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Opinions of Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Columnist: Ernest Boateng

Lord Boat's Files: Agyarko vrs. Ayariga, how the noble is clad in ignominy

The bribery saga is yet to be probed by the ad hoc committee set up by the Speaker of Parliament The bribery saga is yet to be probed by the ad hoc committee set up by the Speaker of Parliament

According to Mahatma Ghandhi, “politics without principles will destroy humanity”. Well, this statement by the civil right activist seems to have been thrown to the dogs and politics of convenience assumed the better part of our lives.

Mahama Ayariga’s allegation of bribery against Joe Osei-Owusu and Boakye Agyarko for me has once again brought to the front burner why some noble people have decided to sit on the fence and allow those whose conscience is ineffectual to manage the affairs of state.

In the name of party politics, citizens who have lived distinguished private lives have had their image buttered and bruised with a very little chance to restore their dignity. But the game of politics requires that serious intelligence, men of integrity and people of valor are selected to play in all the important departments. Our country cannot afford to leave the political arena to the unintelligible.

Now attention has so much been shifted from the sterling performance of ministerial nominees who appear before the Appointments Committee to an allegation which is very complex to decipher.

Mr. Agyarko whom the allegation has been made against, notwithstanding the heated argument and the back and forth, arguably came on top in terms of exhibiting confidence and stunning competence at the vetting. He is clearly a man who knows when to dot his ‘Is’ and cross his ‘Ts’.

His answer to the question that one of his press conferences prior to the elections sought to elevate the former President John Mahama to the status of a president who prioritises corruption other than value for money, from my observations hypnotized the MP who posed that question. I observed that the Honorable MP who asked that question rather did a great deal of de-service to the former president.

The question that ought to be asked is why Mr. Boakye Agyarko would pay money to the minority when he would have been approved anyway.
Does the allegation supports what Socrates said that “when the argument is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser”?

From the lay man’s point of view this allegation is so fantastic to believe, especially when from the same camp of the minority there seems to be conflicting accounts.

Minority Chief Whip Alhaji Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka who has been sourced as the conduit for delivering the bribe has vehemently denied it, swearing by Allah.

In fact the man on whose behalf the alleged bribery was instigated has also denied fervently that he did not owe anybody to pay bribe to, arguing that he does not have the divine right to become a minister.

I don’t think there is any further bold statement that we should request from Mr. Agyarko, knowing very well that the president who nominated him can fire him without any explanation.

I laughed when Mr. Agyarko intimated that if he had such money he would have spent it on his family. This man is damn right.
Once the majority agrees with the president that Mr. Agyarko is an outstanding material, nothing could have stopped parliament from approving him except on technical grounds.

This is because of the absolute majority the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) commands in the august house.
Some have argued that he did not want any controversy to surround his approval and that he was poised to be endorsed in a unanimous fashion, as if to say there is something wrong with a one sided endorsement.

For me, if there is something wrong with a majority decision, then the very system of government being operated today is still-born.
Majority rule is the very essence of democracy notwithstanding the 'wrongfulness' of the majority decision.

The minister will not lack legitimacy if approved by a majority decision. Mr. Boakye Agyarko’s one-sided confirmation would not be a novelty. In fact that is the beauty of democracy that we so much talk about.

While we wait for the allegation to be investigated, when common sense is brought to bear on this whole caboodle, its believability is virtually non-existent, but like Shakespeare postulated, “there is no arts to define the minds construction on the face”.

It is obvious our leaders do not fear the OATH they swear because they eat the OATH on the morning before they en route to the grounds for their swearing in.

It is worth stating that the exercise of audacity of courage by Mr. Ayariga to petition the Right Honorable Speaker of Parliament is worth commending. Well, the Energy Minister may have been inspired by one of the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Green that “Enter Action with Boldness.”

I hope that action will be expedited to ensure that closure is brought on the matter. The Biblical injunction that good name is better that riches must guide all of us.

The Dalai Lemah puts it succinctly when he said that, “live a good, honorable life then when you get older and think back, you will be able to enjoy it a second time”.

Let’s not without any justification assassinate the character of people when we lack concrete foundation.

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