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End Corruption with the ‘Right to Information’ Bill

Time and again, the President of the Republic of Ghana, HE Nana Akufo Addo has  emphasised his desire to end corruption and restore morality to public life. Did I hear former President Mahama make a similar promise? In his case, the Woyome saga followed him all his life in office. He was unable to act decisively against someone often described as “financier of the ruling party”. The current President has not faced this sort of conundrum yet. His clear promise not to “shield” wrong doers rings differently from that of the immediate last president.

We also heard the same message from Ft. Lt. Rawlings, who promised a clean sweep, and went on the rampage against corruption. Yet we hear that he himself succumbed in the long run. His gift from Nigeria’s General Sana Abacha and a host of other minor ones shattered the myth of an incorruptible Rawlings.

There is no doubt most Ghanaians abhor corruption. They hate it and will fight it to death. So the President, if he is sincere in this anti-corruption fight, can count on the goodwill of most honest Ghanaians, be they soldiers, market women, Journalists, Policemen and women; custom officials and so on. There are serious organisations like the Economic and organised Crime Office (EOCO), the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), among several others. We are sure that the President can count on these as well.

However, the fight against corruption is being hampered by one thing. Parliament’s inability to pass the Right to Information Bill. This bill will help immeasurably in the fight against corruption. That is why it is so essential. It will give lawyers, journalists and indeed the pubic the right to ask for and receive the information required if some wrong doing is suspected.

Public Agenda appeals to the President, Speaker of Parliament and MPs on both sides to give this bill the attention it deserves. This will not only show tier commitment to fighting corruption, but will help in getting rid of the corruption cancer which is eating the fabric of this society to the bone. We must fight it together.

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