SPECIAL REPORT: Kanazoe road deteriorates badly 4 years after the Mahama Ford scandal

On June 15, 2016—exactly four years ago—Manasseh Azure Awuni broke the Ford Scandal on JoyNews.

In that investigative piece, it was revealed that a Burkinabe contractor named Oumarou Kanazoe gave a Ford Expedition station wagon as a “gift” to President John Dramani Mahama in 2012.

The report also revealed that Mr. Kanazoe was involved in some questionable contracts with the government of Ghana, one of which was the Ghana Embassy fence wall in Burkina Faso which cost the government $650,000.

He had also been awarded part of the Eastern Corridor Road project between Nkwanta and Dodo Pepesu in the Oti Region. The road was commissioned in April 2016, by President John Mahama.

Four years after the scandal and the commissioning of the road, theghanareport.com has returned to the 46.4km Dodo Pepesu-Nkwanta road, which was constructed by the contractor. The road was highly praised by President John Mahama as, “one of the best quality roads in Ghana.”

A month after commissioning the road, potholes were spotted on it and have since developed serious defects at many sections of the road.

Manasseh’s investigation had revealed that Mr. Kanoazoe had won and had been earmarked for contracts in Ghana after he became friends with Mr. John Mahama.

Mr. Kanazoe, after seizing Manasseh’s recorder in his office in Ouagadougou, told him (Manasseh) how he became John Mahama’s friend. He said he had put in a bid for a contract in Ghana but did not win.

After that, his contractor friend in Ghana had told him to go and see then Vice President Mahama. They went together and “greeted” Vice President Mahama. He became friends with Mr. Mahama, who later became President after the death of President John Evans Atta Mills in July 2012.

He gave the Ford vehicle to President Mahama in October 2012.

In 2012, Mr Kanazoe won the contract to construct the 46.4-kilometre Dodo Pepeso-Nkwanta road. That road was completed and inaugurated on April 19, 2016, by President Mahama, who praised the Burkinabe contractor very highly.

Photo: Kanazoe’s road a month after the commissioning

“I also want to take the opportunity to thank Messrs Oumarou Kanazoe Contractors Limited of Burkina Faso for the very high quality of work they have done on this stretch of road. As I have said, perhaps, this is one of the best quality roads in Ghana today and I will urge the Minister of Road and Highways to bring other contractors to come and see so that they can emulate it in other parts of the country,” President Mahama said.

It turned out the road was not as good as the president claimed because just a month after the commissioning, the defects started to show.

This road was commissioned four years after the N1 Highway in Accra. Unlike the N1, which is very busy with heavy duty trucks from the Tema Harbour, the Nkwanta-Dodo Pepesu road is not very busy because the Eastern Corridor Road is yet to be completed. The road is however deteriorating while the N1 is still intact.

The Ministry of Roads and Highways was in the process of awarding Oumarou Kanazoe Construction Limited a contract worth GH¢82million on single source procurement basis when the story broke.

Sector Minister, Inusah Fuseini, said the Burkinabe contractor was being handpicked for the 28-kilometre road project because of the quality of the road he had constructed between Nkwanta and Dodo Pepesu and the fact that he was near the project site.

He said moving from Burkina Faso to the Hamile area would be easy for the contractor whose machinery and equipment were in Burkina Faso.

Another reason Inusah Fuseini said Kanazoe was being considered for the project was the fact that he had constructed the Burkina Faso-Hamile stretch of the road and was familiar with the terrain.

Mr. Kanazoe pulled out of this deal after the Ford story was published.

Some groups and individuals petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate President Mahama. CHRAJ concluded that the president had violated the gift policy by accepting the Ford vehicle from the contractor. CHRAJ, however,  said it did not amount to conflict of interest.

While investigating the scandal, Manasseh spoke with the Presidential Spokesperson on Governance and Corruption, Daniel Batidam, and asked him hypothetically what his advice to the President would be on whether or not to accept gifts of high value.

He smiled and replied, “Well, I’m sure you know that these are not situations that would occur in reality in terms of the kind of president we have.”

“It’s a hypothetical situation,” Manasseh told him.

“I think it’s obvious. It’s obvious that any leader, any president: not even a president, a minister; a responsible public servant would know that that situation could put him in a situation of not only conflict of interest but potentially being corrupted,” he said.

He continued, “And so I think it goes without saying that you cannot take gifts from sources that have the potential of influencing your decision making. It’s not acceptable. I think a responsible leader, minister [or] senior public servant would not need to be advised on that.”

There are calls on the government to continue with the Eastern Corridor road project. But it is evident that the stretch that has already been worked on is already deteriorating.

