President contests corruption reports

President John Mahama addressing the conference   Photo: Seth Osabukle

President John Mahama addressing the conference Photo: Seth Osabukle

PRESIDENT John Dramani Mahama, yesterday rejected the interpretations given to a survey conducted by Transparency International (TI), in collaboration with the Afrobaro meter, on corruption in Ghana.

He described as “absolute false”, the interpretation that Ghana had been ranked second most corrupt African country by the survey released last week.

Speaking at a high-level conference held to mark this year’s International Anti-Corruption Day in Accra, President Mahama appealed to Ghanaians to discuss corruption dispassionately and impartially, devoid of partisan political considerations, if the country should succeed in the fight against corruption and crime.

Under the themed ‘NACAP: Ghana united against corruption’, the conference brought together stakeholders as well as representatives of international partners to discuss anti-corruption measures being implemented to check corruption in the country.

According to the President, the report of the survey, called the Global Corruption Barometer, was not the famous Corruption Perception Index (CPI) published regularly by TI.

He explained that the objective of the GCB was to seek the views of citizens on how corruption had changed in their country over the past 12 months, adding that “this report was not an index and, therefore, did not seek to rank countries in order of corruption as the CPI normally did”

“The simple and straight-forward question that respondents of the GCB were asked was: how has the level of corruption in your country changed over the past year. Has it increased, has it decreased, or has it stayed the same?.

“Sadly, in our highly-charged political environment, this survey was wrongly interpreted as placing Ghana as the second of most corrupted countries in Africa. This is absolutely false,” the President stressed.

President Mahama said despite attempts by institutions that sponsored the survey to correct the wrong interpretation, leading political figures had continued to spread false interpretation of the report.

“What could be the motivation for a section of our population to be obsessed in trying to claim such an undignified title for ourselves at the expense of our nation’s dignity and international image?” he quizzed adding “I leave the matter to the conscience of such persons”.

He condemned some media houses that published the erroneous survey and called on the media to be circumspect on its reportage by showing high professionalism in its work.

“Not only did the conversation end up misleading the Ghanaians, but also gave our country an undeserved image among the comity of nations and international community as a whole,” he said.

Quoting the survey methodology as captured in the report, President Mahama said the methodology stated that the results of each country were on “based on the subjective perceptions and experiences of citizens rather than an assessment against a common objective benchmark”.

He noted that the quotation was put in the report to avoid such misinterpretation and falsehood that Ghana was the second most corrupted country in Africa.

“I have referred extensively to this survey in order to draw attention to the fact that it was only when we decide to discuss the subject of corruption without our usual political biases and deliberate distortion of the facts that we can begin to make progress in tackling it,” he said.

The Head of European Union Delegation to Ghana, Mr. William Hanna, commended the country for its measures against corruption, and urged Ghanaians not to tackle corruption in isolation, but unite and integrate measures into development and poverty reduction strategies for democratic governance.

He said the EU was committed to supporting the country in the fight against corruption and has therefore dedicated millions of Euros to fight against corruption in the country.

 By Charles Amankwa

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