bank is now known, was acquired by private equity fund Fortiz, amidst a wave of opposition and uproar from the NPP and some civil society organizations.
The Minority, petitioned the Speaker of Parliament to probe the sale. Civil Society group, Centre for Freedom and Accuracy (CFA), also resisted the transaction in court. Its executive director, Andrews Awuni, described it as a dash.
The transaction, went through nonetheless. Both Mr. Kufuor and his former Chief of Staff Kwadwo Mpianim, were at the bank’s rebranding ceremony.