President Nana Akufo-Addo’s remark on the battle against corruption has drawn criticism from Vitus Azeem, a former director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII).
Since Ghana gained independence, President Akufo-Addo said that his administration has taken the most audacious steps against the threat.
However, Mr. Azeem asserted that the President must perform more than merely enact laws and establish organizations.
He cited the Office of the Special Prosecutor, which has been operating since 2018 but has had difficulties due to a staffing and resource shortage.
“There’s no cause for us to be celebrating, the Office of the Special Prosecutor has been set up since 2018, how many staff does it have? Passing laws without giving them the necessary resources to perform, giving them the necessary independence to perform. He shouldn’t be boasting about that.
“It’s not just passing laws, but the teeth to bite. The president should back his words with action, how many of his ministers seriously accused of corruption has he sacked? Or brought them for prosecution? There are teething problems that you have not overcome. It’s an old story the president keeps talking about. We are tired of his sayings without action on the ground”.
Azeem also criticized the President for interfering with the inquiry against Cecilia Dapaah, a former minister of sanitation who resigned over corruption charges.
“When the minister resigned, what did the President say? That he’s sure she will be exonerated,” Azeem said. “Was he not pre-empting the outcome of the investigations? If tomorrow the investigation comes, and he has not been found guilty, will Ghanaians believe that investigation?”
President Akufo-Addo was urged by Azeem to take decisive action to combat corruption and guarantee that anti-corruption agencies have the needed resources to do their job.