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Opinions of Sunday, 22 April 2018

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

The ugly side of the exponents of probity, accountability and transparency

Given all the alleged bribery and corruption cases which took place in the erstwhile NDC administration, it would be extremely unfair and unconscionable for anyone to accuse the NPP government of deliberately witch-hunting the suspects.

How could anyone suggest that by strictly enforcing the laws, the NPP government is seeking to witch-hunt the political criminals?

The story is told, that prior to the formation of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), J. J. Rawlings and his cohorts exterminated people they perceived to be corrupt, and hence hijacking the progress of the nation.

Ironically, however, if we Juxtapose what happened back then to what took place in the erstwhile NDC administration, we cannot help but to draw an adverse inference that “the suspects were shot for less”.

Apparently, former President Rawlings justified the preceding assertion during his recent June 4 address. Ex-President Rawlings lamented: “The principles of June 4 are not alien or has never been alien to mankind. They are no different from the most basic religious or human values. Probity, accountability and social justice would on any day liberate the overwhelming majority of our people from the bondage or difficulties they find themselves in.

“The fight against corruption, greed and avarice has however been at great cost. Noble soldiers have died; noble civilians have died for it and so many of the noble ones have suffered and continue to suffer all kinds of indignities for their principles and convictions.

“I want to remind people that we could not have possibly forgotten that Generals were executed. The greed, corruption and injustice of today is a thousand times more than what these Generals were executed for, and if we are unable to restore a firm measure of integrity into our dealings, then the blood of many would have been shed in vain.

“Not too long ago I thought we heard the jockeys claiming the horses were responsible for this disgraceful failure while one of the horses was bold enough to lay the failure at the doorstep of the jockeys.

“For me, we lost our masses because we betrayed the values of June 4. However if this horse – jockey business cannot be resolved comprehensively, allowing integrity to prevail, then let both of them step aside and allow for fresh leaders with solid integrity to provide the needed leadership” (Rawlings 2017; myjoyonline.com).

Regrettably, there are politicians whose primary objective is to clasp political power by the hook or by the crook so as to advance their vested interests.

Just take a look at our political landscape and you would agree with me that most of our politicians harbour vested interests, and, have no empathy whatsoever.

If that was not the case, how come the NDC Members of Parliament allegedly kept double salaries over a period of two years?

And how could a group of politicians conspire and surreptitiously import about 43 vehicles at a staggering cost of $9 million at the blind side of the incoming administration?

If those politicians aren’t heartless and insensitive to the plight of the impoverished Ghanaians, how come they conspired and paid dubious judgement debts to a tune of GH800 million?

If they are morally upstanding, how come they created loot and shared all the monies belonging to GYEEDA and SADA which were meant to transform the lives of the poor and disadvantaged people?

Where is their honesty and integrity when they squandered funds meant to transform the lives of the penniless in society through cloudy deals such as the Brazil World Cup, the infamous bus branding, SUBA, among others?

I hate to admit the apocalypse of the unbridled corruption and sleazes, but to be quite honest, Ghana may not see any meaningful development, so long as we have public officials who are extremely greedy, corrupt, and insensitive to the plight of the impoverished Ghanaians.

Let us be honest, and rightly so, Ghana’s stunted growth could be largely attributed to the unrestrained bribery and corruption cases.

But despite the rampant bribery and corruption cases, the justice system rather 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.

In fact, I will strongly disagree with anyone who will insist that corruption has got nothing to do with Ghana’s underdevelopment.

It goes without saying that despite their much touted mantra of transparency, probity and accountability, we have been witnessing so much scheming guiles, sleazes and corruptions in the successive NDC administrations. Who are they trying to deceive?

Astonishingly, though, the successive NDC governments’ officials have been committing the same crimes (sleazes and corruptions) their party founders killed many innocent people for.

Of course, there is nothing wrong for any individual to tag himself/herself as a proponent of transparency, probity and accountability. But then again, it is somewhat hypocritical when a group of people who claim to be the exponents of such ethos would then turn around and dip their hands into the national purse as if there is no tomorrow.

After all, aren’t the NDC apparatchiks claiming to be preachers of transparency, probity and accountability?

So why are they refusing to practice what they have been relentlessly preaching to us all these years?

Are they wolves in sheep’s clothing?

Perhaps, they are false prophets, who are relentlessly preaching to their followers: ‘it is written in the Holy Book that thou shall not steal’, while they turn around and dip their hands into the church offerings bowl.

Clearly, their much trumpeting ethos of probity, transparency and accountability is a charade; it is rather an illustrative case of preaching virtue and practising vice.