I am going to be brutally frank. I really don’t blame President Akufo-Addo that much for a lot of the wrongs today, although I hoped he had done better because of his many promises. I feel disappointed to a large extent especially when he led the bandwagon to demonize President Mahama for far less. But the truth is that Ghanaians love corruption. Yes, we do. Else we would stop complaining and start acting. We would stop feeling surprised about the actions of politicians and start to make them act right.

Only yesterday the nation woke up to the news of a purported will in circulation; said to be that of the late General Secretary of the NPP, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly called Sir John. In the said will, the former General Secretary of the NPP who until his death was Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission is reported to have amassed so much wealth including houses and lands in prime areas of the capital which were acquired during his time as Forestry Commission Boss. In particular focus is the portions of lands at the Achimota Forest and the Ramsar sites willed to his children and nephews, properties that are believed to be a forest reserve and waterlogged meant to ensure ecological diversity. The rest include a mining company he is reported to have acquired during his tenure as Forestry Commission Boss, a clear case of conflict of interest. This is just one man, but have you paused for a moment to wonder about the properties and wealth acquired by the many Ministers, CEOs of state enterprises, party functionaries, and close allies of politicians within the last five years?

Investigations by the Fourth Estate, an online news portal have also revealed that the former CEO of the Forestry Commission did not declare his assets, a minimum requirement for political officeholders. This makes the issue even murkier if proven true.

In a crisis such as this the least, I would expect of the President is to come out and express disgust and reassure Ghanaians about his commitment to fighting corruption. He must immediately release his own assets disclosure form and order the same to be done by his appointees through the auditor General. The President must also with immediate effect fire any of his appointees who failed to declare their assets while investigations are launched into the disclosures of public officers who are required to file their disclosures. This the President owes to himself, Ghanaians, and to his own memory.

The only reason we are seeing this level of corruption is that our elections are too expensive. Who is funding these campaigns and where are the monies coming from?

Because unless and until we address this question things will get even worse. In America, there is a law on political party financing. Campaign contributions are public because the law requires it. Every American who gives more than $200 to a candidate for president or Congress, or to a political party, has his name, address, and employer published in an online, searchable database. Every state has similar laws for reporting contributions to state candidates, many with substantially lower donation thresholds.

Where are our laws on political party financing? It has become a free for all concert that any Tom, Dick, and Harry can steal money and donate to a party. Why should a businessman or woman walk into President Mahama or Akufo- Addo’s bedroom and give him 5 million dollars at the blindside of Ghanaians? The danger here is that he will come back for his cash through fair or foul means and the President cannot say jack. President Akufo Addo contested four expensive elections before becoming President. Have any of you asked how he was funded? Did he himself think he was going to be a free man after becoming President?

We as Ghanaians must insist through the law that campaign donations are capped at a threshold and donors will have their names and addresses published. A poor country like Ghana cannot be spending over 20 million dollars on elections. Parties must conduct elections within budget. This will cut off any excesses. I tell you the people contributing millions of dollars to President Mahama’s campaign in secret are also doing him in. Let’s stop pretending and do the right things. My 1 cedi advice.