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Opinions Tue, 3 Dec 2013

The President Has Gotten His Mojo Back

Presidents are defined by the legacies that they leave behind. If your administration was full of deals, kickbacks and corrupt practices, your legacy is defined by that. If yours was peaceful but full of inaction, so you are defined. That is the reason why Presidents, irrespective of countries strife hard for good legacies. If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) weathers the storm here in the USA, President Obama would have been defined by that. Similarly, if Immigration Bill passes Congress, President Obama would have left a good legacy as the first African American President to implement a Comprehensive Immigration Bill since Ronald Reagan in 1984.

Against this backdrop, since President Mahama’s tenure is a long one, it will be incumbent upon him to do due diligence to leave a good legacy by his actions. The weeks that went by were full of action across the globe, both political and religious all aimed at one thing - how to nib corruption in the bud. Corruption was spot-on on the Catholic pontiff’s sermon during one of his daily mass service inside Casa Marta. According to the British independent paper, Pope Francis said, “where there is deceit, the spirit of God cannot be” and that “A life based on corruption is varnished putrefaction.”

(http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=292130)\ The Holy Father then condemned corruption, indicating that parents who earned through bribes or corrupt practices had lost their dignity, and fed their children unclean bread. It is not funny, nor is it a hyperbole for the leader of the over one billion faithful across the world to open up against the canker by that analogy.

By all estimations, corruption is a stubborn issue and the negative effects of corruption on any nation are palpable to observe: when billions of tax payers’ money is siphoned by unpatriotic individuals, what is left for national development?

So, when Dr. Tony Aidoo and Hon Bagbin vociferated a couple of weeks ago, little did we know that was going to serve a platform to unite rather than to divide? Now, the weeks that just went by in Ghana saw a blitz action from the President which many have approved and thought the President has finally arrived and gotten back his mojo. Yes, President Mahama has arrived in fighting corruption. Good for him and that’s all he needs to do for Ghana to grow, develop and for him to leave a very impressive legacy. Without a doubt, the directives of the President a couple of weeks ago could not have been misplaced. The President ordered to secure refunds of monies wrongfully paid to or appropriated by any individual or company on contracts with SADA, GYEEDA and the Ghana Revenue Authority and to retrieve monies paid wrongfully to Waterville and Isofoton. He also advised to initiate legal action against individuals or companies to secure these refunds and or to punish them for any wrongdoing established.” (http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=292111) It is even reassuring news for the president to have empowered the right institutions to do their job. I am referencing the Economic and Organized Crimes Office (EOCO), the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit at the Presidency amongst others which have all been roped in to fight for this course. Dr. Tony Aidoo is a man of integrity and Ghanaians expect good results from their end to recover, thwart and to serve warning to other officials, companies who indulge in corruption. The host of actions taken will go down history as no President had had the courage to tackle corruption head-on this way. President Mahama seems to get his mojo back and with fire in the belly now he has arrived to save Ghana. He must appoint, sack, fire, appoint, sack, and fire, if that is what will take some appointed officials to behave well.

And did you hear that he ordered the contract between the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and IT firm, Subah Info Solutions to be reviewed with immediate effect and even emphasized that the contract “was not signed by authorized government representative.”? What about the directive banning public officials from buying State bungalows or State vehicle? Did you also hear that he has instructed the Minister of Government Business to table the Right to Information bill for deliberation and passage without further delay? Thank you sir! All of these are useful and helpful directives to ensure transparency in the Ghanaian body politic. And yet with all these directives from the President, others are still making untoward comments about the President. Can we really wait at least for a span of time to observe if these directives are working or not?

By Cletus D. Kuunifaa, Long Island University, LIU Post, New York. Can be contacted at dipnibe@yahoo.com or Follow him on twitter @ckuunifaa

Columnist: Kuunifaa, Cletus D