By Agnes Ansah
The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) is saying that it will use institutions mandated by law to fight graft in the country.
At a presser in Accra yesterday, Mr John Boadu, General Secretary of the party indicated that President Nana Akufo-Addo was committed to the fight against corruption, but will resort to the rule of law as the only legitimate and viable means of conquering systemic corruption in the country.
Mr John Boadu was reacting to a press conference by the National Democratic Congress (NDC), held on Tuesday, at which said it was convinced the President was living in denial of his fight against corruption.
The NDC presser was also in reaction to a corruption statement made by the President at the Ghana Bar Association’s annual conference in Takoradi on Monday.
During the Bar Conference, President Akufo-Addo said: “Members of the Bar, it cannot be the case that people are condemned on the basis of mere allegations. That is the law of the jungle.
“So far, every single alleged act of corruption levelled against any of my appointees is being, or has been, investigated by independent bodies such as CHRAJ, the CID, and, in some cases, by Parliament itself.”
He also said: “It takes patriots to fight corruption and resist the selfish lure of corruption. It needs state institutions with a patriotic culture and personnel to throw the book at those who steal to deny the school child a table and chair; the driver a motorable road; the senior citizen access to free medical care; and the economy the oxygen to grow for the greater happiness of the greatest number of our people.”
In response, the NDC’s Johnson Asiedu Nketsia said: “President Akufo-Addo missed yet another opportunity to demonstrate that he should be trusted when it comes to fighting against corruption. At a time when he and his government are producing corruption scandals at an unprecedented rate, one would have expected the President to use the opportunity of his address at the Bar Conference to reassure the nation of credible efforts to weed out the destructive canker.”
He further said: “Instead, the President chose to play the proverbial ostrich and bury his head in the sand. He demonstrated clearly that he was not in touch with the realities of the time, that he heads the most corrupt government in the history of Ghana. Rather than confront this resounding verdict of well-meaning Ghanaians, he opted for that path of delusion and denial. In summary, President Akufo-Addo lowered the bar for the fight against corruption at the Bar Conference.”
But, Mr John Boadu said he believes the President’s means of weeding out corruption has not sunk well with the NDC. “It is a shame that this message does not seem to have sunk in for the NDC. I suppose if you have been doing the same unimaginative and destructive thing for the past twenty-seven years, the longest any single entity has ruled in Ghana since independence, it is difficult to switch gears and come up with truly innovative thinking and action.”
The NDC, he said, was too weighed down by its own poor history, but “we can’t afford to let this poor history become Ghana’s destiny,” Mr Boadu said.
He thus invited the public, especially thought leaders, to critically weigh the governance styles of the two parties, and to lead the public crusade for good governance with open government, as championed by the President.
“Everybody must feel free to interrogate government actions, but the NDC’s campaign of falsehood and mischievous political intent really fails the test of serious and purposeful governance,” he concluded.