Former Presidential Staffer and Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam George has denied ever saying that the missing 200 vehicles were bought by members of the former administration.
The Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, had earlier this week revealed, that about 208 of the vehicles bequeathed to the new government by the National Democratic Congress government could not be traced.
Sam George was reported on Saturday to have said the missing vehicles were bought by Presidential staffers in the Mahama-led administration.
He was quoted to have said during a panel discussion on Citi FM’s news analysis program, The Big Issue that: “A number of my colleagues chose to buy their cars. I for personal reasons declined to buy my car and I returned it to the director of logistics at the Office of President. We put out a list of 641 vehicles. We handed over about 370 vehicles to the assets and logistics committee [of the new government] and these vehicles were physically inspected by the assets committee led by lawyer Ayikoi Otu. You’ll see a disparity and it is because 271 salon cars were purchased by staffers who had put in a request to purchase their vehicles which were 2 years and above.”
However, in a Facebook post on Sunday, the Ningo-Prampram MP said his comments were misrepresented.
Like I indicated yesterday, my comments on the Big Issue were misrepresented by www.citifmonline.com in the headline and story they ran.
Subsequent to my complaint, the headline alone has been changed. That in itself is an admittance on their part of a misrepresentation.
I still maintain that on no occasion and nowhere in the attached voice clip do I indicate that the so called ‘missing’ vehicles were bought by former staffers. The attempt to stretch my submission that far points to an unfortunate attempt to seek an escape route for a government that has eggs in its face over their false claims.
I repeat my position as has been from the beginning. No cars are missing! The new administration is simply on a fishing expedition and on a smear campaign against the outgone administration.
There is currently a 2016 registered bulletproof Toyota Avalon and two 2016 registered bulletproof Toyota Landcruisers in the custody of the administration. They have placed them in the pool and are playing to the gallery with a 10 year old BMW as the President’s vehicle. They had better get serious!
Awurade begye steer nu!
In another post he added:
For the avoidance of any doubt and to clearly dispel the ongoing media sponsored mischief, I would state again every thing I know and said about the vehicles.
1. The NPP Government spokesperson Eugene Arhin accuses the outgone NDC administration of having stolen 200 cars and that this has given rise to a situation where the President has to drive in a 10 year old BMW or his personal Landcruiser.
2. We had witnessed a Gestapo styled raid of homes of former appointees by known elements of the NPP backed by state security actors to seize privately owned vehicles in what can best be described as State sponsored thuggery and armed robbery. After public outcry, a hollow letter is issued to give some semblance of officialdom to the unfortunate happenings.
3. Former appointees (myself included) challenge Eugene Arhin and the government to put out the names of appointees holding on ILLEGALLY to any State vehicle. There is absolute silence from Government.
4. The former Deputy Chief of Staff puts out a statement also challenging proof of the claims by the current government and puts out a list of all 641 vehicles that were active under the past administration with vehicle type, chasis number, last known registration number and condition of car.
Now here comes my intervention and all the twists and turns by the cabal and the unfortunate impatience of some comrades to read between the lines and understand my comments. Below are all statements of FACT that I challenge anyone to dispute.
A. I made the point that the outgoing Government handed over 370 vehicles to the Assets and Logistics Committee chaired by Lawyer Ayikoi Otoo.
B. I suggested that the difference of 271 between the list of 641 put out and the 370 handed would represent vehicles which were active but had been auctioned off LEGALLY to both public and civil servants who worked in the Presidency. I indicated this was a convention and that it was restricted to saloon vehicles over 2 years old.
C. I again made the point that it would be erroneous for anyone to assume that these 271 cars were missing as the documentation covering their auction and eventual sale were in the custody of the current government as part of handing over protocols.
D. Failure to make forcefully the point I made in C above would imply that all 641 vehicles in the list were handed over and that Colleagues who had legitimately bought their vehicles were ILLEGALLY in possession of same. It would expose them to unnecessary attacks and seizure of LAWFULLY acquired vehicles.
E. The spin that has been put by the media to suggest that I said the missing cars were bought is unfortunate and unholy to say the least. These 271 cars were not in contention. The Government said they were looking for 200 cars. Not 271.
F. Eugene Arhin has put out a list of 173 vehicles which he claims were the only vehicles at the disposal of the new government. A casual look at the difference between the 370 handed over and the 173 vehicles gives you a figure much closer to 200 than the 271 vehicles I mentioned.
G. On the programme yesterday, I challenged Eugene Arhin’s claim by pointing out that 6 bulletproof vehicles were handed over to the new Government – 2 Toyota Avalons, 2 Toyota Landcruisers and 2 BMW cars. currently a 2013 registered bulletproof Toyota Avalon is being used by the Vice President. Strangely though a 2016 registered bulletproof Toyota Avalon which was used for less than a year by President Mahama has been abandoned and put in the General Pool. Same applies to the two 2016 registered bulletproof Landcruisers.
H. I asked how we could have these bulletproof vehicles placed in a General Pool and Ghanaians are told that there is no vehicle suitable for the transport of our President save a 10 year old BMW. This question came against the backdrop that 8 vehicles (2 Mercedes Benz, 2 Landcruisers, 3 Prados and 1 Patrol) have been assigned to the First Lady and 7 vehicles assigned to the Second Lady.
I do not seek the approval of the media. I seek only to put out the truth and point out the unrighteous vilification of former appointees of the previous administration by this Government aided by their media cabal. Comrades, I urge you to dispassionately read between the lines and deduce the truth. It is shocking that many Comrades now trust this same cabal because it may serve a certain purpose.
I maintain that after phone calls and challenges to the headline put out by citifmonline.com, they have changed the headline. That in itself does not cure the mischief but it is yet proof that the initial misleading headline was not well thought through and that the portions attributed to me and the voice clip attached (which has been edited to take out the questions asked by the Host and other comments) DO NOT support the assumption they seek to make.
I hold and maintain like I did on the Big Issue yesterday that there are no MISSING cars. This brouhaha is a ruse! Simple and short! How then can I claim purchase of something that I hold is nonexistent?
May posterity judge and vindicate my position.
SAMUEL NARTEY GEORGE (MP)