Ashanti Students for Development is a student body at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and has called on President Akufo-Addo to stop what they describe as political witch-hunting of some businessmen in the Ashanti kingdom especially the former Bank of Ghana Governor, Dr Kwabena Duffuor.
According to the group today in a press conference addressed by Mahmud A.W Kabore the president of the group, they indicated that the government has taken deliberate attempt to suppress the growth of businesses especially those belonging to Ashantis.
They added that recent reports that the former finance minister has gone missing following investigations into the collapse of Unibank is proof that government is seeking to embarrass the businessman.
Read the full press Statement here :
*PRESS CONFERENCE HELD ON THE 5TH FEBRUARY, 2020 AT OPOKU WARE II MESEUM, KNUST.
*The Coalition of Ashanti Students for Development; Protests Vehemently Against the Blatant Attack On “Achievers” Like Dr. Kwabena Duffour And Other Businessmen in The Ashanti Region by Government*
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, it is with humility and respect that we have you in our midst this morning to grace this press conference. Our good friend from the media, if you have put your noose on the grindstone in the recent times you might have heard about the preposterous attacks on perceived political opponents.
One of such assaults has hits one of the “brightest star” of Ghana like a thunderbolt. There have been what we describe as unfortunate unmitigated and unabated litigations against some of the sons and daughters of the land.
We the students of the above coalition (Coalition of Ashanti Students for Development) by this communique, wish to express our animosity, reservations and disgust at the trend of events unfolding as far as the continuous pursue for destruction., the businesses and reputation of the former Governor of the Bank of Ghana and the former Finance Minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffour, is concerned.
Without equivocation, we want to state that, not only do we perceive these unnecessary litigations against the former governor as a political witch-hunt unleashed by the government on him as celebrated and venerated “grandfather” of economic management and excellence in Ghana, but the Ashanti Region itself feels targeted by this particular regime.
Ladies and gentlemen, over the last three years of this administration, we have systematically taken notice of the rather kamikaze and fruitless effort to cripple businesses of some sons and daughters of the Ashanti Region, typical example is Mr. Isaac Osei former CEO of the Tema oil refinery, who according to the Institute of Energy Security (IES), his resignation was induced by persons who wanted him to approve a shady deal that would have cost tax payers millions of dollars, the major “electoral cash cow” of the ruling government.
What is provoking and motivating what we consider a politically unwise step taken by the government, is not known, but there’s every effort made by the current administration to castigate the development of the Ashanti Region.
Friends from the media, before we go ahead, let’s take the pain to list a few of the businesses established by Dr. Kwabena Duffour
1. Star Assurance: Giving hope to a good number of Ghanaians.
2. Duffour farms: Employing 1000s of youth within the Sekyere and Afram Plains enclave.
3. The EIB network, also employing 1000s of young men and women in the media industry.
4. IFS also in place.
5. Kumawuman Rural Bank is not left out.
6. The defunct Unibank did not only serve as a source of employment for many graduates but
also a source of scholarship opportunities for many students.
Apostles of democratic freedom in the media, it is rather mind-boggling that a man who assuages the woes of the government in terms of job creation in this country is under siege by government for employing Ghanaians who would have been otherwise waited for government’s jobs.
It is on the heels of this notion and anomaly we want to set the record straight – in respect of the aforementioned business mogul, revered technocrat, who is one of the best and an astute citizen as well, Dr. Duffuor – that the greedy attempt by the current administration to "kill" the businesses of many hardworking Ghanaians with its accompanying artificial unemployment, won’t simply wash in the Region. We believe, not only our Coalition would condemn this wicked form of governance and economic management without reservation, but all right-thinking Ghanaians won’t remain silent with hands akimbo to watch the Ashanti Region’s Achiever’s businesses go down the drain like we have it happened to our own Nana Oduro of Allied Savings and Loans, Joseph Nsonamoah of UT bank, Dr. Duffour and his Unibank as well as Dr. Papa Kwasi Nduom and his financial empire.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, it beats the imagination and intelligence of the ordinary Ghanaian, that a government that promises jobs finds comfort and luxury in the destruction of companies and factories, rendering the few who have been employed, jobless. With the minutest fault with a company or its own, the government calls for its demolition. How are we going to go beyond the much-touted Ghana Beyond Aid policy with this state of affairs?
