Mr Vitus A. Azeem, Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, the local chapter of Transparency International has urged President John Dramani Mahama to appoint persons of high integrity to serve in his administration.
He advised the President not to appoint persons whose names had been mentioned in any scandal, unless he or she has been cleared by the court or a committee of inquiry.
He said for someone’s name to pop up in a scandal was a warning signal to the President; which called for critical investigations into his or her conduct.
Mr Azeem made these remarks in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Thursday.
He noted that it was important for the President to look out for men and women who had the requisite knowledge, experience and an excellent record of accomplishment in the area he wanted them to serve.
He said for those who had been in public service, their track records and dedication to duty was very vital for them to be considered for any appointments.
Mr Azeem admonished President Mahama to take the fight against corruption very seriously, saying: “No matter how beautiful a person’s policies may be, if he is not able to handle the issue of corruption very well, he will not succeed”.
He said in line with the constitution, the President must ensure regional and gender balance in making his appointments but this should be done based on merit.
“I know there are the general issues of party loyalists, regional and gender balance, but he should be able to get men and women of integrity across the ten regions of the country to appoint,” he said.
“Gender is important but the fact is that the requisite experience, knowledge and track record should be taken into consideration,” he added.
Mr Azeem said people who were too old should give way to the younger generation to serve, because according to him, some old people may accept the appointments but would not be able to live up to the task required of them.
He said for the younger persons to qualify, they should also have the relevant knowledge and experience.
The Executive Director urged President Mahama to keep the promises he made in September 2012, when he assumed the Presidency initially and to fulfill his campaign promises to the letter, as well.
He advised President Mahama to be very transparent in his dealings, saying: “The President should be able to tell the people why certain promises or policies could not be met, so that the people are not left in the dark”.
Mr Azeem said the President should also take up the issue of human rights very seriously; “because human rights go with corruption.”
He reminded the President to keep his word of reconciling and unifying the nation, and forming an all inclusive government.
He said Transparency International was considering making corruption to be regarded as a crime against humanity.
According to him, one single act of corruption can lead to needless deaths in society.
Mr Azeem urged Ghanaians to cooperate with the new administration for national development, pending the determination of the case at the Supreme Court.