The Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu, hit the nail on the head when he once aptly beseeched the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Ghana Police to investigate the NDC MPs alleged double salaries to its logical conclusion and those who are found to have indulged in any criminalities prosecuted accordingly (See: ‘Double salary’ probe: MPs must face the law – Amidu; citinewsroom.com/ghanaweb.com, 19/04/2018).
I must however confess that I had mixed feelings when I read some time ago that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service had submitted the dockets on the investigations of the double salary grabbing NDC Members of Parliament to the Attorney General’s Office for advice.
My incertitude, in fact, stemmed from the fact that Ghana’s justice system tends to clampdown heavily on the goat, cassava and plantain thieves, and more often than not, let go the impenitent criminals who hide behind the narrow political colorations.
Where is the fairness when the ‘political thieves’ could shamefully dip their hands into the national purse as if there is no tomorrow and go scot free, while the goat, cassava and plantain thieves are incarcerated?
Let us be honest, if the law can excuse the suspected NDC double salary grabbing Members of Parliament from prosecution, the law might as well make room for the equally important contributors such as farmers, teachers, nurses, doctors, among others.
Why must we allow a section of the population to perpetrate alleged criminalities and then hide behind the law?
Let us face it, there is nothing out of the ordinary for an employee to receive double salary in the sense that the pay roll managers are imperfect human beings who are susceptible to human errors.
However, it is up to the recipient of such irregular payments to come out clean and notify the appropriate quarters.
Suffice it to stress that if the alleged recipients of the double salaries refused or declined to disclose such anomalies as being alleged in the case of the NDC Members of Parliament, then such persons have questions to answer.
Given the circumstances, therefore, we should not and cannot stand accused of exhibiting risible and inborn proclivity towards the irresponsible public officials who prefer to dip their hands into the national purse as if tomorrow will never come.
To be quite honest, it is quite nauseating to see some public officials who prefer to be called honourable behaving somewhat dishonourably.
Truly, Ghanaian politics has become a scorned profession, not a noble profession it used to be.
Suffice it to stress that it takes good people—good citizens and leaders to build a prosperous nation. Yet a lot of good people would never go into politics. They dislike the toxic levels of partisanship. They hate the intrusive media scrutiny and they won’t pay the high personal costs of the political life.
Once upon a time, anyone who gained a seat in parliament was looked up to and respected by all, but alas, this is not the case anymore.
In fact, our Members of Parliament must earn the honourable prefix/suffix by living exemplary lives, and desist from desecrating our honourable parliament.
How can honourable Members of Parliament knowingly keep double salaries to the detriment of the poor and the disadvantaged Ghanaians?
Frankly, it beggars belief that individuals could form an alliance, create, loot and share gargantuan sums of money belonging to the state and would eventually slip through the justice net.
I have always maintained that if we are ever prepared to beseech the fantastically corrupt public officials to only return their loots without any further punishment, we might as well treat the goat, plantain and cassava thieves same. For after all, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
I am afraid, the democratic country called Ghana, may not see any meaningful development, so long as we have public officials who are extremely greedy, corrupt, and insensitive to the plight of the impoverished Ghanaians.
It may sound somewhat hackneyed in the ears of some observers, but the fact remains that we began life with the likes of South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore, and, look at where they are today.
They are diligently making cars, Mobile phones, electronics, good roads and good housing. And, they have put in place pragmatic policies and programmes to developed their respective countries and just look at where we are today.
Disappointingly, however, we now go to those countries we started life with, and beg for donations, or borrow money--do you recall the STX housing deal which was unsuccessfully pursued by Mills/Mahama administration, and yet cost us a staggering $300 million ? I weep for my beloved Ghana.
Obviously, we need a true leadership with vision and ideas, altruistic and charismatic leadership devoid of corruption, greed, Incompetence and capable of transforming us into an industrialized and robust economy.
It is absolutely true that the unresolved cases of political criminals unscrupulous activities often leave concerned Ghanaians with a gleam of bewilderment.
Indeed, when it comes to the prosecutions of the political criminals, we are often made to believe: “the wheels of justice turn slowly, but it will grind exceedingly fine.”
And yet we can disappointingly enumerate a lot of unresolved alleged criminal cases involving political personalities and other public servants.
I have always insisted that there is no deterrence for political criminals. For, if that was not the case, how come political criminals more often than not, go through the justice net, despite unobjectionable evidence of wrong doing?
As a matter of fact, corruption is found in all countries—big and small, rich and poor—but it is in the developing world that its effects are most destructive.
Regrettably, despite the fact that corruption slows down the nation building, some corrupt officials are bent on siphoning our scarce resources to the detriment of the poor and disadvantaged.
Going forward, we must not and cannot use the justice net to catch only the plantain, goat and cassava thieves, but we must rather spread the justice net wide to cover the hard criminals who are often disguised in political attire.
After all, the right antidote to curbing the unbridled sleazes and corruption is through stiff punishments, including the retrieval of all stolen monies, sale of properties and harsh prison sentences.
We hereby plead with the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Madam Gloria Akufo, that the law is not a respecter of persons, and therefore the alleged double salary NDC Members of Parliament must be investigated thoroughly and prosecute those who are found culpable of wrong doing.
K. Badu, UK.