The leadership of the Sefwi Akontombra branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Western North Region have lambasted former President John Mahama for peddling what they believe to be falsehood about the country’s cocoa sector.
According to the NPP, Mr. Mahama used his visit to Sefwi Akontombra on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, to peddle falsehood to cocoa farmers, describing his four-year regime as “Sodom and Gomorrah” for cocoa farmers.
Mr. Mahama stated among other things during his visit that his regime increased the price of cocoa yearly but noted that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo’s government has failed to do same, bringing hardship to the farmers.
He also reportedly told cocoa farmers that the NPP government has suspended all cocoa roads initiated by his government, making road accessibility a headache for the people of the Western North.
However, a statement issued by the Sefwi Akontombra Constituency Secretary of the NPP, Addo Harry, stated that “the cocoa sector, under the regime of the Former President, John Mahama, became ‘Sodom’ and ‘Gomorrah’ for the farmers in the country. The historical problems faced by the farmers became rather protracted.”
The statement observed that “the Former President used this sector as a medium to siphon revenue from these poor farmers.”
It alleged that “he milked farmers in the cocoa growing areas through high taxes on farming inputs, inflated contract quotations (cocoa roads), awarding of non-existing cocoa road contracts, diverting of cocoa bonuses worth over $100 million and shortchanging farmers on cocoa prices.”
According to the statement, the former President has a penchant for destroying every good thing he inherited from his predecessors including that of his own boss, the late President Evans Atta Mills.
“It is worth to note that, Former President Mahama inherited one (1) million metric tonnes of annual cocoa production when he took over from his boss, the late President, H.E John Evans Atta Mills but left the country with 850,000 metric tonnes of production,” it said.
“The country’s cocoa production lost its capacity by a whopping 250,000 metric tonnes in his four years in power, due to poor management and negligence, to the farmers and skyrocketed smuggling of cocoa to the neighboring countries due to low pricing of cocoa beans.”