Mr Daniel Batidam, Presidential Advisor on Corruption, Office of the President, has called for the criminalization of corruption in order to serve as a deterrent to people.
He also called for the depolitizisation of corrupt acts in an effort to effectively and duly punish such offenders as politicization of corruption makes it very difficult for state institutions to deal with it.
Mr Batidam said this during the celebration of the UN International Anti-Corruption Day Symposium on the theme “Break the Corruption Chain” by the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC).
He called for a concerted effort in the fight against corruption as its effects were broad and also affected everyone in the society.
Mr Batidam said he wondered why Ghanaians outside the country obeyed the rules of their host nations but found it difficult to do the same in the country.
“This is because over there, the institutions work and there is nothing anyone can do for you if you should flout the law – be it traffic offences or whatever”, he said.
Mr Batidam said these days people feared to take up positions in the public sector for the reason of being branded corrupt and appealed to people not to be afraid but to take up positions in the sector and make a different in their line of duties.
He called on Ghanaians to demand accountability and transparency from leaders by going through due process.
“We should also not only talk about or discuss corruption but we most importantly report people purported to be corrupt for the necessary action to be taken against them”, he said.
Mr Batidam said the celebration of the UN International Anti-Corruption Day celebration is a sign that the world is becoming conscious of the negative effects of corruption.
He expressed disappointment about the lack of laws to regulate the establishment of churches as some of the acts perpetuated in churches could also be classified under corruption.
Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, Executive Secretary, GACC, said although the world marked a lot of days set aside by the UN, the most important of them all was the UN Day of Anti-Corruption.
“Corruption has numerous negative impacts on our society and in some cases cost people their health, freedom, and in some cases their lives hence the need to pay particular attention to the celebration of this day”, she said.
She appealed to Government, donors and all stakeholders to invest their resources in anti-corruption programmes geared towards sensitization and also orienting the youth against the negative impacts of corruption.
Mr Foster Amponsah, the Vice President of Civic Club, University of Ghana, appealed to politicians and people in public offices to desist from using public funds to satisfy their own desires.
“It is pathetic nowadays to see our big people driving in V8 and other very expensive cars on deplorable roads”, he said and added “we should make very good use from the proceeds of our national resources, we would not have any reasons to go and borrow from outside.”
He appealed to the President to conduct prompt investigations into all corruption allegations which had been brought before the Chief Justice.
“I will also appeal that we give powers to prosecute to CHRAJ and EOCO so that they will be able to let those fund culpable face the full rigours of the law”, he said.