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Akufo-Addo and Rawlings's friendship didn't help Ghana's corruption fight

Fri, 29 Jan 2021 Source: Raymond Ablorh

It's refreshing to observe how President Nana Akufo-Addo and Rawlings dealt with their differences and moved on together afterwards.

The result of that beautiful act is that Rawlings couldn't openly complain about the heartbreaking corruption scandals we saw under Akufo-Addo from 2017 to 2020.

He couldn't castigate his administration eventhough corruption is visibly rife than ever before and Nana Akufo-Addo isn't pursuing probity and accountability in anyway.

If all it took Rawlings to feel comfortable under all the mess we see here where the Military that Chairman Rawlings revered so much is being used to protect foreign interest in our forest while they destroyed our land and water bodies (the very nature he loves so much) is friendship with Akufo-Addo, then, their friendship didn't help in the pursuit of transparency, probility and accountability in any meaningful way?

In the President's beautiful speech, he acknowledged how Rawlings' signature, "Probity, Accountability and Social Justice" formed the bedrock of the Fourth Republican Constitution.

But, could he tell us how he, Mr Akufo-Addo and his administration followed or is following these principles in his term?

How did transparency and accountability feature in the 2020 elections in which, about 30, 000 citizens were disenfranchised and denied representation in our 8th Parliament?

How has the President ensured accountability after the killings that took place at Techiman to prevent his opponents from ensuring the very transparency he praised Rawlings for?

How did he ensure probity, transparency and accountability in the PDS and Agyapa cases?

Of course, Rawlings himself left the house dirtier after his house-cleaning exercise. In fact, corruption was a major issue in the 2000 elections. By 2000, stealing in his administration has made what people like Amedume died for shamefully insignificant.

John Kufuor even used Zero Tolerance for Corruption for campaigns eventhough he wasn't better than Rawlings in power when it came to corruption and accountability.

It's obvious from his relationship with Akufo-Addo and how that got him to shut up in the face of all what he spoke up against until 2017 that had John Kufuor, John Mills and John Mahama given him some good space around them as significant Advisor and treated him like Akufo-Addo did he wouldn't have castigated them the way he did regardless of how corrupt their administrations might be.

If their friendships were enough to make him relax in his pursuit of transparency, probity and accountability; a pursuit which, got some leaders killed for siphoning far less than people are siphoning today, then, he wasn't as principled as we thought.

And, Nana Akufo-Addo didn't or doesn't cherish him now because of his probity and accountability but because of how their new friendship after all the stormy relationship they endured got him silent in the face of he and his family and friends state capturing exercise.

Rawlings stood for what endeared him to the masses. But, he didn't commit to the fight to the end because of his relationship with Akufo-Addo in his last years.

Maybe, he thought he could help fight corruption through Martin Amidu so he advised Akufo-Addo to appoint him Special Prosecutor. He prevented Martin Amidu from resigning earlier than he did with the hope that things will change.

But, nothing changed and the corruption grew worse till Mr Amidu who couldn't prosecute a single case successfully in two years under Akufo-Addo's leadership, finally, exited office after Rawlings' demise naming Akufo-Addo the Mother Serpent of corruption in his administration.

Rawlings is gone. But, the principles he projected and admonished us all to pursue are timeless; social justice, transparency, probity and accountability.

How is Akufo-Addo's administration committed to these principles? If they're we wouldn't have recorded the numerous corruption scandals they've left untouched, without adequate prosecutorial actions.

May Jeremiah Rawlings John rest in perfect peace. And, may we live in peace where freedom and justice reign in our development endeavours.

May we be more truthful to ourselves and unite to fight all the ills that we're pretending to fight now.

Columnist: Raymond Ablorh