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“My Appointees Are Clean,” President Claims. But Really?

While on an official visit to South Africa last week, President Nana Akuffo Ado made an egregious remark that startled hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians back home.

This was what our president said and I am paraphrasing him here: “My appointees are clean; investigations have not yielded any evidence of wrong doing.”

Mr. Addo’s claim is absurd weak and preposterous and would dissolve under close scrutiny.  The President’s assertion is nothing more than zealotry and flies in the face of stark reality. It is also patently false, especially coming as it is, on the heels of revelations that some of his appointees have engaged in financial misappropriation.

One glaring example of a Presidential appointee misusing public funds is the controversy surrounding the director of the Ghana Maritime Authority, who reports indicate had spent boatloads of cash renovating his government assigned house and purchasing thirteen air conditioners. Yet despite this irrefutable body of evidence our president continues to staunchly defend this behavior.

There are numerous other examples of Mr. Nana’s appointees dipping their hands into the national coffers with impunity.

I am still scratching my head to comprehend the President’s hesitancy in admitting the obvious, which is that some of his appointees have betrayed the public trust and ought to be put out to pasture, sent packing, and dismissed altogether.

Deep down his gut, in the inner recesses of his mind, the President knows all too well that some of his underlings are unfailingly corrupt, nonetheless, he feels it is his duty to shield these lawbreakers from charges of ineptitude, financial misappropriation and the inevitable public humiliation.

Mr. Addo’s consistent failure to chasten officials in his administration who bend the rules follows a familiar pattern we see around the world; political leaders passionately shielding their officials against charges of graft and corruption only to do an about turn in the face of overwhelming evidence and intense public pressure.

It is hard to come to terms with the behavior of these political leaders. But one simple explanation that immediately comes to mind is party loyalty and the political leaders’ fear of being tainted, or found guilty by association or described as weak, feckless and indecisive.

But party loyalty should not trump patriotism. Politicians who put their party’s interests above those of the country are doing a great disservice to their citizens. And from all indications, Nana is doing just that by stubbornly refusing to accept the fact that some of his officials are incorrigibly corrupt.

If you juxtapose Mr. Addo’s promise several months ago to the country that he will prosecute government officials found to have engaged in corruption with what he said last week in South Africa, he comes across as a politician who talks from both sides of his mouth.

But crucially, it once again portrays the President as insensitive and tone deaf to mounting charges of corruption swirling around his administration.





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