A former Member of Parliament (MP) and Minister of State in the Kufuor Administration, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, has called on Ghanaians to refrain from politicising issues of corruption as the first step towards the fight against the canker.
He explained that immediately politicians were allowed to politicise corruption and play the blame game, the culprits were left off the hook, while the nation lost huge sums of money that could have been used for development.
Mr Kan-Dapaah, who is the current and the first Director of the Centre for Public Accountability of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), was addressing a large congregation of members of the Offinso-Afigya Ghana Baptist Convention at Boamang in the Ashanti Region to climax the church’s Easter convention.
He was speaking on the theme: “Fighting corruption — The role of the Church,” and said corruption in public institutions dated back to the pre-independence era and should not be apportioned as the preserve of one political party.
He said the crusade against the increasing phenomenon that was eating up huge national resources could only be won if people cited for engaging in corrupt deals were dealt with devoid of political affiliation.
Mr Kan-Dapaah said people who were alleged to have squandered state resources must be dealt with ruthlessly according to the laws and not be treated with kid gloves because they belonged to a certain political party.
He added that such nation wreckers who stole money during their tenure as ministers of state and government appointees did not steal for their presidents or political parties but for their personal pockets and should not be protected by the appointing authority or political party.
Mr Kan-Dapaah, who is a former Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, which scrutinises how ministries, departments and agencies spend public money, laid the blame of increasing case of corruption in public offices at the doorsteps of Parliament, the Judiciary and the Auditor-General.
He explained that because MPs, especially those in the majority, were trying to catch the eye of the President for ministerial appointments or waiting for a development project they would never exert their critical role of protecting the national purse.
Regarding the Auditor-General and the head of the Judiciary, he said they were both appointed by the President and although there were stringent measures for their removal, they did not want to offend the Executive to incur their displeasure.
Mr Kan-Dapaah urged individuals and members of the church to stand up to acts of corruption at both the local and national levels.
He said they should stop paying bribes at hospitals, police stations and other places just to facilitate the processes for services, adding: “If your ward does not pass examination, it is wrong to pay bribe to secure him or her admission.”
He said Christians must abhor acts of corruption at every level so that they would become the reference point when talking about the fight against corruption, which he described as a fight that required all hands on deck.
Mr Kan-Dapaah said Ghana was one of the richest countries in the world but was wallowing in poverty because of corruption, a situation which had culminated in the ordinary person paying bribe even when he was on the right path.
The Zonal Head of the Baptist Church, who also heads the Boamang Baptist Church which is the first Baptist Church in the country, Rev. Godfred Asakpam, asked Ghanaians to use the resurrection of Christ to renew themselves and refrain from acts that deprived the state of resources that could be used to take care of themselves and the less privileged.