Minister Hot; Summoned To Flagstaff House

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nanton, is expected to appear before the Presidency tomorrow, Tuesday April 14, to substantiate allegations that a colleague minister is plotting to unseat him.

The Presidency summoned the minister so he would adduce evidence to the allegations that another minister and MP from Tamale was seeking to ‘remove’ him from Parliament.

DAILY GUIDE sources revealed that the Presidency was upset over the recent unsavoury comments of the Nanton MP over the matter – the reason for his invitation – and that this might lead to his exit from the Mahama Administration.

The Deputy Minister, who claimed to be in Morocco on official duties, is expected back home later today, and would appear before the President to justify his allegations.

The Northern Regional branch of the NDC, chaired by Sofo Azorka, also stepped into the matter, saying it would not allow the reckless comments of the deputy minister to derail the party’s forward march.

Plot And Nude Pictures
Murtala reportedly claimed on his facebook wall days after his public outburst on a radio station in Tamale that the said cabinet minister had also tried setting up another unnamed cabinet minister by engaging a lady to take his nude pictures.

According to the post, the unnamed Tamale MP bought a tablet phone for the lady so she would use it to take nude pictures of the said cabinet minister, said to be from the same area. Two of Tamale MPs are cabinet ministers in the Mahama Administration.

Murtala revealed that the pictures, if the lady had succeeded, were to be used in sabotaging the said cabinet minister for reasons yet to be uncovered.

Facebook Hacked
Murtala’s facebook post on the matter received negative comments from a section of the public, in view of what many described as the use of intemperate and uncivilized language.

His colleague, Deputy Minister of Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, in an attempt to do some damage control, on realizing the disaster the post had created, claimed Murtala’s facebook account had been hacked.

He attributed the allegations posted on facebook to hackers and not that of his colleague, though the comments were similar to the allegations in his infamous Tamale tape.

Murtala, in his latest comments, corroborated the hacking story as put out by Okudzeto, that he was in faraway Morocco and as a result could not access his facebook account.

He therefore disassociated himself from the allegations that the minister he blasted on Diamond Radio in Tamale a few days ago had hired a lady to take nude pictures of a certain cabinet minister.

Many were however doubtful about the claim of the two deputy ministers that the facebook account of the deputy Trade and Industry Minister was indeed hacked, taking into account the chronology of events.

Political commentators were of the view that the gravity of Murtala’s comments had now dawned on him, and could lead to his dismissal, especially the allegation that the MP he was in tango with had been greasing the palms of chiefs in Dagbon with filthy, ill-gotten money.

Some claimed because of his inability to defend the allegations, he was now claiming that his account had been hacked.

Upon realising the import of his allegations, Murtala Muhammed, at the weekend, rendered an unqualified apology to the President and the NDC over his radio rampage, claiming it was as a result of deep pain occasioned by events over the years.

He admitted that the matter could have been handled in a better way rather than resorting to outbursts, and appealed to the chiefs and people of Dagbon to forgive him.

Sources indicated that the apology was occasioned by the invitation to the Presidency for the minister to explain the rationale behind his actions.

The Editor of the of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr, was however of the view that President Mahama must reprimand Murtala Muhammed for his public outburst.

The renowned journalist endorsed calls for the Presidency to institute an investigation into the numerous allegations raised by the Deputy Minister of Trade, which had the potential of damaging the image of the government.

Speaking on Joy FM news analysis programme, Newsfile, on Saturday, Kweku Baako noted that Murtala’s ‘utterances are weighty enough to warrant some level of investigations.

‘He is already a problem; the Presidency may have to take a look at him. The allegations that he made ought to be investigated. Personally, he has damaged himself in many ways. A deputy minister of state does not take to radio to say those things…,’ he remarked.

Relating the comments to an incident involving Isaac Edumadze, a former Central Regional Minister under the erstwhile Kufuor government, Mr. Baako recalled how President John Kufuor publicly reprimanded the regional minister after he had an open altercation with a taxi driver and ended up towing the car.

A law lecturer, Yaw Oppong, backed Mr. Baako’s call for investigations, adding, ‘If he has evidence of bribe being paid and received by others, he should be made to report to the police or he will be concealing the commission of an offence.’

Tamale Chiefs Petition President 
Meanwhile, DAILY GUIDE has confirmed that selected chiefs within the Tamale Metropolis would be leaving for Accra today to present a petition to the President over the insulting behaviour of the deputy minister.

The Minister claimed they were hypocrites and had allowed their conscience to be bought by ill-gotten money from the MP who was scheming for his removal from Parliament.

He also alleged that because his detractors had succeeded in gagging the chiefs by bribing them and opinion leaders in the Northern Region with “filthy, ill-gotten money’, they were afraid to talk about the issues affecting the region.

His comments seemed to have angered the chiefs who would be petitioning the President to take a second look at the appointment of the minister, who, they claimed, had insulted the chieftaincy institution.

NDC Blasts Murtala
First Vice Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, criticized the Member of Parliament for Nanton, Murtala Muhammed, over his outbursts.

According to him, the MP went too far, and advised party functionaries to learn to keep their cool because they sometimes end up running down their reputation with the kind of comments they make.

Responding to the issue on Accra-based Atinka FM, the former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development said government appointees ‘must learn to be humble’.

According to him, because some government appointees were exposed to so many valuable things, they tended to be arrogant, adding that this did not auger well for a country like Ghana.

Mr. Ampofo said government appointees were supposed to serve and not be served, adding that such utterances could compromise the ruling party’s cohesion.

The Northern Regional branch of the party however revealed it would investigate the source of the Deputy Minister’s anger and take steps to resolve the impasse.

Diamond Outburst
It would be recalled that the Nanton legislator last week went berserk on radio, claiming some persons he failed to name were orchestrating his downfall.   

The Deputy Trade Minister, while speaking on Tamale-based Diamond FM, lashed out at some chiefs of Tamale for allowing their conscience to be bought by what he termed ‘ill-gotten, filthy’ cash of the said MP.

He described the chiefs as hypocrites and dared to disregard their calls if he started speaking out against the conduct of the MP who was allegedly championing efforts to make him unpopular in the Nanton constituency.

‘Do they know how much I spend in my constituency? What business do they have in other people’s constituency?’ he remarked.

According to him, the opinion leaders who should have spoken against the conduct of the MP in question were silent because their conscience had been bought with cash from doubtful sources.

‘Who the fuck does he think he is?’ he asked.
From Stephen Zoure, Tamale

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