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04 July 2014

NDC Unveils $20m Office???

Leadership of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) finally commissioned the controversial $20 million head office building yesterday.
Key and influential members of the party, including some Members of Parliament (MPs), defied a heavy downpour that hit the nation’s capital, Accra, to hold a meeting at the place after midday.
Even though the party has persistently denied ownership of the building, holding the meeting there gave a tacit endorsement that the edifice is owned by the party.

Suddenly, Adabraka, the location of the twin-tower four-storey building, has become a centre of attraction with several V8 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles trooping to the area and expectedly attracting attention.
Within minutes, the road in front of the headquarters building and other streets adjoining the main road, had become parking lots, prompting questions from curious residents in the area and passersby, most of who wondered what was going on.
Just a day after DAILY GUIDE had made stunning revelations about branding the ground floor of the building in NDC colours, leadership of the party attempted to cover the walls which had been branded in the green, white, red and black colours of the NDC. The slogan, ‘Better Ghana Agenda,’ is boldly written on the wall.

When it was first made public by this paper a couple of years ago that the edifice belongs to the NDC, leadership of the party, including its Deputy National Organiser, Joshua Akamba, categorically denied it.
However, this time around, the leadership has not issued any statement refuting the recent story that the office complex, which cost $20 million, belongs to the party.

This has kept many, including political observers, wondering why the usually defensive leadership of the governing party – including its tough-talking General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu-Nketia – have suddenly kept quiet.
But sources at the party’s existing head office at Kokomlemle, from where it currently operates, told this paper that “the DAILY GUIDE story came as a surprise to the national leadership of the party, especially the national executives.”
They were therefore said to have quickly organised a meeting to strategise on how to keep the branded office from the prying eyes of the public who might want to verify things for themselves thus, the use of brown paper to cover the colours and the writings on the building.

Initial Claims
Days after the controversy about the modern edifice erupted sometime in 2011 at a press conference organised by the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) – a pressure group – Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Kofi Adams, challenged those making the claims to provide evidence to that effect.
AFAG questioned the source of funding and reasons behind the sudden and rapid development of the structure by a party which a year earlier was struggling to pay rent for its offices – and even failed to submit their audited accounts due to lack of adequate financial resources to hire external auditors.
Nonetheless, Kofi Adams said there was nothing wrong for a party like the NDC to put up an ultra-modern party head office, claiming that the NDC had acquired a piece of land at Oyibi, which he claimed was being developed into a party head office and training school.
He therefore debunked claims that the NDC was using State funds, adding that the ruling party raises funds from party members to support such projects.
The opposition New Patriotic party (NPP) joined the fray, asking the NDC to disclose its sources of funding for the supposed $20 million party headquarters in Accra.

Facts On file
The $20 million building, which was constructed by a Chinese company, was initially put up for lease when leasing notices were posted at the gates, apparently because of the controversy surrounding it.
Though it was not clear how much the plush edifice was being let out for, an Accra-based legal practitioner and brother-in-law of the Ahwoi brothers, Kwaku Bram-Larbi – who is also a member of the NDC and in charge of the property – had earlier confirmed to DAILY GUIDE that the facility was being offered for lease at $32 per square meter per month, only for the paper to uncover recently that it was being branded in NDC colours.

Daily Guide


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