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Opinions of Friday, 29 December 2017

Columnist: Frank Kumi

Akufo-Addo's attitude to alleged corruption cases gives Mahama hope for 2020

Mr. President at your inaugural speech during your swearing-in ceremony on the 7th of January 2017, you encouraged every Ghanaian to be part of the socio-political and economic process and that we are to be active citizens in the change we voted for and not spectators.

Many of us welcome the call to be citizens and have consistently contributed to the political discourse. During the 2016 electioneering campaign, one of your cardinal message to the electorate was that Former President Mahama had lost the corruption fight and that his government is actually corrupt.

We the citizens remembered vividly how you cited the cost of the Kasoa interchange as one of the usually inflated contract sum of the Mahama’s government.

Vice President Bawumia trumpeted throughout his campaign that Former president Mahama’s administration aside being incompetent was also corrupt and as vociferous as he was he outlined a tall list of alleged corruption cases associated with the Mahama’s Administration.

Mr. President, you campaigned on your reputation of being incorruptible and gave reasonable assurances to us the citizens that because of your incorruptibility you would be able to crack the whip when it comes to the corruption fight.

The scale tilted to your side because former President Mahama had reputational issues to deal with since the corruption perception of his government was very high and any damage control by his communicators were only adding insult to injury.

Former president Mahama and his handlers lately realized that their reputation was impaired beyond repairs quickly thought to win the hearts of the voters through the infrastructural projects and it was evident in the last hour commissioning of projects around the country.

To further salvage the situation they rented the reputation of celebrities and movie stars to enhance their adverse image which had already been destroyed by corruption perception. The citizens read in- between the lines and the results from the 2016 polls is a message to future governments that if you don’t walk the talk when it comes to corruption your two-term bet is not certain.

Mr. President some of us are worried because we have started seeing signs and symptoms of Former President Mahama’s attitude in your disposition to alleged corruption cases. You sounded like former President Mahama when speaking at Kyebi during your tour of the Eastern Region that the desperate efforts to stigmatize your government with corruption is not going to work.

Mr. President how on earth could a website cost GHs800,000 and when the citizens spoke against it, we were told it was a typo but the actual figure is GHs80,000. What kind of websites is the ministry trying to design and build that it should cost the taxpayer GHs80,000? Which private company would engage in this kind of waste but because it is public money we should keep quiet and watch on whilst the taxpayer is being slapped with Ghs80,000.

Maybe when you told us to be citizens you didn’t really meant it, it was just one of your usual beautiful speeches else how could you at the face of the evidence still insinuate that someone is trying had to stigmatize your government with corruption.

It is this kind of poor communication and attitude that has emboldened former President Mahama to think of staging a comeback otherwise how could the man who sunk his party into an abyss of political misfortune, whom the political pundits say shall remain the NDC’s biggest electoral liability could have the confidence to go round testing his popularity under the charade of unity walk.

Mr. President you have provided the level ground for him to be able to campaign and be ready to contend with him as your formidable opponent in the year 2020 Presidential elections.

Mr. President do not allow yourself to dragged into the deception that performance only determines electoral victory in Ghana.

If voting in Ghana is solely based on performance the NPP would not have lost power in 2008 because Former President Kufour’s achievement was glaring for everyone to see, there was massive infrastructural development, excellent social intervention programs etc yet because he failed to deal with the corruption perception, the elephant was chased into the bush.

Please learn from Former President Mahama’s predicament and deal with corruption whether perception or real.

It is those of us at the trenches that can tell you the general perception and feeling out there not your inner circle who would want to remain sycophants to avoid incurring your wrath. The general feeling out there is that a lot of the citizens are not impressed with your handling of alleged corruption cases especially the charging of expats $100,000 fees so that they can sit close to you and the matters arising from the inflated budget of the Special Development Initiative Ministry.

Yours truly,
A Citizen not a Spectator