Fellow citizens of Ghana, it is always a great honor and privilege to share my views about our dear motherland with you. I am a member of the Diaspora (I have lived over half a Century away from motherland, Ghana), and my heritage remains my most precious treasure because it was won for us through the blood and toil of our fathers.
By virtue of this treasure, it is very significant for every Ghanaian to exhibit steadfastness towards the building of a great and strong nation worthy of emulation not only by our sister African nations but also the entire world. We should forge ahead as in unity we stand and divided we fall. It is imperative that we design and implement those attributive features that attract us to the whole world. This will make us live a fulfilling life in our motherland. We must be faithful and loyal to Ghana, and uphold and defend her good name.
With these characteristics in mind, it is important to remember our forefathers who have exhibited exemplary lives in the past for the Black Star of hope and honor. They were real leaders with great leadership qualities. These qualities include selflessness, honesty, vision, integrity, compassion, transformation, and incorruptibility.
We remember most of these great men and women like Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. James E. K. Aggrey, Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia, Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah, Mr. Simon Diedong Dombo, Tetteh Quarshie, Yaa Asantewaa (the Queenmother of Ejisu) and many others.
This article seeks to address the way and manner bribery and corruption raise serious moral and political concerns in our motherland. This is because they do not exhibit victimless crimes but rather involve very heavy economic, social and environmental costs.
Whereas bribery may involve money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgement of conduct of a person in a position of trust, the corruption of public or private officials and decision makers raise serious moral and political concerns because both of them create an unlevelled playing field for honest business, and cut deep into the social fabric of developed and developing countries alike. Corruption has a significant negative impact on the economy and society overall. It weakens the confidence of people in democratic institutions and processes in extreme circumstances.
Corruption affects good governance, competitive markets, and healthy public fiscal management. It weakens the confidence of people in democratic institutions and processes in extreme circumstances.
This article draws me to the report from the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) under the title “Airbus Agrees to Pay over $3.9 Billion in Global Penalties to Resolve Foreign Bribery and International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) Case” in which only one African country, Ghana, was cited (Reference: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/airbus-agrees-pay-over-39-billion-global-penalties-resolve-foreign-bribery-and-itar-case).
According to admissions and court documents, beginning in at least 2008 and continuing until at least 2015, Airbus engaged in and facilitated a scheme to offer and pay bribes to decision makers and other influencers, including to foreign officials, in order to obtain improper business advantages and to win business from both privately owned enterprises and entities that were state-owned and state-controlled.
In its attempt to resolve this evil behavior globally, the Airbus Company entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over bribes paid in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Indonesia and Ghana.
Ghana is underlined because that is our country, the only country in Africa to be cited in this scandal.
The Airbus Company has admitted hiring the brother of a top elected Ghanaian official as its consultant in the sale of the aircraft. The Company also confessed to paying the said consultant through a third party when its Compliance Unit raised red flags about the close relationship between the consultant and the top elected official who was a key decision-maker in the purchase of the military aircraft.
In fact, this Airbus corruption constitutes the biggest corruption case ever, and indeed, payment of bribes was made and received. The biggest beneficiary as alleged was codenamed GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL ONE in the US Court documents. Furthermore, documents were falsified in making the payments to disguise the payment of bribes to GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL ONE. GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL ONE is on the record of the Court as the recipient of the corrupt proceeds from this transaction. And the most disgraceful statement established in Paragraph 136 of the US Court document actually describes Government Official ONE as having a reputation for bribe-taking.
Dear citizens of Ghana, it is an extreme disgrace and contempt to our beloved motherland for a trusted official in our country to behave and be described this way. Besides, it exposes the weaknesses of our governance system which allows greedy government officials to behave in such manner.
Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. James E. K. Aggrey, Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia, Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah, Mr. Simon Diedong Dombo, Tetteh Quarshie, Yaa Asantewaa (the Queenmother of Ejisu) and others, did not sell their conscience to foreigners as we all remember from our history. They cherished fearless honesty, and resisted oppressors’ rule with all their will and might every time.
The pertinent question I wish to ask my fellow Ghanaians is simply this: are we proud to hire this Government Official ONE again into office to demonstrate to the entire world that we, as Ghanaians, always opt for corrupt people to lead us? Are we ready and desperate to inaugurate into office on 7th January 2025 an official described worldwide as having a reputation for bribe-taking?
I would opt for the leader who would serve the best interests of the people and who possesses goals greater than achieving his parochial interest. I would opt for the leader that is willing to accept responsibility and the ability to inspire our citizens. He must exhibit honesty, love for his heritage, vision, intellect, competence, incorruptibility, and above all, he should be transformational leader.
Our motherland needs a true leader who would establish flagship programs towards developments in the infrastructure, education, health, security, and the general economy of our great nation. Fellow citizens of Ghana, let us look closely at those candidates from the various political parties that are vying for the presidency of Ghana to determine which of them exhibits those enumerated qualities of a leader, and who the world would respect, cherish and hold in high esteem.
The True Leader in Ghana from January 7th ,2025, should be based on honesty, vision, incorruptibility, inspirational, and transformational.
I SHALL RETURN.
God bless our Homeland Ghana and make us great and strong!
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Eur Ing. Thompson Sarkodie-Gyan, D.Sc., VDI, FInstMC
Retired Tenured Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering
College of Engineering
University of Texas, USA
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