Shots fired Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah hits back at Prof Kwesi Yankah

Elvis Afriyie Ankrah has replied Prof. Kwesi Yankah saying there is no evidence of his involvement in embezzling state funds.

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Former Youth and Sports Minister, Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah play

Former Youth and Sports Minister, Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah

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Former Youth and Sports Minister Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah has broken his “self-imposed silence” to reply the president of the Central University College Prof. Kwesi Yankah over claims that the Presidency of Ghana has become safe haven for corruption.

Professor Kwesi Yankah at an Institute of Economic Affairs’ said, "the Presidency is perceived to have become a comfortable refuge for officials suspected to have been involved in corruption and are under investigation".

However,he explained that under-fire political appointees are often recalled to the Flagstaff House where they are given new positions.

According to him, utterances of individuals like Daniel Batidam, who advises the president on governance and corruption leave much to be desired.

He, however, mentioned former Sports minister Elvis Afriyie Ankrah who after a scandal-plagued Word Cup showing in Brazil was quickly reshuffled to the presidency.

But in a sharp rebuttal, Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah said the academician got it all wrong.

In a statement, the Minister stated that, “Ordinarily, I would have continued in my self-imposed silence and refuse to respond to the rather erroneous comments made by the academician and President of the Central University College, Prof. Yankah.

In my moments of silence for the past nine (9) months, I have personally suffered abuse, naked insults and misrepresentations from all kinds of pundits, faceless and identifiable social media activists and commentator who have fed the public with nothing but deliberate distorted facts and outright falsehood. I did not expect a respected keynote speaker at an anti-corruption conference to also liaise his speech with innuendos and anecdotes without any factual basis,” he added.

Clearly, Prof. Kwesi Yankah took refuge in inexactitudes when he stated in part that “when appointees are cited for embezzlement and corruption, no machinery is set in motion for investigation, prosecution or indictment” and further lamented with apparent reference to me, that “the Presidency was perceived to have become a comfortable refuge for officials suspected to have been involved in corruption and are under investigation”.

He further argued that there was “shelving in the Presidency of several reports on probes and investigations in which public appointees have been fingered for corruption, embezzlement and procurement deals.”

He added: "I have never and did not engage in any act of embezzlement or misappropriation of public funds in and outside the Brazil World Cup saga. I rendered full accounts of my stewardship to the relevant authorities with respect to both the funds allocated to the team by government and the funds which I together with my team solicited through an innovative corporate sponsorship drive.

It goes without saying that reassignments and reshuffling of Ministers of State was the prerogative of the President of the Republic. To the extent that I am not culpable in any malfeasance, I cannot be said to be enjoying some “comfortable refuge” at the Presidency. Such unmeasured remarks rather undermine government efforts of dealing with corruption.

The fight against corruption is a collective goal which demands partnership between government and civil society groups and not outright condemnation. We owe a duty to our nation and generations unborn to ruthlessly weed out corruption.

I strongly believe we are more than capable of winning this war provided we can focus and consolidate the gains we have made while discounting the unnecessary suspicion of every government official or politician as being corrupt," he noted.

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