With all the controversy and anguish surrounding the Menzgold financial scandal, it is preposterous to suggest, as some have done, that President Nana Akuffo Addo is responsible for the misfortune that has befallen a million plus of our fellow citizens both at home and abroad.
Granted Mr. Addo has appeared in photos with the mastermind behind the elaborate financial scheme, Nana Appiah Mensah, and the president’s party, the NPP, according to reports, received a large campaign donation from the now fugitive Menzgold leader, all the same, it is patently absurd to link the two men in the scandal.
Let’s be cleared-eyed here: one is a political leader presiding over a struggling and feeble national economy, and the other is a young man who took undue advantage of innocent Ghanaians and has now fled the country to avoid the closing arms of the law.
I have been very critical of the President for his poor stewardship of the economy. His policies, honestly speaking, have driven millions of Ghanaians into poverty.
By coming to his defense, however, I am not implying that the President should be completely absolved, free from blame; he obviously bears a portion of it.
At the very least, as chief executive of Ghana, he ought to have quickly enacted measures that could have put a screeching halt to the nefarious and clandestine activities of Menzgold before things got really ugly.
Yes, indeed Nana failed woefully to push his financial officials to take swift action against NAM1’s Ponzi scheme, but it should be emphasized that he has no hand in the scam.
It may be recalled that the NPP was relentless in blaming the NDC for the DKM debacle just a couple of years ago, so naturally, the Menzgold scandal provides the president’s political opponents the opportunity to pile on, to continuously criticize him in a bid to score political points.
That is understandable. But the criticisms are grossly misplaced. The president should be hit where he is most vulnerable ---- the sorry state of the economy.
Ghana is sitting on a ticking time bomb and from all indications, government officials are nonchalant ------ they could care less about what could potentially be an explosive situation.
The Menzgold scandal has all the elements of a social revolt; a section of the population is aggrieved, and no one is paying attention to them. Instead, they are being called all kinds of names; gullible, stupid and greedy.
Government officials are especially guilty of blaming the Menzgold customers for investing their fortunes with a smooth talking swindler.
You should have heard the despicable stuff, coming as it were, from the information minister, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah. This shameful act of indifference ought to stop.
Instead of raining insults on a group of citizens who committed a fundamental error in judgment, Mr. Nkrumah should be advising the president to come out with mechanisms that would set in motion efforts to retrieve some of the huge amounts of money lost to Menzgold.
The tragic saga of Menzgold should be kept alive and talked about before authorities go to sleep and forget about it completely.