The jubilation over the appointment of the special prosecutor

Martin Amidu Appointed Martin A. B. K. Amidu, Special Prosecutor

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 Source: Denis Andaban

Thursday, 11th January, 2018 ended on a very interesting and remarkable note. I sacrificed going to witness a presiding member's (MP) elections that took place in my district, (Daffiama-Bussie-Issa) or the monitoring of the first sitting of the parliamentary bipartisan committee probing into the "cash for seat" scandal that rocked the organization of the millennium excellence award. I must say that I didn't waste my time sitting all day monitoring.

Even though I don't want to be preemptive to the work of the committee, the evidence put before the committee by the petitioners were mind blowing. It was very easy for me to follow the issues chronologically and of course, draw my own lines. The official communications from the key stakeholders of the event, the organizers of the program and government, represented by the ministry of trade and industry and some comments from key officers of same, were staggeringly revealing as one thing was conspicuous; consistent inconsistencies.

I am sure many others who monitored the proceedings cannot afford to miss the rest of it. I pray that the media houses especially GTV continue to telecast it.

After the sitting, many discerning minds who might have been reflecting and "monologuing" on the matters arising to form an opinion, suddenly had to monitor some announcement being made at the presidency. I tuned in a little late but I did hear what appears to be a eulogy, rendered beautifully by my eloquent president, Nana Akufo Addo. That was a succinct description of "the man of integrity." To make the long story short, Martin Amidu was announced "the special prosecutor".

While some of us were still scribbling our congratulatory message to Martin, I noticed a jubilation coming from some NPP friends. What makes the jubilation strange was that, NDC was being ridiculed and mocked at, for reasons very difficult to comprehend. Though the NPP folks have indicated time without number that they were waiting for the special prosecutor to prosecute former appointees of the erstwhile Mahama led administration, I least expected some comments I was reading from some respectable members of the NPP. Well, that is what too much partisanship can do. I always say that too much partisanship is a malnourishment to critical thinking and fundamental appreciation of pertinent issues. But let me say that such "empty barking" can't constitute evidence to prosecute anybody. For the avoidance of doubt, I want some people who are too deep in the sea of partisanship to note the following:

That the mere setting up of the office of special prosecutor and the subsequent appointment of Martin Amidu isn't enough to win the fight against corruption. In fact, hitherto to the creation of this office, numerous state institutions that have the mandate to fight corruption existed and still exist yet we have issues of corruption being cleared without any investigation. This new office is only an addition to the numerous state institutions and its "magic" can't be realised just by the appointment of the officer in charge; "man of integrity." More work needs to be done.

Secondly, corruption is purely an attitudinal matter that transcends political regimes. Corruption has engulfed our public sector and the fight against corruption has no respect for political affiliation. Any perception that the prosecutor is only coming to prosecute former appointees in the NDC regime as being trumpeted by most NPP communicators is tantamount to either ignorance or self tickling. Interestingly, issues of corruption keep coming up under the current government almost everyday and so any serious and fair prosecutor will not pick and choose in his quest to eradicate this canker.

More importantly, the special prosecutor isn't a judge and will have to battle it up in court before securing any judgement against anybody. Apart from having the trust and confidence in the special prosecutor, we must first of all believe in the courts and not allow party militia groups to attack it with impunity as it happens in the recent past under the watch of this government. I am alluding to the case of the Delta Force that attacked the court in Kumasi to free their colleagues hoodlums who in the name of party vigilantism think they have power over everything in Ghana.

Additionally, no political party shall be in power forever. As I indicated earlier, the office created transcends political regimes. This is why I think that the office cannot be any threat to any political party as people want us to believe. It must rather be in our collective wisdom and spirit to eradicate corruption from all facets of our sociopolitical and economic lives. The change of attitude by the citizenry is the most powerful tool in curbing this ugly social canker that is stampeding national development.

Lastly, I think we must stop the "holier than thou attitude" posture, and in unison accept the challenge to protect our public resources and as well, defend the laws of the country. That act -when your net catches "some fishes," you throw them back into the river and continue a search for those within your taste is a jeopardy to our democracy and must be discouraged. Let our politicians get that clearly.

Conclusively, though some people have celebrated the bill when it was passed and the appointment of the special prosecutor even more than when the 1992 constitution was promulgated, I still advise, we go back to the drawing board to find our collective fighting spirit from the principles of harmony, fairness justice and above all, patriotism for nation building and not patriotism for political parties.

The path to progress of every country lies in harmony and well defined national vision and not demonstration of hatred base on sex, religion, tribe, political party affiliation, race etc as in the wisdom of our national constitution.

Columnist: Denis Andaban
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