Mrs Augustina Akosua Akumanyi, Deputy Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), on Wednesday urged the media to endeavour to expose all forms of corruption and ills in governance.
She noted with concern that the mass media was shirking their responsibility of being the guardians of freedom and the watch-dog for anti-corruption and good governance.
Mrs Akumanyi was speaking during a round table discussion organised by the Commission to mark the 11th Annual National Constitution Week celebration in Sunyani.
It was on the theme; “The State of Ghana’s Democracy – Corruption”.
Mrs Akumanyi explained that the mass media played a very critical role in ensuring good governance noting that in Ghana’s political arena the electoral processes continued to earn praise by all observers but was also fraught with all forms of electoral malpractices.
She expressed grave concern that the District Assembly elections, which were supposed to be non-partisan, had taken a political twist and hindered good governance at the grass roots.
Mrs Akumanyi said if political corruption in Ghana continued unchecked, it would speedily erode the country’s democratic gains and appealed to the media to lend support.
Alhaji Muhammed Abdullah, a legal practitioner, noted that 12 years after the publication of the Business Africa Report, Ghana appeared to have gone from bad to worse and continued to slip particularly in the area of political corruption.
He said the vicious cycle of poverty, illiteracy and corruption was seen clearly where parents had to bribe “underpaid” teachers to secure education for their children.
Alhaji Abdullah said Ghana could reduce all forms of corruption if the state organisations set up to fight the menace were well funded.
He observed that lack of political will and bickering as well as the negative role the media sometimes played made the drive towards good governance and deepening of democracy a daunting task.
Alhaji Abdullah observed that poor political leadership, indiscipline in government, weak rule of law and the rise of nepotism were some of the challenges that confronted good governance.
He stated that under-funding and the late funding of the NCCE and the Electoral Commission made it extremely difficult for the two agencies to carry out effective corruption reduction activities.
Alhaji Abdullah stated that care had to be taken by those in political power not to abuse the rights of the people especially in the area of justice and the provision of basic necessities such as education, food, work, shelter and above all the right to choose their leaders.
He stressed that programmes designed to alleviate poverty and promote employment of the youth must be taken seriously.
“The peace and security of the country is endangered in many ways by political party “foot soldiers,” “serial callers” and “journalist commentators,” Alhaji Abdullah added.
He emphasized the importance to check the tendency for ministers of state, district chief executives and other government appointed managing directors, who within the shortest possible time, owned mansions and properties they could not legally acquire in such short periods.
This, Alhaji Abdullah noted, would go a long way to control the incidence of corruption.