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Opinions of Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Columnist: Asomaning, George

P.C. Appiah-Ofori – A Prince among Brothers

Quite a number of Ghanaians have been lately amused. Barely a week after President Obama’s advise to leaders to desist from creaming off their nations’ wealth if they intend to develop their countries and lift their people out of poverty, the one person who stands tall in our crusade against public thievery is again being hounded.

P.C Appiah Ofori has been at the vanguard of all that is decent in political life. His heart burns to see Ghana make good use of its resources. He is for good governance, but unfortunately a number of his parliamentary colleagues dislike him because they are greedy for money. Many of these politicians have no desire to prosper the nation but pretend, while they seek to line their own pockets with ill-gotten wealth.

Many of us will not be surprised if the allegations made by PC against some our MPs each collecting $5,000 bribe to support the GT/Vodafone deal is true. Weren’t you amazed the speed the deal went through Parliament? This is nothing beyond Ghanaian politicians because they are capable of worse crimes, else why would they vote to collect $50,000 car loans in this economic climate when they know they will never be called upon to repay a penny?

In the midst of all this mess, P.C. stands tall among his peers – and to some of us, he is a prince in our legislature, a prophet worth listening to.

In 2007, the Ghana Leadership Union (GLU) asked me to honour him as our most admired public figure. At the Speaker’s chambers in Parliament House, the glorious event attracted MPs of all parties and the press. P.C on the day shared his heart and vision for Ghana and I fell in love with him and his ideals. He pointedly said if we use the little we have, we would not require any loans from other nations and institutions then went on to calculate the loss and waste of resources through stealing to validate his claims. If we have ten of such people in our legislature, our country would truly soar. But soon after this event, the NPP machinery launched a scathing attack on him because they were jealous and were not prepared to see the profile of such an anti corruption crusader raised. Such a giant is our hope for a prosperous nation.

Whether people like him or not and for whatever reason, P.C. is an icon, a national institution and I am very proud of him and prouder to be considered his friend and admirer. I just love his style and conviction. Long may he live to give the corrupt leaders a run for their money.

Praise him, don’t crucify him. If Ghana has any realistic hope of moving away from being a dirty, corrupt, third world country to become a member of the civilised, prosperous developed nations, it will be people like P.C. that will lead us into such a place. It does not matter how much a nation earns, if its leaders cream off the earnings, the nation will never prosper – ask Nigeria. P.C. stands for honesty and integrity and all of us who love Ghana must support him and his crusade. Until we do so, the little we earn will not be put to the use of the public – into education, health, public transport and social security but will end up in private pockets –wasted on frivolities.

Long live P.C., go after them, stay the course. God bless you richly.

George Asomaning, Esq.