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Opinions of Sunday, 20 November 2016

Columnist: Badu, K

Another reason why Mahama must ‘twaso’

In the previous periodical, I concluded that due to President Mahama’s inability to improve upon the fairly good economic foundation left by both President Kufuor and President Mills, it will, however, be devilishly suicidal to retain President Mahama and his NDC government in office for another four years.

This periodical, on the other hand, discusses a serious corruption allegation that has been levelled against President Mahama which has not been resolved thus far. It thus raises doubts over his commitment to detect, prevent and deter the existential corruptions in the country.

In fact, many observers fret that Ghana’s economic downslide emanated from the unbridled sleaze and gargantuan corruptions that have characterised President Mahama’s government.

Amazingly, however, President Mahama does not seem to be fretted over the numerous bribery and corruption allegations that have been thrown at his doorstep all this while.

“When public money is stolen for private gain, it means fewer resources to build schools, hospitals, roads and water treatment facilities. When foreign aid is diverted into private bank accounts, major infrastructure projects come to a halt. Corruption enables fake or substandard medicines to be dumped on the market, and hazardous waste to be dumped in landfill sites and in oceans. The vulnerable suffer first and worst” (Ban Ki-moon, 2009).

“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).

“• $1,000 billion are paid in bribes per year (source: The World Bank Institute) “• Corruption can cost a country up to 17 Percent of its GDP (source: Asian Development Bank) “• US$1.8 trillion is the volume of illicit financial flows from Africa between 1970 and 2008: (source: Global Financial Integrity, 2010).

Make no mistake comrades, the presidential seat is a serious one, and as such it requires a serious and a committed person to occupy such an important position.

So if corruption cases are hanging on the neck of an individual who is steering the affairs of the nation, and has so far unable to seriously address those allegations, then discerning Ghanaians must seriously show concern.

Take, for example, former Attorney General, Mr Martin Amidu, has revealed that our late President Mills, set up a Committee to investigate then Vice President John Dramani Mahama regarding the Processes of the Acquisition of Five Aircrafts (5) including Embraer 190 Aircraft and hanger for the Ghana Armed Forces.

Well, if we mull over Mr Amidu’s chilling revelation, we can infer that the late Mills lost trust in his then vice president Mahama because of his handling of the deal.

Let’s face it; if the late Mills set up a Committee to investigate his vice Mahama, then he had a glint of suspicion on his mind.

In other words, the late Mills somehow felt that Mahama was trying to rip off the nation, hence setting up a Committee to unravel the somewhat dubious deal.

In a way, upon a carefully considered deliberation, reflective thinkers may conclude that the late Mills was not happy with the deal. Tell me, if that was not the case, why would he set up a Committee to investigate Mahama, the architect of the whole deal?

Clearly, the late Mills’s unhappiness about the deal prompted him to set up a Committee to investigate his vice president Mahama. In fact, there are serious issues here that need to be considered by discerning Ghanaians.

Mr Amidu explains: “It would be recalled that in July 2011 there was a hue and cry about the prices for the acquisition of five (5) aircrafts for the Ghana Armed Forces”. “Even though on 26th July 2011 the late Prof. Mills attempted to defend the purchase of the five aircrafts, he became convinced of the necessity to set up a committee to investigate those purchases”.

Mr Amidu states: “A Committee to Investigate the Processes of the Acquisition of Five Aircrafts (5) including Embraer 190 Aircraft and hanger for the Ghana Armed Forces consisting of Mr. William Aboah, Mr. George Amoah, and Brig. Gen. Allotey (Rtd) former Judge Advocate-General was put together”.

To be quite honest, it would be extremely difficult to “rubbish” Mr Amidu’s story, given that, he had gone ahead and named the members of the Committee set up by late President Mills. Secondly, the fact that none of the committee members has come out to repudiate or disassociate themselves from the allegations gives credence to Mr Amidu’s story.

The big question then is: why have they kept quiet? Your guess is as good as mine.

Mr Amidu continues: “The terms of reference of the Committee as I was instructed and drafted them for the late President were: “(i) to investigate the processes adopted in selecting, negotiating, and agreeing on the acquisition of the aircrafts; (ii) to investigate the competitive advantage, prices of the aircrafts and the level of economic and financial due diligence conducted by relevant agencies in the process of acquisition of the aircrafts; and (iii) to investigate any other matter that in the opinion of the Committee is reasonably related to the foregoing terms of reference.” Pressure groups never allowed the Committee to take off”.

Mr Amidu however observed: “But the very fact that the late President Mills even contemplated this Committee meant that he was uncomfortable with and suspicious of the alleged inflated prices of the aircrafts”.

In fact, we won’t be far from right to conclude that the Late Mills put his trust in Mahama. But if we are to critically assess Mr Amidu’s account of the corruption saga, we can then draw an inference that Mahama betrayed the trust the late Mills reposed in him.

I am afraid, if the late Mills lost trust in Mahama prior to his death because of his alleged unfaithfulness, then the voting public should be very careful in giving Mahama the mandate for a second time.

FELLOW GHANAIANS, LET US REMEMBER THAT CORRUPTION CAN DIVERT SCARCE RESOURCES FROM POOR AND DISADVANTAGED IN OUR SOCIETY. SO IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO ELECT SERIOUS INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE THE WHEREWITHAL TO MOVE THE NATION IN A POSITIVE DIRECTION.

AS A MATTER OF FACT, WE MUST NOT AND CANNOT ALLOW GREEDY AND HEARTLESS INDIVIDUALS TO WASTE OUR SCARCE RESOURCES.

It is against this background that I am urging discerning Ghanaians to choose a leader who would not countenance corruption in his administration.

K. Badu, UK.

Credit:

www.martinamidu.com

www.un.org