President John Dramani Mahama on Monday called on Ghanaians to be major stakeholders in the fight against corruption rather than politicise it.
He said people engaged in corruption of all forms did not belong to a particular political party and, therefore, politicising it would be tantamount to trivialising and shifting blames on innocent individuals.
President Mahama made this call when he opened a high level conference on the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) under the auspices of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
The conference would, among other issues, deliberate on topics such as; The National Anti-Corruption Action Plan, and Building Consensus on the Implementation of NACAP – Role of Stakeholders.
President Mahama said corruption was prominent in every facet of life and, therefore, needed concerted efforts “in which everybody must play his or her role responsibly in the fight.”
He said he had written letters to various ministers and chief executives to implement the Auditor-General’s Report and failure to meet their deadlines would incur his wrath in the fight against corruption.
President Mahama said although government was taking a number of measures to sanction people perceived to be engaged in corrupt practices, opponents of government were chastising it for “doing nothing.”
He mentioned the Ghana Youth Entrepreneurial and Employment Development Agency (GYEEDA ), Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) and the National Service Scheme, where the axe of government had fallen on chief executives and other members of staff as some of the steps government had taken on perceived corruption.
The President said on the National Service Scheme, government had now agreed to pay personnel electronically, a step away from the former practice, while investigations were continuing on chief executives of SADA and GYEEDA.
“In democracy, the wheel of justice grinds rather slowly, but we are determined to investigate all issues that arise pertaining to corrupt practices in the country,” he said.
President Mahama said government had also inaugurated a Public Sector Payroll Taskforce to ensure that all malpractices in the payroll were cleaned.
On the CHRAJ boss’ accommodation saga, President Mahama said he had received three petitions and had, accordingly, directed them to the Chief Justice and had the conviction that appropriate measures would be taken for appropriate answers.
He blamed the public for deliberately pushing public servants for “unacceptable favours” which, he said, subsequently compelled some of them to cross the boundary of reality to engage in corrupt practices.
Mr Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ, said although the Commission, in collaboration with NACAP, was doing a lot to address corruption issues, perceptions about it was rather gaining grounds throughout the country.
He said corruption was a complex issue that needed collective efforts and resources from all sectors of development.