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Opinions of Saturday, 28 November 2020

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

Is NDC really embarking on a probity and accountability march?

Supporters of the National Democratic Congress Supporters of the National Democratic Congress

Of course, the National Democratic Congress founder, the late Jerry John Rawlings, is said to have founded the party based on the ethos of probity, accountability and social justice.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, the principle of probity and accountability has been the party’s tuneful rendition since time immemorial.

It is also true that probity and accountability has been transposed into the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. Thus every citizen and denizen is expected to adhere to such principle at all material times.

The overarching question then is: have the exponents of the ethos of probity, accountability and social justice been practising what they have been preaching over the years?

Well, if they have blatantly failed to adhere to such principle, where then lies the justification for their forthcoming probity and accountability march in memory of the late Rawlings, who the NDC faithful believe to be the ‘father of probity, accountability and social justice’?

The fact, however, remains that the founders of National Democratic Congress manipulated Ghanaians. They vowed to lustrate the country of the perceived rampant sleazes, corruption and social injustices.

And, what happened after allegedly purging the country of the perceived injustices through the so-called “house cleaning exercise”, where they dealt with perceived offenders arbitrarily?

It is, indeed, important to note that the NDC founders bamboozled onto the scene under the pretext of redeeming Ghanaians from the economic mismanagement and wanton corruption. And yet they couldn’t even get rid of the rampant sleazes and corruption in their NDC government, let alone the entire nation.

The NDC operatives, paradoxically, go about preaching probity and accountability, but fail to practice.

If you may recall, somewhere in 2017, the founder of the NDC, the late President Rawlings, asserted somewhat passionately that Akufo-Addo, unfortunately, inherited national corruption at its worst from the erstwhile National Democratic Congress administration led by former President John Dramani Mahama(see: Akufo-Addo inherited ‘corruption at its worst’-Rawlings; ghanaweb.com, 2/11/2017).

Former President Rawlings opined: “By the time this administration came into office, the country was literally drowning in the practice of corruption with impunity. This administration has, therefore, inherited national corruption at its worst.”

Many observers thus believe that bribery and corruption, as former President Rawlings would aptly articulate, were so pervasive in the outgone NDC administration to an extent that the NPP government had no option than to arraign uncountable suspects before the law courts.

Ironically, the late President Rawlings is said to have founded the NDC based on the ethos of probity, accountability and transparency. And yet bribery and corruption permeated every facet of the outgone NDC government.

The all-important question then is: where was the probity and accountability when they allegedly squandered funds meant to transform the lives of the penniless in society through dubious deals such as the Brazil World Cup, the infamous bus branding, SUBA, GYEEDA, SADA, MASLOC, SSNIT, among others?

Clearly, their much trumpeting ethos of probity, transparency and accountability is a charade. It is rather an illustrative case of preaching virtue and practising vice.

The bribery and corruption, as a matter of fact, and observation, pervaded every recognised department of the erstwhile NDC administration, and hence being given the famous descriptive epithet, ‘create loot and share’ by an eminent Supreme Court Judge.

It is, therefore, regrettable to note that the founders of the NDC accused and exterminated people with unfounded allegations of sleazes and corruption, including eight army officers.

However, if we honestly juxtapose the alleged corrupt practices of the murdered army officers in the 1979 coup d’état with the sleazes and corruption which took place in the erstwhile NDC administration, we cannot help but to conclude that the Generals were “shot for less”.

Dearest reader, the bribery and corruption, so to speak, were so widespread to an extent that, the founder of the NDC, Rawlings, once shrieked and grouched openly: “I want to remind people that we could not have possibly forgotten that Generals were executed. The greed, corruption and injustice of today is a thousand times more than what these Generals were executed for, and if we are unable to restore a firm measure of integrity into our dealings, then the blood of many would have been shed in vain” (Rawlings 2017).

Take, for example, a couple of years ago a competent court of jurisdiction convicted two of the numerous corruption suspects in the erstwhile NDC administration and sentenced them to six and twelve years respectively.

Besides, more recently, two more appointees of the National Communication Authority (NCA) under the Mahama’s administration were convicted and sentenced to prison for malfeasance.

In fact, some of us, as a matter of principle, share in the sentiments of the concerned Ghanaians, who have been maintaining all along that the sins of the four convicts are meagre in juxtaposition with the other scandalous corruption cases which took place in the erstwhile Mahama administration.

But despite the convictions and sentences, no less a person than former President Mahama has been complaining bitterly all along: “This trial by newspaper affects the credibility of the government. If you hear that several sums of money have gone missing yet no one has been arrested for prosecution, then you are destroying the confidence of people in the credibility of the government. So the trial by media must stop (ghanaweb.com).”

Perhaps someone ought to inform Ex-president Mahama that the current Attorney General is seriously working towards bringing the suspects to book.

Take, for example, on 14th March 2018, the State filed a case of causing financial loss against the former Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD and the CEO of Zeera Group of Companies and Agricult Ghana Limited, who allegedly embezzling over GH260 million under the watch of former President Mahama.

Besides, credible sources have confided in some of us that forensic investigations are progressing steadily in a number of bribery and corruption cases which took place in the outgone Mahama’s administration.

As I write, about 21 suspects from the previous NDC administration are standing trials for charges of alleged bribery and corruption.

There is also a possibility of the double salary grabbing NDC Members of Parliament having their day in the law courts.

Given the circumstances, we can confidently deduce that JSC Dotse was absolutely right for describing some practices of the Mahama’s administration as: ‘create loot and share’.

Despite their much-touted mantra of transparency, probity and accountability, we have been witnessing so much scheming guiles, sleazes and corruptions in the successive NDC administrations. Who are they trying to deceive?

Astonishingly, though, the successive NDC governments’ officials have been committing the same crimes (bribery and corruption) their party founders killed many innocent people for.

As I reiterated elsewhere, there is absolutely nothing wrong for any individual to tag himself/herself as a proponent of transparency, probity and accountability. But it is somewhat hypocritical when a group of people who claim to be the exponents of such ethos would then turn around and dip their hands into the national purse as if there is no tomorrow.

After all, aren’t the NDC apparatchiks claiming to be the preachers of transparency, probity and accountability?

So why are they refusing to practice what they have been relentlessly preaching to us all these years?

In sum, it is an illustrative case of false prophets, who are endlessly nagging their followers that ‘it is written in the Holy Book that thou shall not steal’ and then turn around and dip their hands into the church offerings bowl as if the judgement day will never come.

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