The National House of Chiefs (NHC) has called on Ghanaians to rise up and fight against corruption in the Ghanaian society and thereby impeding its socio-economic development and progress.
According to the House, a “corruption-infested country cannot prosper” and it was important for Ghanaians to change their attitudes and get involved in a sustained campaign against this “evil cancer”.
“Corruption has left in its wake several uncompleted development projects, shattered dreams, joblessness, broken homes, abject poverty and suffering among many Ghanaians”.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by Togbe Afede XIV, President and Daasebre Nana Kwebu Ewusi VII, Vice President, issued in Kumasi and copied to the Ghana News Agency, to honour and commemorate the founders of the country.
The statement called for a “sober reflection, honest evaluation of our progress over the past 62 years, and a recommitment by all Ghanaians to the ideals that inspired our founding fathers.
“The Ghana we have today is not what our founding fathers, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Dr J.B Danquah and their colleagues, toiled for. The truth must be told—relative to the rest of the world, at least outside of sub-Saharan Africa, our country has retrogressed over the years since independence.
We have yet to prove that the black man is capable of managing his own affairs”, the statement pointed out.
It said the constitutional requirement that chiefs should not engage in partisan politics conferred on chiefs the responsibility and the duty to speak objectively on national issues, and in defence of national interest.
Accordingly, as custodians of the land and traditions of the country, the House owed it as a sacred duty at this crucial time, to remind all Ghanaians of our “pledge to be faithful and loyal to Ghana our motherland”.
The statement quoted the constitutional provision below to buttress this;
“The State shall take all necessary action to ensure that the national economy is managed in such a manner as to maximise the rate of economic development and to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every person in Ghana and to provide adequate means of livelihood and suitable employment and public assistance to the needy”.
Sadly, after 62 years of nationhood, and in the midst of all the natural resources, the Lord Almighty had given the country, coupled with the peace, tolerance, patriotism and hard work of the people, poverty was still the lot of the average Ghanaian, the statement said.
The statement attributed this to leadership and said leadership, be it traditional or political, could not be an end to itself.
“It is the duty of leaders to bring development to their people, development that provided them with the basic necessities of shelter, food, water, health, education, electricity, roads and good drainage systems, jobs and incomes, enhanced living standards and ultimately, happiness”, it added.
The statement stressed the need for the executive backed by parliament and the judiciary, to commit to strengthening institutions of rule of law, and the enforcement of accountability at all levels.
“There is also the need to impose limits on individual donations to political parties as part of the fight against corruption and recognise influence peddling as a harmful crime, treating conflict of interest the way it is treated in modern democracies,” the statement said.
The statement pointed out that corrupt officials were enemies of progress and development and urged traditional rulers, civil servants, Ghanaians in the diaspora, the youth students and all, to join the crusade to rid Ghana of corruption in order to propel the needed development, which the founders of the nation envisaged during the struggle.