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Opinions of Friday, 17 November 2017

Columnist: K. Badu

Real patriots have every reason to celebrate the Special One’s imminent arrival

The Special Prosecutor Bill was finally passed by Parliament on Tuesday November 14, 2017 The Special Prosecutor Bill was finally passed by Parliament on Tuesday November 14, 2017

In recent times, some critics have been broaching a persuasive argument that we already have appropriate laws and institutions to take care of the menace of bribery and corruption, and therefore there is absolutely no need to bank all hopes on a Special Prosecutor.

But much as the sceptics have a valid point, I would like to believe that unlike the existing enforcement bodies, the Special Prosecutor will not kowtow to needless political interferences.

Of course, we have expedient laws to deal with the canker of sleazes and corruption. But the crucial question is: why are the suspects revoltingly beating their chests and walking free on the streets in spite of an objectionable evidence of wrong doing?

Let us face it, though, Ghana is rich. However, we are not making any meaningful inroads due to unbridled sleazes and corruption, in which the perpetrators often go unpunished. Indeed, lack of enforcement of the existing laws has been the order of the day.

Then also, I would like to disagree with those who harbour a sophistic view that Westerners are ever so righteous than their Ghanaian counterparts.

Well, that has been a long held assertion, but nothing could be further from the truth. Westerners, as a matter of fact, are not less corrupt than their Ghanaian counterparts.

You may believe it or not, Ghanaians are not different from other human beings elsewhere, because we all have foibles as imperfect beings.

However, what makes the people elsewhere much more responsible than a Ghanaian is the rigidity of the state institutions and the effective laws and regulations.

Elsewhere, though, the laws and regulations are strictly enforced, and as such the vast majority of the citizens and denizens prefer the observance to the stringent fines and the harsh punishments.

It is, however, worth stressing that in as much as the followers have a duty of obligation, it is up to the leadership to bring sanity into the system by strictly ensuring that all laws and regulations are enforced without fear or favour.

The fact of the matter is that the successive Attorney Generals, who have an absolute right to press criminal charges, more often than not, blatantly refuse to do so because of political insobrieties, more than anything else.

Let us admit, though, Ghana may not see any meaningful development, so long as we have leaders that are not willing to ensure that our laws are enforced stringently and only tend to follow narrow party coloration, devoid of solicitude and patriotism.

It is against such backdrop that some of us have been advocating forcefully for an independent prosecutor to take care of the ravenous and corrupt public officials, whose voracious actions have immensely retrogressed Ghana’s progress thus far.

If for nothing at all, it is our anticipation that the ridiculous witch-hunting rendition which often comes with political arrests will cease.

It is, indeed, extremely puzzling and squeamish to see party loyalists, many of whom may not have enjoyed the loot, yet would choose to defend the indefensible.

Paradoxically, however, in Ghana, greedy and corrupt officials are held in high esteem by the brassbound party supporters for stealing from the national purse at the expense of the suffering masses.

Let us be honest, and rightly so, we need attitudinal and behavioural change, for we must not and cannot keep on hero-worshipping individuals who harbour ulterior motives.

If we continue that way, our beloved Ghana cannot advance meaningfully, indeed, not anytime soon.

How long can we continue to unjustifiably defend the rapacious and corrupt officials who, as a matter of fact, do not have the nation at heart?

We cannot, in all honesty, develop as a nation if we follow narrow political lines, and, continue to defend the villainous officials who only harbour vested interests.

We are, indeed, lagging behind the rest of the pack due to economic mismanagement and gargantuan bribery and corruption being perpetrated by some individuals in high positions.

The justice system disappointingly tends to descend heavily on goat, cassava and plantain thieves, and more often than not, let go the hard criminals who hide behind narrow political colorations.

Verily, Ghana may not see any meaningful development, so long as we have officials who are extremely greedy, corrupt, and insensitive to the plight of the impoverished Ghanaians, and yet go through the justice net in the face of admissible evidence.

Given the circumstances, we could only keep our fingers cross for the imminent arrival of the Special Prosecutor and hope and pray that the corrupt public officials will be brought to book.

Indeed, it will be gratifying to witness the Special Prosecutor exerting dint of effort and retrieving most of the stolen monies over the years, which obviously contributed largely to Ghana’s economic meltdown.

It is, therefore, our fervent hope that the Special Prosecutor will strictly go after the greedy and corrupt politicians and other public servants who have shamefully stolen from the national purse.

Of course, the suspects and their apologists will grumble and shriek over the Special Prosecutor’s lawful interrogations. Whatever the case, there will be no mercy for the wrong doers. We shall claw-back all the stolen monies which were meant for various developmental projects.

Let us therefore humbly remind the authorities that the right antidote to curbing the unbridled sleazes and corruption is through stiff punishments, including the retrieval of all stolen monies, sale of properties and harsh prison sentences.