General News of Wednesday, 4 March 2015
Source: Graphic Online
A presidential advisor on corruption has said that asking President John Mahama to take an overbearing role in the fight against corruption is highly undemocratic.
Mr Daniel Bartidam believes the President would be usurping the roles of state institutions if he is to be involved in the day-to-day fight against corruption.
“Mahama is not a judge,” Bartidam pointed out, insisting that systems, rather than the person at the presidency, must lead the fight against corruption.
The presidential advisor was contributing to a discussion on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show (SMS) on Tuesday.
The President, in his State of the Nation Address last Thursday, bemoaned the widespread corruption in the country.
The President admitted that corruption pervaded all facets of human lives and charged institutional heads to take responsibility in the fight against corruption.
Contributing to the discussion on the SMS, the Executive Director of IMANI Ghana, Mr Franklin Cudjoe, said the President, clothed with powers, could take stringent measures in the fight against corruption.
Citing the 2013 to 2015 State of the Nation addresses by the President, Mr Cudjoe said those addresses “have always been intentions” with no clear concrete plans to fight corruption.
He was particularly incensed with the conduct of former Energy Minister, Dr Oteng Adjei, who unceremoniously took his official luxury vehicle home even after he had been reshuffled out of government.
“The man smuggled cars when he was out of office and had the effrontery to dare everybody, including the President, to take him to court.
“I would have expected the President to surcharge Oteng Adjei,” he indicated.
But the presidential advisor said the President and the Executive could only do little in the fight against corruption.
According to him, Mr Cudjoe’s suggestions to the President was “taking us away from the democratic credentials” the country had built for itself.
“We have tried to shoot down corruption in this country. Those perceived to be corrupt were shot [in the past] but it didn’t stop the problem,” he indicated.
He said the country had opted for the rule of law and that must be made to work.
Rather than asking the President to take a lead role in the fight against corruption, Mr Bartidam said systems and institutions must be strengthened for the fight.