Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako wants President John Dramani Mahama to “provide further and better particulars” over his claim that over 300 persons are being prosecuted for various acts of corruption in the country.
To him, assuming the president’s claim is true, “the number will not be up to 300“.
He thus strongly believes it was a “slip of tongue” on the part of the First Gentleman and wants him to back his claim with the needed proof.
President John Mahama on Monday revealed that over 300 individuals are being prosecuted for their involvement in various acts of corruption as of 2013.
“As of July 2013, over 300 individuals were on remand for corruption and related offences,” Mr Mahama said at a high-level conference organised by the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) in Accra.
According to the President, the over 300 persons facing prosecution is an indication of government’s determination to win the battle against corruption.
“In respect to allegations of corruption at GYEEDA, there are ongoing prosecutions of public officials involved, including former high-ranking officials. Service providers who breached the terms of their contracts are being held to refund the monies to Government.”
“But does this mean that GYEEDA, and all the positive work that it was intended to do in our communities must now be abandoned?” he questioned, adding that “in a democracy, the wheels of justice turn rather slowly.”
His remarks comes on the heels of increasing calls on his administration to effectively tackle corruption which has become a bane to the nation’s development.
But his comment has generated controversy with many civil society groups including the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII’s) Vitus Azeem, challenging President Mahama to publish the names of the corrupt individuals- a challenge government has dismissed.
Speaking on Peace FM’s morning show, “Kokrokoo” Wednesday, the seasoned journalist said “assuming without admitting that the claim is true, the number will not be up to 300. I’m sure the President wanted to say 3, 13, 30 or 33 but certainly not 300,” he scoffed.
The New Crusading Guide Editor dismissed suggestions he was being mischievous and wondered the “loud silence” of government communicators after the disclosure “considering the noise they make when it comes to government’s commitment to fighting corruption”.
“…government must quickly retract the ‘misinformation’ and announce the right figure to end this debate…They [government] should have predicted people will ask for more details after the President’s claim. Sometimes we bring unnecessary distraction to ourselves,” he added.