President John Dramani Mahama has dispelled claims that he used COCOBOD funds to construct Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) Station Guest House in Bole to enable him enjoy comfortable holidays during visits to his constituency.
According to him, the guest house was built in the 70s.
The Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, at a press conference in Accra last Wednesday accused Mr Dramani Mahama of ordering the construction.
A statement signed by the Special Aide to the former president, Joyce Bawah Mogtari, described the claims by the COCOBOD CEO as false.
The Office of former President John Dramani Mahama, according to the statement, noted that the guest house in question, the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) Research Station Guest House, has been in existence since 1975, and could not possibly have been constructed during the tenure of President Dramani Mahama.
It added that the assertion, therefore, that former President Dramani Mahama influenced its construction was also false.
“The Station conducts research into shea nut and cashew to boost production of these two crops in the Brong Ahafo, Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions that constitute the Northern Savannah Zone.
“Also, the CRIG Research facility includes the guest house that has always provided commercial accommodation services to officials of COCOBOD and any other person that requires its use,” it explained.
According to the statement, the decision by the board of COCOBOD to renovate the facility, after many years of use cannot be needless, and does not require the influence of the President of the Republic, as he then was.
It added that it has noted a regrettable pattern of false and inaccurate information put out by the Chief Executive of COCOBOD intended to slander the former president as a way of covering up bad management practices and decisions identified and highlighted by the NDC minority in Parliament about the country’s cocoa sector.
“Such an unwholesome practice will only serve to detract from the important business of managing the cocoa sector which is the lifeblood of the Ghanaian economy,” the statement said.
The Office of the former President urged Mr Boahen Aidoo to pay greater attention to discharging the weighty responsibility entrusted to him devoid of unnecessary partisanship and mudslinging.
Story: Kofi Owusu Tawiah