As Ex-President Kufuor famously said, corruption is as old as Adam and will always exist. It will therefore be unfair to say that corruption can be eliminated by Akufo-Addo or Mahama because they cannot know nor control the mindset of everybody they appoint to public office.
However, the litmus test is how they deal with corruption, whether real or perceived, any time corruption scandals occur in their government.
Akufo-Addo, whilst campaigning for the Presidency in 2016, literally begged Ghanaians to try him. During his political campaign, Akufo-Addo made Ghanaians believe that he had zero tolerance for corruption and that no appointee or member of his government would be spared if they were caught engaging in acts of corruption.
He also made Ghanaians believe that the private sector was where to make money and not within his government. He succeeded in tagging Mahama and his government as the most corrupt people in Ghana and that he was incorruptible and was thus the better person to deal with the canker of corruption.
Based on Akufo-Addo’s claims of being incorruptible, Ghanaians voted for him in 2016. Fast forward to 2020, Akufo Addo has now been tried and tested in his four years as President, so let us look at how he (Nana Akufo-Addo) has dealt with corruption, and compare this against what John Dramani Mahama did to help us to decide who is in a better position to deal with the canker of corruption in the next four years.
Mahama’s response to corruption.
- In the Bus Branding saga, the Minister for Transport resigned and monies were refunded to the State.
- In the SADA/GYEEDA scandal, the Attorney General was instructed to retrieve all monies wrongfully paid to individuals and companies involved in the scandal. Abuga Pele the CEO of GYEEDA was found guilty by a Court of Competent Jurisdiction and jailed for six years. Philip Assibit, a businessman, was jailed for 12 years. GYEEDA was subsequently restructured and reformed to prevent the occurrence of future scandals.
- In the Ford Bribery case, CHRAJ was directed to investigate the matter and subsequently issued a 78-page report on the incident.
- In the Judges Bribery exposé by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, 20 judges found guilty were removed from office.
- In the Brazil 2014 World Cup matter, a Commission of Inquiry was set up, a white paper was issued accepting some of the Commission’s recommendations and the Sports Minister was subsequently removed from office.
Akufo-Addo’s Response to Corruption.
- In the Number-12 exposé by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, GFA was dissolved, a Normalization Committee was set up but the main character at the centre of the scandal Kwesi Nyantakyi has so far been cleared and absolved from any act of corruption.
- In the BOST contaminated fuel saga, a committee was set up to probe, no report has so far been issued and the BOST MD was cleared and absolved from complicity in any act of corruption by National Security.
- In the AMERI scandal, the Minister for Energy was removed from office and no further investigation was conducted.
- In the “Cash for Seat” issue, no one was indicted even though a committee was set up.
- In the USD2.5million Ghana Post “Jack Where Are You” digital address matter, no investigation was conducted, and nobody was sacked or compelled to resign.
- In the USD178million Kelni GVG saga, no investigation was conducted and the Minister of Communications is still at post.
- In the Australian visa scandal, a probe was conducted and the Deputy Minister for Sports was cleared and absolved from any act of corruption without a report being issued.
- In the GHS800, 000 website saga, nobody was suspended or compelled to resign.
- In the PDS/ECG scandal, no investigations have so far been conducted.
- In the Agyapa Mineral Royalties scandal, the Special Prosecutor voluntarily upon public pressure decided to investigate the deal which the President has so far ignored and has not issued any official comment on the incident, unlike the Airbus scandal which he hurriedly reported since it was alleged to be linked to the Mahama government.
From the above, it is evident that John Mahama tackled and appropriately responded to alleged corruption scandals in his government, Nana Akufo-Addo on the other hand has merely paid lip service to the fight against corruption even though he begged to be tried by Ghanaians. Akufo-Addo has either ignored or cleared officials associated with alleged corruption scandals in his government and has overtime earned the nickname and tag, “The clearing agent” of corruption.
Now you can judge for yourself whom you would vote for on December 7, 2020, on the basis of who is in a better position to fight corruption in government for the next four years.
The Writer: Kwame Asiedu