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Opinions of Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Columnist: K. Badu, UK

A cynosure of patriotism

Some of us will continue to hold the fearless patriots in high esteem for putting their precious lives on the line to the trail and expose the enemies of the state.

“The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair (H. L. Mencken).”

To be quite honest, we owe a great deal of gratitude to organisations and individuals who have been inexorably exposing and confronting corrupt public officials.

To this end, let us blissfully extol the Honourable Kennedy Agyapong and Mr Martin Amidu, the former Attorney General, in the late Mills administration, for their patriotism, vigilantism and unparalleled courage.

As a matter of fact and observation, the aforesaid gentlemen have been exhibiting their patriotic qualities over the years through their actions. That is, they have shown beyond conscionable doubt of their affection, solicitude and inborn proclivity towards their beloved Ghana.

Indeed, the two gentlemen have been leading the crusade against sleazes and corruptions in the country.

If you may remember, it was the Honourable Kennedy Agyapong who blew the whistle over the dubious GH51.2 million Woyome’s judgement debt payment.

Then the citizen vigilante, Martin Amidu, single handedly fought the case at the Supreme Court and won a landmark victory over Woyome.

Let us admit, the aforesaid gentlemen are certified valiant Patriots, who have time and time again shown their affection, solicitude and strong predilection towards the well-being of Ghana.

Without doubt, the Honourable Agyapong and Martin Amidu are unwearied corruption crusaders who have consistently upheld the relevant provisions of the United Nations 2005 Convention against Corruption.

But for the Honourable Agyapong’s whistling blowing prowess, the GH51.2million dubious judgment debt payment to Woyome would have been swept under the carpet by the conspiratorial plotters.

Take, for example, more recently, the Honourable Kennedy Agyapong came out and told Ghanaians that former President Mahama’s brother, Ibrahim Mahama, had been evading import taxes over the past few years.

He was however scoffed at, and queried repeatedly about the veracity of the seeming sensational story. But alas, he was proved right by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

Consequently, the EOCO ordered Ibrahim Mahama to pay GH12.7million as all his previous 44 cheques were dishonoured by the respective banks. How bizarre?

The Honourable Kennedy Agyapong and citizen vigilante, Martin Amidu, like some of us, cannot comprehend why the people we have entrusted with the national coffers could team up with shifty individuals and turn around and steal gargantuan sums of money belonging to the nation.

Despite the fact that corruption is a serious economic, social, political and moral impediment to the nation building, some corrupt individuals are bent on siphoning our scarce resources to the detriment of the poor.

As a matter of fact and observation, corruption impedes economic development by distorting markets and collapsing private sector integrity.

“Corruption also strikes at the heart of democracy by corroding rule of law, democratic institutions and public trust in leaders. For the poor, women and minorities, corruption means even less access to jobs, justice or any fair and equal opportunity” (UNDP 2016).

At this point in time, what the patriotic Ghanaians would really like President Akufo-Addo and his government to do is to claw-back all the embezzled monies in the scandalous corruption cases, inter alia, the dubious Woyome judgement debt payment, the infamous Bus Branding, Brazil World Cup, GYEEDA, AZONTABA, SADA, SUBAH, the purported $200million debt incurred on the faded STS housing deal, the dubious Embraer 190 Aircrafts and hanger for the Ghana Armed Forces and over a US$100 million oil revenue loss between 2011 and 2013 as reported by the Public Interest& Accountability Committee.

Take, for example, the Progressive Nationalist Forum (PNF) estimates that monies lost to corrupt and dubious transactions under the presidency of John Dramani Mahama amounted to GHC5billion.

However, the total of my calculations in respect of all the recorded corrupt and dubious transactions is around GH7 billion, which exceeds that of the PNF.

Anecdotally, even if we settle on the PNF’s figure of GH5billion, it would have funded the one million dollars per constituency for a period of not less than four years.