Politics of Wednesday, 4 March 2015
The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) on Tuesday expressed its doubts about the ability of President John Dramani Mahama to carry out his promise of dealing with corruption and other problems in the country.
The doubt, they said was as a result of past experiences where the President has failed to fulfill promises made to Ghanaians, and decisively deal, especially with the energy situation, which has now escalated into a national crisis.
Nii Allotey Brew Hammond, National Chairman of the Progressive People’s Party, who was addressing a press conference in Accra, in reaction to the President’s State of the Nation Address to Parliament, said while the PPP gives credit to the President for admitting openly to Ghanaians that corruption was a canker that continue to plague the society, his address failed to give details on how he intended to practically deal with the problem and all others.
He said the Party was not impressed with President’s pledge to deal with corruption using measures including the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan and Strategy, saying clear corruption cases that out-date the Plan were still unresolved since its adoption in July 2014, and the canker was far from being diminished from the society.
The PPP therefore challenges President Mahama to first walk his pledge to fight corruption by starting with the prosecution and jailing of his own men and women when they engage in corrupt acts.
He cited corruption scandals that have rocked institutions like the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), Azuntaba, Savanna Accelerated Development Agency (SADA) and the Subah Info solution, among others.
He said the popular Woyome scandal, the 12.5 kilogramme cocaine scandal case by the Ghanaian lady, Nayele Ametepe’s and recently, the acquittal and discharge of six individuals connected with the same cocaine case, by a recent Accra High Court for lack of enough evidence by the prosecutor, which was the State Attorney, raises questions about the true state of political will to deal with corruption in the country.
Nii Hammond challenged the President to practically demonstrate his commitment to fighting corruption by passionately backing any form of investigations into the alleged misappropriation and other similar cases to retrieve state monies and bring the perpetrators to book.
He said the PPP still insists among other things that institutional changes be effected in the State’s governance structure, where the Attorney-General’s Office would be independent from that of the Ministry of Justice, to have an independent Prosecutor that would be bold to deal with issues of corruption.
Again, the current arrangement of picking majority of Ministers of State from Parliament must be amended since they undermines the ability of the Legislature to be an effective check on the Executive, he said.
Nii Hammond explained that the PPP’s focus on corruption was because the canker now constitutes the illegitimate heartbeat of the current state of the Ghanaian society which, has been rising over the years and currently reaching historic heights with impunity.
The social canker, he said has been the main contributor of the deplorable conditions that presently confronts the Ghanaian society and blamed the problem on the huge waste within the public sector which spawned under –development in every part of the country, leading to the serious neglect of various sectors of the economy.
“We live in almost-perpetual darkness because of corruption; we virtually live in abject poverty because of corruption; the public sector is virtually dead because of corruption; quality of education has hit an all-time low because of corruption; the proverbial Ghanaian value which hitherto was the cynosure of all eyes, is gone due to corruption”, he said.
Nii Hammond said the PPP remains widely awake to see how President Mahama would be able to deliver the country from the current state of impunity and restlessness if he fails to insist on strengthening such political commitments.