Why Akufo-Addo cannot afford to treat the conspiratorial plotters with kid’s gloves

NanaAddoDankwa Akufo Addo President Nana Akufo-Addo

Wed, 17 Apr 2019 Source: K. Badu

It is an undeniable fact that corruption is a serious economic, social, political and moral impediment to nation building, and therefore it is extremely important that the fantastically corrupt public officials are held accountable at all times without fear or favour.

Regrettably, however, despite its corrosive effects, it would be somewhat sophistic for anybody to suggest that corruption can be circumscribed completely from the surface of this planet.

Corruption, as a matter of fact, is a human foible, and therefore we are likely to find some conspiratorial plotters blissfully indulging in corrupt practices regardless.

Let us, therefore, be honest, while it is not so easy to stop other criminals from committing heinous crimes, it is also difficult for any leader to stop ravenous individuals from indulging in corrupt practices altogether.

However, what any serious, committed and forward-thinking leader could do is to seek to apply the existing laws as strictly as possible.

It is, therefore, worthy of note that exposure, prevention and deterrence are the useful tools for combating the canker of corruption.

The fact, however, remains that Ghanaians are not distant apart in attitudes and behaviours from other human beings elsewhere because we are all susceptible to human foibles.

But what makes the people elsewhere much more responsible than a Ghanaian is the rigidity of their state institutions and the effective laws and regulations.

Take, for example, elsewhere, the laws and regulations are strictly enforced, and as such, the vast majority of the citizens and denizens prefer the observance to the stringent fines and the harsh punishments.

Disappointingly, however, during the erstwhile NDC administration, public officials and their minions dipped their hands into the national coffers as if there was no tomorrow and went scot free.

In fact, the unbridled corruption in the erstwhile NDC administration resulted in economic collapse, which is still fresh in the memories of discerning Ghanaians. Thus, no real patriot will ever shrill and thrill over the return of NDC so soon.

Apparently, the harsh economic conditions which the NDC government wilfully imposed on Ghanaians will indeed take a long time to obliterate from memories.

In fact, if we mull over the greedy politicians and other public servants corrupt practices, we can only conclude that the vast majority of the modern day politicians apparent preoccupation is to manipulate their way into power and then pursue their vested interests.

As a matter of fact and principle, some of us cannot end our arousing disgust anyhow and anytime soon, given the erstwhile NDC government’s irrevocable incompetence and corrupt practices, which nonetheless destabilised Ghana’s macroeconomic indicators.

It must, however, be emphasised that discerning Ghanaians cannot remit their fury in condemnation over the disputatious NDC apparatchiks ridiculous claim that the NPP government is messing up the country in barely 27 months into 48-month mandate, and for that matter, they are on course to recapture power in 2020.

Given the wanton sleazes and corruption which took place in the previous NDC administration, we can reasonably infer that misunderstanding of true patriotism exists in the minds of the vast majority of the modern day politicians, who would more often than not, choose party and parochial interests over the larger national interests.

Paradoxically, in Ghana, greedy and corrupt officials are held in high esteem by the ever so nodding party loyalists for stealing from the national purse at the expense of the suffering masses.

It would, therefore, appear that we, Ghanaians, and Africans as a whole, are possessed with kowtowing characteristic of a morally degraded mind which dislikes anything that comes with honesty and integrity.

Thus, our leaders, having first-hand knowledge of our obsequious compliance and hero-worshipping nonsense, tend to take us for granted and continue to dip their hands into the national coffers as if tomorrow will never come.

Let us be honest, and rightly so, we definitely need attitudinal and behavioural change, for we must not and cannot keep on electing and hero worshipping individuals who are so corrupt and cannot see their backsides from their elbows.

In fact, I had mixed feelings when I read somewhere last year that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service had submitted the dockets on the investigations of the double salary grabbing NDC Members of Parliament to the Attorney General Office for advice.

My incertitude stemmed from the fact that Ghana’s justice system tends to clamp down heavily on the goat, cassava and plantain thieves, and more often than not, let go the impenitent criminals who hide behind the narrow political lines.

Let us admit though, if we are ever prepared to beseech 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 bet, 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.

Regrettably, we began life with the likes of South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore, and, look at where they are. They are diligently making cars, Mobile phones, electronics, good roads, good housing, and have put in place pragmatic policies and programmes to developed their respective countries and just look at where we are today.

However, we now go to those countries we started life with, and beg for donations, or borrow money--do you recall the STX housing deal which was unsuccessfully pursued by Mills/Mahama administration, and yet cost us a staggering $300 million ? I weep for my beloved Ghana.

Obviously, we need a true leadership with vision and ideas, altruistic and charismatic leadership devoid of corruption, greed, Incompetence and capable of transforming us into an industrialized and robust economy.

Whichever way you may view the topic under discussion, we cannot ignore or deny the fact that cases of political criminals misdeeds often leave concerned Ghanaians with a glint of bewilderment.

Indeed, 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.”

Nevertheless, 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 goat, cassava and plantain thieves are incarcerated?

I will dare state that there is no deterrence for political criminals., If that was not the case, how come political criminals more often than not, go through the justice net, despite unobjectionable evidence of wrong doing?

The Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu, hit the nail on the head when he aptly beseeched the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Ghana Police to investigate the NDC MPs alleged double salaries to its logical conclusion and those who are found to have indulged in any criminalities prosecuted accordingly (See: ‘Double salary’ probe: MPs must face the law – Amidu; citinewsroom.com/ghanaweb.com, 19/04/2018).

As a matter of fact, corruption is found in all countries—big and small, rich and poor—but it is in the developing world that its effects are most destructive.

In fact, some of us cannot comprehend how and why the people we choose to entrust with the national coffers could team up with shifty individuals and steal gargantuan sums of money belonging to the nation without facing any stiff punishment.

Regrettably, despite the fact that corruption slows down the nation-building, some corrupt officials are bent on syphoning our scarce resources to the detriment of the poor.

“Corruption is an insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on societies. It undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life and allows organized crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish” (UN 2003).

“For the poor, women and minorities, corruption means even less access to jobs, justice or any fair and equal opportunity” (UNDP 2016).

Let us therefor remind the Attorney General and the Special Prosecutor that although the suspects and their apologists will grumble and squall over any lawful interrogations, there should be no mercy for the wrong doers. We must claw-back all the stolen monies which were meant for various developmental projects.

We must not and cannot use the justice net to catch only the plantain, goat and cassava thieves, but we must rather spread the justice net wide to cover the hard criminals who are often disguised in political attire.

In sum, the authorities must bear in mind that the right antidote to curbing the unbridled sleazes and corruption that have slackened our development thus far is not just by pampering the suspects, but rather through stiff punishments, including the retrieval of all stolen monies, sale of properties and harsh prison sentences.

K. Badu2011@gmail.com

Columnist: K. Badu