Opinions Wed, 12 Dec 2007

NPP Drowned In The Ocean Of Corruption & Malfeasance

There is no denial about the fact that the ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP) is shamelessly immersed in the deep waters of corruption, and unimaginable number of scandalous activities.

A cursory look at the NPP leadership, right from the Presidency, Ministers of state, Members of Parliament (MPs) and their rank and file reveal a disappointing pattern of selfish acts by individual NPP functionaries (and their families in some cases), orchestrated to reap when they have not sown, in an attempt to get rich overnight. By such serial acts of misconduct, President Kuffour led NPP administration has put the name of Ghana into disrepute and ridicule among the international community of nations.

A careful appraisal of the seven years rule by the NPP government reveals an unbelievable number of iniquitous acts of omissions and commissions from the top-down, and inside out which is unprecedented in the political history of Ghana. The trickle-down adverse effects of these shameful acts of betrayal of trust and confidence by our so-called honorable leaders and their sympathizers affect the psychological wellbeing of the hard working and innocent majority of Ghanaians, both at home and in the Diaspora.

For the purposes of this article, I implore readers to take a brief trip down the memory lane with me as we digest a few but notable acts of malfeasance by NPP functionaries.

THE PRESIDENCY/ EXECUTIVE: There is credible body of evidence to suggest that President J.A. Kuffuor took undue advantage and used his office and influence as the head of state to defy and manipulate the elementary principles of contractual laws regarding offer and acceptance in the acquisition of the infamous Hotel Kuffuor. By such act of exploitation, his son Chief Kuffuor succeeded in acquiring the said property either in part or whole. It is also on record that the then chairman of the NPP Haruna Esseku, categorically accused president Kuffuor for personally accepting and taking kickbacks (bribes) at the seat of government on behalf of the NPP and misappropriating it. It is even more embarrassing and outrageous to say that the national and international media landscapes are saturated with the news (or rumors) that, the NPP leader and the President of Ghana, J.A. Kuffuor has fathered a set of twins as a result of an extra marital relationship with his “special assistant”.

The second most powerful person in the NPP administration has not been left out in the NPP’s golden age of corruption saga. The sitting Vice President of Ghana, Alhaji Aliu Mahama has been conspicuously named in an internationally high profile case involving telecommunication deals and money laundering which is being investigated by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). The other alleged accomplices in the same case are the former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Mohammed and a United States Congressman in the House of Representatives, William Jefferson. Again, it is an open secret that one of the children of Ghana’s President (Kuffuor) played a prominent role in facilitating the alleged deal.

In another development, our Vice President has been implicated in the escape from Ghana of a Ghanaian born Nigerian fugitive, Alhaji Nii Oti Vanderpuije who is wanted by the Nigerian authorities for his involvement in series of fraudulent activities. It is also no secret especially within the Ghanaian Security and criminal intelligence community that one of the children of Vice President Aliu Mahama is a notorious fraudster whose modus operandi was the use of his father’s name and office as bait to dupe his unsuspecting victims.

NARCOTIC DRUGS AND SYNDICATED CRIME: Prior to the year 2000 when the NPP took over the reigns of governance from the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Ghana was taunted, acknowledged and highly respected for being at the forefront of the fight against narcotic drugs and syndicated criminal activities by the International Community, including the United Nations Security Council, the UNDP, and other global governmental and non governmental organizations.

Under the NPP administration within the past seven years, Ghana has been consistently noted as the undisputed hub of international drug trafficking, money laundering and international syndicated crime (including 419). There appears to be the development and nurturing of institutionalized conspiracy, apathy, and official laxity towards the fight against narcotic drugs and crimes in general within the Ghanaian society. This perception is validated by the mysterious disappearance of a whole ship load of tons of narcotic drugs under the glaring eyes of the NPP government at the shores of Ghana (Tema) even after the NPP government has been sufficiently notified about the possible location and contents of the ship by the international law enforcement agencies.

Again, to authenticate this shameful national man made tragedy the then sitting NPP Member of Parliament for Nkoranza North, dishonorable Eric Amoateng whose stock in trade was drug trafficking and is currently languishing in a US jail was busted for importing $6million worth of Heroin into the United State of America under the shadow of diplomatic privileges. Apart from these, there are several narcotic drug trafficking cases involving immediate family members of leading NPP functionaries and sympathizers (Ambassadors, kings, Chiefs, and alleged leading NPP financiers).

During the seven year period under review, there has been increasing cases of moral deficiencies resulting in reduced and apathetic adherence to generally accepted norms and ethical principles. The scramble for wealth which has become the order of the day is glamorized and rewarded by officialdom. For instance, after being arrested for illegal importation of narcotic drugs, in the US, the former NPP MP Eric Amoateng, was honored by his NPP folks, as well as the chief and people of his village.

NPP SEVEN (7) LEADING HALL OF SHAME: Under this category, I have decided to choose just seven cases to correspond with the seven years that the NPP government have been in power because there will not be enough space here to occupy the entire list. Of course, the scandals involving the President and his Vice will not be recounted. That notwithstanding, an outline of the seven below will suffice for now. Eric Amoateng (NPP MP) in US jail and standing trial for illegal importation of 136 pounds of Heroin (a narcotic drug) with a street value of $6million. Nana Amoako alias Augustine Asiedu (NPP MP) has been indicted in the US and wanted under warrant to stand trial for 14 counts of offences including stealing, money laundering and falsification of Bank records involving nearly $1million (he has denied it but refused to surrender to the US authorities). Grace Coleman (NPP MP) wanted in the US under extradition warrant following her conviction for the offence of forced labor and falsification of official document in furtherance of forced labor (she has refused to surrender). Mallam Issah (former NPP Minister of state) jailed and later pardoned for stealing and misappropriation of public funds.

Kwamena Bartells (NPP MP and Minister of state) fraudulently supervised the award of state grants and loans to a non-functional ghost company owned by his daughter and son-in-law resulting in the lost of hundreds of thousands of New Ghana cedis to the state (causing financial lost to the state) yet to be prosecuted.

Richard Anane (NPP MP and former Minister of state) implicated in an alleged extra marital relationship with his “special assistant” and girlfriend resulting in the lost of several thousands of dollars to the state (has since been exonerated)? Not sure.

Joe Ghartey (NPP Minister of state and chief prosecutor) well known for his lackadaisical approach towards the prosecution of offenders of crimes against the state and his enthusiasm for selective justice. His recent flip-flop before the Public Account Committee in Parliament reinforces this perception.

As I stated above, I will not have the time and space to recount the Alhaji Mocta Bambas, the Osafo Marfos and the infamous IFC 419 deals and its repercussions, and the Wereko Brobbeys for the Ghana @ 50 financial mystery. After seven disappointing years, the good and discerning people of Ghana have indeed known the difference between the NPP and the NDC tenures. Ghanaians have also known that the united, highly respected, peaceful, law-abiding, optimistic, and development oriented Ghana that was handed over to the NPP is not the same Ghana we have today.

Certainly, the Ghana that was handed over to the NPP was not saturated with narcotic drug traffickers, contract killers, armed robbers, and lawlessness. In fact, we now have a Ghana where tribal and ethnic differentiations have taken the better part of our politics and way of life. Immorality and indecency have been substituted for moral and ethical principles. The NPP’s Ghana is the one in which honesty and hard work is sacrificed for overnight riches regardless of how it is acquired (drugs, robbery, embezzlement, fraud, you name it). To the NPP “moneycracy” is a substitute for democracy.

In the midst of the above, the obvious question that readily comes to mind is whether the NPP deserves the political mandate to rule Ghana in the near future after such a disastrous misrule which has giving birth to this golden age of corruption and political malfeasance.

Thankfully, democracy has come of age and continues to thrive in spite of all odds. Interestingly, the good people of Ghana will go to the polls in December 2008. To all registered voters, the decision to vote for a real and meaningful change is yours but my passionate appeal is that, please use your thumb print conscientiously when the time comes to vote because there is the urgent need for a real change. And remember that Ghana deserves better than what the NPP is giving her. Until that day and time when the power of your thumb will prevail, ponder over the following;

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but corruption is a disgrace to the people” (Proverbs 14: 34).

By Ato Essel. Massachusetts, USA.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Essel, Ato