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Rejoinder - 'Invisible' ?27.6 Billion HIPC Projects

Thu, 29 Sep 2005 Source: Bonna, Okyere

FROM TALK TO WALK: MAKING ACCOUNTABILITY A LAW RATHER THAN A CHOICE IN GHANA.

Accountability which is the key to responsible government must not be left to chance or fate. We need to find a mechanism whereby we can hold all of political criminals responsible before and after one come to power. It is about time Ghanaians demanded accountability from our government. In fact, every Ghanaian owes the nation and posterity the duty to demand good governance. It is not the duty of the select few for if we sink we all sink together. As we speak Ghana is in a very deplorable condition.

The Tema Oil Refinery-TOR, for example, is reported today (General News of Saturday, 24 September 2005) to have shut its Residual Catalytic Cracking plant, which produces LPG and petrol. Looting of the people?s money continues. NDC has had her share and now it?s the NPP. Is Ghana for the Politicians or for Ghanaians? An enquiring mind wants to know. It is absolutely absurd that the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Hon. Osei Akoto, has admitted that his Ministry could not establish a project or projects, for which an amount of ?27.6 billion from the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) fund, was used. Rather than reinvesting the gratis (debt relief) money back into the economy to generate jobs and improve health in Ghana the politicians would rather share it amongst themselves. This is unacceptable and this author does not expect Ghanaians to let this matter die a natural death as it did in the days of President Rawlings. Whoever has stolen the money must be made to spit it out. There is no point to use the people?s money to travel and negotiate for cancellation of debt and turning around to steal the money. It is about time we identify those politicians who enter politics to make money and deal with them.

According to Ghana web news as reported on Friday, 23 September 2005, "Between 1991 and 2003, investments inflow into the mining sector by mining and prospecting companies amounted to approximately four billion, two hundred and seventy million (4,270,000,000) US dollars yet one can hardly see any tangible impact on the economy. The tendency of Ghanaians settling with any mediocre politicians and policies must stop. So must the dancing to the tune of incompetent and selfish politicians. When it comes to accountability and responsible government Ghanaians must learn to display some maturity beyond party nonsense. Ghana must be above party politics and if a party cannot hold its President accountable then that party is not fit to exist.

Fellow Ghanaians, let?s open doors for good people who will enter politics to do good and let history judge them like our first President, Kwame Nkrumah. Let?s stay away from the old irresponsible one time politicians. Let?s break the cycle of electing the same old corrupt folks. It is sheer madness to keep electing the same old faces and expect change or new results. For heavens sake they have nothing to offer Ghana. Too bad they are never satisfied with what they have looted. Sometimes one wonders where these selfish elite earned their PhDs and professional degrees. Or did they just stop reading? Did they ever write any term papers or published anywhere? What is their vision for the nation? A position paper must be a pre-requisite for entering national politics. This author believes it is the right of the electorate to know how prospective candidates think about the nation. This author would therefore like to humbly submit that anyone thinking of running for higher office in Ghana prove to us how he/she will tackle Ghana?s problems before he/she submits his/her candidacy.

It is very impressive to learn that someone is thinking ahead and ready to walk the talk when given the opportunity. In his memo/letter sent to the Chairman of NPP, the President, Council of Elders, and other members of NPP, Dr. Arthur Kennedy has come out with a formula to help clarify the party?s expectations of those who serve her in leadership and to define their obligations to the party and the nation. This author believes that this pledge if adopted by all political parties in Ghana and implemented can help to instill some sense of discipline, accountability and responsibility in government.

?New Patriotic Party (NPP) Code of Conduct

I hereby acknowledge that holding office in this party or its government is not a right but a privilege and freely take on the following obligations in return.

1. I pledge to serve diligently and honestly and show humility in my dealings with the public.

2. I pledge to search my party family constantly for qualified persons to honor and to trust with responsibility.

3. I pledge fairness to all and an insistence on competence and integrity from all.

4. I pledge never to bring dishonor to this party in whose name I serve and to care for its members as long as I serve.

5. I pledge that in all my conduct, I shall strive to exceed standards required by law.

6. I pledge to fight for my party?s principles, policies and programs guided by the directive principles of state policy as enshrined in the constitution.

7. I pledge that if my conduct or reputation should make me a liability to this party, I shall resign or failing that expects to be removed by my colleagues.

8. I pledge to put this party ahead of everything except for my God and my Country.

Osono Nie!

Signature: Witness

________________________________ ______________________________

Date: ___________________ Date: __________________ ?

(Unquote)

Ghanaian politicians and especially the current President MUST revisit Nkrumah?s ideas. It is clear that our leaders since Nkrumah have had no particular vision for the country. I t has been a trial and error governance, to say the least. Our politicians these days only have some sense of self-assurance which amounts to nothing. Most of them are so arrogant, to say the least. ?The proof of the pudding is in the eating.? So let them tell us what they have achieved for Ghana since they had the chance. A country is bigger and greater than its president as well as the citizens. Therefore the Government (President, Parliament and Judiciary) MUST put the welfare of Ghana at the top of the political agenda. According to general news appearing on Ghana web on Friday 9/23/05, (https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=90794), Haruna Iddrisu, MP is reported as saying an amount of ?27 billion is assigned in the nation?s budget with no specific project attached to it yet Ghana?s education, health and roads are in shambles. There is no excuse to defraud Ghana. Anything less than improving the life and health of the ordinary citizen is not leadership.

Okyere Bonna, Secretary, Ghana Leadership Union

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

Columnist: Bonna, Okyere