It is unacceptable that President Nana Akufo-Addo has consistently put pressure on state anti-corruption institutions by announcing clearance of appointees and companies that are under investigation for wrongdoing.
That penchant by the president to absolve his appointees and other close associates of any wrongdoing as he has done with the ongoing investigations into the operations of Akonta Mining Company is a serious dent on the already deteriorating image of the Office of the President.
As though proud of that dishonourable badge, ‘the clearing agent’, Nana Akufo-Addo has yet again justified the appropriateness of his nickname with the seeming presidential exoneration of Akonta Mining, a company owned by a member of his political party (NPP) and accused of illegal gold mining in the country’s forest reserves.
The shocking impudence is how and when he even did that at a public event called by the country’s catholic clergy.
Fortunately, and unfortunately, we are told by the owner of Akonta Mining that the Minister has explained to him they were forced to unwillingly act against his company because of public pressure from the National Democratic Congress (NDC), CSOs and NGOs. He also very alarmingly said the President called him ostensibly to appease him over Government’s action and that the Office of Special Prosecutor cannot touch him.
This is a sad commentary for a country that has in the past been held up in Africa as the poster boy for rule of law and democratic governance.
This sad development also erodes the years of hard work, which have earned Ghana international appeal in climate change and sustainable development discourse globally.
In addition, the President’s comment cannot be allowed to override or become a substitute for the statutory mandate granted the investigative bodies of Ghana by the Constitution.
Such acts fly in the face of justice and the fight against corruption, and of course erodes the faith of our citizens in our democracy.
As enjoined by our National Anthem to “cherish fearless honesty” and “resist oppressors’ rule,” we must all as citizens support the anti-corruption institutions to carry out their duties fairly and courageously without undue interference by any influences.
John Dramani Mahama
Tuesday January 10, 2023.