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Opinions of Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Columnist: Isaac Ato Mensah

When America sneezes; implications of Trump’s election scandal for Ghana

Has eight billion Cedis [US$1.7bn; €1.5bn] been thrown at corrupt bank officials in an attempt to salvage years of known deliberate falsehood by auditors and accountants?

In the US – on Tuesday, investigations into the activities of Trump’s associates bordering on the 2016 elections have so far led to convictions of Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman and Michael Cohen, his former legal adviser.

How does this concern anybody in Ghana?

Well, both the NPP and NDC, tongue in cheek openly speculate that the NPP is aligned to the Republican elephant of the US, and the NDC to the Democratic Party’s leftist leanings; so election results in the two countries have a similar outcome.

As a matter of fact, both the NPP and the Republican Party (G.O.P) belong to the International Democratic Union, an international alliance of centre-right political parties.

Whether in the next election cycle a similar outcome should be the case is entirely in the hands of President Akufo-Addo.

The minister of finance and the governor of the Bank of Ghana have spent eight billion Cedis [US$1.7bn; €1.5bn] to support collapsed banks that several years of records show were mishandling depositors’ monies.

Which implies also that auditors’ falsified or turned a blind eye to evidence and gave ‘a true and fair’ pass to the collapsed banks’ financial statements.

Is the president aware of this?

Does the police need a complainant to act? Not so clear in Ghana.

Did the cabinet sit to approve the eight billion Ghanaian Cedis?

To date, they haven’t said anything, but we know there is an economic management team chaired by the vice president.

There are political communications implications for all political parties and business leaders.

We can troubleshoot why the president has not spoken as expected.

Or has he chosen to speak through silence?

No word yet on the banking scandal, Mr President? Pourquoi?

Ghanaian political strategists have a nice way of blaming the president’s advisors and creating a halo around the president as an old wise man.

‘There’re only bad advisors but no bad leader,’ says one of our proverbs.

We will like to most respectfully remind the president that he is the head of state, commander-in-chief of the Ghana armed forces and head of government of a poor post-HIPC nation.

Our debt to GDP ratio is 70 per cent, never mind the re-basing exercise of the Ghana Statistical Service.

And as we often like to say, our urban water is infested with algae.

We also have the unenviable status of being ‘second to Sudan in open defecation’ in Africa.

America has sneezed, Trump has described us in uncomplimentary language; we are waiting.

Which way Your Excellency?

Email: ato@writersghana.com