Any Ghanaian who remembers seeing television news reports earlier this year, showing President Mills submitting himself to the security personnel at the Accra International Airport’s VIP lounge, to be searched by them, and telling them to search all the members of his regime who pass through the VIP lounge too, must be reeling from shock, after reading the latest WikiLeaks US diplomatic cables leak about Ghana: “ (Reuters) - Ghana's president was concerned about drug trafficking and corruption within his own government, the Britain's Guardian newspaper said on Wednesday, citing U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks.
President John Atta Mills was reported by the U.S. ambassador to Ghana as saying that anti-drug activities at Accra airport had also been sabotaged by narcotics control officers.
"The President told the Ambassador that he knows elements of his government are already compromised and that officials at the airport tipped off drug traffickers about operations there," Ambassador Donald Teitelbaum said in the June 2009 cable.
The head of a British anti-drug campaign in Ghana told the U.S ambassador that Mills was worried about drug problems within his own entourage, and wanted to avoid the embarrassment of seeing them caught by airport officers when heading out of the country.
"...Mills wants these officials to be checked in the privacy of his suite (at the airport) to avoid any surprises if they are caught carrying drugs," another cable to Washington from Teitelbaum said in November 2009.
Drug flights from South America to Europe through West African countries have became common in the last three years and officials have seized ton-sized quantities of cocaine.
(Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Matthew Jones)” End of quote.
How extraordinary. What is it about Ghanaian politicians, which makes them think that keeping the wrongdoing of members of their parties’ under wraps, when in power, somehow helps them avoid public opprobrium? President Kufuor apparently more or less said the same thing, when he intimated that exposure of wrongdoing by members of his regime, by him, would lead to its downfall. How daft can one get, I ask, dear reader? Is it not logical that moving quickly, to prosecute the crooks who lurk in their regimes, whenever such rogues are exposed, is what would rather engender public confidence, in leaders who run the enterprise Ghana, at any given point in time, in our history?
No wonder the crooks in the Mills regime whose wrongdoing has come to light, have all succeeded in holding on to their jobs, regardless, thus far. How very disappointing it all is for those who wish President Mills well. Makes one wonder, whether this regime is really serious about creating a better Ghana – or if it is just a hackneyed and platitudinous phrase, designed to lull Ghanaians into a false sense of security: that their nation is in the hands of a new crop of honest leaders? No wonder this regime has ignored pleas from many patriotic Ghanaians that they publicly publish their assets (as well as that of their spouses!) to enable them occupy the high moral ground in Ghanaian politics, and put clear blue water between themselves and their political opponents.
Perhaps President Rawlings does have a point after all, when he talks endlessly about the “greedy bastards” in President Mills’ regime. Well, if President Mills fails us, one hopes that the more radical of Nkrumah’s followers, such as Mr. Kwesi Pratt, will move from being social commentators, to become active seekers of power. If they were to have a platform, for example, which commits the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) to changing the constitution, to guarantee half of the seats in Parliament for women, as well as reserving half of the cabinet posts for women, and giving the right to all adult Ghanaians who need it, access to public housing provided by the Ghanaian nation-state, surely they would gain widespread following, amongst the younger generation of Ghanaians?
As is common knowledge, most of them are totally fed up with the two dominant parties, which now have such a stranglehold on power, in Ghana – to the detriment of our country. What patriotic Ghanaian does not worry about the zillions of "My-party-my-tribe-right-or-wrong" myrmidon–types, whose intolerance and blinkered support for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), is slowly destroying our democracy? That is why so many well-meaning Ghanaians want President Mills to sit up and crack the whip – if he wants to be returned to power again in the December 2012 election. He really must start dealing ruthlessly, with all those crooks that lurk in the shadows, in his regime, and are busy ripping Mother Ghana off by stealth, as we speak: just like those super-clever crooks of the Kufuor-era did. He must remember that time is not on his side – so there is no room for any more prevaricating. A word to the wise…
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