CRIG Guest House was built in 70s – Mahama ‘exposes’ COCOBOD boss

Former President John Mahama has parried the claim that he influenced the construction of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) Guest House at Bole in the Northern Region.

In a statement Thursday, the Ex-President said the facility in question was put up in the 1970s and not during his tenure.

It was only renovated under his regime, Mr Mahama said.

COCOBOD CEO, Joseph Boahen Aidoo had accused the former President of interfering in the work of the Board by misapplying funds meant for cocoa related projects.

He claimed former COCOBOD boss, Dr Stephen Opuni was pushed around to construct the Bole Guest House for the comfort of the former President.

But a statement signed by Special Aide to Mahama, Joyce Bawah Mogtari said the Ex-President could not direct the construction of the facility when it was built several decades before he became President.

“A 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,” the statement said.

Read the full statement below:

*CRIG Guest House was built in the 70s, not for Mahama*

The Office of Former President John Dramani Mahama has learnt of a number of claims by Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo, at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday.

Among others, Mr Boahen Aidoo stated that President John Dramani Mahama influenced the award of a contract to construct a guest house at Bole in the Northern Region to “enable him to enjoy comfortable holidays during visits to his constituency.”

For the avoidance of doubt, the Office of the Former President wishes to state that this claim is false.

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 Mahama. The assertion therefore that he influenced its construction is 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.

A 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.

The Office of the Former President 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 Office wishes to encourage Mr Boahen Aidoo to pay greater attention to discharging the weighty responsibility entrusted to him devoid of unnecessary partisanship and mudslinging.

SIGNED

Joyce Bawah Mogtari

Special Aide to HE John Dramani Mahama.

Thursday, Nov. 02, 2017.

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