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Opinions of Sunday, 15 June 2014

Columnist: The Catalyst Newspaper

Saint Kufuor Speaks On Corruption

Former President John Kofi Diawuo Agyekum Kufuor has once again spoken about corruption in Ghana after the famous speech he delivered during his tenure of office.

Mr. Kufuor, who spoke in an interview with BBC, said there was a growing level of despondency among Ghanaians over government’s failure to fight corruption. According to Mr. Kufuor, who once maintained during his presidency that corruption was as old as Adam for which reason he couldn’t fight it, the current government’s lack of commitment to fighting the problem is angering many Ghanaians.

Sounding biased, Mr. Kufuor referred to the Savannah Accelerated Authority (SADA) and other local government projects that, according to him, were not executed but for which contractors were paid millions of cedis, to justify his claim that there is growing corruption in the country.

He claims that, “With the population explosion, everybody is expecting something from the centre, and the centre not being able to provide; this compounds the corruption …there is a ground of unhappiness and of protest.”

The former President, who rubbished calls on his government to investigate glaring cases of corruption during his regime, expressed hope in the interview that, “ along the way, corruption might be tackled effectively and hopefully …government should be more accountable.”

With growing concerns over how his government mortgaged the destiny of Ghanaians with murky and smoky oil contractual agreements that denied Ghanaians of a better stake in their God-given oil reserves and allegations linking ex-President Kufuor to the EO Group that took some 3% of Ghana’s oil share supposedly for finding the explorers, it baffles many Ghanaians that the same leader would have the moral right to accuse the current government of failing to fight corruption.

Ghana, under President Kufuor, discovered oil in commercial quantities but Ghanaians were only offered less than 15% of their God-given natural resources as a result of perceived wrong motives behind the agreements entered into by the then NPP government.

One of President Kufuor’s party men, Haruna Esseku, then Chairman of the NPP, lamented during his tenure of office that the seat of government under President Kufuor was the collection point of kick-backs, alleging that the ex-President was in charge of kickbacks meant for the party.

A Lebanese woman, Gizelle Yatzi, who was a confidante of former President Kufuor, revealed that Mr. Kufuor coerced the owner of a building near his house into selling it to him with his son Chief Kufuor as a front man.

Calls for investigations into the allegations were rubbished by Mr. Kufuor. The building was later converted into a hotel popularly called Hotel Kufuor under the ownership of Chief Kufuor, who reportedly sold it later.

Circumstances, under which Mr. Kufuor fired former Security Minister Francis Poku, remain very suspicious. Mr. Poku was fired on Saturday Jan 12th 2008, a day after Ama Frema Busia, daughter of former Prime Minister Dr Busia, hand delivered a copy of the integrated 50 page case summaries to Nana Oye Lithur, Head of the Commonwealth Human Rights Institute to track CHRAJ progress on a case against Mr. Poku.

Allegations made by Ama Frema Busia were rubbished by now-turned Saint Kufuor, whose debriefing of the former Security Chief nearly turned bloody but for the intervention of some media men who made noise on the debriefing session. The corruption saint has spoken.