The presidential advisor on corruption Daniel Bartidam has emphatically stated it will be irresponsible for any public official, much less a president to accept a gift worth more than a $100,000.
He says the president is the number one public officer and anything to do with the conduct of public officers begins and ends with him.
He was speaking to Joy FM’s investigative journalist Manasseh Azuri-Awuni, on a code of conduct for public officials released by the president in 2013 to regulate the conduct of his ministers.
He was asked a hypothetical question what his advice will be if the president sought his view on whether he (president) should take a gift worth a $100,000 from a person doing business with the government.
Bartidam stated that knowing who president John Mahama is, he would not accept a gift of that value, noting, that no responsible public official needs to be advised against taking such a gift.http://ghanapoliticsonline.com
“I am sure you know that these are not situations that would occur in reality in terms of the kind of president we have.. I think it is obvious that any leader, any president, not even a president, a minister, a responsible public servant will know that, that will put him or her in a situation of, not just a conflict of interest but potentially being corrupted.
“It goes without saying that you cannot take gifts from sources that have the potential of influencing your decision making. It is not acceptable and i think a responsible leader, Minister, senior public servant will not need to be advised on that,” Bartidam said with conviction.
“Gifts can and do qualify as bribes. They are a very high potential ground for corruption,” he stated.http://ghanapoliticsonline.com
However, it turns out that Manasseh’s question to Bartidam was not hypothetical after all. A Burkinabe contractor has confessed to giving a Ford Expedition gift worth a $100,000. Mr. Djibril Kanazoe’s construction company had been selected to build a $650,000 wall around Ghana Embassy in Burkina Faso.
He has since won and executed another contract worth 25 million Euros and is in the process being considered for a third contract.
Communications Minister, Dr Omane Boamah in a statement admitted the vehicle was received but said it was placed it in a pool of vehicles at the presidency.
With the details of the president’s conduct now public, it is not clear what his advisor thinks.
Attempts by the Myjoyonline.com to speak to Daniel Bartidam to find out whether he stands by his earlier views on the gift-giving to public officials and what his advice will be to president John Mahama on this scandal proved futile.