When Stealing is not Corruption: Ghana under President Akufo-Addo

Nana Akufo-Addo’s corruption allegations against the last the Mahama- led administration resonated with Ghanaians who were bombarded daily with fake corruption allegations that dominated front pages and radio discussions prior to the 2016 elections. He and his party criticised the previous administration’s borrowing for infrastructure development and promised to lower the deficit by ending borrowing, improving revenue collection and slashing graft. Ghanaians have started complaining about brazen stealing of public funds by official of government and their cronies.

The current culture of corruption hurts the majority of Ghanaians while the inequality gap widens. The President promised Ghanaians that he will insist that officials in his government accused of corruption are properly investigated and punished if found guilty, irrespective of their positions and connection. Unfortunately for millions of Ghanaians including supporters of the ruling party mired in poverty, this is not yet the case.Despite the almost daily discovery of cases of corruption under the Akufo-Addo administration, the President continue to play the ostrich and instead of instituting proper investigation into corruption allegations involving his appointees, he rather give comfort to the looters by always dismissing the media exposure of looting cases as mere speculation.

Despite the massive unsubstantiated corruption allegations leveled against the Mahama administration by the Npp and some of its civil society organizations many which were debunked by allies and MPs of the Npp, the Ghana t, in 2016 under President Mahama, recorded its best corruption ratings. Ghana and Senegal were singled out as countries in West Africa working hard to nip corruption in the bud by the Transparency International. His [Mahama] genuine determination to fight corruption earned his respectability across the globe and was invited by other leaders including David Cameroon to speak on corruption on respected platforms. Unlike his successor, the former President acted decisively on corruption cases that came to his notice including his swift action on the famous Vicky Hammah case etc. Ghana is gradually becoming the black hole of corruption and with the introduction of corruption into this government’s ethos, its tentacles permeate from the highest echelon of the administration to the lowest level of the administration.

According to the President’s own henchmen including Kennedy Agyepong, Abrony3 and A-plus, any transaction involving officials of this administration must involve a bribe from the corrupter to the corruptee and the proceeds of crime are handled by fences. The President defended the boss of BOST when information furnished the public confirmed the allegations leveled against him. The NPA after its initial statement which exposed criminality, was forced to bury its own regulation Sect 11 of the NPA Act, 691 2005 to protect the BOST boss. The Energy Minister was forced to eat his own words by his bosses at the flagstaff house to protect the BOST boss and the NPA boss, Mr Alhassan Tampuli ended the “decoration” agenda by rubbishing his own statement that Movenpiina and Zup Oil were not licensed to undertake any commercial activity in the downstream petroleum industry. Then the allegation of Gabby taking bribe from people who request to meet the President came up, this was also given a safe resting place.

A- plus, a known supporter of the President and a close pal of the number one gentleman, revealed that the President’s two deputy chief of staff were taking bribes. This became a huge national issue because of the personalities involved and the closeness of A- plus to the President. The police was charged to investigate the allegation, and the result was that the young man’s allegations were baseless. A recorded voice of one of the police officers who handled the case has exposed the cover-up deal between the Presidency and the police.

Another phenomenon introduced into our governance system is the deviant behaviour of taking decisions without following stipulated procedures. The President’s cousin, the Finance Minister, his wife and business cronies, issued a $2.25 billion bond without taking the process through proper procedure, the Vice President negotiated with the Chinese authorities to tap our bauxite without following the stipulated rules guiding such transactions and the President himself, during his address to the UN 72nd General Assembly, disclosed that highly rich Uranium was flown out of Ghana to China signaling the end of the removal of all such materials from the country. This decision which should have gone through parliamentary debate and approval, was handled without going through Parliamentary formalities. The position now is that corruption is so entrenched under the current President that anyone hoping to do any kind of business with this government must take it into account. Indeed the situation is so terrible that even some government and party [Npp] officials are alleged to bribe one another to get government business or contract done.

THE MEDIA COVER-UP

suddenly the accountability spirit some media personnel displayed during the tenure of the Mahama administration has gone dead. Some of the media personnel who few months ago always dedicated their programmes and platforms for anti-corruption crusade, today under President Akufo-Addo, have stopped seeing corruption as a clog in the wheel of progress in Ghana. Government as part of its cover-up operations has started bribing and threatening some of the media houses, journalists and editors to either dance with government, or face the obvious. Editors are forced to take down stories which expose corruption in the administration and have been warned not to publish articles from NDC writers.

Source: Ohenenana Obonti Krow

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