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Opinions of Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Columnist: Samoa Mensa

Political party financing by individuals - The stain we cannot erase during governance.

Npp And Ndc Some member of the NPP and NDC during a party rally

As long as Political Parties are financed by individuals, the
temptation will always be high for one who sits in the political chair
to be corrupt even if he or she is a Saint.

Even before this recent famous Anas' expose' dubbed Number 12,
centering on corruption in football and it's connection with politics,
I had always share that view about the ill strings associated with our
practice of financing political parties. The investments some
individuals make into political parties during elections are the
stains we cannot erase during Governance.

The embattled and Former President of the Ghana Football Association,
Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi has come out clearly to deny as false on his
comments about the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo in
the Number 12 expose' by Ghana's pride and International acclaimed
journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas. However, every good and discerning
citizen would analyse all the possibilities that could be genuinely
associated with the allegations against the seat of Governance.

Highlighting on the issues as said by Mr. Nyantakyi in the undercover
video, he alleged that "I know for a fact that Nana Addo sold his
properties to win the elections so his family is very broke. His
brothers are always asking for money, therefore, the $5 million will
ease the burden." He added, "there is a man called Kennedy Agyapong.
He is an MP. He is one of the biggest financiers of the NPP. He is
very loud. He owns OMAN FM and NET2 TV. He is criticising the
Government, his own Government, he wants to control everything."

I would not be a hypocrite and condemn Mr. President and Mr. Agyapong
even if the details Mr. Nyantakyi alleged is true. Nobody will sow and
expect not to reap. Bigwigs invest into their parties to bring the
parties into power: hence there must be an apparent gain afterwards.

Obviously, a person's investment into a political party is more likely
to influence appointments into certain key positions, awarding of
contracts etc hence national development is sure to dwindle. I watched
Kennedy Agyapong once on Adom TV's morning show 'badwam' telling the
huge sums of money Alfred Obeng contributed to the NPP 2016 election
campaign. Couldn't Alfred Obeng's position as Managing Director of
Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) be a reward for his
donation to the campaign? Couldn't there be a better technocrat to
head BOST at that time instead of him? If there could be, then
'political party financing' by individuals won in that instance.

I do not blame anybody who has been in Public Office or is currently
in any position who has done same. It is so human for everyone to seek
first the welfare of a donor affiliate than an ordinary affiliate when
both of them ask for help.

Based on our system and per Mr. Nyantakyi's allegations, personally I
feel it is not too ill for Mr. Agyapong to be given the Road Ministry
to control if he indeed he financed the NPP Party as Mr. Nyantakyi
alleged.

As long as there is no effective and lasting solution to phase out the
act of financing political party campaigns by individuals during
elections, let's allow these donors to reap what they sow. If they get
all the contracts for themselves and they would do due diligence to
the Nation by constructing for us good roads, we would allow them.

If Mr. Nyantakyi's allegation is anything to go by, why would Mr.
President sell his assets to finance his campaign if there was a
proper Government policy to address political party financing in our
part of the world?

As long as this issue of party financing is not adequately addressed,
I pity some of our young colleagues who are increasingly warming
themselves into this political game. This process is sure to tempt
them to be corrupt. They may eventually find yourself doing the very
same things they criticised when they were distanced from the front of
political party day to day administration.

How successfully and effectively can a person use his political power
to punish culprits of corruption in our public offices if these
politicians themselves are corrupt?

Anas will keep naming and shaming, the few determined whistle blowers
will keep monitoring shady deals in our public offices: some offenders
who are not smart enough to get in bed with powerful hands in
Government will be jailed. However all these methods which I call
'Anas and the whistle blowers' are near zero to the fight against
corruption if Political Parties would still be financed by
individuals. Corruption will still be hailed in the hearts of these
group of persons who are opportune to be called to serve us.

We do not have to overlook this fact that 'Political Party financing
by individuals' is the main hindrance to the effective fight against
corruption.

Let's think about this. What will be the best policy Ghana can employ
to substitute these individuals who finance our Political Parties? I
think this will be an honest and a genuine strategy to fight
corruption in Ghana.

People of Ghana, let's rise up and think right. We can surely do what
is right in order to move Ghana forward.

I have no other place I can call home as long as I remain here on
earth. Ghana is my home.

I love Ghana.

May God bless Ghana.

Samoa Mensa.