In order to curb corruption in the country, the Africa Director of Shepherd to Shepherd Network of Clergy, Bishop Dr. Asare Dei Morris, had called on government to make sure that the Right To Information Bill (RTI) is passed by Parliament in order to become a law.
According to him, if the bill is passed, it will contribute to making sure that all members of Parliament, ministers, as well as public sector workers, become accountable in the discharge of their respective duties.
He further asserted that the RTI Bill will further provide journalists the opportunity to probe government appointees who they perceive engage in fraudulent deals, to the notice of the general public.
As to why the bill hasn’t been passed and enacted to become a law yet, Bishop Morris indicated that majority of politicians in this country feel that the passage of this bill will definitely “expose the anus of the fowl,” hence the delay in passing the bill.
“They are also afraid that the media will begin to” hunt” them in their shady deals,” he also added.
He was of the view that if the RTI Bill is passed under the regime of His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, he, together with his government, will go down in the history books of this country as the most transparent government who really wanted to fight corruption in this country.
He was speaking on Faith Today on the Faith TV channel on Thursday, 8th March, 2018.
According to Bishop Morris, corruption in this country was on the rise, therefore, the appointment of Mr. Martin A.B.K. Amidu by the President as the Special Prosecutor to deal with corruption related issues, was a very laudable initiative.
He added that looking at the quest and the enthusiasm displayed and exhibited by Mr. Amidu in fighting corruption in this country, he has absolute trust and confidence in him to execute the job perfectly.
“Mr. Amidu is widely known to spearhead the fight against corruption without fear and panic,” he further said.
He was however, of the view that for him to work very effectively in the office of the Special Prosecutor, government must fully resource his outfit in order for him to succeed in the mandate bestowed on him.
Bishop Morris further noted that being the Special Prosecutor to combat against all manner of corruption related cases, he (Mr. Amidu), will face several impediments which will be aimed in order for him not to achieve his goal, adding that he therefore, needs the special grace of God upon his life.
In his submission, he also advocated for certain government institutions to be decentralised in order to curb the rot and corruption, which was taking place.
One notable government institution he cited as a corrupt area and further called for its decentralisation as a matter of urgency was the Passport Office.
According to him, it baffles him why a country over 26 million people, gets access to only one Passport Office which is in the capital city, Accra.
He further added that the situation has created the avenue for some corrupt officials working there to fill their pockets.
“Looking at the devastating nature and the stress one needs to go through before eventually acquiring a passport has resulted in paying huge sums of money if one really wanted to acquire his or her passport within the shortest possible time,” he indicated.
According to him, it is for this reason why he is calling on the President to keep an “eagle eye” on that institution and subsequently deal vigorously with the rot, which has engulfed the passport office.
Sharing his thoughts as to how helpful the church has been in fighting corruption in this country, he indicated that very little has been done by the church to that effect due to the conducts of some so-called men of God in this country.
According to him, fingers re always pointed out to politicians on corruption related issues thereby tagging politicians as corrupt, but “belly pastors,” he asserted, were equally as corrupt as corrupt politicians.
Bishop Morris added that most of these so-called men of God were fully aware of the corrupt practices of some politicians who attend their churches as well as members of their congregation but due to the money and luxury of gifts they get in return, confine them in a position where they cannot chastise them in order to refrain from their corrupt ways.
According to him, God has placed men of God as watchdogs to speak against the ills of the society therefore, any man of God who cannot speak against corruption, is like “a dog who cannot bark against a burglar.”
It is in this view of this that he is calling on all true men of God in the country to have the quest in rallying together to help eradicate corruption within the system.
“We have a lot on our shoulders by supporting any government of the day who is ready to stand and fight against corruption,” he further asserted.
By Bernard ARYEE, Faith TV