The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, has stated emphatically that he will not succumb to pressure from New Patriotic Party (NPP) serial callers to engage in corrupt practices in violation of his cherished principles.
According to him, he continually chastised the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration for upholding corruption and therefore has no justification to do same.
“I will continue to live by my principles and nothing can force or pressurize me to indulge in corrupt acts now that I am a minister. I constantly attacked the NDC in relation to corruption and I am not going to corrupt myself.
“They cannot force or pressurize me to get myself corrupted. I will not steal state resources and distribute to them,” the minister stated in an interview with Silver FM, a Kumasi-based radio station.
Mr Osei-Mensah disclosed this in reaction to assertions by a section of New Patriotic Party (NPP) serial callers in Kumasi that he (Osei-Mensah) had abandoned them.
He stated that he would not have any qualms if the appointing authority sacks him for refusing to distribute state resources to the serial callers.
The Ashanti Regional Minister stated that the evil machinations of the serial callers to dent his hard-won reputation would not succeed.
The Volunteer Media Communicators in Kumasi, who usually defend the NPP and government on radio, had accused Mr Osei-Mensah of neglecting them.
The irate members of the Volunteer Media Communicators caused a stir on Wednesday when they set their mobile phones on fire to publicly declare plans not defend the party again.
The NPP serial callers, after burning their mobile phones, reportedly called into several radio programmes in Kumasi to bash the Ashanti Regional Minister without provocation.
Mr Osei Mensah stated: “The serial callers submitted their list to me and we have agreed that those that use mobile phones to call into radio programmes in the city to defend the government on a daily basis would be paid GH¢150 monthly.
“We have also agreed that the serial callers, who either hire cars or drive to the studios of radio stations to defend the government would also be paid GH¢200 monthly, and there are even plans to increase it to GH¢300”.
Mr Osei-Mensah, therefore, expressed worry about the incessant verbal attacks on him by the serial callers, saying that “they don’t have the right to disrespect and insult me simply because I am a minister.”
He noted that he previously used his personal funds to cater for serial callers when he was not the Ashanti Regional Minister.
Mr. Osei Mensah reminded the serial callers that he has survived for almost 50 years after the death of his father, saying that “If I am sacked today, I will continue to live and uphold my principles.”
He said some of the serial callers, who clearly hate him, predicted that he would not last three months in office, adding “But I have lasted for more than one year in office because of my principles.”
From I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi