Perception of corruption is not necessarily the reality

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Mr. John Dramani Mahama never raised a single finger or even a single stone in the official corruption fight, he simply led the charge to making official corruption the gold standard of Ghanaian political culture. I hope Ghanaian voters have not so soon forgotten the abortive STX Scandal, in which the then Vice-President John Dramani Mahama attempted to use a South Korean building construction company to erase the entire building and architectural foundations of Ghana. So, really, it is not clear what Dr. Edward Kofi Omane-Boamah, the former Mahama-appointed Communications Minister, means when he asserts that his former boss’ worst performance record on the battle against official corruption was far better than the corruption fight under the tenure of President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (See “Mahama’s Worst Is Akufo-Addo’s Best in Corruption Fight – Omane-Boamah” News Desk – Modernghana.com 2/18/20).

For starters, the Ford Expedition SUV Payola Racket in which the extant Vice-President John Dramani Mahama criminally extorted the American-made automobile bribe from Mr. Jibril Kanazoe, the Burkinabe building and road contractor, has absolutely no equivalent in the annals of New Patriotic Party (NPP) political history. Then, of course, there was the exclusively and ethnocentrically constituted Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), in which a Managerial Board established for the development of the relatively economically deprived northern-half of the country ended up siphoning millions of Cedis of the Ghanaian taxpayer’s money into the wallets, purses and bank accounts of the SADA Board Members purely on grounds of geographical and ethnic or tribal origin, rather than on the basis of great job performance or sheer merit.

For the instructive information of Dr. Omane-Boamah, corruption does not get worse in Ghana than SADA’s Akonfem (Guinea Fowl) Scandal under the thoroughgoing corruption-wracked tenure of Mr. Mahama. Indeed, even as we speak, and as I write, the Independent Special Prosecutor, Mr. Martin ABK Amidu, is busy investigating the European Airbus Scandal, in which agents of the largest European airplane manufacturer have been forensically established to have illegally paid several million Euros in bribe money to some operatives of the Mahama government to ensure that some three military aircraft were sold to Ghana at highly inflated prices. We are also informed that the airplanes sold to Ghana may very well not have been in the best condition of their kind, which means that these military aircraft may very well have been refurbished and sold to Ghana. There is striking precedence here, of course, in the Mahama importation of some unroadworthy ambulance vans in the runup to the 2016 general election, so the latter caper was not altogether to be unexpected.

The current Airbus investigation may also very well lead to the opening up or the extension of the terms of reference of Mr. Amidu to include the purchasing of the Brazilian-made Embraer aircraft, whose purchasing negotiations, we are told, were led by then-Vice-President John Dramani Mahama and whose murky contractual circumstances are widely rumored to have been placed under scrutiny or investigation at the time of the equally murky circumstances culminating in the death of then-President John Evans Atta-Mills. You see, with Mr. Mahama, the criminal act of Mafia-style murders or assassinations and theft may not be very far apart. Even the virulently anti-Akufo-Addo investigative journalist Mr. Manasseh Azure Awuni, has smugly and publicly asserted that when it comes to assessing the levels of corruption between the respective governments of former President John Dramani Mahama and President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Savannah Region native deserves a pass or special leniency because Mr. Mahama is naturally the quintessentially corrupt Ghanaian politician, whereas Nana Akufo-Addo deserves the full-brunt or weight of the Corruption Gauge being brought to bear upon his pate.

In other words, according to the award-winning journalist, higher moral standards ought to be used in gauging or sizing up the level of corruption in the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party government than the government of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC). What the preceding means, of course, is that even while, indeed, much more needs to be done by President Akufo-Addo to stem the admittedly unbearably high spate of official corruption in the country, nevertheless, it is very likely that the latest ranking of Ghana by Transparency International (TI) on the Corruption-Perception Index (CPI) may very well have been unduly influenced by the much higher expectations that Ghanaians have of Nana Akufo-Addo on the social and culturally critical subject of corruption than the same Ghanaian citizens have of Mr. John Dramani Mahama.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York

E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.