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I never said Mahama was corrupt – Spio rubbishes reports

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Former Trade Minister and a leading contender for the position of flag bearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress, Ekow Spio-Garbrah has rubbished reports of him describing former President John Dramani Mahama as corrupt.

A report by the Publisher newspaper and replicated on its online portal reported that, the former Trade Minister has describe the man under whom he served as Minister as a corrupt and incompetent leader. Spio-Garbrah in the said story reportedly claims “Mr. Mahama in the past had been dented with both an “incompetence” and “corruption” tag, the very label that plunged the National Democratic Congress NDC to defeat in during the 2016 elections.”

But Ekwow Spio-Garbrah has refuted the claims by the newspaper insisting he never described the former President as corrupt and incompetent.

In a telephone conversation with, Spio-Garbrah said “the reports are deliberately misleading with their headlines about what I said.”

He clarified that his words were a reflection of what delegates of the party had mentioned to him as part of the reasons why the party lost power hence, it’s erroneous for anyone to attribute the claims to him specifically.

“Those are allegations raised by New Patriotic Party NPP which are being cited by our NDC delegates and which I am also quoting. So I haven’t myself described the NDC government of which I was a part as being either corrupt or incompetent. I’m only analyzing the reasons that led to the NDC’s defeat in 2016. But even the Kwesi Botchwey report will have similar information is it. It won’t be that Kwesi Botchwey is claiming that the NDC government was corrupt or incompetent but this is what the people of Ghana were told and those were some of the reasons the people of Ghana voted against the NDC,” Spio-Garbrah said.

He added, “Flowing from those NPP accusations, the delegates are saying because of those reasons, it would be good for the party if we can present any candidate who cannot be reasonably described as either corrupt or incompetent so it is up to the NDC to identify such a candidate and present such a candidate to the electorate and it is my view that I can be describe as not corrupt and incompetent. Other candidates can come and present themselves in the same manner but I have not mentioned anybody’s name in the NDC as being corrupt or incompetent so that is all a fabrication by various media houses.”

Mr. Spio-Garbrah, in an interview on Accra based TV3 on Monday reportedly said the delegates of the party(NDC) do not want a leader who has the tendency of being called corrupt or incompetent.

He’s quoted as saying, “We lost the 2016 elections and now the party is reflecting on its losses…the delegates when I asked them what were the reason we lost the elections say…we were accused of being incompetent by NPP and we were also accused by NPP for being corrupt.”

He added, “so, I asked them what is the solution to that and they say we must make an effort to find a candidate who is neither corrupt nor someone who can be deemed to be incompetent.”

But the man who once served with John Mahama in the erstwhile NDC administration says he has not described his fellow contender in the flagbearer race as both incompetent and corrupt.

Ekwow Spio-Garbrah is one of 11 persons who wants to lead the NDC into election 2020. The others include former UPSA Rector, Prof. Joshua Alabi, 2nd Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban K. Bagbin, former President John D. Mahama, former NHIA boss Sylvester Mensah and a private legal practitioner, Elikplim Agbemava.

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