Politicians don't need to steal – Awuni
Andrew Awuni, a former spokesperson of President John Kufuor, has said the widely held assertions that politicians are corrupt are just “allegations and assumptions” because politicians hold positions of blessings which do not require them to steal.
According to him, the discussion on corruption should not be limited to the politicians alone but the entire society as some civil servants are more corrupt than the politicians.
Speaking on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Monday, 28 August 2017, he quizzed: “There are people across this nation who are living large and are not politicians, but they cannot sponsor those kinds of lifestyle with their salaries so where are they getting the monies from?”
He continued: “You don’t need to steal money in politics to make it. The political office itself is an office of blessing… If for example, you are Minister of Health and you decide to tour or visit the Upper East region and visit your offices, by the time you return to Accra, you will be carrying a lot of goodies and you did not force those people to give them to you. Some will give them to you out of free will others will give to you with different motives but it is a position of blessing and you don’t need to steal to live as a politician.”
In his opinion, the society is in “a state of moral bankruptcy” and so issues of corruption should not be limited to the politician alone but should be spread to all facets of society.
Using his personal experience in office as an example, Mr Awuni said, “I was in office for eight years and there was nowhere I went without returning with a smock. I didn’t even have a place to put smocks. It’s a position of blessing; you don’t need to steal to live well or to have chicken on your table as a politician. You don’t have to steal, you don’t have to go and collect a bribe.
“I sent people to go and meet President Kufuor and nobody on the surface of this earth can ever say that I took a payment or cedi or dollar from that person before I carried him to president Kufuor. It does not even occur to me… And yet, somebody is sitting behind and assumes that to be able to see president Kufuor, you must give people some money. That maybe totally false but they throw these things out there to taint the politician and yet behind them in the classrooms, behind them at ECG… This morning, I was listening to some stories at the Lands Commission and somebody jokingly said that anybody at the Lands Commission who goes to heaven, it will be an accident because of the kinds of things that happen there.
“So let’s bring [the discussion on corruption] it down to the ordinary Ghanaian and begin to work our way up and begin to educate everybody and begin to find out how we can deal with it. But as soon as you limit it to the office holders, you make them defensive, and they are those who are supposed to lead the crusade… We need to spread the net. We need to look at everybody from the hospitals to the schools, ports and even our borders.”