Private Legal Practitioner, Martin Kpebu, has called on Ghanaians to speak out boldly against corruption and hold the country’s leaders to account.
According to him, without the voice and support of the ordinary Ghanaian against political tyranny and corruption, the vicious cycle of corruption will continue to prevail at the expense of citizens’ wellbeing.
He noted that whereas speaking out may be a risky venture, as seen in a recent Afrobarometer survey where 67% of respondents say one has to be careful about what they say about politics, the “tree of democracy is watered with the blood of patriots and villains” thus it is only right to not remain silent.
Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile, on Saturday, he stated that should Ghanaians remain silent on corruption and corruption-related crimes, the country would not be able to reap the benefits of its democracy.
He said, “that also ties in with the fact that now that people are supporting media. It’s good because you see that apart from they saying that, 69% say now it’s risky to report. Even in common politics, they say people have to be careful about what they say about politics.”
“So it tells you that though we are saying we’re embracing democracy, one of the very fundamental tenets to democracy which we say in Twi, ‘Ka bi ma me nka bi’ we’re not realizing it. 67% say they have to be careful what they say about politics, that’s too huge.”
According to Martin Kpebu, citizens would have to be encouraged to speak the truth to power despite the consequences of such actions.
He explained that without the sacrifices of citizens in the fight against corruption, the phenomenon will continue with impunity.
“We’re not going to run. Listen, in every society, some people must talk and then the rest of the citizens must also back us. So those of our fellow citizens who are home and are scared, if you get scared it will get worse. That’s why they say evil thrives when citizens, good people do nothing about it,” he said.
His comments come on the back of the Afrobarometer and the Ghana Statistical Service’s corruption reports released during the week.
According to the latest Afrobarometer Report, the Presidency, judiciary and the legislature were thought of as very corrupt institutions after the Police which was number one.
The research found that the Police’s score of 65% placed it at the top of the chain while the Presidency followed in second position with 55%.
The project bordered on democratic governance, trust in institutions and corruption.
The private legal practitioner has suggested that programmes be rolled out to encourage more people to speak out on issues affecting the society, particularly corruption.
He noted that citizens must be made aware of the need for their contribution to the national discourse even at the risk of their own lives.
“I think we should roll out more programmes, encourage more people. Look, listen, citizens have to realize that a man has got to do what a man has got to do in every society. At every point in time tyranny will always exist and citizens must also step up.”
“The tree of democracy is watered with the blood of patriots and villains so some people will have to come up and fight and in the process, yes, there will be casualties but that is how it is. Some pay the price for others to enjoy,” he said.
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