There is a lot to say about recent developments in Ghana – cash-for-seat, Hawa Koomson’s bloated budget, Martin Amidu’s surprising appointment, and Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s sick leave.

I won’t bore anyone with long talk…My piece today will focus on the appointment of the new Big Brother whose nomination is reportedly sending shivers down some former government appointees spine.

It is worth interrogating the reason behind President Akufo-Addo’s selection of a card-bearing member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to such a position. Many people have said a lot about the matter but I believe some of the assertions were not truthful.

Well, I think Citizen Vigilante’s appointment as the Special Prosecutor nominee is an inspired choice if you ask me and perhaps he will say same. Much as the time has come for us as a people to put up a spirited fight to end corruption, I honestly believe the choice was playing to the gallery and contrived.

It may appear difficult for anyone to reconcile the above conflicting position on the matter but it shouldn’t be. What I know is that in much the same way, the President is able to send conflicting signals about his resolve to combat corruption, I am sure you can appreciate my argument in the same light.

President Akufo-Addo has shown more commitment to the corruption fight in words than in action. His actions the past one-year in office could best be described as everything but impressive in the area of anti-corruption.

I and thousands of Ghanaians continue to remain baffled about how the President could shower praises on a businessman whose business activities have generated probes both locally and internationally and still beat his chest as the best anti-corruption campaigner. Maybe there is nothing like anti-corruption campaigner in our case.

In our President’s case, I think it should rather be described as the user of anti-corruption words and if we agree that that should be the way forward then we can agree that we are all confused.

And the president is confused, I believe so.

I am still trying to make sense of the President’s response to corruption allegations against some of his appointees when he said attempts by his political critics to paint his regime corrupt will not succeed.

Did anyone ask his appointees to engage in questionable transactions? Did Ghanaians ask the Trades Ministry to back a private event that asked sponsors to pay $100k to sit close to the president?

Maybe we asked Special Initiative Development Minister, Hawa Koomson to inflate her budget to the point that GH¢800,000 was budgeted for a website? Somethings do not make sense!

For an anti-corruption campaigner to dismiss these allegations among others is telling of his resolve to bring relief to Ghanaians.

Surely a better anti-graft tone setting riposte should be to reaffirm his resolve for a thorough investigation of every allegation levelled against government appointees by inviting people who have evidence to come forward. At best what we hear from the President is that those who make the accusations should send their evidence.

And come to think of it how many relatives of the President do we have in his government. Count them. Family and friends government? I am still scratching my head about the number of relatives; the president has roped into his administration. I am not saying there is anything wrong is appointing such family and friends if they are qualified but hey how easy is it to crack the whip when you say you an anti-corruption campaigner?

A lot of Ghanaians have their reservations about former President Mahama who appointed such good friends to positions and what happened with appointees being recalled to the Flagstaff House.

But to have an appointment from President Akufo-Addo who according to his close associates, has an impeccable personal integrity and who has trumpeted his commitment to tackling corruption head-on at his inaugural address, and indeed at every opportunity remind us about how the anti-corruption fight is already a failed one.

So, will it be wrong to say the choice of Martin Amidu is partly a desperate search for someone to blame for the apparent failure of government’s anti-corruption campaign?

Let’s not deceive ourselves that any one government is more committed to anti-corruption than the other. Judging from the country’s political history, I can say with some degree of confidence that the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and NDC aren’t significantly different.

They are the same. And they share the same mantra: ‘Let’s eat some because it’s our time.’

 

 

Abubakar Ibrahim

email: abubakar.ibrahim@myjoyonline.com