The exposition of the Action Plan, as meticulously composed and presented by Mr. Razak Kojo Opoku, President of the Concerned Voters’ Movement (CVM), was quite refreshing and even edifying (See “Razak Kojo Opoku Schools Dutch Ambassador, John Mahama and NDC on Ghana Beyond Aid” Ghanaweb.com 9/8/19). But, to be frank with the CVM leader and his pro-Akufo-Addo and New Patriotic Party (NPP) followers and associates, it does not adequately answer the question of how the present government has been fighting official corruption in the country. What the likes of Mr. Opoku ought to be doing is to be cranking out statistics detailing what official misdeeds have, so far, been flagged up by the relevant monitoring and national security agencies, and how many are currently under investigations, as well as how many have already been resolved.
It is actually intellectually insulting for the CVM leader to trot out a neat disquisition on something called “Excellent Public Corporate Governance Systems,” by telling the general public that an efficient mechanism has already been established to make it “extremely difficult” for executive government appointees “to amass wealth, misapply and misappropriate public funds and undermine procurement procedures,” when all over the media exposés on government appointees wantonly engaged in the corrupt and criminal amassing of wealth at scandalous proportions is the order of the day. What is making matters even worse is the fact that a remarkable number of such exposés is being churned out by both party and government insiders, which means that something is clearly lacking in the manner in which information is being transmitted within both the central party apparatus and the government itself. Clearly, something needs to be done and promptly so.
He may not have realized this; of course, I am here referring to Mr. Opoku, the CVM leader, but in Ghana, as in most other countries, including advanced democracies like the United States, Canada and Britain, the perception of corruption among members of the general public is as important as the commission or perpetration of the deed itself. Thus, the political opposition does not have to provide any hard or concrete evidence of many of its charges and allegations of corruption against the ruling party or the government of the day; you see, what we have here is a stiff competition of opposing viewpoints or narratives. It is up to the communication operatives of the government of the day to disabuse the minds of the general public and the electorate and/or potential and eligible voters of the harmful spreading of such unsubstantiated allegations and other forms of official misdeeds.
So far, except for the Information Minister, Mr. Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, and one or two other party headquarters operatives, I don’t see much filtering into the media mainstream that originates from the New Patriotic Party’s decidedly dormant communications apparatus. As of this writing, it had been announced that President Akufo-Addo intended to address the nation on the state of his official anti-corruption fight. We hope that the President has much to say that gives the Ghanaian electorate the requisite confidence to want to retain him at the helm of their affairs past January 7, 2020. By all reliable accounts on the ground, it well appears that the Akufo-Addo-led government of the New Patriotic Party is steadily on course to delivering impressively on its electioneering campaign promises. Indeed, Mr. Opoku himself appears to recognize the fact that all may not be well with the pace of the delivery of justice, at least as envisaged by many Ghanaians who have been studiously following the activities of the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
But, of course, we also know that there are a dozen or more other agencies that are equally empowered to deal with many of the criminal offences within the remit of the Special Prosecutor. It is one thing to have certain rules and regulations governing official conduct in place or on the statutory books. Far more important, however, is the objective and dispassionate enforcement of these rules and regulations around the clock.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
September 8, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]
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