Five years after an investigative exposé revealed that a Burkinabè contractor, Djibril Kanazoe, presented a Ford Expedition SUV as a gift to his friend John Dramani Mahama, then President of Ghana in 2012, GhanaWeb looks at that issue in retrospect and discusses how it aided the NDC’s defeat in the 2016 general elections.
The investigations conducted by Manasseh Azure Awuni, a journalist then working with Accra based Joy FM, was received by the main opposition at the time, NPP, and it formed part of their 2016 campaign message to Ghanaians whenever the issue of corruption was mentioned.
To the then NPP opposition, President Mahama was corrupt as compared to their candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Speaking for the first time on the matter on Kofi TV in December 2020, John Dramani Mahama, indicated that the reportage was part of the propaganda championed by the opposition to cause his defeat in the 2016 elections.
Mahama who was speaking on why regardless of his numerous infrastructure projects across the country, Ghanaians still voted against him in the 2016 elections, explained that his defeat could be attributed to physical and spiritual machinations by his opponents.
Highlighting some of the physical machinations by his opponents, he indicated that the Ford Expedition gift which he received from someone he had an acquaintance with cannot be a bribe to him as it was portrayed to be.
Regarding the Ford bribery case which was being trumpeted by the NPP, Mahama explained, “I bought Toyota Landcruiser to the Chief Imam because I was supposed to travel with the Chief Imam to a function elsewhere and whilst we were about leaving, his vehicle broke down so we had to transport him in my car, so, I decided to purchase a new vehicle for the Chief Imam. I used my own money almost $100,000, bought… a brand new Landcruiser for the Chief Imam, so can I be bribed with a $50,000 Ford Expedition?”
He questioned further, “How can a vehicle which was supposed to be a bribe be presented to the Ghana Embassy in Burkina Faso?”
He went on, “The car was not even a brand-new vehicle, the person [Djibril Kanazoe] was a car dealer, normally when there is a new model of such vehicles…you decide to either sell it or something, this 2010 Ford model, the guy stated that he admires President Mahama so he decided to give the vehicle to the Embassy so that they present it to President Mahama.”
“The vehicle was added to the presidential pool, so when we were moving from the Castle to the Flagstaff House, I was informed of the vehicle; the guy registering the vehicle asked what to do with the vehicle because he thought it was my personal vehicle, I asked if the vehicle was presented to the presidency and they answered in the affirmative, so I asked them to put it in the pool,” Mahama told Kofi Adomah of Kofi TV.
Mahama emphasized that the vehicle was used by the soldiers to provide escort duties for the VIPs visiting the country.
“When I was leaving the presidency, the vehicle was left at the presidency…,” he stressed.
“During the campaign, they used against me that I have received a Ford bribe, but it was deliberate propaganda just to spoil my name; as a leader, you can’t avoid that because as a leader you are seen as a garbage ship; any garbage they will pour on you. So, these were part of the occupational hazards; we take the blows but we continue moving forward.”
Watch what John Dramani Mahama said on Kofi TV below.