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Opinions of Friday, 14 November 2014

Columnist: Appeadu, Charles E.

Mahama Should Address the Nation on His Plans to Punish Corruption

In the last few days, we have seen a spate of articles on corruption everywhere in the media. To mention a few, Brigadier Nunoo-Mensah has spoken about it, IMANI has mentioned it, Reverend Otabil has spoken about it, former President Rawlings has weighed in on the issue. In addition to these, several authors have written about the canker. Alban Bagbin, the Majority Leader of Parliament, and Emile Short, the former CHRAJ boss, have both decried the wanton acts of corruption in Ghana. It appears as if everybody knows that this evil is eating the Ghanaian society away but the puzzling fact is that it appears nothing or not much is being done to combat the evil. This is where leadership comes in. Clearly, all these people are crying out to the President to do something to rein in this evil.

We elect a President to lead us. Our current President is John Mahama. I believe he is working behind the scenes to formulate action plans to fight this evil, if in fact he considers it the evil that everybody seems to be taking it for. No one can imagine that the President is not thinking seriously about this. He must be meeting with his advisors and planning a set of actions to take. If this is the case, then, Mr. President, it is taking too long for you to come out with your plans. It is not like this took you by surprise and therefore you need some time to respond to it. Corruption has been plaguing us for a long time. In 2007, I wrote an article on “Ghana’s Development and Corruption” that was published on Ghanaweb. I bemoaned the Kufuor administration’s failure to fight corruption and advised incoming President Atta Mills to seize the opportunity and act differently, by punishing corruption, starting from his own party. Needless to say, my call, as well as the calls of numerous others, fell on deaf ears. Now, in your administration, Mr. President, Jerry Rawlings, your own party’s founder, is saying that the level of corruption that gave rise to the 1979 military coup is not even 10 percent of what exists in the country now. In other words, if there were another Jerry Rawlings in the military now, he would have staged a coup long ago, unless, of course, there is bias in whom the military stages coups against.

Unless President Mahama wishes to leave a dead Ghana as his legacy, I advise him, I urge him, to mete out severe punishments to those who have been found to be corrupt. He should start from his own administration and consistently punish these evildoers. He will win the admiration of many Ghanaians and the world at large. He will help move this nation on the path to meaningful and sustainable development. You are the President, for goodness sake! Do something!

I urgently call on the President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, to address the nation with clear plans and timeline to deal with corruption. And he should show us visible signs of the actions he is taking to combat this great evil in our society. In the absence of this, he should come clean and tell Ghanaians that he cannot tackle this problem and that he throws his hands in the air and quits as President, because the burden is too heavy for him to carry. The middle ground of just staying quiet and doing nothing is unacceptable and will lead to chaos and anarchy in our dear nation.

Dr. Charles E. Appeadu