It Is Not Absolutely False, Mr. Mahama

New Yorkers are fond of saying that “Whatever goes around comes around.” This dictum is akin to the Akan maxim that “The very stick used in striking Takyi is also used in striking Baah.” In other words, our fates and destinies are inextricably intertwined. It is the moral and ideological equivalent of the Biblical Golden Rule whose authorship is widely attributed to the Lord Jesus.

I quite vividly remember that during the tenure of the Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party (NPP), when the then-Vice Presidential Candidate John Dramani Mahama and his soon-to-be-boss and three-time National Democratic Congress’ Presidential Candidate, Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills, late, went to town on President John Agyekum-Kufuor over the recent publication of a Corruption Perception Index (CPI) that claimed that the Kufuor administration was widely perceived to be more corrupt than the Rawlings-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which had been succeeded by the New Patriotic Party.

Back then, Messrs. Mills and Mahama had traipsed the length and breadth of the country self-righteously claiming that the Kufuor administration was the most venal of all postcolonial Ghanaian governments. Seven years later, Transparency International (TI), the global monitor of corruption perception, has conducted a survey in which more than 70-percent of the Ghanaian respondents claim that corruption in the country has significantly increased over the past 12 months. And, predictably, President Mahama is up in arms vehemently lambasting the nation’s media operatives, particularly newspaper and electronic-media reporters, for playing politics with the “dignity and international image” of the country.

Maybe the President ought to be told that in the sort of virtual one-room global village in which we live, the era when any particular country’s media operatives acted as the main conduit of information dissemination is well behind the times. After all, need we remind the President that it was a Norwegian newspaper, VG, that alerted Ghanaians and the global community to the epic scam that had just been deftly, if also shamefully, pulled over their heads in the form of the criminal contractual collusion struck between the Dubai-based AMERI Group and the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress involving the purchasing, assembling and operating of the 10 thermal power-generating turbines at more than twice their combined market price?

In other words, there is the sort of illusion or perception of corruption in the country, as academically and professionally documented by Transparency International, and then the grim reality. It is quite certain that the 71-percent of the Ghanaian respondents of the TI survey, the second highest of its kind on the African continent, who strongly believed that corruption in government was at an all-time high under President Mahama, knew precisely what they were talking about. Indeed, as of this writing, Mrs. Dzifa Akua Attivor, Ghana’s Minister of Transportation, was reported to have resigned her cabinet appointment over the exposure of a scandal involving the “rebranding” of some 116 intra-city buses at the cost of nearly GHC 4 million, for a contract estimated not to have been worth more than GHC 40,000.

Now, my high school-level math of some 40 years ago is rather too rusty to be reliably applied here; nevertheless, I am quite certain that I may not be wide off the mark to suggest that GHC 4 million is about a thousand times more than GHC 40,000. It is also quite certain that if the MMT-bus scandal only existed in the poetic – or flighty – imagination of the average Ghanaian citizen, Mrs. Attivor would not have tendered her resignation within 24 hours of the Attorney-General’s submission of her findings on the affair to Mr. Julius Debrah, the Presidential Chief-of-Staff.

Put more creatively, what I am clearly suggesting here is that rather than quixotically shadow box or tilt at windmills over the morally indefensible presence of widespread corruption both in government and the civil service at large, Mr. Mahama would do far better to roll up his sleeves, hunch down and go to work pronto.

Merely clasping his fingers over his pate and screaming like a disgruntled teenager who just had his girlfriend carried off by a much bigger and well-loaded man would not do the infamous architect of shit-bombing any good.

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

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