…As Nana’s ‘Anas Principle’ Fails To Fly

In the buildup to the 2016 elections, one of many fanciful campaign promises that President Nana Akufo-Addo had made was the intent to institutionalize a so-called “Anas Principle” as part of the fight against corruption.

The promise, which had ridden on the cachet of supposed ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, who sets up people with bribes and sex, among others, in an idiosyncratic practice of journalism, stirred up expectation of intra-government spy culture under Akufo-Addo.

The “Anas Principle” would be in the form of establishing special squads, within already existing anti-corruption agencies, “made up of some of our best young talents, who will be well trained and well disciplined,” to fight corruption, Nana had claimed.

It has been 10 months into the government of Akufo-Addo and no such squad has been established nor are there plans to establish such squads of Anas clones.

Rather, the President has appointed a bloated government of an unprecedented 110 ministers with the whole of his government, especially Flagstaff House, the seat of government, crawling with corruption scandals.

In the absence of the promised Anas clones, the President has rubberstamped a whitewash of a corrupt sale of 5million litres of contaminated fuel by the BNI, overlooked the questionable sale of a $2.25billion bond by the Finance Minister to a crony company and allowed the Finance Minister free hands to order the ADB Bank to order a loan for another crony company.

Recently, President Akufo-Addo promoted ACP Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, a senior police officer, said to be related to him by marriage, after the woman had been caught on tape helping to cover up a corruption scandal involving two deputy Chiefs of Staff.

Other corruption scandals have included the alleged establishment of a bribe-taking scheme at the Flagstaff House by the President’s cousin, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, through which he exacts $20,000 from anybody who tries to meet with the President, and the award of a sweetheart deal to a campaign financier’s company to build a digital address system for $2.5million, even though the App already exists for free.

Just 10 months into office, five regime amigos – including former Rector of GIMPA, Prof. Stephen Adei, former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Prof. Emmanuel Martey, and the Founder of the Glorious Word Power Ministries International, Rev. Isaac Owusu Bempah, have all complained of corruption in the Akufo-Addo government.

Assin Central MP, Ken Agyapong and musician, Kwame A Plus, have also decried appointee corruption in the government.

As corruption runs amok in the Akufo-Addo government, the youth who he had promised to train and organize into anti- corruption squads in the various government agencies under the Anas principle have been busy causing mayhem in town, including overthrowing court proceedings and beating judges.

Just last week, 13 members of the ruling party’s goon squad, the Delta Force, who had overthrown a court proceeding in Kumasi to free colleagues on trial for attacking the Ashanti Regional director of National Security, were convicted to a fine of an insulting Ghc1, 800 each to the shock of Ghanaians.

There has not been a single mention of fighting corruption by the Anas Principle ever since Akufo-Addo became President, even though he had promised that style of anti-corruption action from as far back as 2012.

In the buildup to the 2012 elections, Nana Addo Akufo-Addo had promised that one of the measures his administration would use in the fight against corruption, if voted into office, would be the institutionalization of the so called “Anas Principle.”

In a lecture at the Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology entitled “Why Ghana cannot afford corruption,”   Nana had explained that the Anas Principle was “…to create a culture of positive fear to discourage corrupt practices.”

The Principle would run in the form of training youth and setting them up as squads within government agencies to secretly spy and snitch on corrupt appointees.

Nana Addo, who had first disclosed the Anas Principle at a meeting with the business community in Houston in 2012, had explained, at the time, that this principle, would afflict the disciples of corruption with fear and paranoia, “in that you may never know that the person you are giving the bribe to or receiving it from may be an undercover agent.”

According to him, the special anti-corruption squad would be given the license to root out corruption from every nook and cranny of the Ghanaian public life.

The then NPP flagbearer had also promised to introduce stiffer punishments for corruption “to make it a high-risk, low-gain activity and make the theft of state funds more expensive for the criminal.”

He had touted the “Anas principle” as being based on the mode of investigation used by “one of Africa’s ace investigative journalists, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, who through undercover investigations has unearthed acts of corruption in almost every Ghanaian state institution.”

Interestingly, an idiosyncratic practice of journalism by Anas, seen by many as a false hero, has seen him broken all the fundamental principles of journalism to get stories, including employing bribery, inducements, set-ups and secret recordings to get information.

Even so, Akufo-Addo’s promise to employ such questionable tactics in his fight against corruption has not happened, with his government generating a corruption scandal almost every month.





Source: Fiifi Samuels


The Republic News Online

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