When pursuit of power tramps integrity and honesty: Why should public servants ‘create loot, and share?’

Gen Mosquito Johnson Asiedu Nketia.jpeg Asiedu Nketia

Wed, 2 Feb 2022 Source: Kwaku Badu

I would like to believe that politics is a contestation of ideologies by rival political parties with a view of receiving public mandate to form a government to put better policies and programmes in place to impact the lives of the masses.

The public, in fact, more often than not, put in heart-wrenching sacrifices to ensure that the political process goes on seamlessly.

Morosely, however, the public are often spurned and neglected after helping the politicians to their comfort zones.

That being said, the vast majority of Ghanaians, so to speak, have a deferential regard for people who have the heart and the abilities to make sacrifices.

Truly, many Ghanaians, more often than not, hold people who have the seriousness and commitment to do the right thing in high esteem.

Indeed, Ghanaians would gregariously warm towards people who have the courage of their aspirations. And yet some politicians would blatantly betray the trust we repose in them. Why?

That being said, Ghanaians cannot afford to do away with serious and forward-thinking politicians, in spite of the persistent disappointments.

The fact however is, the electorates are always prepared to give their votes to the politicians, who in turn, are obliged to implement favourable policies and programmes that will move the nation to the right direction.

So, in contrast to our expectations, it will, be devilishly difficult to do away with politicians, in spite of the endless disappointments.

It is quite nauseating to see some public officials who have chosen to handle the affairs of the country behaving somewhat dishonourably.

In fact, Ghanaian politics has become a scorned profession, not a noble profession it used to be.

Verily, it takes good people—good citizens and leaders to build a prosperous nation. Yet a lot of good people would never go into politics. They dislike the toxic levels of partisanship. They hate the intrusive media scrutiny and they won’t pay the high personal costs of the political life.

Once upon a time, anyone who gained a seat in parliament was looked up to and respected by all. Alas this is not the case anymore.

How on earth can honourable Members of Parliament knowingly keep double salaries to the detriment of the poor and disadvantaged Ghanaians?

It beggars belief that individuals could form an alliance, create, loot and share gargantuan sums of money belonging to the state and would eventually slip through the justice net.

I have always maintained that if we are ever prepared to ask the fantastically corrupt public officials to only return their loots without any further punishment, we might as well treat the goat, plantain and cassava thieves same. For after all, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

I am afraid though, the democratic country called Ghana may not see any meaningful development, so long as we have public officials who are extremely greedy, corrupt, and insensitive to the plight of the impoverished Ghanaians.

Sadly, though, when it comes to the prosecutions of the political criminals, we are often made to believe: “the wheels of justice turn slowly, but it will grind exceedingly fine.”

And yet we can disappointingly recount a lot of unresolved alleged criminal cases involving political personalities and other public servants.

Where is the fairness when the political thieves could shamefully dip their hands into the national purse as if there is no tomorrow and go scot free, while the mobile phone, the goat, cassava and plantain thieves are incarcerated?

I have always insisted that there is no deterrent for political criminals. If that was not the case, how come political criminals more often than not, go through the justice net, despite incontrovertible evidence of wrong doing?

Every well-meaning Ghanaian shrilled and thrilled when a few years ago, the Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Alfred Benin, ordered that some identified properties of the litigious businessman, Alfred Woyome , be sold towards the payment of the dubious 51 Million Ghana Cedis judgement debt paid to him in 2010 by the erstwhile NDC government (see: ‘Sell Woyome’s properties to pay debt to the state-Supreme Court orders; starrfm.com.gh/ghanaweb.com, 27/06/2019).

In fact, I was shocked to the bone when a panel member incredibly alleged on Thursday’s 27th June 2019 edition of Oman FM’s ‘Boiling Point’ political show that NDC and a number of apologists were beneficiaries of Woyome’s dubious GH51.2 million judgment debt payment.

Perhaps, this chilling allegation may explain why back then, a host of NDC communicators defended, and continue to defend the wrongful judgment debt payment to the hilt in spite of the fact that Woyome once admitted on Kwame Sefa Kayi’s Kokrokoo show that he had no contract with the government of Ghana.

