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General News | Feb 1, 2005

Morality Is Key For Public Holders

The acting Tamale Metropolitan Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Alhaji Mohammed Baba, has said that, the issue of morality linked with the performance of duty by public officials is justified.

He explained that morality, which could either be in the form of corruption or sexual misconduct, could, to some extent, undermine one's ability to live above reproach. In an interview, he said the NCCE's assessment of the work of the Appointments Committee of Parliament was that it was handling the vetting.

The committee has concluded the vetting of the first batch of the President's ministerial nominees. Parliament is yet to approve the report of the committee. Alhaji Baba noted that there had been a remarkable improvement in the vetting process.

He, however, said there was the need for the committee to be equipped enough to thoroughly investigate allegations leveled against some of the nominees.” But then the issue of morality has two faces; one is the person's private life and the other is the morality linked with his or her official duties” he noted.

According to Alhaji Baba, although the Constitution guaranteed the rights of every individual, society in general frowned upon morally weak office holders in the sense that moral weakness tended to have a negative impact on the work of those officials.

“If you are morally weak, you feel embarrassed, since people tend to point accusing fingers at you. You might even suffer from psychological imbalances,” the director stressed.

Alhaji Baba observed that the committee had been able to bring out certain pertinent issues, particularly on accountability, which would serve as a guiding principle for future public office holders.

He also commended the nominees for putting up their best during the vetting, adding that it was the prerogative of the President and Parliament to decide which of them to drop. On whether it was necessary for ministerial positions to be linked to educational qualifications, he was of the view that qualifications were needed in a situation where the minister in question did not have any qualification relating to the sector he was nominated for.

“But, in the future, Members of Parliament (MP) who are nominated by the President for public office should not be part of the vetting committee because it is unfair,” Alhaji Baba said.

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