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Opinions of Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Columnist: Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

Let’s emulate Nkrumah’s example of shunning greed, corrosive entitlement mindset

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, author Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, author

Let us be honest: it is morally reprehensible and absolutely unconscionable for some MPs and Ministers of State despite all our Article 71 privileges to be actually scrambling with the poor masses over already woefully inadequate government scholarship opportunities.

As I noted earlier today at the forum to commemorate Ghana’s Day of Shame when Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah’s government was overthrown 54 years ago, this is not the example Nkrumah taught us with the selflessness and genuine patriotism which underpinned his character as a true servant of the people.

I believe we can all emulate Nkrumah’s worthy example of shunning greed and a corrosive entitlement mindset. Public officers must create more opportunities for the masses and not encumber the few they are elected to administer. That is a monumental breach of trust and a betrayal of the masses.

Those seeking to justify or defend this national disgrace by creating fake lists and adding my name and that of other innocent colleagues to muddy the waters such as the dubious and criminal GNPC Scholarship list in circulation rather cut a very pitiable image of themselves.

The Auditor - General must be commended once more for his courageous and nationalistic effort.

By all means let’s give former and current GETFund functionaries between the audit period 2012 to 2018 and the stated beneficiaries the opportunity to be heard particularly as they will soon have to appear before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.

May I also caution that attempts by some beneficiaries and their spokespersons to rely on paragraph E of Section 2(2) of Act 581 to justify their conduct is untenable as contrary to the law, there was no Ministerial approval secured for these scholarships since they were not brought to our attention when we served at the Ministry of Education.

Moving forward, let us establish a clear code of conduct barring all MPs, Ministers and other high ranking officials of state from directly benefiting from such schemes intended for the gifted but needy.

May we all as politicians work to restore the confidence of the nation in public office as we take inspiration from the sacrificial and selfless legacy of the Osagyefo whose senseless overthrow by traitors is observed today.