We need integrity to fight corruption – Manasseh Azure Awuni

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Manasseh Azure Awuni
Manasseh Azure Awuni

Mr Manasseh Azure Awuni, Editor-in-Chief, the Fourth Estate, says it will be difficult for the country to address corruption without integrity.

“We cannot fight illegal mining when those leading the fight are stealing and selling seized excavators.
“We cannot achieve ‘Ghana beyond aid’ without integrity in our body politic,” he said.

Mr Awuni said this in Accra at a lecture to mark this year’s 66th anniversary on the topic ” Our Ghana: Reflections on Integrity and Resilience”.

The lecture was organised by the University of Ghana to mark its 75th anniversary.
“Ghana’s problem is integrity, a problem with our character.

“The country has competent people to manage the economy, but no amount of brilliance will affect the economy positively if those taking the decisions first think about their interests rather than the nation,” he said.
He stated that after 66 years of independence, the country was faced with one of the toughest economic challenges of its existence and that it only survived because of its resilience.

Mr Awuni, a Ghanaian Investigative Journalist, said it was important to reflect on the critical core values of integrity to overcome the country’s present predicament.

That, he stressed, was necessary because many believed it to be the reason why a nation that was endowed with human and natural resources was struggling to survive instead of flourishing.

He said the government must play a role in enhancing the integrity of the country, adding, ” Our Constitution makes the Executive very powerful, and the President has the power to do anything without recourse to the nation’s interest,” stressing the need to think about the good of the people first in everything.

He asked the Legislature to represent the people and not the interest of the Executive.
Mr Awuni also urged the Judiciary to exercise its powers with integrity, without fear or favour, because it was the only arm of government that could hold the Executive and the Legislature in check.

“The Judiciary is the only body that can hold the rich and the poor, young and old, mighty and powerless, to account, but unfortunately the Judiciary does not appear to have a mind of its own when it comes to dealing with the Executive.”

Mr Awuni urged the academic community to take a stand against dishonesty and challenge authorities with the power of their knowledge to ensure that the right things were done in an efficient manner.

He advised the youth, especially students, to channel their efforts and strength to studies and avoid violent tendencies that could derail their career progressions.

Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana, said the lecture was to engage State agencies on issues of national interest.

She said the University was committed to imparting knowledge to students and creating platforms to promote national discourse to address societal problems.

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