|Audio Attachment:Listen to Maxwell Awuku in an interview on Peace News|
The Managing Director of the Metro Mass Transit (MMT) Limited, Maxwell Awuku, has refuted claims that he attempted sabotaging the New Patriotic Party (NPP’s) non-denominational church service by ordering a refund of the monies paid for the usage of the Metro Mass buses to convey NPP loyalists to the Essipong Stadium in Sekondi in the Western Region.
According to him, the NPP rather negotiated for the buses to be used on credit but since the MMT has a policy not to give out any of its buses on credit, he only refused to accede to their (NPP’s) demands.
He explained that “the NPP paid for twelve buses but wanted to take more than the number they’ve paid for but my office refused because we no longer give buses on credit.
The NPP, on Saturday accused the MMT MD of orchestrating a diabolical plan to frustrate the party's special prayer session held on Sunday afternoon by preventing the company’s buses from conveying people to the Essipong Sports Stadium in Sekondi in the Western Region to participate in the programme.
According to the NPP, Mr. Awuku allegedly ordered without explanation, the Western Regional Manager of the company to MMT to refund to the NPP, money they had paid for 20 buses to convey their supporters to the stadium.
But speaking in an interview on PeaceFM News, the MMT boss expressed his disappointment in the NPP for blowing the issue out of proportion stressing that he was only following laid down procedures without any hidden agenda.
“…the buses are not meant to be hired without payment…the company has about GH¢5billion in debt which we haven’t been able to recover as yet,” he added.
Mr. Awuku also accused the NPP Member of Parliament for Manhyia, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh of threatening him, warning that he will hold the MP responsible if anything untoward happens to him.
However, in a quick rebuttal on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia morning show, Napo, as the NPP MP is affectionately called, accused the MMT boss of lying and also slammed him for his earlier decision not to give out the buses to the NPP.
To him, it was unwise on the part of Mr. Awuku to go on radio and make a “reckless statement” to the effect that “the NPP has realised the importance of prayers after on several occasions castigating President Mills for turning the seat of government, the Osu Castle into a prayer camp.”
“How can he say that he doesn’t understand why the NPP, which voiced concern over President Mills turning the Castle into a prayer ground, was holding a prayer session therefore he won’t give us the buses?...When you are appointed to head an institution, remember it’s not your personal property so you can’t just do whatever pleases you. Besides, the MMT does not belong to the NDC, NPP or any political party; it belongs to Ghana. It’s shameful that he is trying to play politics with his office… it was the chairman of the board of MMT who gave a counter instruction that the bus should be released for the NPP,” he said.
MMT arose from an idea from ex-President John Kufuor who spoke of the need of introducing a Mass Transit Bus system in the cities of Ghana at his inauguration speech on January 7, 2001. He directed the re-introduction of public mass transport in the metropolitan and municipal areas to ensure the safe, affordable, efficient and reliable transport of commuters. Since then, the Government has been actively promoting public mass transportation.
The MMT Limited was officially incorporated in 2003. The shareholders include State Insurance Company, National Investment Bank, Ghana Oil Company Limited, Agriculture Development Bank, Prudential Bank and SSNIT. These together have 55% shareholding.
The Government of Ghana holds the remaining 45% shares.
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