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Opinions of Saturday, 12 December 2015

Columnist: Daily Guide Network

A president ruffled

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The recent Transparency International (TI) rating on the performance of countries in the anti-corruption war does not show Ghana as doing well in that direction.

Interestingly however, and for the first time in the history of the examination of the performance of individual countries, President John Mahama has queried the quality of the rating.

A lot of things must have changed since the last rating to inform the president’s outburst a few days ago. The fact remains though that he has never had any quarrel with the rating until now.

He appears to be saying that the conclusion of TI is nothing but the subjective position of citizens about the performance of the government in its war against corruption. Indeed, it is a fact that the conclusion is informed by what the sample number think about the sincerity and quality of the government’s war against corruption.

President Mahama in that regard must indirectly be angry with his compatriots for forming the impression which TI used to arrive at the unenviable position of second on the African continent in the anti-corruption crusade. His open umbrage is misdirected.

President Mahama should be expectedly ruffled by such an outcome at this time of his governance. The pressure from the opposition is as enormous as the challenges government is facing from its general mismanagement of the economy. Such reports which underscore what anti-government crusaders have been bandying about should trigger such outburst.

While we sympathise with the president for his predicament and would have rather the report had placed the country last, we wish to call on him to work towards changing the perception of Ghanaians than allowing his risen adrenalin to take a toll on him.

For now the hymn about corruption in Ghana has been so chorused and entrenched in most minds that the only thing which can reverse it is a genuine and visible attempt by government to pull the brakes on it.

The president, by his outbursts, has created a fresh impression in some Ghanaians that he might be oblivious about the extent of the cancer in the governance in particular or just feigning ignorance for political expediency.

He has a lot of subjects to deal with to clear this impression somewhat thankfully. But as to whether he would or not is a matter of conjecture. But having failed to do same this long we can safely conclude that the appetite is not there.

The list of such instances is countless. Some examples have shown suspects in corruption cases being shuffled from their previous places of occupation to new places, sometimes at the presidency.

Corruption is such a bad subject that to be suspected of being steeped in it is enough to be taken off public office. Unfortunately, the reverse is the reality in the country.

Yesterday our lead story was about a state agency being ordered to release public money for the operations of a pro-Mahama grouping. What can the president tell his compatriots about this reality?

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