I may be sounding like a broken record, but a broken record sounds that way to draw one’s attention to the fact that something ought to be done.
Last week, Ghanaians were informed that Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome’s two mansions were to be sold and the money expected from the sales is GH¢11.7 million, and this was going to offset the GH¢51.2 million he cunningly stole from state coffers.
The question that Ghanaians keep asking is that from 2009 when Woyome stole our money to date, how much will the state gain if it invested that amount in stock, bonds or treasury bills? This is a very legitimate question, because we often hear judgments passed on debtors and they are asked to repay the amount with inflationary rates from the day they embezzled the money to the day of final repayment.
At the time that Woyome stole our GH¢51.2 million in 2009, that amount was equivalent to $35,068,493.15 (as at June 1, 2009). With straight inflationary rates from 2009 to date, Woyome should be owing us GH¢249,347,123.79, and converting the initial amount to dollars and using annual inflationary rates in the US from 2009 to date, Woyome should be owing us $42,578,189.42.
In actual fact, the GH¢11.7 million coming from the sale of Woyome’s two estates amounts to only 4.69% of what Woyome owes to date. The state must insist on collecting the full amount plus accrued interest from Woyome as a deterrent to anyone who may have any of such ideas. For if Woyome, who is a self-proclaimed financial engineer, invested the money in high interest generating funds, he would pay the GH¢51.2 million and have over GH¢198 million and laugh at us.
One other thing that is of concern to me in this matter is the historical data of how his Ewe ethnic group regards acts of corruption and any wrong doing. As a person who spent nine months in the womb of a very beautiful Anlo woman whose father was from Anyarko/Atsiavi, and took my first meal by suckling her breasts for milk, I know what acts of misconducts mean to Ewes.
This uprightness of an average Ewe seems to have gone to the dogs, with traditional leaders and elders not calling upon Woyome to do the right thing in order to restore the good image of this ethnic group.
The only Ewe man who came close to telling Woyome he was wrong was ex-President Jerry John Rawlings, who called him a thief; something Woyome or his lawyers have not officially debunked and asked Rawlings to retract and apologise.
What is rather plain dishonesty is the way some Ewe leaders will cry foul when there is the perception of corruption within other ethnic groups, especially the Akans. So we hear Togbe Afede publicly calling Freddie Blay a corrupt person who should answer before the Special Persecutor. Here was a case where the New Patriotic Party (NPP) National Chairman had promised to give each constituency one mini bus, and that promise alone was considered an act of corruption which needed to be condemned by all. Togbe Afede made a hurricane out of a palm wine calabash as he spoke sternly about that Akan man who should be made to face the law.
No one ever heard Togbe Afede condemning his Ewe kinsman for stealing GH¢51.2 million from state coffers, but to him, a promise made by an Akan man was to be considered an evil crime and condemned by all well-meaning Ghanaians.
This act of removing a speck in another person’s eye, but doing one’s best to cover up a beam in one’s eye, will not bring any honour to this decent peace-loving ethnic group called Ewes.
As things keep unfolding and architects of the June 4 Uprising have started talking, it is becoming more of a case of ethnic cleansing than house cleaning. If those who ever overthrew constitutional rules were tied to the stakes and shot to death, then why did Afrifa have to go alone while JWK Harlley was still alive? Why was Acheampong killed while Agbo and Serlomey were still alive? Why were the Akans killed and the Ewes spared?
The perception was spread out by Rawlings that all wealthy Akans, especially those who were friends of those in government, were crooks and nation wreckers. So the likes of Buckman had his house in Teshie Nungua pulled down; Siaw lost his beer factory, and Boakye Mattress had his properties seized and handed over to the state. And someone was even killed for borrowing money from the bank to build his house.
Today, an Ewe man who was bold enough to steal in today’s amount over GH¢249 million from our state coffers is still breathing and walking around freely. And the impudence of all is that he even took us to all the courts that mattered in the world to place a seal upon our lips so that we stop asking for our money, after all he did not break into any bank.
Many generations from now when all of us alive today will be transformed into dust in our final resting places, those to take our places may realise the dishonesty of this current generation of the Ewe ethnic group, which watched and cheered when people were killed for perceived economic crimes, but either kept mute or defended their own who actually stole the state’s money.
When that period comes, it will be the innocent Ewes who will suffer the consequences of the actions of their forefathers.
I call on all Ewe leadership to pressurise Woyome to repay what he stole, and repay with interest. He is owing us over GH¢249 million to date, and not GH¢51.2 million.
Hon. Daniel Dugan