The Mayor of Accra, Mr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuye, has said that he does not owevictims of the devastating June 3 Accra floods any apology.
About 153 Ghanaians died in both the floods proper and a floods-induced inferno at a Goil Filling station » in at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle.
The twin disaster triggered outrage among section of the public and prompted widespread calls for Mr Vanderpuye to resign over what some critics said was his incompetence.
Mr Vanderpuye’s fiercest critics was popular playwright, Uncle Ebow Whyte, who urged him to fix problems facing Accra instead of going about collecting undeserved awards .
But participating Friday in a BBC Africa debate on the topic,”How prepared is your city for disaster?”, Mr. Okoe Vanderpuye defended his record as Mayor, stressing that he had never been negligent in his duty.
Mr Okoe said even before the floods, he made sure that the city’s drains and gutters were desilted to facilitate the free flowing of water.
When asked whether he owed victims of the flood an apology, Mr. Vanderpuye said he did not, stressing that what happened was not his
fault or the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
He said they had done their best based on the resources available to them to ensure the safety of Accra residents.
Mr. Vaderpuye, however, noted that he owed victims of the floods his sympathy and support to enable them move past the disaster.
The Mayor went on to warn that if measures were not immediately taken to build bigger drains and widen existing ones, the flooding problem in Accra will remain.
See Photos: Kennedy Agyapong caught “pants down”
Documents available to prove the exact opposite of claims made by New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Assin Central Kennedy Agyapong on Oman Fm’s Boiling Point last Thursday, that Stelin Automotive and Trading Company in 2012 paid only GH¢ 10,000 to clear six (6) Toyota Hilux pick-up vehicles belonging to Mr Ibrahim Mahama’s Engineers & Planners.
“That Stelin Company, we will go after them… Ibrahim imported Hilux. When I talk they say it’s because he is richer than me that’s why I talk about him… Someone whose brother is President, and wants to be President again… this thing he did in 2012 I will talk”, Mr Kennedy Agyapong declared on Oman FM.
“Ibrahim brought in those six Hilux pickups. Do you know the duty Engineers and Planners paid? They paid 10,000 cedis.. I swear to God… I am not against Ibrahim, I am against Steling Company.. I want the customs officer to be interrogated”, he added.
But contrary to the claims made by the lawmaker, documents with receipts sighted showed Stelin Automotive and Trading Company paid GH¢10,424.16 for each of the Toyota Hilux Pick up and not GH¢ 10,000 for all the six (6).
It has been established that the vehicles with chassis numbers MROFR22G3C0679730, MROFR22G679726, MROFR22G679638, MROFR22G679533, MROFR22G679810 and MROFR22G67921 were all cleared at a total cost of GH¢62, 544.96 through Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) Ecobank account.
It is unclear where the maverick lawmaker got his information from but checks at CEPS in Tema further revealed that the amount was paid in full before the vehicles were released to the clearing agent, Stelin Automotive, and Trading Company.
A CEPS official who spoke to MYNEWSGH.com on condition of strict anonymity said: “Checks on whether the appropriate duties of vehicles has been paid can be done through the use of Customs SMS code by texting the chassis numbers to the shortcode 1477”.
He revealed that any car whose duty has not been paid will be exposed by the system’s shortcode of 1477.
Though the lawmaker claimed during the political programme his allegations were against Stelin Automotive and Trading Company and not E&P or Ibrahim Mahama, an aide to the businessman in response said the NPP firebrand seems to be obsessed about Mr. Ibrahim Mahama.
“The attacks on Stelin Automotive and Trading Company appeared to be an indirect way of attacking Mr. Ibrahim Mahama because the cars were cleared on behalf of Engineers &Planners Limited”, he stated.
This is not the first time Mr Kennedy Agyapong is making allegations against Mr Ibrahim Mahama which eventually turned out to be false.
Last week, the outspoken lawmaker alleged ‘some impropriety’ in the part of Mr Ibrahim Mahama over the servicing of his cars at the Air Cargo section of the Kotoka International Airport.
Officials of NACOB who supervised the disembarking of the luxury vehicles disputed Mr Kennedy Agyapong’s version of events.
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