Any innovative approach to governance under Akufo-Addo to make the difference?

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Folks, it is undeniable that Akufo-Addo won political power because of his bombastic boasts of introducing something new to grow Ghana’s democracy. Unfortunately, the dust has settled for us to know that he has no such scheme. Opportunism and empty/dirty politics is all there is from him.

We have persistently wondered whether Team Akufo-Addo is really composed of “intellectuals” (the “men” that they claim to have) and not just “interrectuals” (liars, thieves, and murderers) who are wont to use political power for personal redemption and enrichment. Eventually, for political malpractice!!

We have heard a lot of crap about probity and accountability (Rawlings’ mantra) and Akufo-Addo’s own version of it all, especially the nauseating rant of “protecting the public purse”.

We have also been bombarded with political rhetoric regarding corruption and how to deal with it. Creating the Office of Special prosecutor and nominating Martin Amidu to head it is just part of the controversy that Amidu’s vetting will unravel soon.

In truth, all that Akufo-Addo has aimed at thus far is politically motivated. It has nothing for the national coffers.

So also is his impulsive move to create a Ministry of Public Procurement that Adwoa Sarfo heads. So far, happenings don’t justify the need for such a Ministry.

Judging from public concerns, why can’t Akufo-Addo establish an Office of Government Ethics as is the case in “serious” democracies as the United States has? Such an office bares its teeth and bites anybody indulging in impropriety in government. Zero tolerance guides it all.

Kufuor tried something by establishing an Office of Accountability; but it failed to register anything beneficial because it ended up reinforcing the corruption that Kufuor claimed to have existed since the days of Adam.

And the Chinery Hesse that he appointed to that office darkened everything by proposing the “Arabian Magic Carpet” kind of end-of-service benefits for Kufuor and his team. A disgraceful manouevre.

Rawlings sought to use the CHRAJ for such purposes but undermined everything when he discounted the CHRAJ’s findings against his trusted operatives (Isaac Adjei-Marfo, P.V, Obeng, Ibrahim Adam, Col. Osei-Wusu, etc.).

In the end, the CHRAJ has lost its value (Just imagine how the thieving buffoon called Ken Ofori-Atta is going to court to seek an over-turn of the CHRAJ’s findings against him—something that the NPP initially applauded but is now worried over after the dust has settled). Where are the ethical standards? Gone with the wind!! Democracy cannot mature with such nonsense.

Kufuor’s politically motivated move to have Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings, Kwame Peprah, Victor Selormey, Sipa Yankey and others tried only to cut short proceedings a day before his departure of office remains controversial. Even the court system has lost face. Democracy feeds into a functional judiciary. When the judiciary fails, it corrupts democracy.

No other state institution deals with ethics in government. Should we not have one? It is a matter of FAITH. Once government functionaries fall foul, they lose that faith and shouldn’t remain in office to continue corrupting our democracy. Seeing the back of them is right. But how will they bow out if not booted out by compunction and pressure from an Office of Government Ethics?

Considering what has happened thus far under Akufo-Addo, it is obvious that a functioning Office of Government Ethics would have netted many functionaries to clean the stables. Who has the moral compunction to establish and support the activities of such an office?

Akufo-Addo’s self-gratifying move to establish the Office of Public Prosecutor could be beneficial if supported by an Office of Government Ethics to complement the efforts at refining our democracy.

I situate my opinions in what is unfolding in the United States White House, following the resignation of an important personality accused of maltreating his two ex-wives years ago. With the exposure, he has thought it wise to leave his post, even as the Chief of Staff (John Kelly) has supported him as a man of integrity all this while. And Donald Trump himself haws confidence in him. Now, the lid is blown off and ethics has won.

Discussions in the media now suggest that pressure is being put on the Chief of Staff himself to resign. Will he?

The reality is that most of those resigning from the Trump administration have faced ethical issues and bowed out. Happenings under Akufo-Addo are clear that violations regarding ethics are rampant.

What the Parliamentary Sub-Committee that investigated the bribery case against Agyarko was set up, it quickly got compromised and failed to give Ghanaians the truth. So is it with the Sub-Committee that looked into the “cash-for-seat’ scandal that has now divided parliament. The Minority is protesting vigorously, boycotting sessions and threatening other measures. No regard for ethics endangers our democracy!!

Can this government of “interrectuals” go a notch higher than what has obtained so far to establish the Office of Government Ethics? Will these “interrectuals” give us anything new with which to grow our democracy?

Of course, the Office of Government Ethics will be expected to do its work dispassionately for as long as it will help clean the stables. Can Ghana benefit from such an example? I think so. The truth is that those charged with spending public funds must be held accountable for their actions. Only when an institution sheds light on them will they be held in check. Given what propelled Akufo-Addo to power, one expects more from him than has happened thus far. Can he walk his long talk? Tongues are wagging!!

I shall return…

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Thursday, February 8, 2018

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