Indeed, JSC Dotse could not have put it any better: “it was an illustrative case of create loot and share.”

Sometime in 2010, it was reported that the late Mills warned some officials in his government not to effect payment to Woyome. And yet the conspiratorial plotters defied the good old Mills orders and doled out a staggering amount of GH51.2 to Wayome, who had no contract with the government of Ghana.

Subsequently, in July 2014, the Supreme Court of Ghana ordered Businessman Mr Alfred Woyome to pay back to the state, GH 51.2million dubious judgment debt paid him between 2009 and 2010.

It must be emphasised that the Supreme Court’s ruling was as a result of a review of the court's earlier decision sought by former Attorney General and the current Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu, who maintained that Woyome, like international firms, Waterville and Isofoton, had no valid contract to be paid any amount by the state in judgment debt.

The Supreme Court accordingly ruled that Isofoton S.A., and Waterville Holdings BVI, must also refund the dubious judgement debt payments made to them by the erstwhile NDC government.

According to the highest Court of the land, the Waterville Holdings BVI, which was allegedly involved in the construction of some stadia in Ghana, ahead of the hosting of the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, was wrongfully paid €25 million and must refund the money.

While the Court ordered Isofoton S.A. to refund US$325,472 it received as judgment debt from the Mills/Mahama government.

Unfortunately, however, none of those monies was retrieved by the erstwhile NDC government, in spite of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Given their calamitous errors in judgment which obviously caused their humiliating 2016 election defeat, it is indeed baffling that the ever so litigious, albeit non-performing NDC apparatchiks have been vigorously bulldozing their way through in a desperate attempt to convince their aggrieved supporters of their consuming desire to recapture power in 2024.

With all due respect with no appended condescension, it would appear that the NDC stalwarts are living in a denial. They have indeed lost touch with the reality.

Ironically, it was only the late President J. J. Rawlings, the founder of the NDC who accepted the enormity of the problems confronting his beloved party in any future elections.

The late President Rawlings thus admitted: “Most people are yet to recover from the traumatic shock of the December 7th election results. “But I will have to state that if we turn our backs to our history us a party, we cannot escape the responsibility for the result”.

“I kept providing the warning whenever and wherever I could, and in public as well. “But no, once again the uncouth and uncultured in our party and government chose to insult and disrespect some of us” (Rawlings, 2016).

But despite the admissible evidence of rampant corruption and hopeless incompetence, the General Secretary of the party, Asiedu Nketia and his cohorts have been holding on to a phantom believe that they lost the 2016 and 2020 general elections because their aggrieved supporters either failed to go to the polls or robbed of victory by the Electoral Commission. How ironic?

But contrary to the NDC apparatchiks disagreements and disappointments amid numerous excuses over the 2016 and 2020 elections results, the founder of the NDC, the late President J. J. Rawlings would rather prefer to blame the leadership for their unobjectionable incompetence, corruption and shenanigans.

There is no gainsaying the fact that the brassbound NDC loyalists do not want to acknowledge the fact that Ghana’s economy was in such a state because a large portion of the country’s resources went down the drain through the irreversible mismanagement and the wanton sleazes and corruption committed by the officials of the erstwhile NDC administration.

In fact, the erstwhile NDC government even managed to allocate judgement debt amount in the national budget (reported to be around GH800 million).

We cannot also obliterate from our memories the scandalous corruption cases involving GYEEDA, AZONTABA, SADA, SUBAH, the purported $300million debt incurred on the faded STS housing deal, the dubious Embraer 190 Aircrafts and hanger for the Ghana Armed Forces and over a US$100 million oil revenue loss between 2011 and 2013 as reported by the Public Interest& Accountability Committee.

It is, indeed, heartrending to recount how Ghana’s economy sunk deeper and deeper into the mire under President Mahama’s leadership.

K. Badu, UK.


Columnist: Kwaku Badu