Presidential Aspirants Are Also Citizens; Not Spectators
Former President John Dramani Mahama, has taken a jab at his successor President Akufo-Addo, for saying he will not respond to criticisms of flagbearer aspirants about his government, saying aspirants are also citizens of the country who can criticize the government, and they expect a response from him.
President Mahama, who was addressing delegates at the opposition National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) 9th delegates’ conference on Saturday at the Trade Fair Center in Accra, said if Akufo-Addo, persists with his posture of not responding to aspirants, Ghanaians would eventually demand accountability from his New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
“What I wish to remind Mr. President is that, as presidential aspirants, we are also citizens and not spectators, and we are only amplifying the voice of our fellow citizens. Mr. President can choose not to respond to us, but eventually, citizens will demand that response and exact a verdict [on the government],” Mahama said.
Nana Akufo-Addo earlier in November, said he does not find it needful to respond to criticisms of presidential aspirants from about his government.
Akufo-Addo, has said he would only respond to criticisms from a presidential candidate and not an aspirant.
“I am sure you have seen and heard some of the presidential aspirants of the leading opposition party taking jabs at my government in order, ostensibly, to prop up their campaigns. And, whilst at it, they are desperately trying to get me to respond to them,” Akufo-Addo said.
“Let me state here and now, for the record, that President Akufo-Addo will not respond to presidential aspirants. He will respond to presidential candidates that have been duly elected by their parties. Then, he will engage those who still think Ghanaians have short memories,” he added.
But John Mahama, suggested that it will be much better for Akufo-Addo to respond to the criticisms by the aspirants since they are only amplifying the sentiments of most Ghanaians.
Meanwhile, John Mahama has criticized the Akufo-Addo government for making the country worse off than it inherited in January 2017.
He, therefore, charged members of the party to unite and work hard to ensure that the NDC returns to power in 2020.
He also pledged to “continue to provide the needed support and encouragement for the NDC’s journey to the Flagstaff House irrespective of who is the party’s flagbearer is.”
“We must put our best foot forward to rescue Ghana from the abysmal Akufo-Addo government,” he added.
On corruption, Former President Mahama, also has described President Akufo-Addo as turning his office into aa clearinghouse for corruption and has therefore failed to objectively investigate and punish his appointees accused of being corrupt.
According to him, President Akufo-Addo and his government have failed the test of true commitment to fighting corruption in the public sector, as he is unable to prosecute his appointees who are caught in corruption scandals, adding the NDC had a better record in terms of accountability in governance than the NPP.
“In the fight against corruption, the NDC has a better record in terms of regime accountability. The NPP has proven in government that it is always reluctant to pursue their own, despite the swirling stench of corruption around their administration. All Ghanaians have received so far, is lip service in the fight against corruption,” Mahama indicated.
“Most appallingly, the president has become a clearing house for clearing his appointees accused of corruption. He has on several occasions cleared his ministers and appointees when allegations of corruption have been made against them,” Mahama added.
John Mahama also accused President Akufo-Addo of peddling falsehood at a global event by claiming that all his appointees who were accused of various corruption scandals had been independently investigated and cleared of any wrongdoing.
“It was a very low day for Ghana when the president peddled a falsehood on a panel at the recent Africa investment forum that all allegations of corruption made against people in his administration have been investigated and cleared by independent investigative bodies,” John Mahama said.
President Akufo-Addo, while speaking at the Africa Investment Forum organized by the African Development Bank, in Johannesburg, South Africa, said there had been no strong evidence so far against his appointees accused of corruption.
“…If members of my administration are indulging in corrupt acts, any time an allegation is made, I have seen to it that it is investigated…so far, investigations have not yielded any evidence (of appointees indulging in corruption), but it is important that it is known that people of my administration will be subject to scrutiny if they go off schedule,” Akufo-Addo said.
His comment was criticized by Ghanaians including the opposition NDC, who insist that the government has failed to make reports of the supposed investigative bodies public, confirming speculations that the government did not seriously investigate allegations of corruption against government appointees.
Although the NPP government has been in power for barely 24 months, the government has not been spared from accusations of corruption among its top officials.
Recent scandals include the use of about $1 million by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Maritime Authority to renovate a two bed-room house.
Other allegations that were experienced at the early stage of the NPP government was the diversion of premix fuel, the sale of contaminated fuel by the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport (BOST) Company, and the accusation of corruption leveled against two deputy chiefs of staff by a sympathizer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwame A-Plus, appear to have smeared the government’s image already.
Despite these developments, President Akufo-Addo, says none of them have proven his appointees guilty.