Mrs Beauty Emefa Nartey, Executive Secretary, Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), says the Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu’s resignation has dealt a big blow to the anti-corruption fight in Ghana.
She said it was actually a sad day for stakeholders in the fight against corruption in Ghana.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra in reaction to the Special Prosecutor’s resignation, Mrs Nartey said Mr Amidu’s resignation per say did not come as a surprise, saying since he (Mr Amidu) took office, he kept lamenting and complaining about the difficulties and the internal interferences in the discharge of his mandate.
“It’s no news to any Ghanaian, which means that it is not enough to pass a law, it is not enough to appoint a person but for us to be truly committed to the fight against corruption, we must go above the rhetorics and take every important step to ensure that the person, the office is able to do the work that he has been committed to do.”
The GACC is a unique cross-sectoral grouping of public, private and civil society organizations (CSOs) with a focus on promoting good governance and fighting corruption in Ghana.
Mrs Nartey said it was important for the Presidency to take immediate and urgent steps to ensure that all the allegations Mr Amidu had put out in the public domain were addressed.
She said for instance, the investigations Mr Amidu talked about in his resignation letter – concerning the Agyapa Deal; the Deputy Special Prosecutor, who was supposed to be the Acting Special Prosecutor, should be given the opportunity to first of all address those issues, to clarify or to change the perception.
“Personally, I want to commend Mr Amidu in his work. I wish he had done more than what he has done, because we all know that fighting corruption takes a lot,” she said.
Mrs Nartey, quoting Mr Daniel Yao Domelevo, the Auditor-General, said: “If you want to fight corruption, corruption will fight you back”.
She said corruption fighting back anti-corruption crusaders was a common knowledge everywhere and that corruption finds its way of targeting the crusaders.
“We feel that Mr Amidu has the passion, he has the courage to have been able to walk that line, so that we would be able to celebrate him as a citizen vigilante truly. It is unfortunate that he couldn’t complete what he started but we wish him the best in whatever endeavours he will undertake.”
She said the Coalition feels that the fight against corruption should be demonstrated and fully committed to and that was the only way Ghana could regain its image.
“It is the only way we can be able to fill all the loopholes, otherwise all the resources that we have will have gone down the drain, if we don’t prove that we really want to fight corruption.”
The Executive Secretary said the development concerning the Special Prosecutor’s resignation was a call of action to Ghanaians to be concerned about the fight against corruption, adding that “we all have roles to play if we want to fight corruption”.
“It is in our power if we become active citizens to be able to demand accountability, to be able to demand transparency from our duty bearers,” she said.
“If we sit aloof, those who maybe benefiting from the corruption will not have the motivation to do what they have to do.
“So, as citizens we need to demonstrate our concern to let those that we have given our powers to manage our nation know that we are not only interested in queuing to vote in terms of election but our citizenship or activism should go beyond just voting.”
She said: “We should be interested in the mandate we have given to the political office holders, so that we should be actively involved in the governance process.
“We shouldn’t wait for four years to show our approval or disapproval, that is the only way our duty bearers can beheld accountable, otherwise we’ll give them the power and go to sleep and expect them to come back to us in the next four years and by then so many things would have gone under. So, we all need to be active citizens.”
Mrs Nartey said fortunately, the President in his inaugural speech on January 7, 2017, encouraged every Ghanaian to move from being a spectator to being a citizen.
She said the citizenry should see the fight against corruption as an opportunity to participate actively in the governance process, so that duty bearers were held to account.