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17.02.2020 Feature Article

Ghana Has a Rancid History of Corruption

Ghana Has a Rancid History of Corruption
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I haven’t studiously followed the global corruption ranking of Ghana, but tied at 78, out of some 180 countries, with Burkina Faso, is an achievement that Ghanaians ought to be grateful for, although looking at the general attitudinal quality of our public officials and politicians, one ought to actually wonder why Ghana had not been ranked at a higher level on the corruption ladder or index, contrary to what Justice Emile Short would have the rest of the nation believe (See “Ghana Should Be Ashamed of Position on Corruption Rankings – Emile Short” 1/12/20).

I mean, we have former President Jerry John Rawlings, the infamous Butcher of Apostle Probity, Accountability, Transparency and Justice telling Ghanaians that after all the summary executions of Gens. FWK Akuffo, AA Afrifa and IK Acheampong and the rest of the military rulers of the so-called Supreme Military Council (SMC-I & II), that it is Chairman Rawlings himself who has produced the most corrupt crop of politicians in the country whose vintage graduate is former President John Dramani Mahama, the present 2020 Presidential Candidate of Ghana’s main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

But perhaps what is even more significant to point out is the stark knowledge and recognition of the fact that it was, indeed, Mr. Rawlings who established the thoroughgoing corrupt but shameless entitlement tradition of the below-market-price sale of state-owned properties by exiting and/or retiring politicians to themselves at the criminal expense of the increasing lack of accommodation for patriotic and high-ranking and better qualified civil servants and public servants.

You see, the seminal Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) waxes scandalously superficial when Justice Short facilely and cavalierly equates the relative temporal longevity of the establishment of constitutional democracy in Ghana, relative to Burkina Faso, for example, as a salient quality-of-life factor that ought to have enabled Ghana to have ranked much higher, or rather lower, on the corruption ladder than her northern neighbor, either conveniently or cynically forgetting that the mere introduction of the ballot box is not a significant or reliable determinant of a higher standard of morality than the visible or institutional lack thereof.

To be certain, for the most part, life under the Rawlings-led Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) was relatively far less corrupt than the gold standard of rank corruption that came to characterize the 8 years of the Rawlings-led and faux-civilianized veritable junta that was the regime of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), especially in the wake of the effective hobbling of Ghana’s 1992 Republican Constitution with the criminals-protecting Indemnity Clauses.

In sum, my vehement contention here is that the reintroduction of Constitutional Democracy in the country in the wake of the decade-long tenure of the Rawlings-led de facto Reign-of-Terror that was the main fare or political diet of the PNDC, actually opened up the sluice gates of wanton corruption and withering political abuse because under the present “democratic” dispensation, high crimes – such as contract assassinations, and misdemeanors, such as the National Security Minister was recently caught up in, are casually envisaged and tolerated in the dubious name of human rights and the cultural organicity or normative conjugal infidelity and plain stupidity. The situation is not significantly better in the so-called industrially advanced civilized democracies, to be certain.

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York

January 23, 2020

E-mail: [email protected]

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