Dr. Kweku Osafo, Chairman of the Political Committee of the Convention People's Party (CPP), on Thursday said the best way to deal with corruption was for the elite in society to admit that they were the most corrupt and to clean and purge themselves of political corruption.
He made the call at a forum organised by the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) for the presidential candidates of parties contesting the December polls to share ideas with the clergy and Christian communities on six broad issues.
The issues were on corruption, transparency, equality, peace and justice, narcotic drugs and accountability.
Apart from Mr. Thomas Ward-Brew, candidate for the Democratic People's Party (DPP), all the other candidates were represented by other officials.
They included, Professor Mike Ocquaye for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Atik Mohammed, People's National Convention (PNC), Dr. Kwabena Donkor, National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Mr. John Ameka, Democratic Freedom Party (DFP).
Each speaker was given 10 minutes to make their opening statements then members of the audience took turns to ask questions on the six areas.
Dr. Osafo noted that the talk of establishing state anti-corruption institutions and computerising governance would not solve the problem of corruption if those in power and in public office did not purge themselves of the acts of corruption.
“We need the church and the entire Christian community to help our leadership for this country to purge itself of corruption,” he said.
According to him, under a CPP administration, the focus would be on complete decentralisation, where the districts and municipalities would be properly funded to develop on their own, adding that the system would be ran in a way as to serve as a check on the people in power.
Dr. Osafo said it was sad that Ghana was now known in the international community as a “naco-country”, saying that the CPP would institute the Interception, Prosecution, Treatment and Education (IPTE) programme to tackle the drug menace to the root.
On equality, he said currently Ghana as a nation had two countries within the developing south and the underdeveloped north, adding that under the CPP administration the gap between the south and north would be bridged at a rate this country had ever witnessed.
“The CPP will1 promote the spirit of self accomplishment to lead our people to pursue big dreams toward self sufficiency”.
Prof. Mike Ocquaye said the NPP believed in institutional mechanisms as the source of solution to corruption.
“Under a Nana Akufo Addo presidency, we will allocate more money to and also computerise all anti-corruption institutions and law enforcement agencies to enable them deal with corruption effectively,” he said.
He said the NPP was already in the process of providing the navy in particular with more ships and marine monitoring aircraft to deal effectively with the problem of narcotic trade, most of which occur at the sea ports and off shore.
“We make a pledge to keep the peace before, during and after the December polls” he said.
Dr. Donkor said the NDC would take the challenge of turning the fortunes of Ghana from an internationally acclaimed narcotic hub to a narcotic-free one.
“We will strengthen the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to be able to undertake prosecution on their own even without explicit complainants,” he said.
Mr. Atik Mohammed said the PNC would separate the Attorney-Generals Office from that of the State Prosecutor and Minister of Justice to ensure fairness and transparency in the system.
“We will also make all state transactions open to the public through Parliament and other channels where the public would get the chance to make the final decision on state transaction either domestic or international,” he said.
Mr. Ameka said the DFP government would build an all inclusive governance system and pledged that even if the DFP lost, they would still go ahead and contribute to national development through the policies expounded in its manifesto.
The moderators were Rev. Dr. Fred Deegbe, General Secretary of CCG and Mrs. Florence Dennis, Executive Director of GACC.
The Right Rev. J. Y. Ledo, who presided, charged politicians to uphold the morals of honesty, dedication and patriotism, saying that those morals would automatically defeat the temptation to being corrupt.