Over Merchant Bank Sale Endorsement
The decision by ex-president John Agyekum Kufuor to attend the rebranding of Merchant Bank, now Universal Merchant Bank (UMB) has ruffled feathers within the party with Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), threatening to summon him into a meeting to explain why he attended the event.
Some members of the party, believe that the action by the ex-president is a stab in the back of the NPP, which has been vehement in its opposition to the sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz Equity Fund.
Civil Society groups, as well as Minority in Parliament are convinced the sale of Merchant Bank was fraught with irregularities.
The Centre for Freedom and Accuracy led by Andrew Awuni, a former press secretary to president Kufuor, went to court to challenge the sale of the 90 per cent stake to Fortiz.
He described the sale as illegal and wanted it reverted to the original owners – the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).
The Minority in Parliament, also had a motion demanding a Parliamentary inquiry into the sale, but the motion was dismissed by the Speaker.
While the sale of Merchant Bank, was characterised with chaos and controversy, the rebranding ceremony of the bank was in absolute tranquillity with high profile statesmen attending.
Mr Kufuor and his former Chief of Staff, Kwadwo Mpiani, were some of the dignitaries who attended the ceremony.
But the decision to attend has now become a bone of contention within the party.
Minority Leader, Osei-Kyei-Bonsu in an interview with accra-based Joy FM, would not berate Mr Kufuor for attending the ceremony, but said they will be “engaging” him to find out the reasons why he attended the ceremony.
Mr Osei-Kyei-Bonsu said, it would be unfair to jump into conclusions, especially when he does not know the reasons why he attended the ceremony.
“Sometimes you must make a distinction between President Kufuor as the former president and his capacity as the former leader of the party. The two personalities are different.
“It is important to engage him on what it is that led to his going there. What is it that he knows that some of us don’t know and I think we can take it from there.”
Asked if Kufuor’s decision to attend the ceremony was a stab in the back of the party, the Minority Leader said, he cannot say that when he was bereft of information.
The former Chief of Staff, Kwadwo Mpiani has meanwhile called the bluff of critics and has challenged them to proceed to the party’s disciplinary committee if they believe the ex-president had flouted any rules within the party.