18 August 2017

Ghana: Corruption War Can't Be Won By Mere Words - Nana

Photo: Kwabena/Twitter
Ghanaians protest against corruption (file photo).

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has indicated that the canker of corruption in the country can no longer be defeated by mere words, but rather through concrete actions.

He noted that measures being taken by his government fall within his quest to sanitise the system, in order to get rid of nation looters and to prosecute defaulters.

Giving the keynote address at the Advocates Africa Convocation, held at the La Beach Hotel in Accra yesterday, the President said Ghanaians were tired of the direction of the previous government, and had no other option than to kick it out.

"I was elected into office because the Ghanaian people were dissatisfied with their living conditions and the direction in which the economy, and, indeed, the country was headed.

"My government has set about this task firstly by seeking to build a business-friendly economy that will enable the country get to the stage where opportunities that are available will help it build an optimistic, self-confident and prosperous nation.

"A Ghana beyond aid. Fundamental to this will be maintaining a stable macroeconomic environment in the context of a growing economy, thereby, attracting private sector investment.

"Secondly, we aim to enhance accountability in our public life; Corruption has become the bane of our nation's progress.

"The Office of Special Prosecutor, which will be enacted in the next Session of Parliament, will work independently of the Executive, and will have the responsibility to investigate and prosecute acts of corruption, free from predictable claims of witch-hunting.

"Words can no longer defeat the canker of corruption. Concrete actions must," the President remarked.

The NPP government, since assuming office, has announced that it had unearthed various degrees of corruption in the Mahama administration, whilst pledging its readiness to hold the bull by the horns in fighting the corruption menace.

The EOCO has since, upon petitions, summoned and interrogated some appointees of the previous government, whilst fingers remain crossed in anticipation of the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

The President was invited to interact with the Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Ghana and members of the fellowships from other parts of Africa and the world. The President was a guest of the Institution when he was the Attorney General some 15 years ago.

Under the auspices of Advocates Africa and Advocates International, the theme for the event: "Awake, Awake, O Zion, put on your strength and beautiful garments," was inspired by the words of the Prophet Isaiah.

Speaking on the topic, the President cited that he could not claim to be a biblical scholar, but on his own little understanding of the entirety of Isaiah Chapter 52, from whence the theme came, it borders on the subject of the deliverance of the Jews from captivity in Babylon.

He said Ghana had gone through various struggles before getting to where she is now, adding that there would be light at the end of the tunnel.

"We, in Ghana, have also had our 'captivity in Babylon' moments. We have had to overcome several trials and tribulations: slavery, imperialism, colonialism, tyranny and dictatorship.

"We have held elections that were questionable. We have had rule by law without rule of law. We have lived in a society which did not institutionalise a culture of aspirations and opportunities.

"This history led to an apparent weakening of the sense of self-confidence amongst our people.

Nonetheless, what our long, tortured history has taught us is that the spirit of the Ghanaian, in his or her quest for peace, progress and prosperity, cannot be quenched."

According to the President, his government was a determined lot which cannot be deterred.

The country, he continued, has had her failures as a nation, but failure was never fatal so long as our courage to persevere prevails.

"We have seen how important it is to have a society that respects human rights.

"In other words, not a society where freedom of religion is absent; freedom of speech is suppressed; the media is distorted with propaganda, and citizens go to jail for expressing honest opinions.

"Not a society where the safeguards of trial -- the rule of law -- are set aside. Not a society where individual property rights are disregarded by the state because the citizen has no guaranteed rights.

"Finally, my friends, colleagues and compatriots, "whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praise worthy, meditate on these things," he concluded.

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