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Public Calls For More Will Power In Fighting Corruption   
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A section of Ghanaians from various professional backgrounds have raised concerns regarding the manner in which the government is handling reported cases of corruption by public officials.

Whereas a number of them are casting doubt on the “will power” of the government in its quest to fight corruption, others have called for calm, saying that the issues of corruption are so delicate that it will be better if the state takes its time to properly investigate alleged corruption cases before any possible prosecution.

Asked what they thought was missing in the fight against corruption, a section of the public, who spoke to the Daily Graphic, in separate interviews, said they were not too sure whether any government would be bold enough to prosecute state officials found to have been involved in corrupt activities.

Admitting that some steps had been made so far by the government to deal with issues of corruption, those interviewed said more needed to be done to send a strong message to corrupt state officials.

Among those who spoke to the Daily Graphic included traders at the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, teachers in some senior high schools in Accra, people in the banking, teaching, IT professions and students from tertiary institutions.

No prosecution yet

“I personally think the government is doing something about corruption, but honestly I do not think it is enough. The reason why corruption seems to be on the rise is that no one has been made to face the penalty of rebellion,” asserted a 37-year old mobile phone operator, Ms Joana Awuku.

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In his view, suspending officials caught in alleged corruption practices was not strong enough to deter other people from committing the same crime.

“How do you suspend someone who has been caught in a video admitting to breaking procurement laws? I know that is the first step, but most of these cases end up nowhere,” Mr Eric Ntiamoah stated.

He was referring to the case of an alleged procurement breach that has led to the suspension of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Adjenim Boateng Adjei.

Political will

A junior high school headmaster, Mr Emmanuel Kofi Asare, said he did not think any government would be bold enough to prosecute any state official, particularly those in its administration.

“How can a government say he wants to fight corruption and yet few cases that came to its attention ended up nowhere? I am not convinced any government can exercise the will power to fight corruption.

“We need that tough leader who will damn the consequences and go against officials in his own government who break the law for their own personal interests and benefits,” Mr Francis Cobbinah said.

No hurry

An IT professional, Mr Richmond Kwaw Blay, said although he sided with people who doubted the government’s commitment to fight corruption, he believed that nothing must be done in a hurry.

“Imagine we push the government to prosecute people and eventually they find out later that the accused committed no crime, how do you justify or undo the harm caused to the person’s life?”, he asked.

Mr Blay said there were cases of people who had been wrongly jailed and that diligence must be employed by any leader who is determined to fight corruption the right way.

“I have seen signs in this government’s commitment to fight corruption. Let us give it the time and wait to see what it does before we judge its commitment,” she added.

OSP office

A tertiary student, Ms Florence Adjetey, said the government had come out to set up the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to handle corrupt activities and that she expected Ghanaians to wait and see what would come out of it.

“We have heard that Mr Martin Amidu, the Special Prosecutor, has started certain investigations, so let’s wait and see what he will bring out after which we can assess this government’s commitment to fight corruption,” she said.

Besides the OSP establishment, Ms Adjetey said, it would take the participation of the ordinary Ghanaians to fight corruption because only a section of it

“comes out in the public”

On state institutions, a 41-year-old banker, Mr Daniel Kwarteng, said the state institutions had failed the nation miserably because they must first show commitment to fight corruption.

“If you cannot prosecute a corrupt person, what will be your reason or justification for your establishment,” he queried.
Source: Daily Graphic

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