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Tue, Aug

Fight against corruption must go beyond rhetoric

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Over the years, the fight against corruption, real or perceived, has been a long-standing battle that seems to have no end in sight.

No day passes without reports of corruption or corrupt practices within the public sphere coming up.

Indeed, former President J.A. Kufuor once described corruption as a canker with its genesis from Adam, while former President J.D. Mahama likened it to mass murder.

These views from our former leaders have come about primarily as a result of the difficulty the country faces in trying to combat the menace once and for all.

No wonder President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, since he assumed the reins of government in January this year, has not shied away from underscoring the urgent need for Ghana to win the fight against corruption at all cost.

This has become imperative, in view of the fact that persistent engagement of some state officials and private individuals in acts of corruption is greatly undermining the capacity of the country to control its own development.

Addressing a section of the Ghanaian community in the United Kingdom (UK) at a public forum in London last Friday, the President expressed worry that donor support to the budgets of the ministries of Education, Health and Gender, Children and Social Protection in 2016 was equal to the revenue allegedly diverted by some 19 customs officials who were arrested recently.

Late May this year, the country’s law enforcement agencies reportedly cracked a syndicate of 19 people at the Tema Harbour, comprising customs officials and representatives of three clearing and freight forwarding agencies, who were allegedly responsible for the loss of some GH¢1.2 billion in revenue to the state.

There are also reports of ‘ghost names’ on public payroll at the Ghana Education Service, the Youth Employment Agency, the National Service Scheme, among many other institutions.

All these do not augur well for good governance in the country.

For good governance to prevail, there is the need for all stakeholders to help build a country that is free from corruption, either real or perceived.

This will require a Ghanaian society that is accountable, transparent, sincere, honest and inclusive.

It is in line with this that the Daily Graphic supports the President’s call on all Ghanaians to make sure that the fight against corruption is won.

It is, however, the contention of the Daily Graphic that the fight against corruption must not be based on lip service but be backed by action and deeds.

The political leadership and the law enforcement agencies must be seen to be not only frowning on acts or perceived acts of corruption but also demonstrate their abhorrence through prosecution and appropriate sanctions.

It is stressful to note that during electioneering, political parties seeking the mandate of the electorate make corruption allegations against their opponents to win political power but woefully fail to take any action when they come to power.

This does no good to the fight against corruption and it is time for political actors to walk their talk if we are to win the fight against corruption.

Clearly, the fight against corruption will not be easy, but any politician who musters the courage and commitment to nip it in the bud will automatically win the confidence of the people.

After all, this is a national crusade from which the nation cannot fail to emerge victorious.