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10.02.2020 Feature Article

President Akufo-Addo's Crusade Against Corruption Dead On Arrival

President Akufo-Addo's Crusade Against Corruption Dead On Arrival
LISTEN FEB 10, 2020

Fellow Ghanaians, I always hold the view that our President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, certainly deserves an award from us. And it must not be an electoral award. In my humble opinion, coming to the end of his tenure this year 2020, having served as one-term as President, President Akufo Addo must either be handed the gold medal as the "GOAT" in our recent history, or awarded as the only "GOAT" since this geographical entity called Ghana was christened as such at Independence, where both "GOATS" do not mean the same thing.

The first "GOAT" award which President Akufo Addo is craving represents "Greatest Of All Time", and the second “GOAT” title, if he is unfit for the first GOAT, represents "Greatest Of All Thieves". Be that as it may, the President certainly deserves a gold medal from Ghanaians as the GOAT. However, the difference between these two GOATs hinges on the “Ts”. One of the Ts stands for "Time" and the other "T" connotes "Thieves".

The judgment is absolutely in the bosom of Ghanaians: whether the President deserves to take the first GOAT with its "T" being "Time" or the second GOAT with its "T" depicting "Thieves". And in this case, it must be "one man, one GOAT". Because, the President cannot be the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT), and at the same time being the "Greatest Of All Thieves" (GOAT) and the vice versa in our Ghanaian political experimentation. Nonetheless, considering the number of scandalous deals and malfeasances that have rocked the Jubilee House ranging from the BOST contaminated fuels saga, the dubious PDS deal, the 1.5 Billion inflated Ameri Deal, dubious KelniGVG Deal, the latest vanished Galamsay excavators, etc., one wonders the President can pass the acid test of corruption and go ahead to win the first “GOAT” Award.

In the course of last week, Ghanaians nearly conferred upon the President the title of the "Greatest Of All Time" for his supposed order for the arrest of his own General Secretary and Minister for Environment who labored to bring him to power. But just as we could say Jack the President decided to embrace the second GOAT (Greatest Of All Thieves) when another communique was issued from his office asking Ghanaians to disregard the said call or order.

Whether the two men were actually involved in the disappearance of the confiscated excavators of "Galamsayers" (illegal miners) or not is not what I am looking for. My focus is on the positive Perception Index of the President that could have been created to substantiate and buttress his claims of being anti-corruption crusader. However, that speculation turned out to be more embarrassing than "a cocaine turns to soda water or flour at the police station". Shame!

But you see, the factions within the ruling government have really made it difficult for any discerning Ghanaian to appreciate whether the call for the arrest of an insider within the government by the President for acts of corruption, is actually a genuine fight against the canker or it is a mere internal political witch-hunt. Cursory look at the government's commitment to fighting against corruption suggests all members of the New Patriotic Party, NPP, are not equal before the greatest political Lord of the Party (President Akufo Addo). Objectively speaking, it could be observed that while a supersonic and breakneck speed is often launched into the investigation and subsequent dismissal of certain members of the party alleged to have been involved in any form of cobwebs of corruption, there's a great deal of foot-dragging of cases or allegations if some "First Class" members of the same party have their snouts in the honeypot of corruption!

Recall the BOST saga: the presidency was very quiet because one of the "political Princesses" of the country was rumored to have been part of that gangsterism. Thus, the daughter of the President himself was said to have been one of the looters. As a result, the case was deodorized and eventually suffocated to death. No crime was committed.

The same was not the case when the Ameri Deal scandal hit President Akufo Addo like a thunderbolt. Mr. Boakye Argyaku was asked to either "jump or be pushed", and when the man was still afraid to jump having spent only few months in a government where very thick and sweet "juice" continues to flow, especially if you are the beloved political daughter or son of the President like Hon. Usula Owusu Ekuful and Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister for Communications and Information respectively, Mr. Argyaku was eventually pushed.

Again, when the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) was exposed by the Anas Aremeyaw Anas's TigerEye PI's investigations about how members of that committee or closer to it, engaged in underhand dealings to circumvent the roadmap to ending the menace, nobody was arrested. The funeral or even cemetery silence was only what exuded from the Jubilee House. Nobody lost his job for that let alone being arrested.

Recall the comments made by the Finance Minister on the Free Education which was a complete dirty slap on the face of the government and on the face of the President in particular. Had Hon. Ken Ofori Atta been the "phlegm" belonging to the nose and not the sight belonging to the eye of President Akufo Addo, those comments could have cost him his Nation's Purse holder's job. But he is the beloved cousin of the President.

So, there are some "fat toes" in every government no spurious fighter of corruption can step on. Like President Akufo Addo, they only hunt down those who have fallen out of their favor and grace with them over time. Yet, such bogus fighters of corruption never miss opportunity to pay continuous lips service about tackling the monster of corruption.

Exactly the reason why the government, within twinkling of an eye, was prompted to issue a disclaimer regarding the call for the arrest of those two gentlemen. In saner countries like China, the Minister would have been in a hot soup as well by now. Because whether he was aware of the excavators disappearance or not, at least they being under his watch, he should have been part of those arrested. So that investigative findings could exonerate him.

Of course, the government can choose to do what it wants in respect of the ways it deems fit in conducting investigations on any rot. However, the personalities involved have always predicted the methods and the political will with which the government goes about its job of uncovering a dicey matter such as this.

I sympathize with the other six people who have been bogged down by the police. Perhaps, they were not one of the prodigious sons of the President.

Such a selective fight against corruption is what renders President Akufo Addo's efforts as anti-corruption Crusader Jaundiced and dead on arrival.

In China over 10,000 people have been indicted by Xi Jinping, the supreme leader of the Communist Party of China. And some have even estimated over one million public officials put on trial for corruption in Beijing alone. Many senior military officers have committed suicides while investigations are still ongoing. President Xi Jinping is fighting corruption in China. And it is not magic. “Upon taking office, Xi vowed to crack down on "tigers and flies", that is, high-level officials and local civil servants alike.” The same cannot be said of our dear President. Perhaps, because of nepotism, which his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping has eschewed.

But, like our men of old say, when the frog finally dies, we shall determine its fullest length. I hope the NPP handover notes have already been prepared for the next NDC III government to take over. The next government shall objectively establish who indeed was at fault and whose case was swept under the carpet.

Long Live Ghana,
God Bless Us All.
The Writer, Iddrisu Abdul Hakeem, is MasterCard Foundation Scholar (Alumnus) @ KNUST.

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