Why the media should encourage the President to publicize his assets

Nana Rebecca Unity File photo; President Akufo-Addo and First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 Source: Kofi Thompson

High-level corruption is the single biggest impediment to the transformation of our homeland Ghana into an African equivalent of the prosperous and egalitarian societies of Scandinavia.

It will take extraordinary courage and leadership - of the kind that puts political leaders into the Pantheon of humankind's all-time greatest leaders - on the part of President Akufo-Addo, and creative-thinking by the more responsible sections of the Ghanaian media, to finally root out the high-level corruption that is slowly bleeding Mother Ghana to death.

Annually, vast sums - trillions of Ghana cedis literally - are siphoned off into private pockets by crooks in the system.

Thus, successfully plugging all the loopholes through which hapless taxpayers' disappears in Ghana, for example, will enable all Ghanaian families that are unable to build or buy their own homes to have access to well-designed and well-built affordable housing in new planned green cities across Ghana, through public private partnerships (PPP).

It will also enable ordinary people in Ghana to have access to free, world-class education from kindergarten to tertiary level. Ditto enable ordinary people to have access to quality healthcare whenever they need it.

The question is: How can the media in Ghana help end high-level corruption in our nation?

To begin with, the media must encourage and persuade President Akufo-Addo to ignore all those in his inner circle who advise against it, and go ahead to publicly publish his assets, as well as that of his wife Rebecca and all his offspring. Ditto the vice-president and his nuclear family.

Secondly, the media must persuade Parliament to pass new laws providing immunity from prosecution for all all those who expose corruption that leads to the conviction of the white-collar criminals who rip Ghana off in public procurement contracts - and also gives them 10 percent of the recovered sums saved as a result of their whistle blowing.

Finally, if the only way to ensure the availability of the wherewithal to transform Ghana into a prosperous society is to root out high-level corruption from our byzantine system, then with respect, in the national interest and for the common weal, the time has now come for the Ghanaian media to make it plain to President Akufo-Addo that he must do the decent thing - and publicly publish his assets and those of his wife and children as soon as practicable: to set the moral tone for his presidency. Haaba.

Columnist: Kofi Thompson