Why President Mahama Must Publicly Publish His Assets

Fri, 28 Dec 2012 Source: Thompson, Kofi

By Kofi Thompson

Such is the level of confidence I have in the personal integrity of the Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Afari-Djan, that I am doubtful that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) will be able to prove its allegation of electoral fraud, on a scale widespread enough to enable it have the declaration of President Mahama as the winner of the 2012 presidential election, annulled by the Supreme Court of Ghana.

It is in the light of that expected outcome for the NPP's Supreme Court challenge, that one hopes that whatever it does between the time President Mahama begins his tenure on 7th January, 2013, and the next presidential and parliamentary elections in December 2016, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will take steps to ensure that it has a completely different image amongst ordinary Ghanaians, from that which the Mills regime unfortunately had.

For a start, the divisions that dogged the NDC, during the tenure of the late President Mills, must not be allowed to return to haunt it again.

It will be fatal for the NDC and President Mahama, were the internecine fighting of the past to resurface again.

It is vital therefore that the incoming administration of President Mahama takes all the necessary steps to ensure that it is not thrown off course, by negative distractions that will let it lose focus on implementing the policy proposals contained in the NDC manifesto presented to the Ghanaian electorate, for this year's elections.

When Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom publicly published his filed tax returns and his assets, as well as the source of his party's funding and the amount spent on campaigning at that point, it ushered in a new era in Ghanaian politics.

Not many in our political class seem to have noticed it. However, President Mahama and his party ignore that sea-change in Ghana's politics at their peril.

Allegations of corruption amongst members of the new administration will quickly erode whatever goodwill the new administration will come into office with.

Ordinary Ghanaians will rapidly lose confidence in President Mahama were allegations of corruption to dog his administration.

It is therefore crucial that the new administration keeps those responsible for the Woyomegate-type scandals of the Mills-era, at arms length.

Ordinary Ghanaians will definitely punish the NDC in the 2016 elections if the party does not heed that advice.

President Mahama, who is the one history will judge - all else in his administration being mere footnotes in the history of his period in power - must overlook the fear of openness amongst his appointees, in the matter of publicly publishing the assets of politicians in Ghana, and go ahead to publish both that of himself and those of the First Lady.

The Ghana of today needs that example of good governance, from the serving President of the Ghanaian nation-state.

He will find that that will insulate him from the many allegations of corruption that will be made against him by his political opponents (including potential rivals in his own party), going forward.

Speaking personally, not having sold my conscience, and as a journalist who loves his country passionately, henceforth, I for one will never trust any President of the Republic of Ghana, who does not follow Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom's worthy example.

If President Mahama fails to publicly publish his assets, as well as those of his spouse, I will definitely end up becoming a foremost critic of his.

Above all, were he to do so, it will give President Mahama peace of mind.

And it will also give him the mental strength to ignore his detractors - and focus instead on the hard work needed to fulfil the many promises he made to Ghanaians, in order to win election as the next President of the Republic of Ghana. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.

Email: peakofi.thompson@gmail.com.

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi