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Opinions of Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Columnist: Badu, K

A Retrospective analysis of Mills’ ambivalence over Mahama

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the citizens"(Taft).

As a matter of fact, a president of a nation is a serious job and it requires a competent and a serious person. In this regard, if gargantuan corruption cases are hanging on the neck of an individual who is aspiring to become the President of the nation, and has so far unwilling to seriously disprove such allegations, then discerning Ghanaians have to be really careful about who they elect as the president of the nation.

Let us remind our corrupt officials that the moral way of accumulating wealth is through the earnings of industry and the savings of frugality, but not by shamefully dipping their hands into the coffers of the nation. To be quite honest, it is really sad that upon all the political inebriations and the behemoth corruptions, the pathetic and listless politicians would want Ghanaians to give them more time in office.

Let us remind the corrupt officials once again that “they can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but they cannot fool all of the people all of the time” (Abraham Lincoln).

It is important to note that cyclopean corruption scandals are indeed hanging around President Mahama’s neck. For example, the former Attorney General, Mr. Martin Amidu has told Ghanaians that our late President, Mills, set up a committee to Investigate then Vice President John Mahama regarding the Processes of the Acquisition of Five Aircrafts (5) including Embraer 190 Aircraft and hanger for the Ghana Armed Forces.

If we are to believe Mr. Amidu’s account of the corruption cases hanging on the neck of the incumbent President John Mahama, we can deduce that Mahama betrayed the trust late Mills reposed in him. It somehow explains why late President Mills set up a committee to investigate him. In fact, there are serious issues here that need to be considered by the voting public. If indeed late President Mills lost trust in Mahama prior to his death, then the voting public should be very careful in giving Mahama the mandate for a second time.

In retrospect, the manner in which the then Vice President Mahama handled the STX Housing deal leaves much to be desired. Although the deal did not materialise, we incurred a loss of an excess of $250 million, how bizarre?

What’s more, after the failed deal with STX to build 30,000 housing units for the nation's security agencies, the NDC government entered into another deal with the GUMA Group, for the construction of 500 housing units. The deal which was championed by President Mahama was widely criticised by various stakeholders, just as the STX deal, following the decision to sideline local construction firms in favour of the foreign company. The unusually high cost of the project was also a source of concern to many.

It is in the light of these corruption scandals that I am appealing to discerning Ghanaians to show serious concern. Ideally, Ghanaians should be able to hold our public officials to account without any restrictions whatsoever.

How long shall we stand aside and allow these heartless individuals to squander our scarce resources? I think it is about time we held our public officials accountable for their persistent shenanigans. Ghanaians should endeavour to take corrupt public officials to task else Ghana will sink deeper and deeper into the mire.

Fellow discerning Ghanaians, President Mahama’s handling of dubious judgment debt payments also leaves much to be desired. In all honesty, it is only the heartless who will shamefully give gargantuan sums of money belonging to the nation to people who have no entitlement. Of course, there is nothing wrong to pay genuine judgment debts. I strongly believe if President Mahama’s government had handled the payments parsimoniously, the purported $850 million judgment and settlement payments would have been brought to the barest minimum. The big question the right thinking Ghanaians should ask President Mahama and his spendthrift bureaucrats then is: ‘If just under eight years, you have paid dubious judgment debts in an excess of $850 million, how much would you pay in sixteen years?

FELLOW GHANAIANS, LET US REMEMBER THAT CORRUPTION CAN DIVERT SCARCE RESOURCES FROM POOR AND DISADVANTAGED IN OUR SOCIETY. IN THIS VEIN, IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FOR US TO ELECT SERIOUS INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE THE WHEREWITHAL TO MOVE THE NATION IN A POSITIVE DIRECTION. WE MUST NOT AND CANNOT ALLOW GREEDY BASTARDS TO WASTE OUR SCARCE RESOURCES. It is for this reason that I am urging discerning Ghanaians to choose a leader who would not countenance corruption in his administration.

K. Badu, UK.