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12.12.2009 Politics

Mills' integrity not enough to fight corruption- Malik Baako

By myjoyonline
Kwaku Baako JnrKwaku Baako Jnr
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Mills' integrity not enough to fight corruption© Copyright myjoyonline

The Editor in Chief of Crusading Guide Malik Kweku Baako Jnr has stated that integrity, perceived or real of President John Mills is not enough to rid the country of corruption.

His comments are in reaction to statements by the renowned economist and a leading member of the NPP Kwami Piamim that he could vouch for the integrity of the president.

In an answer to a question at a debate organized by Joy FM last Monday, Mr Pianim observed if a country will be corrupt it starts from the leader, stressing he can put his fingers into fire and say President Mills will not steal from the people.

“If we talk about zero tolerance for everybody, the thing has to start from the top. To me if you go to any country where there is corruption, the head of state is corrupt. If he is not corrupt it won't happen. How can you oversee? Fortunately in Ghana now we have a president that at least I will put my hand in the fire for that how will not steal from the people,” he pronounced.

But in reaction on Joy FM's news analysis programme News File, Malik Baako said Mr Pianim's analogy is flawed.

He argued the president as an individual may well be without blemish when it comes to corruption, but may be presiding over a system and incidents of corruption.

He cited the president's appointment of Appiah Ampofo, on to the National Media Commission as flagrant violation of the country's laws on corruption.

Mr. Ampofo he said has been indicted by the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) for collecting an amount of $96,500 in kickbacks between 1994-1999 during his tenure as Commissioner of the National Insurance Commission. As a result CHRAJ declared that he should not hold any public office again in his lifetime, a verdict he (Ampofo) challenged and lost at the Supreme Court.

He wondered how such a man will receive the president's blessing to be part of such an important institution as the NMC.

According to him, the current Controller and Accountant General, was appointed despite adverse findings against him by the Auditor General's report on the National Vocational Training Institute.

On the infamous Muntaka saga, Mr Baako insisted the former sports minister was virtually “left off the hook” whilst his accusers made the scape goats.

On the assets declaration which is a mechanism to fighting corruption, the avowed NDC critic said the president has shown little commitment in fighting corruption. “If the president is clean, and has given a seven day ultimatum for assets to be declared and we are somewhere 11 months and many of the appointees have not done what is requiring of them, what is Pianim talking about,” he sniped.

He condemned comments that sought to attack the integrity of Mr Pianim rather than the content of his comments, saying the pronouncement should be considered only as "one man's vote of integrity for Mills."

Other panelists on the show expressed different opinions on the matter.

Egbert Faibille, a legal practitioner and Editor of the Observer Newspaper, who was also on the show, described Pianim's comments as “needless” and “highly unnecessary.”

Whilst Raymond Archer, Editor of Enquirer News paper thought the pronouncements were nothing new from what has always been in the public domain, Stan Dogbe, Managing Editor of the Daily Express Newspaper said it was a challenge to the appointees of President Mills to emulate his lifestyle.

Play the attached audio for excerpts of the discussions

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline

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