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Ghanaians who have consistently spoken truth to power

Ghanaians Who Have Always Spoken Truth To Power Ghanaians who have always spoken truth to power

Fri, 20 May 2022 Source:

It is a fact that activities in Ghana are highly politicized and that most Ghanaians only criticize governments of political parties that they do not align or sympathize with.

We often see individuals and organisations aligned with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) being highly critical of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) led government and vice versa. This trend of criticisms of governments often seems to lack objectivity because people who criticise the government in the opposition end up doing the same things they criticised when they come to power.

Most politically natural people in the country often stay away from public scrutiny of the government because of the fear of being attacked, marginalized by the government or being wrongly labelled to belong to certain political parties. However, despite all the threats and attacks they face some Ghanaians have consistently spoken truth to power irrespective of the political party in power.

GhanaWeb takes a look a look at 4 Ghanaians who have also had the interest of the country at heart and pointed out instances of corruption, abuse of power and misuse of the state resources irrespective of the government in power.

Manasseh Azure Awuni

One of the most consistent Ghanaians when it comes to holding governments accountable is award-winning investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni. Manasseh despite all the threats to his life and attacks has unswervingly criticised the government irrespective of the political party in power.

During the presidency of John Dramani Mahama, Manasseh did not hold back his criticisms of the NDC government particularly on issues so corruption. One of the things the journalist spoke about the most under Mahama was the employment conditions of Zoomlion workers, who he said were being ripped off by the government because they are being paid GH¢ 100 instead of the GH¢ 500 stated in their contract.

Manasseh criticised the government for the Bus branding scandal in 2015, he also reported that in June 2016 that President John Mahama received a Ford Expedition vehicle estimated to cost $100,000 from a Burkinabe contractor, Djibril Kanazoe. He reported the SADA scandal in 2014 where an estimated GH¢15 million was used to purchase guinea fowls which allegedly flew into Burkina Faso.

Under the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government, Manasseh has consistently stated that the Akufo-Addo-led government is the worse in terms of Press Freedom. He has also criticised the president's use of private jets. He recently criticised the president for the State of the Nations Address saying that the president has become a symbol of failure. He has also been critical of the government in the fight against corruption.

Manasseh is currently a journalist at The Fourth Estate and a public speaker. He has worked with the Multimedia Group Limited and is known for his anti-corruption reports.

Franklin Cudjoe

Another Ghanaian who has been consistent in criticizing governments is the president of IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, Franklin Cudjoe.

When Mahama was in government, Franklin Cudjoe was very critical of his government and even at points described Mahama’s government as the most corrupt government in Ghana’s history. He criticised the contracts signed under the Mahama government particularly contracts sighed in the oil sector in the oil sector. He also said that the government preparedness for the Ebola pandemic.

Like Mahama, the IMANI president has been very critical of the Akufo-Addo government. He has criticized the size of the of Akufo-Addo government for both his first and second terms. He has criticised the government’s fight against corruption, saying he only hears stories of fighting corruption by the Akufo-Addo government with no effort to first the menace.

Franklin Cudjoe is the Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, a think tank of global repute dedicated to the promotion of the institutions of a free society across Africa.

He is an alumnus of Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education, the Atlas Economic Research Foundation’s Think Tank MBA programme and the Montreal Economic Institute’s Think Tank Training Programme. He has a B.Sc. in Land Economy from KNUST.

Vitus Azeem

Another Ghanaian who has been critical of government under both Mahama and Akufo-Addo is the anti-corruption crusader and former executive director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Vitus Azeem

He criticised both the Akufo-Addo and Mahama governments for their poor performance in Ghana’s fight against corruption. He said the Akufo-Addo government has only fought corruption with words. He has also criticised the President for failing to sanction officials who are implicated in corrupt activities including the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, who was implicated in the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine scandal.

During the Mahama administration, Azeem said that corruption was increasing. He also criticised Mahama for the “ford gift” scandal. He also criticised the increase in salary of Members of Parliament under the Mahama government without informing Ghanaians who are the taxpayers. In 2014, he even said Mahama offers no hope for Ghanaians.

Vitus was the executive director of GII for over a decade and he holds a Master of Arts Degree in Sociology and a Masters’s Degree in Taxation, both awarded by the University of Akron in the United States. Before joining GII Azeem worked at the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) as the Programme Coordinator.

Kofi Bentil

Vice president of IMANI Africa, Dr Kofi Bentil is another person, based on his track record, Ghanaians can rely on for an objective criticism of the government.

Dr Bentil called out the Mahama government for several things including the “ford gift” scandal, saying that ‘Ghana is for sale to the highest bidder’. In May 2018, He even said he worked for a change of the Mahama government and voted against Mahama. He also said that he was one of the organisers of the “dumsor demo” during the power crisis in 2014.

The Vice president of IMANI Africa has been equally critical of the Akufo-Addo government. He has called out the government for the treatment of media personnel. Kofi Bentil has also criticised the president for this fight against corruption. According to him, Akufo-Addo had disappointed him because he had high hopes of him fighting corruption. He has strongly fought against some government policies including the Electronic Transfer Levy and the Agyapa Royalties deal.

Before his work with IMANI, he was a lecturer in Marketing, Entrepreneurship, And Business Strategy at Ashesi University. He is also the CEO of Finssol Limited, a business strategy consulting and training company. He previously co-founded ABM Links Limited, a business process outsourcing company and he is also a labour lawyer.

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