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SSNIT hotels: Elizabeth Ohene avoided the fundamental issues – Ablakwa

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Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, has stated that the op-ed piece by Elizabeth Ohene, the Board Chair of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), regarding the controversy surrounding the sale of 60% shares in four SSNIT hotels to Rock City, does not represent the views of the entire board.

Elizabeth Ohene has justified the integrity of the process that led to the selection of Rock City Hotel as the preferred company to acquire a 60% stake in the four SSNIT-owned hotels.

In an article titled “Coming out of the Hotels,” Elizabeth Ohene stated that she would assume responsibility and expects to be prosecuted if any evidence of corruption is found in the process leading up to the decision to pick Rock City, owned by Agriculture Minister Bryan Acheampong.

According to her, the process was transparent and adhered to all relevant regulations. She emphasised that SSNIT did not seek the president’s permission because it is not obliged to do so.

“I am able to say with the utmost certainty that the process that led to the selection of Rock City as the Preferred Bidder was clean, above board and met every rule and regulation and can withstand every scrutiny.

“Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa claims to have God and Ghana on the side of his campaign, and I would hope all of God’s Angels and Ghana’s investigative agencies, temporal and spiritual, would examine the process and tell the world if they find any irregularity or trace of corrupt practice. Indeed, if they should find any evidence of corruption, I will assume and accept responsibility and expect to be prosecuted.”

Speaking in an interview with Umaru Sanda Amadu on Point Blank on Eyewitness News on Wednesday, Mr Ablakwa stated that Ms Ohene’s op-ed piece was her personal opinion and personal observation and analysis on the matter.

He indicated that the expectation was for the SSNIT Board Chair to speak on behalf of the board and address the concerns of some members of the board who had come out to state their disagreement with the transaction.

“It is her personal opinion and personal observation and analysis on this matter. That is the first challenge I have on this piece. One would have thought that as the board chair breaking her silence on this matter she would be speaking officially and authoritatively on behalf of the organisation, carrying the views of all board members.

“She hasn’t done that in this case. Remember that on the 20th of May this year, organised Labour held a press conference at which press conference they announced to the whole world that their reps on the board, four reps on the board, the board Elizabeth Ohene chairs opposed this transaction and that they told SSNIT to stop the transaction.”

“…I thought that the honourable Elizabeth Ohene would address that. She doesn’t address this. So to the extent that you have other board members speaking on the platform of organised labour telling us that they don’t support this transaction…We cannot therefore take the honourable Elizabeth Ohene’s op-ed on this matter as representing the views of the entire board,” he stated.

He further underscored that Ms Ohene deliberately avoided the fundamental issues in her writeup.

“The honourable Elizabeth Ohene deliberately avoids all the fundamental issues, all the substantive matters. This issue has gathered the public opprobrium,” he stated.

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