Mrs Beauty Emefa Nartey, Executive Secretary, Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), says the resignation of Mr Martin Amidu, the Special Prosecutor, has dealt a big blow to the anti-corruption fight.
“It is actually a sad day for the fight against corruption in Ghana and it is a big blow also in terms of the issues that have come up,” she said.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency, in Accra, Mrs Nartey said the development was not unexpected given the consistent complaints by Mr Amidu about difficulties and interferences in the discharge of his duties.
“It’s no news to any Ghanaian, which means that it is not enough to pass a law, it is not enough to appoint a person but for us to be truly committed to the fight against corruption, we must go above the rhetorics and take every important step to be able to ensure that the person in that office is able to do the work that he has been committed to do.”
The GACC is a unique cross-sectoral grouping of public, private and civil society organizations (CSOs) with a focus on promoting good governance and fighting corruption in Ghana.
Mrs Nartey said it was important for the Presidency to take immediate and urgent steps to ensure that all the allegations Mr Amidu had put out in the public domain were addressed.
She said, for instance, the investigations Mr Amidu talked about in his resignation letter – concerning the Agyapa Deal; the Deputy Special Prosecutor, who was supposed to be the Acting Special Prosecutor, should be given the opportunity to first of all address those issues, to clarify or to change the perception.
“Personally, I want to commend Mr Amidu in his work. However, I wish he had done more than what he has done because we all know that fighting corruption takes a lot,” she said.
Mrs Nartey, quoting Mr Daniel Yao Domelevo, the Auditor-General, said: “If you want to fight corruption, corruption will fight you back.”
She said the practice of corruption fighting back anti-corruption crusaders was a common knowledge everywhere and that corruption found its way of targeting the crusaders.
“We feel that Mr Amidu has the passion, he has the courage to have been able to walk that line so that we would be able to celebrate him as a citizen vigilante truly,” she said.
“It is unfortunate that he couldn’t complete what he started but we wish him the best in whatever endeavours he will undertake.”
She said the Coalition felt that the fight against corruption should be demonstrated and fully committed to because that was the only way Ghana could sustain its anti corruption image.
“It is the only way we can be able to fill all the loopholes, otherwise all the resources that we have will go down the drain.”
The Executive Secretary said the development concerning the Special Prosecutor’s resignation was a call to action by Ghanaian citizens to be concerned about the fight against corruption, adding that, “We all have roles to play if we want to fight corruption”.
“It is in our power if we become active citizens to be able to demand accountability, to be able to demand transparency from our duty bearers,” she said.
“If we sit aloof, those who may be benefiting from the corruption will not have the motivation to do what they have to do.
“So, as citizens we need to demonstrate our concern to let those that we have given our powers to steer our affairs know that we are not only interested in queuing to vote in terms of elections. Our citizen or activism should go beyond just voting.”
She said: “We should be interested in the mandate we have given to the political office holders so that we should be actively involved in the governance process.
“We shouldn’t wait for four years to show our approval or disapproval, that is the only way our duty bearers can be held accountable, otherwise we’ll give them the power and go to sleep and expect them to come back to us in the next four years and by then so many things would have gone under. So, we all need to be active citizens.”
Mrs Nartey said fortunately President Akufo-Addo, in his inaugural speech on January 7, 2017, encouraged every Ghanaian to move from being a spectator to being a citizen.
She said the citizenry should see the fight against corruption as an opportunity to participate actively in the governance process so that they could hold duty bearers to account.