Speaking to the BBC on the side-lines of the Anti-corruption summit in London, President Mahama said dealing corruption in Ghana which has a high perception of the canker, is an uphill task. He said, fighting corruption is an uphill battle but his administration needed partnership of the willing to be able to fight it.
This bold statement generated a lot of attacks from some of his adversaries. Some members of the Occupyghana group condemned the statement.
Others including a respected pastor said it showed unwillingness on the part of the President to fight the canker. But speaking on Joy FM’s Newsfile programme, lawyer Ace Ankomah a renowned lawyer and one of the leaders of Occupyghana, supported the former President’s position on corruption fight. Lawyer Ankomah appealed to the minority to collaborate with his group [Occupyghana] and other groups to pressurize the Akufo-Addo government in the fight against corruption. Mr Ankomah said, he holds that view because a lot of time his group and the minority may be saying the same thing. To give substance to Article 21(1) (f) of the constitution which states :
“All persons shall have the right to information subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary in a democratic society”, President Mahama pushed for the passing of the Right to information bill. The move was vehemently opposed by the minority (Npp) MPs who boycotted proceedings. Supporters of the Npp and some civil society organisations including occupyghana condemned that bold step by the former President. On Newsfile, Lawyer Ankomah challenged the Akufo-Addo government to immediately pass the Right to Information bill if the administration genuinely want to weed out corruption.
Policies the former President introduced to curb the canker and his actions showed genuine political will to tackle the canker. He made sure all corruption cases brought to his attention were investigated thoroughly. He also allowed Ghanaians to discuss it more freely. The free space he created for corruption discussions heightened perception of corruption. He sacked Victoria Hammah, some of his appointees who were accused of corruption were made to face prosecution, others were thoroughly investigation by the BNI, EOCO etc. He didn’t adopt the posture of some former leaders who said that they will not investigate corruption and bring down their government. Transparency International the premier global agency universally recognized to gauge corruption, in 2016 marked Ghana high and the best in many decades in terms of rating improvement. Transparency international took note of the Mahama administration’s anti- corruption policies that cleared those 165 people who lost their job at the National Service, the 35 people who were dragged before the court for putting ghost names in the national service pay roll, that pursued people to take back money they took illegally. He also gave a directive that every contract that is sole-sourced must be subjected to value for money so that the people of Ghana do not lose out.