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Corruption, more than individual morality, corporate malfeasance or institutional degradation, is an emotive issue in Ghana. It has hampered growth, accentuated inequalities, asphyxiated efficiency and killed millions hence the call on the President to attach a little bit of seriousness and sincerity when speaking on it.
The average Ghanaian is rightfully indignant, he or she feels short charged by the politicians and the elite class of the super establishment and the big businesses. The President who made that claim in South Africa is a past master at making outrageous allegations by giving them the requisite melodramatic flavour for hitting the right button.
Corruption is core content in his playbook. He and his party have succeeded and reaped a huge harvest of electoral triumph by following this simplistic strategy of maligning opponents liberally; the dirt inevitably sticks. The damages is done and the election is won. At the right time, the old issues are effortlessly regurgitated. Who drafted that speech for the President to read to his audience? We are not in Ghana but we follow happenings in the country courtesy technology. We constantly monitor activities in Ghana and contribute to discussions on pertaining issues through the various social media platforms. The President, Nana Akufo-Addo has escaped surgical scrutiny for long on account of his iron fisted rein over the big media conglomerates. No one dare take him on for fear of vindictive backlash from the government. The Security agencies and investigative agencies can be easily unleashed on those exasperating the power that be with some home truth. It is not easy being a whistleblower in Ghana under this administration.
This is part of the reasons why Ghana dropped in Transparency International’s latest rating. It shows, Ghana desperately needs detoxification. The fact is that this government has intimidated mass media enough to ensure that serious leakages are never allowed to attain substantial velocity.
The sale of contaminated oil, the Ghc 800,000 website deal, the Kelni GVG deal, the $134 million pharmaceuticals company, the National ID Card contract, the $2.25 billion bond are not even cursorily mentioned in the mainstream media. There are many more. Happenings in the Finance Ministry, the Korle Bu saga, the Australia Visa issue, the Nyantakyi statement, the Cash for Seat saga, the Ghana Free Zones Board saga. Now in an extraordinary silence of the conspiratorial performers, both the principal players, the NPP, the President and the media are in mute mode. Suffering collateral damage is the Right to Information Bill. The RTI has been systematically devalued even before it is passed. The government, of course, seems blissfully disinterested about the prevalent stasis. What was once considered the totem pole of transparency has been trashed.
Democracy is becoming a chimera. The President and his Vice give choreographed interviews to favoured TV Channels and radio stations answering innocuous questions. The only thing these paid to act journalists did not ask them was the colour of their toothbrush. Is this what Akufo-Addo promised us in opposition?
Ghana’s ranking in the Transparency International’s report remains abysmal. Not surprisingly, we stumbled many places in the Democracy index, an alarming development that reflects the rising apprehension of curbs on freedom of speech. I have personally written letter to the President and the National Media Commission, warning of the deleterious impact on media’s fearless liberal reporting because some senior NPP leaders, government communicators, legislators are running malicious smear campaign against some journalists, TV and radio stations. Going by Nana’s past track record, he is unlikely to be moved by my anguished articulation of my griefs. The media I know will remain circumscribed.
This travesty of transparency reveals the government’s inner immorality. Frankly, it mocks the People of Ghana. Every time Nana Akufo-Addo talks on corruption, it appears trite, like self righteous balderdash. And since he and his party members often quote foreign sources, it maybe pertinent to point out that the reputed Transparency, downgraded Ghana in its latest rating, the anti corruption agency based in Gabon names I him among the first ten most corrupt leaders, South Africa’s May and May Group also rated the President among the corrupt leaders on the continent. That should not surprise Ghanaians.
The President was speaking as if was addressing people living on another planet. He should find out why we refused to confer the leadership Award on him. Why we over two thirds of members voted against the decision to confer the award on you.
We are aware Nana is covering up corruption. Apart from shielding and clearing his appointees of corruption, several government actors, and names of some close associates have cropped up in the Panama papers and other illegal deals. Panama papers have leaked documents which are going to be published soon by some South African newspapers. The documents were leaked from law firm Mossack Fonaeca headquarters at Panama
Instead of launching an investigation into these evidence supported scandals, the President is hounding leaders of the opposition and former appointees using state agencies.
Corruption in this government has become deep rooted and is galloping unchecked and unhindered. We often hear the President talking of waging war against corruption, investigating his appointees yet it is well known how the government appear to be sinking deeper and deeper in corruption.
Source: Emmanuel Atuahene
(Johannesburg, South Africa)