By Otchere Darko
Re: “Nana Addo in vote buying; Mahama in abuse of incumbency – Report”; [By courtesy of Ghanaweb General News of Friday, 2 November 20; Source:radioxyzonline.com]
On behalf of the millions of suffering Ghanaians, I say A BIG THANK YOU to three bold civil society groups, namely Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the Centre For Democratic Development (CDD) and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) that have mustered courage to “CALL A SPADE A SPADE”, without fear of being torn to pieces by the two “political giants” of Ghana’s contemporary politics.
Abuse of office, bribery and corruption and bad governance have become too common under the NDC cum NPP alternating administrations that, together, have spanned over a period of nearly twenty years since the inception of the Fourth Republic in January 1993. My heart in fact leapt with joy within me when I read the bold condemnation of the two flag bearers of the two biggest Ghanaian political parties that have used all forms of political vices to dominate Ghana’s Fourth Republic for nearly a quarter of a century. *For the sake of readers who might have missed the report that boldly indicted the two most powerful Ghanaian politicians, I reproduce herein below a copy of the bulk of the said report, to help such people to understand the basis of this write-up:
“President John Mahama and other officials of the ruling National Democratic Congress have been cited for abuse of incumbency in a report released jointly by three civil society groups – Ghana Integrity Initiative, the Centre for Democratic Development and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition.
The report indicates in part that president Mahama used the Thank You Tour of the regions after the death of President Atta Mills to campaign.
The report stated that “On 17th July, 2012, our observer in Cape Coast in the Central region reported that, H.E President John Dramani Mahama during the state sponsored “Thank You Tour” of Cape Coast following the death and burial of the late President used the platform to urge the people of Cape Coast to elect him to continue the ‘Better Ghana agenda’.”
The report also cites the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo-Addo of vote buying during one of his campaign tours to the Upper East Region where motor bike riders were allowed to draw fuel from a filling station for free.
Since May 1, 2012, GII, CDD-Ghana and GACC assisted by trained observers have been monitoring abuse of incumbency in the period leading to Ghana’s up-coming 2012 elections.
The aim of the exercise is to monitor and expose the extent of both the occurrence and variety, of abuse of incumbency and pre-election political party corruption in Ghana, as a tool for promoting clean and fair elections in the upcoming 2012 elections.” *[End of quote, which is reproduced by courtesy of Ghanaweb General News of Friday, 2 November 20; Source:radioxyzonline.com]
It should be noted that I am aware of a couple of rebuttals published by NDC since the above indictment was published against the NDC and NPP flag bearers by the three civil society groups, but I refuse to accept these refutations. There are numerous instances of abuse of incumbency by the President and other members of his governing party, quite apart from what the three civil society groups specifically accused the President and his party of.
If all Ghanaian civil society groups, journalists, radio presenters, election observers and similar political interest groups could show such independent judgment in their reportages, commentaries, comments and judgments as the three civil society groups (GII, CDD-Ghana and GACC) have done, I believe this country would be inching closer and closer to the political [and economic] reality, and not the rhetoric of “Ghana is free and free forever” that the architects of Ghana’s Independence spoke of in 1957, after risking their lives in the nineteen forties and early nineteen fifties to liberate our great nation from colonialism.
Well done, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC)! Let it be hoped that other civil society groups with varying interests will emulate the shining example of these three groups; and, further, let it be hoped that the bold step taken by the three civil society groups and others who may emulate them will begin to awaken Ghanaian voters and change their voting habits, so that they will from the coming December 7th polls vote with their minds, rather than with their hearts and stomachs, in order that sooner than later we can sweetly vote out governing parties that indulge in abuse of incumbency, and those in opposition that use “vote buying” during political campaigns to influence voters with the hope of acquiring power wrongly. The time has come for Ghanaian voters to show the RED CARD to politicians who indulge in all forms of political office abuse, such as “abuse of incumbency”; bribery and corruption, such as “vote buying”; administrative corruption, such as “payment of illegal judgment debts” for the sake of “yenkye ndi”; and lying to deceive the general public, such as “doctoring of tapes”. WE MUST NOW FEEL FED UP, IN ORDER TO FEEL THE NEED TO VOTE FOR CHANGE.
Source: Otchere Darko