Politics of Thursday, 10 October 2013
In the 2007 – 2009 academic years when I had the opportunity to serve as a student leader in the University, one of the things I learnt about Ghanaian leaders is their tendency to avoid discussing the substantive matter when they realize that they do not have a good case.
They would put aside the substantive matter and look for mistakes that have been committed by the speaker or create that mistake even if it did not exist. Such kind of arguments is what philosophers refer to as the ‘to quoque fallacy”. It is the hypocrisy of realising the truth in the speaker’s words yet choosing to ignore it and attacking the personality of the speaker as the case may be.
This kind of attitude has been present in our traditional parlance and has been transported into our modern political tradition. The seriousness of it is that it makes nonsense the use of sound argument and reasoning in political decisions and employs mediocrity and sub-standard which has led to the incompetent regime we have today in our body politic.
Common sense tells us that the admittance of a fault or mistake is the first step to correcting it. To this end, I was expecting all well meaning Ghanaians to accept the corruption indexes published by the Ghana Integrity initiative (GII) and take steps to work towards eradicating such tendencies of corruption.
It is however unfortunate that, this is nonsense to our friends in NDC and they continue to wallow in the gutters of corruption with pride.
The progressive Peoples Party (PPP), in the spirit of fighting against corruption, invited Civic Service Organisations (CSO’s) and all other political parties to help organise a demonstration against institutional corruption in the country.
This invitation culminated into a coalition which the NDC decided not to join despite being invited. The Coalition’s four-fold demands for reforms included:
i.Turning the Office of Attorney-General into an Independent Prosecutor’s Office separate from the Ministry of Justice so that that Office is removed from the negative influence of partisan politics to deal with all forms of corruption without fear or favour.
ii. Separating the Legislature (Parliament) from the Executive (Presidency) so that effective checks and balance can operate.
iii. Removing the “hand” of the Executive (Presidency) from the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies and take away the opportunity for partisan patronage from the center, through popular election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) by the people; and
iv. Establishing a Ministry of Public Service to continuously seek improvement in the way work is done and take steps to strengthen public institutions in Ghana.
This innocuous attempt to demonstrate was prevented with all legal tactics that the NDC government could have used. They went behind the police to claim a blanket ban on all demonstrations to frustrate the PPP’s attempt to lead this anti corruption demonstration. When the PPP challenged the matter in the court, they allowed the demonstration to take place.
Various coalition members who joined this demonstration came to speak against corruption and the need to reform our institutions so that corruption can be dealt with. It is clear that all these people do not want corruption in this country.
Surprisingnly, members of the NDC have failed to recognize the relevance of this good course.
They are only attacking organisers of the demonstration and the flagbearer of the PPP who was not even physically present at the demonstration.
What has the numbers of people who turned up at the demonstration got to do with the fact that, there is the need for institutional reforms to curb corruption?
Granted that, there is an SFO report about the currupt acts of the PPP’s flag bearer, does that make invalid the point that there is the need for reforms? In any case, the NDC was in power at the time the purported SFO report was written.
What action did they take on it? In Ghana, Crime has no expiring date. If they could not take action on Dr. Nduom in 1996, what prevents them from taking action today if indeed there is a report indicting Dr. Nduom? If indeed there is a crime as big as what is being spewed in the media by Dr. Tony Aidoo and his cohorts, should they wait and say it on radio after an anti-corruption demonstration? Have the courts been closed all this while?
The subject of corruption is a very serious matter that needs to be handled with all seriousness and force. Unfortunately, this government and its cronies seem to be interested in using propaganda to deceive the people than to tackle the corruption head on.
As a citizen of this country, I strongly believe that it will be better for the President to put his house in order and take a critical look at the institutional reforms that the PPP is promoting. If Ghana is able to reduce or eradicate corruption, there will be enough funds to build roads, hospitals and schools.
My humble plea to the NDC and the people of Ghana is that; let us see the truth being spoken. Let us see beyond the one speaking. Let us avoid the political games and build a better Ghana as promised by the late President.
Richard Nii Amarh