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Opinions of Friday, 28 February 2020

Columnist: Rockson Adofo

Double-salary MPs are acting like a wounded but poisonously dangerous snake

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The vividly proven evidence emerged that some Members of Parliament who happened to be appointed as Ministers of Government during the NDC regimes under Professor Evans Mills/John Mahama and John Mahama/Paa Kwesi Arthur for years were taking double salary every month. However, according to the laws and rules in place, it is illegal to be taking double salary for the same one job done. They could either have opted for the monthly MP’s salary topped up with a little allowance of about GHS800 (Eight hundred Ghana New Cedis) or a complete Minister’s salary which is almost that of the MP’s plus the allowance but not taking both a full MP’s salary and a full Minister’s salary as happened with those now accused of taking double salary.

Having knowingly but quietly illegally taken the double salary for years, they stand accused of breaching the laws of the land. They, as lawmakers, should have known better but as greedy, irresponsible, selfish and desirous of acquiring quick buck, the trait of the Ghanaian politician, especially the NDC brigade, continued to avail themselves of that illegal opportunity. Their leader was amassing wealth left, right, centre and forward. Why not them, they might have asked themselves?

Nevertheless, I find it immensely annoying that they have for unexplained, but completely absurd reasons, been left off the hook hence now tormenting President Nana Akufo-Addo and his NPP government. The evidential documents implicating them as fraudsters were available for the Special Prosecutor to successfully prosecute them to prove a point that he has come to fight official corruption. Sorrowfully, he has left them alone to probably pursue others of whom he has difficulty finding credible evidence to arraign them for criminal trial. Is there any sense in this? Not any at all!

Now, let me explain why I claim the MPs are acting like a wounded but poisonously dangerous snake. Are not these double salary MPs with Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader in Parliament inclusive, now vociferously accusing the president and members of his party and government of one crime upon another? They feel their integrity is dented so they will do whatever it takes to bring the president and his government down, painting them worse than themselves, a similitude of the pot calling the kettle you are dark.

If they had been held squarely to account, would they have legs to stand on to be shouting accusatorily against the president today? No!!! Would they be pointing accusing finger at the president today while three or four of their fingers are pointing at themselves? No!!!

When you come across a very poisonously dangerous snake like the black cobra in Africa, you don’t try to kill it from its tail. If you happen to attempt to kill it by the tail, chopping off a bit of the tail and it escapes, you have worsen the situation. You have endangered the lives of anyone, be they human being, a prey or predator that comes across the wounded but slithered away snake.

When a snake gets wounded but wriggles away, having come to realise that its life is in danger, it pushes all its deadly venom (poison) into its fangs (teeth). With this, anyone it happens to strike or bite, it pumps all its venom into the person or the animal. It becomes dangerously defensive, if not offensive, by doubling the power of its fangs with venom.

Is it not the same protection defensive tactic a wounded snake uses that has been adopted by the NDC double salary MPs hence shouting on top of their voices accusing the NPP government and the president of all forms of corruption and failures in order to reduce the NPP to nothing in the eyes of the Ghanaian populace?

By the way, when this issue of double salary came out, the media made it known that Haruna Iddrisu was going to see the president to beg for them not to be prosecuted. If it were true and he did go to see the president, then I will ask the president if he agreed that the charge against them must be dropped. Until I get the answer, I will not accuse the president of any error of judgment but will ask if the Special Prosecutor is aware of the committed fraud by the said MPs and if the answer is in the affirmative, what is he doing about it? Haruna Iddrisu (Hon?) was himself one of the double salary takers.

As once said in my publication, you kill a snake by first safely chopping off its head for the rest of its body to become as harmless as a lifeless rope. Therefore, you start to fight official corruption by starting from the top with people like the president, MPs and Government Ministers. Once you start with such a high ranking member in the society, it will send a strong warning signal to the numerous little persons or criminals to stay away from committing crimes.

If such a big person has been dealt with, then who am I, a small person? They will deal mercilessly with me without any compassion. By this, crime rate will reduce drastically. But if you start with the petty criminals while the big criminals are left freely to perpetrate their crimes, you can never successfully fight to rid your country of corruption. This is exactly what is going on, and we are seeing, in Ghana, hence the fight against corruption becoming a complete mockery.

Please watch the underlying video on how Singapore got rid of, but not reduced, corruption. Ghana must go that way or all our efforts to fighting corruption will be much ado about nothing. I hope our leadership will not wait for the poor Ghanaians to go down the path of the French revolution of 1789 before they seriously sit up to fight to rid Ghana of official corruption, or corruption of any sort and by whomever.

I call on the media for support to fighting corruption in Ghana. Any corrupt journalist, corrupt traditional overlord or corrupt judge will be caught in the crossfire when the poor Ghanaian masses do revolt. There will be no escape route for whosoever. “(A crossfire (also known as interlocking fire) is a military term for the siting of weapons (often automatic weapons such as assault rifles or sub-machine guns) so that their arcs of fire overlap)”

Finally, is the so-called Ashanti traditional overlord who claims to be more powerful than the laws in Ghana, therefore collusively imposing a person of his choice on Kumawuman as their paramount chief against the wish of Kumawuman subjects and against their conventions any different from the MPs in question? No, they are all corrupt and are abusing their rights and privileges. This is a note of warning to him.

I dedicate this publication to one Francis Ahiafor, although unknown to me, he claims to enjoy my write-ups. He can contact me on my Facebook.