A democracy is only as strong as its checks and balances. Oversight and transparency into government matters is supposed to protect not only the citizenry from the canker of corruption but also politicians from themselves. The principles of probity and accountability are to ensure that public administration is conducted in the open, rather than in secret.
The resignation of Martin Amidu, the Special Prosecutor, is a clear and brave testimony of corruption, at the very heart of government where President Akufo-Addo, his immediate family and bosom friends have been skimming off the top on the Agyapa Royalties agreement.
Akufo-Addo is convinced that the machinery of government solely exists to serve his self-seeking interests rather than to uphold the constitution. He does not expect the Special Prosecutor to prosecute or the Auditor General to audit — but would rather these public servants fall in line and turn a blind eye to the mismanagement of our cherished Republic.
Anyone who is an ardent follower of Ghanaian politics knows very well that the Akufo-Addo government is a circus run by a small group of actors, cloaked in secrecy, with an unrestrained appetite for pilfering. The Agyapa Royalties agreement is far from the first example but it is a poignant one which exposes, beyond reasonable doubt, the avarice of this regime.
Never in the long turbulent history of Ghana has there been a more clandestine and dastardlier attempt by one family to capture and plunder the wealth of our nation. President Akufo-Addo and his two cousins — Gabby Otchere-Darko and Ken Ofori Atta — did their utmost best to push, very much against our common interest, this corrupt deal sophisticatedly crafted to loot billions of cedis.
It’s a simple but brilliant scheme: The President presents the deal as a way for Ghana to benefit from her considerable natural resources; Ken Ofori-Atta sells it in Parliament and Gabby Otchere-Darko (a man with no formal political appointment who is widely regarded as “The Prime Minister”) and his law firm, African Legal Associates, are awarded the bid to be the transaction advisor.
In plain English: The Akufo-Addo government’s idea of checks and balances is to have your immediate family and friends check and balance you.
The scheme would have worked were it not for the honesty of gallant citizens like Martin Amidu who sacrificed personal gain and political influence and spoke truth to power. This single act, on the part of Martin Amidu, is a glimmer of hope that, amidst all this rampant corruption, there are still men of honour in Ghana who refuse to watch our beloved fatherland sullied by wicked men. When these valiant citizens speak up, we owe it to them to not only listen, but to act.
For too long we have accepted corruption as the usual way of doing business here in Ghana. But this must end; those that are determined to hinder our social progress must be forced out of office by the collective will and action of the citizenry.
Developed democratic countries, with firm institutions, do not have shadow governments who run the show behind the scenes, so why do we accept this in Ghana? Why is it that when Ghanaians elect a President, they are given a Prime Minister who pulls strings and whispers in the President’s ear, scheming and puppeteering to enrich himself and his cronies under the guise of bettering Ghana?
This isn’t just illegal behavior, it is unworthy of a democratic country such as Ghana, and that is why we must take heed and not turn away from the uncomfortable truths revealed to us by Martin Amidu and Daniel Yaw Domolevo.
The Akufo-Addo government is not prepared to honour its social contract with the people. Rather, it is a get rich-scheme consisting of The President, the Minister of Finance and “The Prime Minister”, Gabby Otchere-Darko, who band together to steal, intimidate and cover up — acting more like the iron fist of a mafia than an arm of a democratic state.
Ghana deserves better than this. We owe it to the future of this great Republic, and to the bold whistle blowers and truth-tellers, to clean the house on December 7th 2020.