Johnson Asiedu Nketia
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has expectedly responded abrasively to President Akufo-Addo’s anti-corruption speech during the Ghana Bar Association’s (GBA) annual conference on Monday in Takoradi.
The opposition party flatly denied the President credit for his achievements so far regarding the reported instances of corruption against some appointees his swift responses in referring the issues to the appropriate agencies and even relieving the suspects of their appointments notwithstanding.
The party’s General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia, while delivering his party’s response, claimed that the President has lowered the standards of the fight against corruption by the speech he delivered.
It was a response which failed to tackle directly some of the issues raised by the President regarding how issues of reported instances of corruption are handled by specialised agencies of state.
For Asiedu-Nketia speaking for the NDC, the President has “lowered the bar for the fight against corruption at the Bar conference.”
The President’s stance that the corruption scandals ascribed to the ruling party are attributable to the opposition appeared to have hit the NDC hard as contained in his response.
The recent actions taken against persons who were reported to have engaged in corruption by the President did not find space in the NDC’s response the way it should.
The NDC position that the President is refusing to admit the existence of corruption in his government appears to have ignored entirely the recent action taken against some top appointees.
“His (President Akufo-Addo’s) failure to admit the existence of corruption in his government is a very clear indication that he does not even recognize the problem and cannot be counted upon to address it. Because if you don’t know the problem, how can you solve it?”Asiedu-Nketia quizzed.
Describing President Akufo-Addo as the most corrupt head of state when empirical evidence rather point to a former President from their own camp reduced the NDC’s scribe to the usual campaign trail ranting, full of words short in substance.
Contrary to criticisms that the President has become a “clearing agent” exonerating his appointees accused of corruption, Nana Akufo-Addo argued otherwise.
President Akufo-Addo’s belief in the rule of law is evident in the manner he handles issues of corruption and governance in general. Such developments are quickly referred to the appropriate agencies to deal as the suspects at the centre of the storms are suspended without delay.
Such officials are deemed exonerated only when the appropriate agencies clear the suspects evidence have showed so far. President Akufo-Addo’s appointment of Martin Amidu as the Special Prosecutor, a man associated rather with the opposition NDC, earned him accolades and presented him as a President intent on fighting corruption.
According to the NDC, President Akufo-Addo used only “flowery speeches and empty rhetoric, delivered in an acquired accent.”
That the President’s diction or even accent is the subject of Asiedu Nketia’s delivery has robbed his reaction of the seriousness it deserves.
It is the President’s manner of speaking which Asiedu Nketia said, “Convinces people that corruption is being fought.”
Turning to the government claims of saving some GH¢2.75 billion through the review of sole-sources procurement contracts, the NDC scribe challenged the President“to publish the full list of such projects.”
He taunted the President with the former PPA CEO about whose corruption allegation the President has acted already and earning accolades when he said, “didn’t he know that the PPA boss was actually the source of the sole-sourced contracts? We wish to submit this that this claim is false and challenge the president to publish the full list of all the specific cases of saving.”