The welter of revelations of corruption scandals in Ghana these days is more than simply overwhelming. I have been trying to catch my breath while sifting through them like the mountainous filth that is swamping the land and soon may well swallow everybody up, if creative and effective measures are not put in place to arrest this already dire situation which is threatening to become an epidemic. Already, cholera has become a common occurrence which has been indiscriminately felling both university graduates and the totally unschooled left and right. Last year, for example, several cases of cholera, if I remember accurately, were reported on the campus of the country’s pedagogical flagship, the University of Cape Coast, in the Central Region’s capital. One or two teacher-training colleges around the country also reported about several incidents of cholera.
One begins to wonder what breed of leadership currently rules the land. And whether such leadership has any remarkable sense of hygiene and responsibility at all. Yesterday, my wife showed me a Youtube media coverage of the indescribable filth that has literally engulfed the Ashaiman township, not far from the country’s industrial hub of Tema. On the video, a woman trader was bitterly complaining about the fact that the local authorities were lightening quick to collect taxes but did not seem to give a hoot about sanitation. That is just one level of the scandalous extent of official corruption in the country, of course. The other has to do with the veritable curse that appears to have afflicted the country with the striking of crude oil in commercial quantities offshore of the country’s Western Region exactly a decade ago.
In a bid to unconscionably scamming the ordinary Ghanaian citizen of the country’s considerable oil wealth, a bureaucratic system has been erected which has ensured that much of the royalties accruing from the exploitation of oil and natural gas resources by foreign companies end up in the pockets of politicians, rather than being wisely and profitably invested in the general quality-of-life uplift of the ordinary people. There has been created, for example, an entity called the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST), a state-owned and operated enterprise. And then, we have the National Petroleum Corporation (NPC), and I believe another entity called the National Petroleum Authority (NPA). There are quite a legion number of them that I have yet to fully appreciate, much less be able to differentiate one state-owned petroleum-related company from another.
But BOST is currently on the excoriation chopping board of the musical chairs that has become the slugfest of incrimination and recrimination between the key players of the two major political parties that have been taking turns, through the ballot box, to manage the country’s affairs, namely, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). The Rawlings-founded National Democratic Congress has held the reins of governance longer and, according to its founding-patriarch, Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, it is also the most corrupt of all Ghanaian political parties and governments since the Nkrumah-led Convention People’s Party (CPP) regime of the late 1950s and early 1960s.
I am slowly trying to feel my way up the latest BOST Scandal, in which some 5 million liters of contaminated fuel taken receipt of by a Mahama-appointed Managing-Director, Mr. Kwame Awuah Darko, was allegedly sold in giveaway deals by an Akufo-Addo-appointed Managing-Director, Mr. Oteng-Boateng, to some two allegedly unlicensed petroleum dealers. The figures of the buyers widely differ from one media account to another (some have 29 retailers buying the contaminated oil). But whatever the real details of the latter scandal may be, Ghanaians clearly want to know, and deserve to know, precisely how it came about that the former CEO of BOST, under the tenure of former President Mahama, Mr. Kwame Awuah Darko, regularly transferred a monthly amount of GH₵ 5-7 million from the BOST’s coffers to the Flagstaff House. I know the Mahama Gang were unconscionable public-money guzzlers, but we need some real forensically sustainable evidence here. There must be a paper trail somewhere. And this also where the proposed Office of the Special Prosecutor comes in handy.
Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.