Again, it is not any figment of our imagination but from a sound observation we have made over the last few years, that the government posturing and general modus operandi, is gradually departing from the realm of democracy into a realm of dangerous Fascism, Nazism, Autocracy and Totalitarianism. We believe this won’t help matters, and there’s every shouting need for government to reconsider some of the decisions it takes recently in the corporate landscape.
For how long should we continue to deny many Ghanaians their daily bread in the name of pursuing accused fraud businessmen?
We wish to state categorically clear that, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor is not a hardcore politician who could have amassed his massive wealth from the proceeds of borrowing on behalf of the ordinary Ghanaian.
He is an excellent Achiever who needs to be celebrated and not demeaned and destroyed. He is one of the few economics and bankers the country can boast of as a national asset and not as a national villain. Friends from the media, help us convey this message to every Ghanaian that, the man Dr. Duffour, a proud son of the Ashanti land gave his salary and allowances as a Finance Minister to the state for the betterment of Ghana. Again, he refused to accept state vehicle, accommodation among other state benefits as a minister of state. As if that was not enough, Dr. Duffour unlike other former appointees, again donated his end of service benefits (Ex-gratia) to the development of mother Ghana.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, Dr. Duffuor is one of the fewer Ghanaians we have today who still maintain the anachronistic traditions in this country and exudes the true Ghanaian hospitality. He’s a father to many fatherless, enabler and promoter of upcoming talents. Dr. Duffuor, unappreciated by many due to striking ignorance, is a handler, manager, and supporter of many households and families through his voluntary service to Ghana and creation of jobs.
Dr. Kwabena Duffuor has the longest Curriculum vitae time and space won’t allow us to enumerate. He’s a man of international repute with numerous accolades under his belt. In 1998, for example, Dr. Duffuor was voted "Personality of the Year" by the Independent Newspaper in Ghana. In this same year, he was again voted "Marketing Man of the Year" by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana (CIMG). For his loyal and meritorious service to the banking industry in Ghana the Institute of Bankers – Ghana, conferred an Honorary Fellowship on Dr. Duffuor in November 1997. I
September 1999, he was commended for being one of the best four Central Bank Governors in the World by Euromoney Publications at the IMF/World Bank meeting held in Washington, DC. In May 2002, Duffuor was honoured by the GCB Bank in recognition of his 26 years of loyal and dedicated service to the bank as well as the honour done to the bank in his appointment to the high office of the governor of the Bank of Ghana.
Again, in February 2002, the Rural Bankers’ Association of Ghana honored Dr. Duffuor for his immense contribution to the development of the Rural Banking sector in the country. In September 2002, The Ashanti Regional chapter of the Rural Banker’s Association’s appreciated and honored Dr. Duffuor for being founder and first president of the association who also made very significant contribution to the development of a vibrant rural banking industry in the Ashanti Region. In July 2010, Dr Duffuor was awarded the International Distinguished Merit Award by the West African Insurance Institute, in recognition for his outstanding contribution to the development of Insurance in Africa and specifically for his unreserved support for the promotion of insurance education in the region and especially to the West African Insurance Institute.
2011 he was named by The Banker as Africa’s finance minister of the Year 2011. Also, in October 2011, Africa investor (Ai), a leading international investment research and communication group awarded Dr. Duffuor the African Finance Minister of the Year 2011 Award during the prestigious Africa investor (Ai) Investment and Business Leader Awards held in Washington during the World Bank Annual Meetings.
Dr. Duffuor received a Lifetime Achievement Award in Banking and Finance from Corporate Initiative Ghana, organizers of Ghana Banking Awards, at a ceremony held in December 2014. In January 2015, TV station Viasat 1 named Dr Duffuor "Man of the Year 2014" in Ghana, for his outstanding success in business.
This was the second time this ‘‘Man of the Year’’ award has been given to the same person in his lifetime in Ghana. In July 2015, Duffuor received an Exceptional Achievement award from GUBA at an event that took place at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, London. Most recent one is the 2017 EMY Africa Awards, where he was crowned the ULTIMATE MAN OF THE Year.
We can go on and on enumerating the achievements of this wonderful man. It would therefore be a wicked character assassination to brush all these achievements aside and go ahead to defame his hard-won reputation because of politics.
We remind government that, despite its attempts to paint some sons and daughters of the Ashanti land black, Dr. Duffuor’s achievements, contribution to youth development and his voluntary services to this country has made him worthy of celebrating and that is what we will do.
Thank you very much for your attention
*Mahmud A. W. Kabore*
*Harry Kakari Antwi*
*Obiri Yeboah Stephen*