Here are photos of the road when theghanareport.com visited the stretch in May 2020

May 2020: Dodo Pepesu-Nkwanta road deteriorates
May 2020: Dodo Pepesu-Nkwanta road deteriorates
May 2020: Dodo Pepesu-Nkwanta road deteriorates
May 2020: Dodo Pepesu-Nkwanta road deteriorates
May 2020: Dodo Pepesu-Nkwanta road deteriorates

  1. IBRA IBRA says

    So despite the Ford Expedition bribe Mahama received from his friend Kanazoe, in exchange for the contract, this is what they offered to us.

  2. Success PKAY says

    Is this what John Mahama told our constructors to learn from? We didn’t expect anything better after the NDC flagbearer took bribe from kanazoe. His incompetence has brought this mess

  3. Success PKAY says

    John Mahama legacy. In fact it is very regrettable that the Ex President told constructors to emulate kanazoe. It is clear the quality of the road is poor to say the least. Incompetent JM

    1. Richard says

      The emulation John Mahama referred to was to give him bribe for contract not constructing good and lasting roads

  4. Anonymous says

    Mannessah.jounalism is about perspective..Roads are build according to kind of nature the should be .and also constructing road different, expanding a road both differ..on these two roads mentioned in your article differs
    Although cost involve
    Maybe close but similarities are different.it involves labour and
    Manpower .and also duration .this road in question
    Maybe a road that constructed entirely from the beginning and no
    Matter how constructed 4yrs without maintenance won’t last although good road last longer than four years but maintenance is a key ..without maintenance concrete roads even deteriorated

    1. Anonymous says

      U r sick in the head. The said story said the road started deteriorating a month after the then president (Mahama) commissioned the project of which he praise the contractor and ask Ghanaian contractors to emulate from him

    2. Danebey says

      Please make check up on the Kumasi-Mampong-Ejura-Atebubu-Yeji road constructed in 1998-2000 by Interbeton. Then you will know good works may not require immediate repairs due to deterioration.

    3. Anonymous says

      I am dumbfounded on your school of thought on this glaring issue. If such people like you exist in Ghana and will support such an incompetence, then there is indeed no future for the youth and Ghana as a whole. Please, be mindful that God place in you the good and the bad, and not to compromise on your power of judgement.

  5. Anonymous says

    Potholes in the green book on the Ford Expedition road.
    When you’re hungry, you don’t use your two hands to eat.
    JM is a thief.

  6. Samuel says

    It is good that there is follow up on issues that are handled by the media well done. Just a little thing that I would need clarification on, u compared N1 with that road n u indicated that the N1 was done 4yrs before this road, I’m not an engineer but I know the quality of asphalt road is far better than normal road that is not asphalt. Unless that contract of the eastern corridor road was also asphalt

  7. Afia Dangote says

    This is the man who wants to come back as a president, Ghanaians should make sure this man never comes close to power again.

  8. Afia Dangote says

    This is the man who wants to come back as a president, Ghanaians should make sure this man never comes close to power again. Let’s maintain Nana Addo to continue his good works for our dear country

  9. Kwame Boat says

    John Mahama shouldn’t be allowed to come anywhere near the Golden Jubilee House again. He’s highly corrupt!

  10. Abdul Hafiz Abubakar says

    Eiish Mr formal President is this how wicked you Can be and yet you are still desperately campaigning to come back power to loot the country again hell no. if I were you Mr formal President i would have advice my self and do the Honourable thing by stepping down.

  11. Anonymous says

    It obvious former President Mahama didn’t have this country at heart. He only cane to enrich himself & I am very sure there are similar deals he made that didn’t come to light. This man is still saying Ghanaians should give him a 2nd chance; can you imagine ?

  12. Maxwell says

    Thank you and God bless you abundantly for this work.
    Mahama can never be trusted in terms of corruption.
    He should be prevented from coming close to the Presidenncy again. He’s corrupt and incompetent.

  13. Nyarko says

    Mr Mahama do you still deserve second chance to become president

  14. Anonymous says

    npp led Nana addo is a shame to a Ghana politics, when a road is constructed after four years and there is small problem and you don’t want to repair it you allowed it deteriorate Who cause am? anyway your roads constructed less than a a month is being washed away okay

  15. Anonymous says

    He says he is coming back

  16. Danebey says

    I would be very glad if Manasseh can do some checks on the Kumasi through Mampong, Ejura and Atebubu road to Yeji. I remember very well when that road was being constructed by Interbeton and a sub contractor called Okokobioko. Very quality road which hasn’t developed potholes. This is what is to be emulated.

  17. Joe Vanpee says

    Mahama thinks he can hoodwink us with his green book infrastructure. He doesn’t deserve our mandate.

  18. Anonymous says

    Look at the road side vegetation left overgrown without grass cutting. No road side maintenance for this new road with all the road signs in place revealing the neglect to allow such an investment to rot away due to poor road side maintenance causing the road to be flooded due to poor drainage maintenance. The regional Highway maintenance should be surcharged for this section of the national road N2 to rot away due to poor routine maintenance of this surface treated road. Same happened to the Kpando- Worawora road.

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