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Corruption fight - How Nana Akufo-Addo has performed so far

Wed, 16 Sep 2020 Source: Raymond Ablorh

William Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo entered the 2016 presidential election conspicuously strong on the corruption card.

He's sold as an incorruptible and no-nonsense corruption fighter eventhough he'd no tangible record of fighting corruption exceptionally in the John Kufuor's corruption ridden administration which, he's part of first as an Attorney General and later a Foreign Affairs Minister.

He promised a change of hope to protect the public purse; to fight corruption in his own administration and retrieve Ghana's stolen monies from previous administration's officials.

To this end, he promised to establish and resource Special Prosecutor's Office (SPO) and strengthen all anti-corruption institutions.

To emphasise his seriousness, he went to as far as contemplating the employment of Anas' frightening investigative methods to fight corruption in government.

However, in power, when his people attacked Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his methods for doing what they praised him for in opposition, President Nana Akufo-Addo was loudly silent till Ahmed Suale, a user of the method was killed wickedly in the open.

Today, people wonder if he's the same man who campaigned against corruption in 2016.

Bees of corruption scandals have stinged the face of his administration so badly that it's simply impossible to identify them in barely four years. And, Nana Akufo-Addo's mouth is terribly swollen that he can't even mention corruption anymore.

At the recent launch of their 2020 Manifesto, the man who incessantly sung anti-corruption corus in 2016 couldn't string a simple sentence to tell how better he's fought it successfully than his predecessors did. He's absolutely nothing to show.

From the day, Kwesi Nyantakyi, former GFA administrator was caught on tape telling how the President and some of his men could be bribed easily to give the entire of Ghana away to foreigners, Nana Akufo-Addo hasn't proven Nyantekyi wrong in how he's handled corruption cases that came up in his administration.

Right under his nose, Charles Bissue was caught taking TIPS IN BUNDLES to facilitate mining operations at a time the President has put his job on the line to fight galamsey.

The serious no-nonsense leader couldn't, at least, get him out of the Presidency to save his face.

To the surprise of many Ghanaians, all the bribe collector did was resign as a member of the inter-ministerial anti-galamsey committee and continued to enjoy as a presidential staffer while Nana Akufo-Addo pretended nothing has happened after referring the case to one of his corruption warehouses, the Special Prosecutor's Office.

Of course, Nana Akufo-Addo fulfilled his promise of establishing the Special Prosecutor's Office. This could be ticked as a prositive on his score card.

But, since the establishment of that office isn't an end in itself and without resourcing it and providing an enabling environment the officer couldn't function properly, one couldn't go to bed after that office was created.

To borrow the President's own words, since the Independent Prosecutor was appointed, he hasn't performed better than a professional Jeremiah.

The man who started working with his common sense without any framework and resources had constantly lamented how officials of Government are deliberately frustrating him from performing his mandate to the disappointment of well-meaning citizens.

Now, he's more into his old occupation of epistles writing and book critiques than into corruption fight in officialdom.

With all the bees of corruption scandals that are stinging this administration, the Special Prosecutor hasn't been able to investigate and successfully prosecute any of even the low hanging fruits of cases as a proof of how he's fighting prevailing corruption in government. His concentration isn't on what's been stolen in this administration.

This has created huge integrity challenge for both the SP and government in the fight against corruption.

Under Nana Akufo-Addo, mind-boggling scandals like the PDS, galamsey excavators disappearance, tricycles disappearance, Australian Visa, BOST, Egypt Tournament, Kroll, pre-mix fuel, Procurement Talent Discovery, NYA traffic light repairs and many more have hit Government in less than four years.

None of these has been treated better than John Mahama's unsatisfactory handling of corruption scandals as we prepare for the 2020 elections.

What hurts many anti-corruption fighters and civil society organisations (CSOs) most is how Nana Akufo-Addo visibly continues to fight the only man that gave Ghanaians hope that all wasn't lost in our fight against corruption because he's being a torn in the flesh of his corrupt administration.

While it may be permissible and in line with precedence for him to ask the Auditor General to go on leave, it isn't beneficial to his image in government, especially so, when citizens know his directive has to do more with how the man patriotically fought corruption and announced the ills of his administration.

Apart from the AG, almost all CSOs and anti-corruption citizens that they treated with respect in opposition for holding the incumbent accountable have become their enemies. That tells a lot about their commitment to the fight against corruption.

Furthermore, his government always announced huge figures in their budgets as allocations to anti-corruption institutions, but, seldom honoured that and gave far lower than the announced figures while the Presidency is adequately resourced.

The next time you hear: "Chief Clearing Agent" don't think it necessarily has anything to do with imports and exports and ports. That's the name Nana Akufo-Addo's acquired with his approach to fighting corruption in his government.

Since the NPP manifesto has nothing new or novel on corruption fight, my questions are:

Is this how they promised to fight corruption in government?

How much have they retrieved from all the corruption scandals they used as songs in opposition and promised to retrieve the monies for the nation; SADA, SUBAH, etc.?

How come they condemned the previous administration for doing sole-sourcing often only to come to do same if not worse? How differently are they doing their sole-sourcing?

They castigated the previous administration for not doing value for money audits for government projects; where are their value for money audit reports for our perusal?

How much did Ghana lost in the PDS scandal and who are responsible for it; why were they not investigated and prosecuted accordingly?

After sacking the NYA CEOs, why was our money not retrieved for us like John Mahama did in the bus branding case?

Why was the galamsey excavators case not investigated and suspects prosecuted; who are responsible for what happened?

How differently are they going to fight corruption should they be re-elected?

What institutional reforms are they going to undertake to improve both preventive and curative approaches to fighting corruption in officialdom?

Columnist: Raymond Ablorh

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