The ruling NPP government has repeatedly asserted that a main cornerstone of its stewardship of the country is “Good Governance”. This is a laudable aim that all Ghanaians share.
The NPP government is also subjecting Ghana to review by its peers through the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) – this is also welcomed and we support all initiatives and mechanisms which would lead to enhanced governance in our beloved country.
The government however would seem to be engaged in a game of “smoke and mirrors” because on the one hand it maintains it is a champion of good governance whilst on the other failing to tackle some very basic necessities of good governance.
This NPP government, now in its second term of office has not shown any inclination to tackle rampant and arrogant corruption at the heart of governance in our country, nor has it moved to deal with the age old issue of ministerial ethics.
The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has challenged the government to declare 2006 a year of action against corruption, and looking up to the President to set practical examples.
Daniel Batidam and the GII have expressed disappointment at the President's inability to act more decisively on corrupt practices expressing the hope that he would do “something more concrete this year”.
The Investigating Panel of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), is currently investigating Dr Richard Anane, Minister of Roads and Transport, over a number of allegations of corruption, abuse of office and conflict of interest and an alleged transfer of over $90,000 to Alexandria O'Brien, the American mother of his son Nicholas Anane
The investigating panel has indicated that “after conducting preliminary investigations into the matter, it had now become expedient to come out with a full-scale investigation” i.e. there is a case to answer.
All of Ghana is now looking at this case as the ” litmus test “ which should demonstrate the NPP government's true stand on “ good governance”.
Ghana's Parliament has recently ratified two key international conventions on corruption - the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the African Union Convention Against Corruption and if the government shares with us the GII's view that fighting corruption is about “development, poverty alleviation and how to manage the country's little resources to the benefit of everyone”, then it must act decisively and act now.
We believe that in the name of “Good Governance” the Minister being investigated should do the honourable thing and step down , at least until his name is cleared, but failing that his peers in the government should review his conduct and act not only to enhance the image of the country but to ensure that the country begins to take seriously the government's assertions on Good Governance.