General News of Thursday, 10 December 2015
President John Mahama has accused the media of peddling falsehood in their reportage of a recent corruption perception report.
Many accounts of the report ranked Ghana as the second most corrupt country in Africa, but according to the president, the reports were misleading as the survey conducted by Transparency International only sought to establish whether corruption in their respective countries was increasing or not.
He said, “This report was not an index and did not seek to rank countries in order of perception of corruption as the CPI normally does. The simple and straight forward question that respondents to the survey were asked was how has the level of corruption in your country changed in the past year? Has it increased, decreased or remained the same?”
Transparency International last week released a Corruption Perception Index (CPI) rating Ghana as the country with the second highest respondents (about 71 per cent) saying that corruption had increased over the last 12 months.
Titled “People and Corruption: Africa Survey 2015”, the report which covered March 2014 to September 2015, revealed that corruption was so endemic that all the respondents wished their leaders acted swiftly to end the canker.
But speaking at the Second High Level Conference on the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan in Accra, President Mahama accused some political leaders and sections of the media deliberately distorting the report at the expense of the country’s dignity and international image.
“This is absolutely false and for emphasis, I repeat, this is absolutely false,” he said.
President Mahama further bemoaned the highly charged partisan political environment in the country and questioned the motivation for which sections of the public would “be so obsessed with trying to claim such an undignified title for ourselves at the expense of our nation’s dignity and our international image?”
He also chastised the media for wrongly interpreting the report, saying, “Sad to say, many other media networks including our own respected national daily, the Graphic, also ran along with this falsehood and got the entire country engaged in a conversation that should never have taken place.”
President Mahama noted that, the “misleading” reports have given the country an undeserved negative image amongst the committee of nations and the international community as a whole.