Samson Lardy Anyenini

It may be a difficult subject but it must be broached. A country seeking leadership of integrity, the surest way to a good society, cannot afford to do otherwise.

In the church, business, and every sphere, Ghanaians celebrate leaders with questionable character. We, in large numbers project and literally worship wealth regardless of the source.

One thousand and eighty-one (1,081) New Patriotic Party (NPP) delegates are this morning gathering to elect one of nine aspirants seeking to replace late Deputy Finance Minister Dr. John Kumah as MP for Ejisu.

Years ago, what would have won the vote, would have been demonstrable character of integrity. That certainly ought to be the expectation. Today, the delegates will elect the candidate who has the deepest pocket. The aspirants will compete in who will distribute the best television sets or some items of value. There will be one who will pay more money than his fellow contestants, and he or she, as has become the norm with only rare exceptions, will win the parliamentary primary.

The politicians will publicly justify the conduct so clearly prohibited by law. Some will show how clever they are by insisting such is only an offense in public elections and that party primaries are not so designated by law as public elections.

Read also: Kwabena Boateng wins Ejisu NPP primary

Yes, they will behave as though they are completely bereft of moral conscience. Of course, there is the army of those citizens these politicians without principles impoverish by their corrupt conduct who will, sadly, jump to their defence for what they will get or seek –often just enough to buy bread.

I deluded myself into thinking the National Democratic Congress (NDC) would discipline the woman who sprayed cash during their MP primaries, or that the NPP would do same to its MP who announced that he had saved dollars to buy his reelection. The man who lost his job to that big dirty oil scandal asked those seeking to contest the seat to abandon their plans because he was ready to pay each delegate more than 10,000 or even 20,000 cedis.

Well, both parties have had presidential primaries where money was handed out in the name of transport fares, even for people who had the voting centres by their doorstep. It was such an ugly situation during the NPP parliamentary and presidential primaries in particular. These same politicians are preaching to us and are supposed to be trusted to fight corruption?

An American university rejected an application by the Food and Drug Authority - FDA’s Head of Legal to pursue a master’s programme even before the organisation concluded its disciplinary process and dismissed her for misconduct in The Returned Bribe expose by Manasseh Azure Awuni.

The university said she was very qualified but rejected her on account of the investigatory documentary in which she was caught on tape negotiating a bribe. In Ghana, it does not matter that the Constitution bars people against whom a committee or commission of inquiry has made adverse findings from holding public office or becoming MPs.  

One of the aspirants in today’s primaries insists the ban handed him by FIFA on the back of the #12 documentary means nothing. The FIFA statutes apply globally. The FIFA body that looked into the Anas expose certainly did nothing close to what happens in a Kangaroo court. He appealed the lifetime ban, and as reported by the BBC, admitted guilt to get it reduced to 15 years. He insists that corruption under FIFA law is not the same as corruption under Ghana law to prohibit him from seeking public office.

Well, the governing party’s vetting committee passed him, with flying colours, I suppose. After all, they have passed others under criminal investigations and even those this country was nearly unanimous in condemning for beating war drums – stirring up ethnic tensions. The party even rewarded him with the headship of a sensitive parliamentary security committee. It does not matter that he publicly speaks about hiring thugs for elections. The NPP may have made him their presidential candidate for the upcoming elections to among others fight corruption despite his avowed belief that public funds are spoils of war for a victorious party.

The president appoints unrepentant loudmouth partisans (foot soldiers) to so taint and damage the reputation of an elections-management body that ought to be above suspicion in exercising constitutional independence, and that is suddenly fine? Fish rots from its head. We must decide what we want. You do not sow tares and expect to harvest wheat.  

The laws that punish vote-buying in public elections with jail terms and ban the affected from voting in public elections for a period may need a bit of tweaking, but we must also show we have some conscience, and morals and must be ethical if we must lead. Any amendment must also remove the joke of the caveat wherein the law requires the Attorney-General’s written consent to prosecute offenses in the Representation of the People Law.

In the meantime, let’s support the OSP as it investigates to prosecute some of those offenses under its corruption mandate. That is My Take.


APRIL 13, 2024

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.