By Maxwell Ofori .
A former Minister of State at the Presidency, under the erstwhile Mahama administration, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah has revealed that, pressures from party financiers is one of the reasons for the signings of controversial contracts by successive governments.
According to him, government appointees’ hands are sometimes tied in dealing with individuals and institutions who finance various parties in government during electioneering, forcing them to sometimes award deals as a way of reward to party financiers.
He added that monetization of Ghana’s electioneering process is mainly the reason why there is an increase in corruption, especially during the latter part of the 4th Republic, further calling for a national discussion on the matter.
In a video circulating on social media, bearing the logo of TV3, the one-time Youth and Sports Minister, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, is seen and heard interacting with people in an auditorium, asking them if appointees were not in the right sense to know which deal was bad.
However explaining the rationale behind what he said in the video to The Chronicle in a telephone interview, Elvis indicated that he was bemoaning the increased monetization of Ghana’s electioneering process, blaming increased corruption on same.
He lamented that people spend sums of money to support a party’s campaign, and therefore, following the victory, those financier ought to be reward by all means.
He further asked the people to trace any corruption related scandal in any government and they would realize it was linked to campaign financing.
“People who have given you t-shirts, money, and all kind of things and now you are dealing with them. It was almost unconscionable, but it had to be done.
“And in the process some of us almost lost our lives because then the pressures within and without because you are cutting off the source of funding for both parties and they will come after you.
“So we have created a system that legitimizes and institutionalizes the corruption and at the same time we say we want to tackle corruption.
“The solution is to deal with the system. When you deal with the system then you no longer will have this awkward system where you go and collect money from the person and when you come into power you say you want to investigate the person, or pretend to investigate the person, whichever way so one party will talk about it.
“Check all the corruption related cases. From BOST to wherever, it linked to campaign financing. There’s always a financed there. Why you think we are foolish people? Why is it that sometimes you ask yourself which sensible person will sign this contract or will agree to this deal? Haven’t you asked yourself that question? It is because our hands are tied,” he narrated passionately.
Issues of corruption has been at the forefront of the political landscape in Ghana.
Former President Kufuor is reported to have said that corruption started from Adam.
Again, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), of which Afriyie Ankrah belonged had been accused time without number whilst in office for various corrupt deeds.
Even Elvis Afriyie Ankrah was baptized and tagged with corruption following the unfortunate incident at the 2014 World Cup held in Brazil, a time when he was the Youth and Sports Minister.
Days after news broke of such scandal, and embezzlement of state funds in Brazil, he was reassigned to the office of the President under Mahama, though a lot of Ghanaians expected his dismissal.
national conference on rethinking political leadership in Ghana by the Progressive Intellectuals.