President Nana Akufo-Addo
For many months after taking over the reins of power, most Ghanaians who voted for President Akufo-Addo nagged about what for them was his delay in making good his promise of going after looters of the state kitty.
The assurance from him yesterday during his State of the Nation’s Address (SONA) that he would retrieve such monies gladdened many hearts. Knowing him to be a man of his words, they did not doubt his resolve to do as he has promised.
Now, many who wondered why he appears to be delaying in retrieving the ill-gotten monies understand how the President, as a man who upholds the rule of law and would therefore rather the law takes its course, had not given up his promise but was only waiting for the Special Prosecutor to be named and launched. That almost done – looters of the kitty should be readying themselves to be summoned.
Ghanaians have never been so obsessed with the retrieval of state monies. Being interested in such matters is an appropriate route to fighting corruption because it encourages the people to interrogate on their own matters which smack of graft with a view to alerting the appropriate state agency.
The recent auditor general’s report and the accompanying disclosures of graft were so serious that we could only wonder why some of our compatriots could be so insensitive to the health of the nation.
President Akufo-Addo’s confidence when he told his audience at the Dakar international conference on education that free education is possible when the channels of corruption are plugged, was steeped in experience.
Considering the amount of monies lost to the state through over-invoicing, payment for undone works, double payments for contracts, President Akufo-Addo was on point. When Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia demanded audit of claims by contractors who ostensibly executed projects under the old political order in the country, he was suspicious of corruption. The monies saved can go a long way in providing critical services for our compatriots in the hinterland and contribute to the free SHS bill.
When, therefore, the free SHS pessimists talk negatively about the project, it is because such persons think graft and the unacceptable fleecing of monies from the state kitty is a norm.
Those who have looted public monies must be made to return these by all the legal means possible. Not resorting to this means of retrieval has over the years led to the entrenchment of corruption in our society.
President Akufo-Addo must succeed in erasing the erroneous impression that all politicians share similar traits of corruptibility. There are politicians who can exhibit the special leadership quality of sincerity in their resolve to fight corruption as being exhibited by President Akufo-Addo.
Let our traditional leaders and clerics from both Christianity and Islam steer away from defaulters who would seek their interventions. Our laws and institutions represent our nation; if they are weakened through corruption and the stifling of the rule of law, our country is as good as dead.