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General News of Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Source: The Herald

Christian Council rates Akufo-Addo poor in fight against corruption

Many groups and individuals continue to mark President Akufo-Addo down on his fight against corruption with the latest being the General Secretary of the Christian Council, saying he is unimpressed with governments attempt at curbing the menace.

Rev. Dr. Cyril Fayose, also described the Special Prosecutor’s Office as mere “window dressing” in the so-called anti-corruption drive and announced that Christian Council, would soon make its position on corruption known.

According to Rev. Dr. Cyril Fayose, even though the fight must involve every Ghanaian, the buck stops with the President, and in his view, not much effort is being put in the corruption fight by the President notwithstanding the fact that he is not the one, who prosecutes and convicts corrupt appointees.

Reacting to the President’s strong defence of his record in Takoradi last week, Rev. Fayose, said he expects President Akufo-Addo, to ensure culprits are punished severely whenever these corruption cases are brought to his attention, but the reverse appears to be the case.

“No! I don’t think we are doing enough, government and all of us. I think the president in this matter; I think the buck stops with the President, even though he’s not the one who convicts’, the Christian Council top man observed.

Rev. Dr. Fayose, insisted that President Akufo-Addo is “the one who should make sure that in the final analysis, people who have really flouted the rules and regulations, people who are corrupt, are punished …..That is his primary role”.

Speaking on TV3’s Key Points programme last Saturday, the General Secretary of the Christian Council explained “My point is that the president is the one who appointed the heads of the institutions, the president is the one who referred those matters to them and when they bring back the reports, the president must have his own view of what transpired and then the necessary punishment must take place”,

He lamented, how issues of corruption constantly flood the media yet; people are left off the hook, adding this may have warranted the unenviable tag on President Akufo-Addo, as a “clearing agent”.

The Man of God said it was this phenomenon of freeing every alleged corrupt appointee that makes him believe that something is amiss in this whole corruption fight.

He said, over the years, successive governments, have felt reluctant to prosecute their own, reason the fight appears daunting.

Asked if he was disappointed in government’s fight against corruption he said “Generally I will say yes. The primary reason for that is that we have heard a lot of things. When I say we have heard a lot of things, there is corruption in the news almost on a daily basis, but we don’t have culprits being found out and people being punished.

Maybe that is what led to the tag that the President has become a clearing agent! Almost everyone is being cleared and we have a problem with that and that is why I say I am not too convinced, something is not right.

And it is not just about this government; in all the previous governments, we had the same thing. We were not able to bring our own to face the law or the consequences of their actions. So that is the primary reason why we are saying that”.

Rev. Fayose, described the work of the Special Prosecutor as “window dressing” because according to him over a year since he started work, he is not been able to prosecute a single case in court. Even though he accepted that the wheel of justice grind slowly when it was pointed out to him, he argued that he was in a hurry to see tangibles.

“In fact, when the Office of the Special Prosecutor was set up, some of us said halleluiah, especially when the person came from the other side of the divide, we said halleluiah but now, it is looking like window dressing”.

Asked why he retorted “Because has the Office of the Special Prosecutor prosecuted anyone successfully up to this point?

“Well, some of us are very impatient, we are looking for something very quickly; it is a bit too slow. My point is that we must give the special prosecutor, teeth to bite. Somehow, he is not doing what he is supposed to do and that is my problem”, the man of God said.

On why the Council, has not been forthcoming with it position on the corruption debate, Dr Fayose, said the Council will in due course come out with its views and asked the public to be on the lookout.

A former Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic (NDC) Koku Anyidoho, who was also on the show, asked President Akufo-Addo, to desist from getting angry at his so-called opponents, for referring to him as “Clearing Agent” because he is no different from such people.

The former Director of Communications at the Presidency under late President John Atta Mills said, it would serve no purpose if he continues to have issues with his opponents, who have called him out on his abysmal performance in the fight against corruption.

He said, the “clearing agent” tag was something he should not pay much attention to, but rather accept that indeed, corruption is eating up the country and work towards it reverse.

Popularly called Koku the Bull, Mr Anyidoho, said tagging of leaders did not start today and reminded the President of his days as an opposition leader when he called the then President Mills as “Professor Do Little”.

“So don’t get angry, rather let us see that you are cracking the whip and not as it were you are tempering over the issue, because otherwise at the end of the day, it’s about perception if it sticks, people will go to the polls, they will take certain decision and when they are making that decision, they don’t have to tell you it can eat you up….

Let us cast out this demon called corruption and let us be able to punish people severely….. People can see if the president is not corrupt. When he was an opposition leader is he saying that he didn’t call people names? I remember him call President Atta Mills President do little how much is he doing?”

He continued “Mr President, don’t get angry it is a sub-culture that we have created and let’s live by it. We have created a sub-culture that everything must be thrown at the President. It was thrown at Rawlings, in fact from Nkrumah days the Kankan name that they were throwing at him then it came at all regimes.

So Mr President, please don’t get angry, get angry at the fact that corruption is eating us up as a country, not as individual and out of that anger, then let see that fortitude that, indeed you really want to fight corruption. But if you are angry because people are calling you names, is like when we were in secondary school, they give you a guy name and you get angry, but the more you get angry, the more the name will stick”, Mr Anyidoho said.

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