The Minister-designate for Bono-East region, Siaka Stevens has backtracked on allegations that the Mahama administration diverted 100 Mahindra vehicles meant for the Education Ministry to the NDC.
He alleged that the vehicles which were to be distributed to public schools had been diverted and used for the opposition National Democratic Congress’s campaign activities during the 2016 general elections.
The vehicles purchased for the Ministry included 100 Nissan Navara pick-ups, 100 Mahindra pickups, 200 33-seater buses and 100 66-seater buses.
He claimed NDC constituency officials are still in possession of these vehicles for party activities and served notice security officials would soon go after them to retrieve the cars.
“The 100 units Mahindra double cabin pick-ups were used to run their campaign activities. That is a misplacement of national resources and we are quiet about it
“They diverted the Mahindras to run their party activities in their constituencies. If you go there right now, all the double pick-up Mahindras were bought in the name of the Education Ministry,” Mr Stevens said.
He disclosed that even when the transaction went through, the $18 million that was to be paid to the company was not paid.
Mr Siaka who is also Chairman of Parliament’s Education Committee said the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) had been alerted to investigate the issue.
Mr Ablakwa ensured that the allegation was withdrawn
But when he appeared before the Appointments Committee on Monday, Mr Stevens could not stand by the claims.
A member of the Committee, North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who was Deputy Education Minister at the time the vehicles were purchased denied all the allegations Mr Stevens made.
He said all the vehicles were handed over publicly at the Independence Square to Education Directors, Regional Directors, Heads of Institutions at the Colleges of Education and Universities.
“And the version of pickups that the Education Ministry procured is different from the NDC’s and so you are wrong to say that it happened around the same time,” Mr Ablakwa added.
He then asked the nominee if he was willing to stand by what he said.
Mr Stevens caved in, withdrawing the claims and saying “it was a misjudgement.”