Accra, Aug. 3, GNA – Professor Atsu Ayee, Senior Adjunct Fellow at Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), has ascribed the growing canker of corruption in national economic and social lives to leadership flop and failure of democratic structures to work effectively.
“The presence of corruption is a failure of leadership and democracy,” he said, and questioned why Ghana has passed so many anti-graft laws and put in place several agencies to fight the graft yet the situation remains unchanged.
“The failure of dealing or combating corruption means that we have misunderstood corruption, in fact, we have not applied the rules of eradicating corruption,” Professor Ayee said at the discussion on the root causes of corruption on Tuesday.
The forum was organised by IEA on the topic: “The roots of corruption: the Ghanaian enquiry revisited.”
“The get-rich-quick syndrome, greed, avarice, selfishness and weak anti-corruption bodies, he said, has led to the high perception of corruption,” Professor Ayee said.
“Ghanaians do not want to follow rules and regulations, we always want to cut corners, we [are] always fond of cutting corners because we are sometimes frustrated, because things do not work appropriately,” he said.
He said the fight against the canker required bipartisanship and a strong or transformational leadership approaches buttressed by an aggressive moral education campaign.
“The battle against corruption takes time, it takes courage and determination, we need a moral revolution in this country, people say it won’t work but that is the only way we have to reconstruct our society,” Professor Ayee said.
Mr Emile Short, former head of Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, expressed worry that corruption remains a moral and development issue that has undermined institutional integrity and legitimacy.
It has gained many names and variously described as ‘chop chop’, ‘scratch my back I scratch your back,’ ‘add weight’, he said, which has deepen poverty and lowered respect for state agencies.
The ‘big men’ in society are often involved in fraudulent acts in grand styles, he said, and urged robust steps to be taken to nib the menace in the bud.
He said political corruption is often induced by need for parties to repay loans, sheer greed, jobs for the boys and girls and survival of political parties.
“We should not limit the fight against corruption to bribery under Ghana criminal code but look at the United Nations convention and the African Union conventions on corruption.”