I’ll deal ruthlessly with corrupt appointees –Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama, Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has pledged to lead a new charge in the fight against corruption if re-elected as President.

The new approach, he said, involved holding not only ‘corrupt officials’ under the previous administration accountable, but also appointees of his next administration, who indulge in corrupt activities.

“The norm has been that it is only past governments that you hold accountable for any act of corruption, but we will ensure that those in our government, who also indulge in corruption will be held accountable, and so we won’t go witch-hunting the past government,” he said.

“If people have been involved in malfeasance they must be held to account and if people in our administration also follow the same path, they must also be held to account. It is only that way we will be able to get a hand-on on the canker of corruption.”

Mr Mahama said this when he met with members of the Christian Ecumenical Councils in Accra, on Monday, as part of his “Building the Ghana We Want” engagements.

The Christian Ecumenical Councils include the Christian Council of Ghana, Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council and the National Council of Charismatic and Christian Churches.

He said corruption had eaten deep into Ghana’s fabrics and affected its development, which had been normalised because people who engaged in the act got shielded and protected by those in authority.

As a result, the impact of many cases of financial malfeasance like stealing, causing financial loss, awarding sole source contracts, as well as uncompleted funded projects had become the norm than the exemption.

To tackle the canker, Mr Mahama said the next NDC government would set a new standard in the fight against corruption, including holding corrupt appointees under his administration accountable.

“I make a firm promise to you, my Christian fathers, that the administration that I will lead will set a new standard in the fight against corruption,” he said.

“We will fight the canker of corruption and defeat it. We will retrieve stolen monies and hold people accountable, but we are not going to pursue regime accountability.”

Mr Mahama pledged strong collaboration with the church in all aspects of the economy, notably in education, health and economy, to deliver better services to Ghanaians.

On education, for instance, the former President promised to get the churches more involved in the management of schools to ensure effective running of their operations.

History had indicated that schools established and managed by the churches performed better, hence the church and the state must work together to achieve quality education for all, he said.

“In the interim, we are proposing that in future, we increase the influence of churches in the management of the schools and so one of the areas we are looking at is to ensure that the chairman of the governing board of the school is a member of the church that established the school,” he indicated.

On health, Mr Mahama said the next NDC administration would give more support to mission-run hospitals, including expanding their infrastructure to enable them to operate effectively and efficiently.

To ensure the churches were involved in the economy, the former President said his next administration would support them to invest in the economy, in areas such as garments and textile, agriculture and agribusiness to create jobs to address the growing youth unemployment rate.

He called on the clergy to speak up against any action that had the tendency to create unrest in the 2024 election.

Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams, the General Overseer, United Denominations of Action Chapel International, in an interview with the media on the sidelines of the meeting, advised the youth to vote by “conscience and convictions and not by emotions,” to maintain the peace.

By Benjamin A. Commey



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