Feature Article of Monday, 30 July 2012
Columnist: Thompson, Kofi
....To Rid Ghana Of High-level Corruption?
By Kofi Thompson
There are many who believe that Ghana's younger generation hold the key to securing victory for candidates in the upcoming December presidential and parliamentary elections.
Idealism and youth often go together. For that reason, in the days, weeks and months following the burial of President Mills, to enable it win the youth vote, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) ought to put aside the cynicism of the older generation, in any post-Mills election strategy it adopts, going forward.
There is no doubt that high-level corruption is destructive. It sets our country back and is an insidious cancer - slowly eating away at, and killing, the vitality of our people at all levels of Ghanaian society.
There is not a single young Ghanaian who does not want his or her country to become an efficient and prosperous society - in which those who hard work and are honest, can always succeed.
Corruption - accompanied by its handmaidens of nepotism and tribalism - saps the creative energy of our nation and prevents it moving forward.
That is why there must be the political will to deal with it in the most ruthless of fashions.
In that regard, former President Rawlings was right in saying that punishing the crooks in the NDC by prosecuting and jailing them, ought to be the priority in the fight against high-level corruption in Ghana.
It is only that going after the New Patriotic Party (NPP)crooks who repeatedly gang-raped Mother Ghana during the tenure of the Kufuor regime, can then be taken up in earnest.
Such an even-handed approach to ridding Ghana of corrupt politicians and public servants, will find approval amongst younger generation Ghanaians.
The NDC must understand clearly that it will put itself on the path to winning the upcoming December elections, only if it reinvents itself as the political party most determined to rid Ghana of high-level corruption.
President Mahama can take the important first step to that goal, by finding an ambassadorial position for Mr. Martey Newman - and replacing him with a new chief of staff and minister for presidential affairs.
A consensus politician who believes that the job of politicians is to work together across party lines to protect the national interest - such as the Hon. Alban Bagbin - would be ideal for that position.
And a return to the cabinet as Attorney General and Minister for Justice, by Martin Amidu, will send a clear signal to the nation that the fight against high-level corruption is back on track.
Having unexpectedly reached the pinnacle in Ghanaian politics, President Mahama would be wise to choose to make the ultimate personal sacrifice for the sake of Mother Ghana - by immediately declaring, after the burial of President Mills, that he will not be a candidate in the upcoming presidential election.
That will make it possible for him to concentrate on working together with Martin Amidu and other like-minded politicians (from across the spectrum), to do what has to be done to put the whole machinery of state on a war-footing to deal with high-level corruption.
Progressives in Ghana now have an opportunity to take steps to protect the resources of our nation from white-collar criminals.
President Mahama would be wise to choose to leave a legacy as the president who brought back Martin Amidu to start a cross-party house-cleaning process designed to rid Ghana of high-level corruption. A word to the wise...
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