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Opinions of Monday, 20 June 2016

Columnist: Daily Guide

Mahama Ford Saga: Integrity compromised

Last week was as hectic as it was momentous. The propriety or otherwise of a vehicle gift to President John Dramani Mahama permeated the public space with a worrying gusto and still raging.

The legality or otherwise of the action has assumed moral and academic dimension: as a case study in corruption, it has already found space in the literature of graft in the country. Coming at the heel of the recent infamous “Mr. President have you ever taken bribe?” interview by Peter Okwoche of the BBC, it is especially heart-rending.

The government media minders did not want the story out and pulled heaven and earth, including the jamming of the frequency of a radio station, to achieve their objective. Golden handshakes appear to have been the last straw. In the end, many succumbed to the temptation. Selling of one’s conscience can take an assortment of forms.

The assignment of the government minders has been tough indeed, the most challenging in recent times. The hushing-up effort was short-lived as the story managed to slip out to the public domain like the mystical jinn popping out of its confinement. Not all were contacted; had that been the case, not all would have obliged the subject being too serious to be subjected to such morality drawbacks.

The next step was managing the logic of the donation to the president by those engaged to throw dust into the eyes of the public.

Someone described the action as inappropriate and nasty, avoiding the word bribe. If it was nasty or inappropriate, then the receiver must answer for engaging in what by all standards is an aberration, given his status as president, and the action being at variance with both best practices and code of ethics underpinning public offices in the country.

Perhaps those engaged in the management of the graft are not comfortable with the application of the word ‘bribe’ and would rather any word is used but this.

After all, that is the word the BBC guy confronted the president with and had him crashing head-on albeit with a mirth.

We have observed the indefatigable effort of people whose logic defies all the features of sound logic as they fall over themselves in the useless enterprise of making good what is bad – whichever direction it is observed from.

The Ford Expedition saga is set to consume the credibility of those who stand between it and acceptable logic in their obsessed craze to satisfy their clients.

It is sad that those who have been jolted to the status of paragon of media practice, courtesy public opinion, have lost it. They have ridden on this chip for many years and for them to turn logic upside down the way they are doing with this smelly gratis transaction, is another chapter in human fallibility.