? Our Former? Presidents Rawlings And? Kufuor? Must End It? And? Team Up To Help End? The Rot
BY ALHAJI ALHASAN ABDULAI
?Oh no, not this time. The nation is not in the mood for skirmishes between our two surviving heads of states Flt Lt. J. J. Rawlings and Mr. ?John Kufuor. For leading us over the years to sustain democracy, and helping? Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cote d?Ivoire out of civil wars, ??we are respected in the West Africa sub region and the world over.
There is no need for verbal exchanges but cooperation between the two constitutionally elected presidents who have served their eight year terms and? are now our ?fathers of the nation.? Many people are not happy with the blame games between the two fathers of the nation. The outbursts of J. J. Rawlings against corruption in favor of probity and accountability dates back many years in fact since he emerged on to the political scene as a military officer twice on June 4, 1979 and 31st December 1981. Even after being elected to rule Ghana constitutionally from 1992 till the year 2000 he continues to caution all succeeding governments after him to remain on course to fight against corruption. However the canker still persists with many government offices recording serious cases of corruption in government outfits. Year in year out some government officials are found wanting.
His (Rawling?s) latest outburst against his colleague former head of state president J A Kufuor regarding corruption, (considered by him and his supporters as harmless),? Seems to have sparked off? mixed reactions with some people not sure about the real motive for the accusation leveled against president Kufuor. Some people say his outburst against Kufuor is in order
However some others are of the opinion that President Rawlings has no case against Kufuor. ?Otherwise he should ?bring it on? through the proper fora such as?? the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice or the law courts.??? He is well advised to stop blowing ?hot air out there? and mere allegations? ?and propaganda.? The opponents of Kufuor and NPP will definitely be peeved and consider it a desperate? ?attack on? ?Kufuor in particular and NPP as a party.
The camp of president Kufuor would then as they have begun definitely react in kind by also accusing President Rawlings of corruption citing instances. Because the people of this country are divided and argue issues along party lines what happens is that most people? ?belonging to or ?sympathetic to NDC will support Rawlings while those who support NPP will stand behind Mr. Kufuor on the issue of corruption. Is that what we want?
Mr. Kwasi Pratt Managing Editor of the insight on his part has ??said that members of NPP should not complain when Rawlings accuse Mr. Kufuor because they enjoyed it and gave their support ?when Rawlings attacked the character of late ?Fifi Atta Mills when he ?assumed the leadership of Ghana.
While the two political parties and leaders ?are at each other?s throats, over allegations of corruption in Ghana the real corrupt people are given the leeway to ?seriously engaged in their dastardly acts using sophisticated methods in government outfits. As we speak the nation has ?not been able to solve the problem of ghost names in government offices. We continue to suffer financial losses through over invoicing and under invoicing in Ministries, Municipal and District Assemblies and other? ?government offices.
Currently the Auditor General has presented to parliament an auditor?s report on alleged misappropriation of public funds in public offices across the country.? Even though parliament has the responsibly to bring to book ?all those responsible for the rot as mentioned in the audit report there are doubt in the minds of the people ?whether? or not action can be taken on the matters.
An Economist Dr Eric Osei-Asibey is blaming Parliament for failing to live up to its role of protecting the public purse. This has resulted in public workers misappropriating over GH?2 billion in 2012.
He says despite about 798 recommendations made by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament to address this culture of mismanagement, not a single person has been punished.
The Public Accounts Committee, according to Order 165(2) is responsible for examining the audited accounts of government showing sums granted by Parliament to meet public expenditure.
It also has the powers of a High Court.
The Auditor-General (A-G) reported enormous irregularities amounting to GHC 2,019,188,488.76 (US$50,748,780) unearthed from the accounting books of public boards, corporations and other statutory institutions
Ms Lauretta Vivian Lamptey, the Commissioner of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), once stated that corruption stifles economic growth and diverts desperately needed funds for education, healthcare and other public services for other less important uses. The perpetrators are not only politicians but public servants including technocrats as well.
She added that some of the measures meant to check the canker include strengthening the legal measure and institutional framework, investigating and prosecuting corruption, as well as undertaking preventive and community education and awareness programs.
The Commissioner said in addition to existing legislation, they passed the Mutual Legal Assistance Act, the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations, 2011 (LI1987), Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Act, 2012 (Act 842) and Anti-Terrorism Regulations, 2012 (L.I 2181).
She noted that bills which were also pending either before Parliament or Cabinet included the Right to Information Bill, the Whistle blower (Amendment) Bill, the Witness Protection Bill, the Public Officers Conduct Bill, the Extradition Bill, and the Anti-Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill
Apart from the issue of corruption the nation is grappling with economic issues such as the sale of the Berchant Bank, the judgment debts the delay in completing the gas project in Atuabo and our roads that need to be sorted out in no time. These and the issues of ???medical care issues need to be dealt with if we are to make headway as a nation.
With the help of our surviving leaders we ought to take all these matters up in parliament, in our churches and mosques devoid of partisan consideration.
We hold highly J J Rawlings and J A Kufuor. We require that they consider it ??a duty to team up with government, Council of State, Parliament and the civil society to find solution to the nation?s problems. We must stop the blame games over the issue of corruption for, that would be the right means of finding solutions for our problems of corruption and other issues in Ghana.
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