Thursday, August 05, 2010

Spare Parts dealers spit fire

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By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday August 5, 2010
Executives of Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association say they will not sit for some of its members to politicize issues affecting the spare parts industry.

At a news conference in Accra yesterday, Joseph Paddy, Chairman of the association, which is made up of sub-groups with 14 zones, said the association was established many years “but some of our members are trying to politicize our area of operation.”

“Some people have been moving from one media house to the other speaking on behalf of the mother association and making comments that are highly political, but their views cannot be that of the association. This association was formed devoid of political lines and the leadership will continue to tow that line.”

He said when President Mills visited the spare parts area recently to obtain first-hand information about their activities, he promised to ensure that the government adopts necessary measures to improve the industry in the country, adding, “So far the government has taken steps to fulfill the promise.”

Mr. Paddy said “what we have observed in recent times is that somebody who claims to be chairman of one of our sub associations came on air saying that the President promised to construct our roads, but nothing has been done since then and claimed that he spent his own money to buy gravels to repair some of the roads.”

“It was the same person who came on air some time ago accusing our table top brothers of selling parts that has been used in Ghana. It was this same person who made statements which dragged the name of the association into politics.”

“We want to make it categorically clear that the Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association is the only official mouthpiece of the entire spare parts area. Any statement that comes from any sub association or any member must be ignored.”

Asked who were behind the politicization of the activities of the association, Mr. Paddy declined to mentioned names but said even though there is freedom of expression and association, nobody could purport to speak for them adding that “we always use dialogue to resolve our issues and we are not going to depart from this.”

He alleged that the undue politicization of the associations’ activities had compelled the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) to re-evaluate all spare parts imported into the country, thereby making them to pay more than what they previously paid.

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