Former Vice Chancellor of the University for Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Professor Joshua Alabi has chided the Ghanaian electorate for pushing public office holders to be corrupt with excessive demands.
According to Prof Alabi, Ghanaians rarely celebrate public office holders for maintaining their integrity but rather brand all public leaders as corrupt.
In an address at the maiden UPSA alumni lecture on the theme, Sustainable Leadership: The Panacea for Modern-Day Political Corruption in Africa, Prof Alabi recounted many such incidents that tested his integrity as a public officer as a Member of Parliament, Regional Minister and Vice Chancellor of the UPSA.
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Prof Alabi said: "Once you are appointed or elected to a political office, it means you have endless resources. Those who believe you have endless resources also know you are being paid a specific amount but they rush to you every day demanding A, B, C and if you are not able to give them then... they will say this man he doesn't give.
"But you cant give beyond what you receive, so what are we doing to them we are pushing them to find something beyond what they receive to satisfy us. So what have we done? We have pushed them into political corruption".
Prof Alabi said the situation also breeds a scramble for political appointments since elected Parliamentarians must now find extra resources to satisfy their constituents or risk being voted out of office.
Tackling corruption menace
Prof Alabi also commended the government for the establishment of the Office of Special Prosecutor (OSP), describing it as one of several strong systems that will keep public office holders on their toes.
The former minister said the OSP and the Auditor-General's (A-G) Department should be strengthened to make the fight against the corruption canker more effective.
Prof Alabi who reiterated his intention to contest the Presidential Primaries of the National Democratic Congress said when he is voted as President he would advocate the creation of Accountability Courts to assist the Auditor General's Department to prosecute cases of corruption in public office.
'Stay out of student politics'
He urged politicians to desist from interfering in student politics and allow young persons to make their mark, as their achievements will open opportunities for them when they branch into mainstream politics.
Prof Alabi lamented how powerless the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGs) has become, recounting that in the past political leaders were terrified of the union.
“My advice is that take the students movement as your political party, lead and make your mark and the mark you make will project you to whichever political party you go to.
“… Now it’s difficult to say NUGS has said this. Our time, when you hear of NUGS, governments shake but now when we hear of NUGS, we all go and sleep. I think let’s work on that, collectively as lecturers and parents we should work towards that and the political parties, leave the student movements alone and let them serve their constituency.”