The flag bearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) in the 2012 general election, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, has stated that the perceived corruption among political parties is real.
He, therefore, expressed disappointment over the dismissal by four political parties of a recent report that described political parties as one of the perceived corrupt institutions in Ghana.
‘Let us get real and serious and deal with the corruption canker, rather than the political parties hiding behind public relations gimmicks,’ he told the Daily Graphic in a telephone interview.
He was reacting to a joint statement by the general secretaries of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the People’s National Convention (PNC) which said: ‘Perceived corrupt practices alleged to have been caused by individuals or public officers who happen to be members of political parties do not, by extension, make those parties corrupt.’
The 2013 Global Corruption Barometer placed political parties second on the list of perceived corrupt institutions in Ghana.
But, according to Dr Nduom, who disputes the claims by the four political parties, most political parties in the country and their leaders had not been disciplined enough to even comply with the Political Parties Law.
He said most of the political parties were unable to disclose the sources of campaign funds and could not even render accounts internally.
‘Ask the political parties if members pay dues and the majority cannot answer in the positive. So where do they get the money to pay rent and stage events?’ he queried.
Dr Nduom said whenever there were elections within political parties to select candidates to contest positions such as chief executives, parliamentary and presidential candidates, there were reports of the camping of delegates, gifts of all types given to win the favour of voters and all sorts of bribery.
In his view, the allegations making the rounds today about party leaders demanding money before they endorsed candidates for chief executive positions did not come from the air, adding, ‘They are based on reality and that reality did not just start in 2013. So who do these NPP, CPP, NDC and PNC general secretaries want to deceive?’
‘There is rot in our body politic and it is corruption. This has attracted many people to want to use politics as the means of meeting their material needs the quick and illegal way.
‘It accounts for the do-or-die mentality some have about wanting to win power. When corruption shows up in government circles, as it has since independence, it passes through political leaders. So political leaders must admit that this problem exists and then pledge to wage a consistent war against it, starting with themselves,’ he added.
It is for this reason, Dr Nduom pointed out, that the PPP decided to take a principled stance against corruption and dedicate itself to incorruptible leadership.
He recalled that in the 2012 elections, the PPP challenged presidential candidates to declare the sources of their campaign funds, make their income tax returns public and declare their assets.
Interestingly, he said, ‘the other parties ran away from the challenge. Only God knows where they got the funds to run their campaigns. This is a recipe for corrupt acts in government’.
He said that the PPP had also called for the separation of the office of the Attorney-General from that of the Minister of Justice and also insisted on the election of DCEs, but both positive intentions were not heeded.
‘Nkrumah’s dawn broadcasts were an admission that there were corrupt leaders in the CPP. All coups in Ghana have mentioned corruption as one of the reasons for the actions.
‘J. J. Rawlings used corruption to win public sympathy. Kufuor declared a ‘zero tolerance for corruption’ due to the fact that corrupt leaders exist in our political arena.
‘When we have worrying reports from the Auditor-General year after year, cases such as Mabey & Johnson, judgement debts chop-chop involving politicians and GYEEDA lapses on the part of political heads, Ghana cannot afford to have its political leaders burying their heads in the sand and pretending not to see, smell and hear corruption,’ he pointed out.
‘All of us must admit that corruption is killing our nation and making its people poor, for which reason we must join hands to fight it. I challenge all political parties to come clean on the fight against corruption, stop the public relations gimmicks and deal with the reality of the situation,’ Dr Nduom concluded.
By Kobby Asmah/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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