BY: CPP YOUTH LEAGUE (FIGHTERS)
Today marks the 107th anniversary of the birth of the great, charismatic and incorruptible first president of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. This anniversary is very significant, because it occurs just a few months before Ghanaians elect yet another man to occupy the office which Nkrumah once held with purpose driven urgency and an uncompromising sense of distinction and dignity. It is therefore crucial that while Ghanaians prepare to go to the polls in December, we endeavour to elect a Candidate who most embodies the positive attributes of our first president; particularly, the virtue of incorruptibility.
It is clear that almost Sixty (60) years after independence; corruption is a singular canker that has ravaged Ghana to the point of threatening our very survival as a nation state. According to the Auditor General’s Report, each year through corruption, Ghana loses over US$ 3billion of money taken from the already impoverished masses as tax. It therefore defies common sense when we see elected officers globe-trotting, cup-in-hand, begging for a few hundred millions; and in the process selling off our dignity and sense of independent decision making as a nation.
While on their cadging sprees, these leaders consciously fail to seal the gaping holes created in our public administration system, thus draining all the monies begged, back into their own pockets and that of their cronies. The masses who are then burdened to pay back these debts, suffer the double trauma of higher taxes in the wake of deplorable or no amenities. This wicked state of affairs is abnormal, and all voters must know that they have the power to change it with their thumbs.
Corruption has deprived Ghana to the extent that the insanitary and unsafe conditions of living are killing off Ghanaians in a most insidious manner, without many realizing it. Each year, over 2,000 Ghanaians are killed in road accidents, about 10,000 children under age five die from diarrheoa, while Malaria wipes off 3 Children every single day. These mass deaths of Ghanaians are comparable, if not worse than countries where terrorism is rife.
However, we are lulled into a false sense of peace and security, while our people continue to perish in their numbers. We must not be deceived into believing that peace only means the absence of war. Ghana cannot boldly claim that its citizens are at peace when they keep dying off at such alarming rates. The so called peace council must bury its head in shame or come again. Meanwhile, people continue to share drinking water with animals, our drainage and sanitary conditions remain deplorable and our transport system remains a death trap. Little can be of boast about our educational system and other sectors. As such, the vicious cycle of systematic decimation of the lives and hopes of Ghanaians continue unabated.
The voting population must connect the dots and realize that all the suffering can be traced down to the deranged levels of corruption that has gripped our country. Ghanaians must not cast a single vote for any candidate who entertains any doubts about tackling corruption head on. It is said that a fish rots from the head. As a result, many of the troubles we are faced with are due to corrupt leaders and their high levels of tolerance for corruption. Consequently, it is crucial for voters to check for the incorruptibility of candidates before giving them their mandate. Because, as shown above, voting for a corrupt candidate clearly means signing the death warrant of several thousands of Ghanaians and untold hardships for another Four (4) God forsaken years.
Sadly, many of the candidates offering themselves for election this year have had allegations of corruption pointed at them. Currently, the Presidential Candidate of the NDC, John Dramani Mahama, is being investigated by CHRAJ on a bribery scandal. Meanwhile, Ivor Greenstreet of the CPP doesn’t appear to see anything wrong with John Mahama taking the so called Ford gift. NPP’s Nana Akuffo Addo was fingered in the drill ship saga; and Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom of the PPP also has investigations into his dealings, by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), hanging over his head like the sword of Damocles. One can also recall the court appearances of Nana Konadu of the NDP, regarding her alleged objectionable appropriation of the Nsawam Food Canneries.
Clearly corruption is so pervasive in our society that those seeking to lead us out of it have in one way or the other been tainted by it. The Fighters therefore encourage each voter to seek the following commitments from the various Presidential and Parliamentary candidates before voting for them. It should be clear to every Ghanaian voter that, any leader who shies away from committing to any of the provisions below or similar others, is not ready to fight corruption and by inference, is not ready to lead Ghana out of poverty.
We propose that, for any candidate to earn our votes, we must demand that they:
- Go beyond the constitutional provisions, and immediately declare their assets publicly before the month of December, to show their true commitment to fighting corruption
- Must declare publicly their support and push for the asset declaration law to be amended to include public declaration of assets
- Must commit to sponsoring and or supporting to be passed a piece of legislation that excludes all Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) from bidding for public contracts. PEPs shall include the immediate associates and family members of politicians such as siblings, cousins, uncles, aunties, nephews and nieces as well as parents and close friends.
- Must commit to supporting the passing of a legislation which shall see to the establishment of a Contracts Court. This court shall serve, among other purposes, to receive complaints from contractors who are having their contract terms reneged on by public officers within two months. The purpose of this is to ensure that the public officers in charge are held responsible. This will also check collusion between public officials and contractors who milk the State through unreasonable judgment debts. Any contractor who fails to lodge such a complaint within the stipulated time shall be made to lose their entitlements by reason of contributory negligence.
- Ensure that public officers are criminally liable for all contracts and other documents they sign on behalf of the State.
- Must commit to supporting a radical reformation of our security forces and judiciary as a matter of national emergency.
While these demands are not exhaustive, The Fighters encourage all voters and the media to add to this list, and push them in order to free our country from the grips of rampant corruption. Even as we make these demands at the personal and community level, we encourage the media to also elicit these commitments from the various candidates when they appear on their platforms. A clear, direct and unambiguous demand for answers to these commitments we believe will help Ghanaians sift out those candidates who are only in to continue the rot from those who mean to save mother Ghana.
Finally, we appeal to the voting populace not to be influenced nor swayed by the tokens the candidates will come bearing in the name of gifts, in order to buy votes. They are not doing you any favours, because these items were bought with remnants of your tax monies which they have hoarded over the years. Rather pay close attention to their message and demeanor to make voting decisions.
As we take time off to rest and reflect on this significant holiday, let us not forget to strongly utilize our votes for the economic emancipation of our country. For that was the next phase of the struggle Osagyefo Dr. Kwmame Nkrumah left us.
God Bless you all, and God Bless Our Homeland Ghana.
CiC Ernesto Yeboah
National Youth Organizer, CPP Youth League (CiC – Fighters)
Commander Jason Tutu
Head, Communication and Student Command – Fighters
Commander Hardi Yakubu
General Secretary – Fighters