Stop depending on Presidency to fight corruption -Batidam

The President’s Anti-corruption advisor Daniel Batidam says the public must do more to put pressure on public institutions and not depend on the President to fight corruption.

“We have been depending too much on politicians and political leadership whereas in fact this is a demand and supply thing… if there is no demand for accountability…if demand is low we will continue to have corruption….you can put anybody at the presidency if there is no pressure on us, we will not be seen to fight corruption.”

The anti-corruption advisor was part of a discussion on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show to throw more light on the president’s statement on corruption during last week’s State of the Nation Address in Parliament.

He said some anti-graft officials use the excuse of political pressure to shirk their responsibility of fighting the menace defined by the President as mass murder.

Going at length to distance the President from accusations that his fight against corruption is failing, Batidam asked that Ghanaians refrain from personalising the canker and focus on the systems and institutions formed to do this work.

One of those systems is the National Anti-corruption Action Plan, he held out saying “you cannot fight corruption without a plan, without a strategy”

He wants to see some “automaticity” of state institutions in fighting corruption without the president breathing down on people’s neck.

“What most of us think when we are discussing these things, it is about the person not the office because the presidency is an institution”

Batidam also defended the president who despite his directive for some illegal monies to be refunded, AGAMS, ZEERA group and JOSPONG group have failed to repay the money.

“There is a limit to which executive directives can go….there is only that much that the executive can do”, he said pointing out that prosecutions of Abuga Pele is a testament to the president’s commitment.

“Ongoing persecutions themselves serve as a deterrent to persons holding similar positions because the signal is clear that ….if you are doing anything that cannot be seen you should know that there will be a day of reckoning.”

He argued that since the president has shown commitment, it is left to other organs to complement his fight.

He recommended that legal action should be taken to compel Alfred Woyome who is yet to obey a court ruling to cough up GHȻ51 million of illegally paid monies.

The Supreme Court last July, ordered business man Alfred Woyome to refund a total of Ȼ51.2 million judgment debt payment he received between 2009 and 2010.

Anybody or institution could take up this action without depending on the President, Batidam suggested.

He said the judiciary, parliament and the media must play their roles to help governments fight corruption because “governments in Africa are too slow to respond to the changing nature of corruption”

He said Ghanaians are traditionally moral and upright people who only go bad working in poor systems

“When you are a good person and you are operating in a bad system, you can be corrupted by that system”

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Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline|Edwin Appiah|

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