The website fiasco: If this is not corruption, then what is corruption?

Sat, 23 Dec 2017 Source: Effah Elvis

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It has been said time without number that those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. One significant factor that led to the unexpected termination of the Mahama–led administration was the serious issue of corruption of which he failed to address amicably. Ghanaians registered their displeasure by showing NDC the exit hoping to wake up in a new dawn of corruption-free society.

The problem of corruption in the Ghanaian political scene is as old as Adam and it is the worst form of injustice against Ghana as a nation. There haven’t been shortage of promises from various presidents ranting to completely break the shackles and fetters of corruption in Ghana. From the administration of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to the administration of H.E John Dramani Mahama, corruption was alive and well. Despite several efforts to completely eradicate corruption in Ghana, it still continues unabated. It has gained roots in Ghana and seem not to easily fade away.

The escalating incidence of corruption in recent times has really compelled many a citizen to conclude that the promises of politicians in Ghana against issues of corruption are just mere lip services and should therefore be taken with a pinch of salt. These promises are made to gain cheap political points. The politician who steals little amount of state’s money in a clever and subtle manner is always seen accusing his other colleague as the big thief. They tend to forget that be it a big thief or a small thief, they are both rated as thieves.

The New Patriotic Party, being swamped by an avalanche of success and failure stories of previous governments in Ghana with regards to corruption, it will therefore be expedient and more prudent to think that the Nana Addo-led administration would be corruption- free government. I hate to burst your bubbles! But the truth of the matter is that our worst fears are being confirmed. In as much as the NPP administration has been lauded for chalking a number of successes, it has also been accused for perpetrating violence and chaos through its vigilante groups.

Recent developments in the Nana Addo led-administration is indicative that the familiar spectre of corruption and alibi is rearing its ugly head in the country’s politics. Recently, it went viral that expatriates had to pay $100,000 just to sit by the president Nana Addo Dankwa. That the fees charged at the Ghana Expatriates Business Awards were not the kind of fees approved by parliament. Luckily enough for this administration, the said allegations turned out to be mere hoax and did not hold any water.

With the issue of corruption in view, the president is on record to have publicly condemned acts of corruption. He has cajoled many a citizen countless number of times to wage a successful war against corruption in Ghana. Are only words really enough? Action is needed and not words. How do we rationalize the recent development of corruption in the country? Are we going to wake up from our beds as a nation only to realize that this one too was a mere hoax and malice? The NPP administration while in opposition constantly trumpeted the conflict of interest sermon.

The ministry of Special Development Initiative budgeted 800,000 Ghana cedis for the development of just a website and a further 10 million to purchase 20 4-wheel Drive vehicles. In all, parliament has approved 1.1 Ghana cedis for the ministry. If this is not corruption, what then is corruption?

Approving this budget for a website and a vehicle is bad enough but having to watch 744 million Ghana cedis to be funded with the country’s oil money just rubbed salt into the wound. This cynical ploy by the ministry to rob the nation dry of its resources has really agitated the minds of many to ask the hard questions. How much does it take to develop a website for a ministry? Did the other ministries also pay this amount before they could get access to a website? A website for 800,000 Ghana cedis? That is just daylight robbery! Robbing the nation in a broad daylight to fill individual pockets is not only cynical but barbaric, uncouth and very selfish.

There are more pressing needs to be attended to than the bloating of figures all in the name of developing a bogus website and buying vehicles. The president’s stance on corruption in the public domain is clear and unambiguous but it seems some of his ministers are too hungry for overnight success. Until the rotten teeth is being removed, the mouth must always chew with caution.

I have read and seen presidents and governments rise and fall. If there is one thing I know to be true – it is that the end of those who fell on the sharp and intoxicating edge of corruption was very pathetic and unexpected.

There is no gainsaying the fact that the New Patriotic Party is gradually failing to learn from history. It is crystal clear that the mantle of governance has succeeded in blinding the New Patriotic Party and its leader, Nana Akufo-Addo to acts of corruption. The bitter truth NPP should know is that to be in the helm of affairs is never for eternity. Our elders do say that “if the tail of the cow never remained in its anus forever, what makes you think that it will remain in the hands of the fetish priest forever?”

The transitory nature of governance wouldn’t permit one party to rule forever. Power definitely changes hands. These evolving issue of corruption if not treated with urgency by the president, has the power to terminate the dreams of the party to remain in power for a longer period of time. The sands of time are running out. The leadership should never sweep this issue under the carpet. They should make things right while it is still right. We never asked for this change. We will never remain aloof with hands akimbo. We will certainly resist this kind of change.

The writer is Effah Elvis

BLOGS @ elvis1site.wordpress.com

Columnist: Effah Elvis
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