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Opinions of Friday, 2 March 2012

Columnist: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka

There is more to the Woyome Scandal: NDC Must Act Decisively!!

After reading Woyome’s interview posted by Ghanaweb on the 1st of March, 2012, I am beginning to wonder. I am not sure if he is the crook that the NPP wants us to believe he is. While I am not ready to let Woyome off the hook, I have serious concerns. If what Woyome is saying is even half true, the NPP has some serious questions to answer. More importantly, if Woyome is being portrayed as a crook, then the NPP has to explain how they got into business with him in the first place. He claims to have helped them raise money and conduct other business. He even attended the Ghana@ 50 orgy! Lord have mercy! Wow! How did he become radioactive all of a sudden? The details are confusing and only a transparent and objective public hearing will get to the bottom of this mess. Ghanaians deserve a lucid public hearing on this matter and many more. Nothing short of a hearing will do it for me.

Why did Kufour’s government cancel a contract his finance minister has approved legitimately? Is this why Osafo Marfo was kicked out eventually? This idea that the government in power can recklessly pick and choose winners makes me sick to the stomach. No matter what dubious activities Woyome may have engaged in, Kufour’s government have answers to provide as well. Why would Kufour’s government borrow money at a higher cost when they can get it cheaper? Something surely does not add up? In the end, it shows how corrupt our entire government is regardless of who is in power. The vindictive nature of our politics does not only show immaturity but comes at a high price. The bedlam in Ghana’s politics is in full glare.

To clear up the air and get to the bottom of this matter and others, there are a few things that the NDC should have done or can still do. First, an independent non-partisan public prosecutor should be appointed by President Mills. This appointment must have the support of all political parties and interest groups in the country. Another route should be the public account committee of parliament. Woyome is saying that the chairman of the aforementioned committee is Ken Dapaah, Kufour’s appointee, so he cannot be trusted to do the right thing. This is indeed very troubling and sad. How can Kufour’s appointee still be the chairman of a parliamentary committee if the NDC won the election and has majority in parliament? What am I missing? More importantly, is it common understanding that political appointees cannot go to bat for Ghana? Ghana we have a problem! How can we cloud minds incurably with partisan politics? Are we not Ghanaians first? I guess the third option is to appoint a blue ribbon commission to investigate and prosecute where need be. Some of these processes can run concurrently.

I find NPP’s refusal to honor invites from Economic and Organized Crimes Office (EOCO), very troubling. If indeed EOCO is the current edition of the Serious Fraud Office, then the NPP is out of line. Yes, the NPP used the SFO to investigate, prosecute and jail Ghanaians. So why are they now squealing when asked to face the same organization? Is this an admission that the party in office corrupts government institutions? Is that how the NPP operated while in office? All involved in this scandal must be dragged in front of EOCO. Any public official who refuses to answer subpoenas from EOCO should be hauled to jail. If you have nothing to hide go and tell your truth quietly. How is EOCO operating differently under the NDC? Public officials must not pick and choose where they testify. Being accountable to the people is part of public responsibility and accountability.

My fellow Ghanaians, it is sunshine clear that our democracy is ailing. The rule of law is a complete joke in Ghana. Indeed, the joke is on us! The wanton disregard for the law and our (Ghanaians) inability to hold these criminals responsible troubles me quite a bit. It is as if we are totally powerless and these crooks will do whatever they want without answering to anyone. Mother Ghana is being robbed, raped and sodomized in broad daylight. Her crime I don’t know! Doesn’t mother Ghana deserve better? How about some respect for the country we all love? We should be protesting and marching for a hearing on this matter!

The public sector consumes a bulk of our money. These politicians have allocated to themselves, huge pays and tall perks. What the hell are we getting in return? The world is not without unfortunate events! The smart thing to do is to learn from our mistakes so that we don’t repeat them. Ghana for some reason is not interested in learning from past mistakes. Take electricity for example, during Kufour’s regime, we had debilitating black outs that resulted in deaths and economic hardships. We were led to believe that the problems have been cured permanently. Without diagnosing the problems (root cause analysis), tons of money was spent buying equipment and moving some around. It became an avenue for Kufour’s cronies to rob and rape economically. Now, we are back to the same old crap again. Did we learn anything from that situation? Are we really interested is solving problems permanently? What kind of leadership are we paying for and is it worth the money we pay? What really is the use of our parliament? My Gawd!! Take off your partisan hats and speak for mother Ghana. We deserve better! All of us! We cannot accept or condone this mediocrity! No way!

All I am interested in is the truth. Who did what, when and why? Armed with the truth, all guilty parties should be dealt with ruthlessly. We are fed up with these games. The NDC must get to the bottom of this and show Ghanaians that we are not feeding these fat cats (politicians) for nothing. Cats are maintained to eradicate mice. Do your jobs politicians!

Nii Lantey Okunka Bannerman (Also known as the double edge sword)

I don’t give them hell, I just tell the truth and they think it is hell—Harry Truman