Keeping the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in office beyond 2024 means allowing them to keep all the booty they have looted from the national coffers, former President John Dramani Mahama has told Ghanaians.
“The NPP have no intention of fighting corruption and, so, the only way they can be made to account to the people of Ghana is for them to leave office so that the new government will come and audit them and show where they have gone wrong”, Mr Mahama said during his Thank You tour of the Upper West Region, warning: “Otherwise, all the money they have stolen, they will just walk away with it”.
“If you participate in politics or are a participant in public service, one of the first things you must be willing to do is to be accountable to the people”, he said.
“The only way they could be accountable is for them to leave office so that the people of Ghana can ask them questions and audit them to make sure they account for the period they were in office”, Mr Mahama said.
A few days ago, Mr Mahama said the Akufo-Addo-led administration has refused to account for how some GHS19 billion of the COVID-19 relief fund was spent despite several calls on the government to do so.
According to Mr Mahama, the money the government said it spent to ease the suffering of Ghanaians due to the pandemic is “laughable.”
He said since the government has refused to audit the account, it will take another government to do so and make them account to the people of Ghana.
Speaking to the media in Tamale, as part of his ‘Thank You’ tour of the Northern Region, Mr Mahama said: “We suggested that the auditor-general should audit how COVID-19 funds were used because remember they took $200 million out of the stabilisation fund, then they got $1 billion from the IMF, $400 million from the World Bank and other monies used for COVID relief and when you have taken such public monies, you must account for it.”
“When you spend public money, you must be audited and, so, we asked for an audit of the COVID relief, unfortunately, the auditor-general was hounded out of office but the finance minister came to parliament and gave us an overall picture of much they spent and he said GHS19 billion was spent on COVID relief”, Mr Mahama noted.
Every Ghanaian, he said, “wants to know how that GHS19 billion was spent and it is obvious that this government is not interested in auditing that fund.”
According to the 2020 flag bearer of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), it will take a new government to come and audit and say: ‘You said you spent GHS19 billion, how was the GHS19 billion spent?’”
“They say they fed how many people, for how many days? When we saw the figure for which they said they spent money providing food, it was just laughable; that’s why I say there must be accountability after every period of time and the only person that can hold them accountable is if a new dispensation comes and says: ‘How did you spend this? Explain it to the people of Ghana’; otherwise, then the intention is to go beyond eight years and sweep all this misspending under the carpet and give an easy pass to people who have made money illegally from the coffers of the people of Ghana.”
Mr Mahama noted that the government has used COVID-19 as an excuse for a lot of things, including the “current hardships that we face.”