In the buildup to the 2016 general elections, a major plank of the campaign of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) against the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of former President John Mahama was that the latter was not only inept but also irredeemably corrupt.
The NPP harped on the yet to be known integrity of the then Akufo-Addo, a strict disciplinarian and Spartan statesman, whom it presented as the only upright person capable of preventing corruption from crippling Ghana.
Nana Akufo-Addo himself, by actions and speeches, and especially through the public perception of his persona in the public domain, cut a picture that indicated that with his control of apparatus of government, corruption would not only end in the country but that the war would be fought with determination and without sentiment.
However, at the end of his first four years, corruption appears to have taken another dimension as it is pitching some of the top aides of the president against one another, creating the impression that the administration lacks the will to cage the monster from within its own circle.
With the myriads of accusations and counter-accusations by top NPP members against each other on matters bordering on graft, a moral issue has been created around the government’s fight against corruption that must be addressed before the 2020 elections.
From all indications, Kufo-Addo’s fight against corruption would also form a major plank of campaigns in the December election as it did in the last one and the ability of the NPP to convince Ghanaians that it had succeeded in the venture, will determine the party’s acceptability.
The current perception however is that nothing concrete has been achieved in that aspect going by the revelations of alleged sharp practices within the government circle and the inability of the administration to bring suspected perpetrators to book.
A look at some instances of corruption cases and how they have been politicized under the incumbent administration showed that when issues of official misconduct are raised against some persons, it easily becomes a case of an official’s words against another and at the end of the day, the substance is lost.
For instance, it took a serious public outcry before President Akufo-Addo finally made up his mind to ease former Chief Executive of BOST, Alfred Obeng out of office.
Another instance of corruption that stared the government in the face was the arrogance displayed by the suspended Executive Director of the Maritime Authority, Kwame Owusu when allegations of sharp practices were leveled against him.
In an astonishing response, Frances Asiam rejected her suspension order slammed on her by the governing Board of Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company to proceed on suspension following mounting of petitions against alleged fraudulent practices and nepotism by some concerned workers.
In another dramatic case, the altercation between the Senior Minister and the Auditor General of Ghana, which bordered on non-adherence to due process in the award of Krol & Associate contracts worth One Million Dollars confirmed the skepticisms of those saying the government has lost grip of discipline and steam to tackle corruption.
I SHALL RETURN.