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Opinions of Monday, 29 May 2017

Columnist: K. Badu

Who expunged the NDC’s ethos of probity, transparency and accountability?

If we revisit Ghana’s political history, we will acknowledge that Ex-President Rawlings and his cohorts founded the NDC Party based on the principles of transparency, probity, and accountability.

It is however on record that prior to the formation of the NDC Party, J. J. Rawlings and his cohorts annihilated some people they perceived to be corrupt and intentionally hijacking the progress of the nation.

Juxtaposing what happened back then to what took place in the erstwhile NDC administration; one cannot help but conclude that “the suspects were shot for less”.

Yes, the NDC founder, Rawlings, and his cabals tortured and annihilated prominent politicians and business men and women, many of whom were bizarrely accused of legally borrowing meager sums of money from the banks to support their businesses.

Sadly, despite their much-touted ethos of transparency, probity, and accountability, we have been witnessing so much duplicities, sleaze, and corruptions in the successive NDC administrations.

I will, however, venture to state that the disgusting behavior was even worst in the erstwhile NDC administration.

Indeed, we woke up every morning to hear and read fresh news about damning sleaze and corruption in Mahama’s government.

Thus, many observers rightly hold a strong view that Ghana’s current economic downslide was as a result of the unbridled sleaze and gargantuan corruptions in the outgone NDC administration.

Isn’t it hypocritical that the same people who have previously tortured and exterminated people they suspected to be indulging in sleaze and corruption would then cause the collapse of Ghana’s economy through wanton sleaze and gargantuan corruptions?

Bizarrely, the holier-than-thou NDC apparatchiks have been committing the same crimes (sleaze and corruptions) their party founders killed many innocent people for.

Yes, they have been committing numerous atrocious scandals such as the infamous bus branding, the Brazil World Cup, Woyome’s GH51.2M; the $200M STS largesse; Millions of Ghana Cedis embezzled by the officials of NCA Board, SUBA, GYEEDA, SADA and the National Service Secretariat and all the dubious judgement payments amounting to GH800M).

In any case, we shall keep our fingers cross for the Special Prosecutor to make a timely intervention and go after the greedy politicians and other public servants who have been cited in the Auditor General’s report.

How delightful would it turn out if the Special Prosecutor managed to exert dint of effort and claw-back all the billions of Cedis stolen by the voracious public servants?

We should, however, not lose sight of the fact that the successive governments have failed to circumscribe the abhorrent canker (bribery and corruption).

Nevertheless, it is our fervent hope that on this occasion, the Special Prosecutor will endeavor to retrieve all the gargantuan stolen monies from the culprits.

To me, there is nothing wrong for any individual to identify him/herself as an ideologue of transparency, probity, and accountability.

But then again, it somehow becomes extremely troubling and 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 coffers as if there is no tomorrow.

This is the reason why I cannot abandon my puzzlement over the conduct of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Party loyalists, many of whom continue to defend their corrupt and greedy public officials.

Disappointingly, the NDC apologists would castigate anyone who chooses to squall and criticise their public official's abhorrent behaviour.

How would anyone with the wellbeing of Ghana at heart defend the villainous public officials who are bent on siphoning our scarce resources to the detriment of the impoverished Ghanaians?

Most likely, though, the suspects and their apologists will whine and scream over the Special Prosecutor’s lawful and routine interrogations.

Obviously, the chorus bandwagon will sing along their usual witch-hunting rendition of ‘witch-hunting’.

Didn’t the apple-polishers sing the same hymn when Ibrahim Mahama was invited by the EOCO to answer questions about an alleged import tax evasion?

Indeed, the chorus bandwagon referred to the interrogation as political witch-hunting.

However, it was later revealed that the brother of former President Mahama, Ibrahim Mahama, had not paid his import taxes of over GH12 million since 2015.

In fact, I hate to admit the apocalypse of the unbridled bribery and corruption cases, but 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 penniless Ghanaians.

It is therefore ironic that despite the rampant bribery and corruption cases which took place in the erstwhile NDC administration, the apologists would have the brazen boldness to accuse the NPP government of deliberately witch-hunting the suspects. How bizarre?

Take, for example, the Builsa South MP, Dr Clement Apaak, had beseeched the NPP government not to use its war on corruption to persecute appointees of the erstwhile NDC government

“His call is on the back of President Akufo-Addo’s comments that he will not shield public officials caught in corrupt practices despite pressure being mounted on him to do so and the arrest of some customs officials responsible for the loss of GHS1.2 billion in revenue to the state.”

Obviously, the vast majority of the suspects in the ongoing alleged corruption cases are either members or apologists of the NDC Party. So what is Dr Clement Apaak moaning about?

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

Why are they refusing to practice what they have been preaching to us all these years?

Have they expunged such principles from their books? How wonderful would it be!

Maybe they have decided to do away with such principles, else they would not be protesting vehemently about the NPP government’s attempts to deal drastically with the corrupt public officials.

After all, if you are not a witch, why must you be concerned about witch-hunters?

Well, some of us will take solace in the fact that the justice system is going to descend heavily not only on goat, cassava and plantain thieves but also the hard criminals who hide behind narrow party lines.