Akufo-Addo Tracker: Office of Special Prosecutor law needless without RTI

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has to be told that signing into law the Office of Special Prosecutor Bill is insufficient in itself to fight corruption.

Ghana will only be able to stamp out the canker and its many manifestations, if the 15-year-old Right to Information Bill is passed, unfailingly.

It’s a mockery of our country’s democracy that after so many years of verbal commitments, our governments have nothing to show in terms of actions.

The disappointing development is that both the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) have lost the bragging right on the Freedom of Information issue. They have been pathetic for the past years.

With his credentials as a respected human rights lawyer and activist in Africa, president Akufo-Addo doesn’t need to be schooled on the relevance of the RTI. In fact, he had promised in 2016 to ensure the passage of the Bill if he was given the mandate.

But exactly a year after he was sworn in as president, he has shown no commitment to the passage of the RTI, a very sad twist to the whole issue.

President Akufo-Addo’s inaction has reinforced the popular belief that the politician comes to the office to do what he wants and not what he had promised the electorate.

I am convinced the Members of Parliament (MPs) would have swiftly sealed a deal that promised them money like the emolument package (ex-gratia) approved with no opposition, but not the one that will empower the citizens.

But it should not be business as usual in this year (2018), and the president and the NPP controlled Parliament should be told to sit up. They both have to prioritise the RTI Bill and ensure its passage.

If the Special Prosecutor is to be successful, it will depend largely on how s/he is able to effectively collaborate with Ghanaians, and this will not be achieved if there is no access to information.

While we need to commend the president for signing the Office of Special Prosecutor Bill, there is no hiding from him that without the Freedom of Information law that effort will amount to a complete waste of time.

If president Akufo-Addo is desirous of dredging the country of corruption as his anti-corruption rhetoric will have us believe, he should insist on the passage of the RTI before the end of March, 2018.

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Akufo-Tracker is dedicated to neutrally reviewing the actions of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and comparing them to his promises made on the campaign trail. Follow Akufo-Addo Tracker on Instagram: @realbrakopowers. It is written by Austin Brakopowers a journalist with Joy99.7FM. Views expressed here are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of The Multimedia Group or Myjoyonline.com editorial policy.

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