Defence Network for Democracy (DEFNED) is strongly calling on the new Government of the Republic of Ghana under the leadership of H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo –Addo to as a matter of urgency pursue total integrity and relentlessly wage war on corruption in government without any delay or face the wrath of the Ghanaian people if it fails to crack down on former and present corrupt public officials.
DEFNED wish to critically state that, if the culture of impunity of corruption by public officials and other civil servants coupled with the systemic corruption in public institutions in the Country are not tackled head-on to restore full confidence and credibility in the democratic governance architecture of this country , which has the tendency to cripple Ghana’s maturing democracy by destabilizing the peaceful democratic consolidation drive of the Country. Indeed, corruption remains the root cause of Ghana’s underdevelopment and poverty in the Country, hence ,the urgency to crack down on corrupt public officials and corrupt civil servants in the Country by applying tougher sanctions thereof to serve as a deterrence to potential corrupt officials.
DEFNED wish to seriously remind the new government that, it has no any excuse whatsoever to renege on its ambitious promise to fight the endemic canker of corruption in the Country beginning from top political leadership to the lowest public office in Ghana. This is because ,the Ghanaian people on December 7th ,2016 massively voted for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) led government to pursue zero tolerance of corruption by clearing the mess under the previous government thereby restoring total hope to the Ghanaian people for a better future.
It is also imperative that, government walk the talk of truly protecting the public purse towards the development drive of mother-Ghana. Meanwhile, it is inevitable that, some instances of acts of corruption may occur in a political governance process ,however, it is imperative that, the government of the day has the ultimate responsibility to take decisive steps by putting in place more stringent measures to crack down on corrupt officials who indulge in acts of corruption, so as to gain full public confidence and credibility in the entire Ghanaian society.
DEFNED is further reminding the current government of its constitutional obligation under Article 35 (8) 0f the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana , coupled with its manifesto promises to fight corruption by setting up the Office of the Independent Public Prosecutor in the Country. In fact , the fight against corruption in a democratic dispensation is not a political talk but a political will to pursue all forms of corruption in society thereby protecting the public purse by purging the systems in place and ceiling all the loopholes in public administration.
At the moment , Ghana needs a leader who has the political will and courage to crack down on corrupt public officials and civil servants in order to restore integrity and credibility in Ghana’s democratic governance architecture once and for all.
In the light of the above , DEFNED is calling on the government to as a matter of immediacy facilitate the passing of the Freedom of Information Bill, Amendment of the Corruption Offences as a misdemeanor offence to a felonious serious offence under Ghana’s Criminal Offences Act 29/60. The government must also undertake more institutional and administrative reforms in all sphere of public service delivery across the country by injecting a high sense of accountability ,competence and efficiency in public service.
DEFNED deeply reaffirms its total commitment and unflinching support to the new government in its quest to fight corruption in the Ghanaian society , by ensuring that, accountability and transparency takes precedence in all sphere of the political governance process in the Country.
Therefore, the new government can greatly succeed in its good governance drive if it pursues an open-door administration underpinned by transparency, probity and accountability in providing good political leadership to the Ghanaian people by seeking to secure their wellbeing first before any other consideration , which will enormously propel the government to fully entrench itself in power for a long period of political tenure in office.