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If President Mills must resign because of corruption…

Sat, 28 Jan 2012 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Friday, January 27, 2012

Over the past few days, opponents of the NDC grouped under the banner of the NPP seem to have rediscovered themselves and are doing what they know best—intensifying their condemnation of President Mills for mere political capital. They seem to believe that the more noise they make against him, the better chances are that they will be marketing their party and improving the chances of its Presidential Candidate (Akufo-Addo) for Election 2012. I pity them.

This opinion piece is no blind defence of President Mills. After all, I am one of those who have not hesitated to berate him for obvious failures in his government’s handling of affairs at many levels. Mine is a pointed condemnation of the irresponsible behaviour of those opponents who are continuously fouling the air with their maggot-infested political rhetoric.

Of all their anti-Mills machinations, nothing more betrays their desperation than what has come from Boakye Agyarko, the campaign manager of the NPP, and the camp of the NPP-affiliated pressure group, the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG).

Let’s begin with the first issue, which reflects the asinine politics of that camp and borders on inanity. Boakye Agyarko stated at a church service over the weekend that functionaries of the NPP see their party’s defeat in the 2008 general elections as a blessing in disguise. Accordingly, that defeat and the poor performance of the NDC have given Ghanaians the real opportunity to assess the two parties and to know which of them can best serve the interest of the country. To him, then, the NPP’s defeat was destined by God.

Activists of the AFAG have taken to the streets again, topping up their demonstration against the NDC government with a call for the resignation of President Mills because of what they described as his failure to handle corruption issues properly.

Let me tear into these two separate pronouncements, which are significant to me only as the NPP’s strategy for undercutting the Mills-led government. They are self-serving and have nothing good for the country. Their kind of scare-mongering politics won’t wash with anybody but those with whom they’ve descended into the gutter.

To cut a long story short, Boakye Agyarko’s utterances qualify as nothing but a clear display of insanity and should be dismissed as such. If they of the NPP knew that their defeat in the 2008 elections was God-ordained, why did they go about wailing and gnashing their teeth? Why did they go after Arthur Kennedy for telling them straight to their faces the truth about that defeat?

Seeking consolation in God and using it to explain the NPP’s plight sums up the stupidity that rules the affairs of those in that party who deceive themselves that they are those predestined to rule the country and will move heaven and earth to paint others black just because they want them out of the way.

Boakye Agyarko and like-minded NPP functionaries may feel vindicated by self-constituted observations and porous arguments but they can’t claim to be any better than those they are now shooting their venom at. I will return to this issue in due course.

For all that it is, AFAG is nothing but a collection of idle hands who think that the more they wage this kind of needless open attack on President Mills, the more likely it will be for them to dent his image and render him valueless at Election 2012. Of course, no one expects such a group to be up on the streets praising a government that its financiers and backers are murderously against.

By its very nature in terms of composition, agenda, and strategies for prosecuting that agenda, the AFAG is incredibly misguided and doesn’t command any respect from those of us who know what it was set up to do. Its activities may attract publicity but I wonder if they are the right means to solve the country’s problems.

Will the mere resignation of President Mills eradicate the corruption that they have cited as the raison d’etre for their call on him to resign? Or will an NDC government minus Atta Mills suddenly find the elusive magic wand to wave to solve the country’s problems?

Where were these AFAG elements when Kufuor was in office? They should give us a break.

If President Mills must resign because of corruption issues, then, former President Kufuor deserves nothing but a public lashing for all that he did to make corruption flourish under his watch. So also will we suggest that all those in his administration who indulged in corrupt practices but are now presenting themselves as SAINTS to criticize the NDC administration be subjected to stiff punishment.

Even then, the Woyome case has assumed this wide dimension mainly because of the fact that the beneficiary of the judgement debt fracas is an NDC financier. The circumstances under which he was paid the judgement debt may raise serious questions about the Kufuor government itself because had it not abrogated the contract, Woyome wouldn’t have gone to court to seek redress; nor would the court have awarded him that colossal monetary compensation.

On the flip side, though, if Woyome had no contract with the government (as Martin Amidu would have us believe), then, the conundrum thickens. The blame will then lie squarely on the lap of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice at the time (Betty Mould-Iddrissu) to explain why Woyome ended up winning the case, especially if the government’s legal team declared the case against the government as “bad” (according to Barton-Oduro, Deputy Minister of Justice and Attorney-General) and failed to fight it. Something nasty did go on, which we can all trace to the canker of corruption even though the so-called due process was followed. The rot began under Kufuor and festered only under this government.

When it comes to corruption, let no one tarnish President Mills’ image. He is poles ahead of his self-acquisitive accusers. But for the payment of the judgement debt to Woyome, any talk of corruption under President Mills pales before what happened under Kufuor.

We place it on record that under Kufuor’s watch, corruption was pervasive. So deplorable was it that Harona Esseku, the former national chairman of the NPP, couldn’t help but implicate Kufuor himself in it with his accusation that Kufuor was hijacking the kickbacks meant for party work. Where were the kickbacks coming from? How did the Kufuor government and the entire NPP machinery react to Esseku’s brazen disclosure? By ostracizing and preventing him from seeking re-election.

The huge difference between the spate of corruption under Kufuor and what the NPP activists are pointing fingers to in the case of the Mills-led government is clear. No matter what the situation is, President Mills is not known to be grabbing wealth left and right as Kufuor and his cronies did while in power and will still do if given the chance.

Did we not hear that some Ghanaian diplomatic passports vanished from the vault of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when Akufo-Addo was in charge of that Ministry? Or many allegations of immorality? If these weren’t instances of corruption, then, what else is? Yet, that’s the man the NPP and its AFAG are parading as a SAINT to redeem Ghana! Corruption is no respecter of persons in our Ghanaian context.

Against this background, it is despicable for these NPP elements to mount rooftops and condemn President Mills just because they think that this campaign of vilification is their only means to curry favour from the electorate.

Putting everything together, though, we can say that the problems on which these NPP functionaries have pegged their condemnation of President Mills are part of the systemic inadequacies that have continued to hold down our country’s progress. Are these NPP functionaries saying that they have an antidote to these problems? If they do, they should provide it and stop this kind of scare-mongering politics.

Whether President Mills loses Election 2012 or not won’t matter to those of us who think that nation-building goes beyond what these opponents are howling over all across the political landscape. Enough of their stinking self-righteousness!!

• E-mail: mjbokor@yahoo.com

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.