The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Mr Sulemana Braimah, has called on Ghanaians to speak up on all matters of critical national interest to bring the expected change.
He said it would require the contribution of all to effect the desired change adding that it was time people chose right over wrong to help fight against corruption.
Mr Braimah made the call at a public lecture by the Centre for African Studies, University of Education, Winneba.
The event, on the theme: “Power, Corruption and Cognitive Capture; The Tragedy of a Rich But Poor Nation,” was to commemorate the African Union (AU) Day.
Mr Braimah said over the years, the quest for public sector accountability and the fight against corruption had been reduced to a competition of political sloganeering, sweet words and moral crusades by leaders, who often knew very well that they would not practice what they preached.
He said the late former President Flt. Lt Jerry John Rawlings came in with a house cleaning exercise and people were even executed for corruption but in the end, “the house got dirtier.”
Former President John Kufour also came with “zero tolerance for corruption” but in the end, he reminded the citizenry that “corruption started from Adam,” Mr Braimah cited among other examples.
“We have several anti-corruption laws in our statute books and such numerous laws have not been the panacea to the problem, because laws are made and enforced by men and women,” he stated.
Mr Braimah said chapter 12 of the 1992 Constitution referred to the freedom and independence of the media with the aim of having a strong media to protect the country’s democracy.
The growth of the media landscape, which should have translated into a strong watchdog to fight corruption and abuse of power, had unfortunately left much to be desired.
“The situation appears gloomy and depressing, but I am confident that the long dark years of deprivation for the masses, will be triumphed by brighter days of progress and prosperity. So, there is hope because there are still committed, bold and patriotic men and women in the country,” Mr Braimah noted.
He indicated that coming together as one people would help make a difference in addition to revisiting the core and enduring values of truth, honesty and love for God and country.
“To bring change to the status quo, it will require that we all become bold to speak the truth at all times and to recognize that our worth will not only be defined by our wealth but also by the power of voices and values,” he stated.
Mr Braimah urged all and sundry not to be left out or constrained in the public debate but must let their lonely voice become the voice of justice because in a silent world, the lonely voice was louder.
“The independence and freedom of Ghana did not come easily, people worked for it at the peril of their lives and we must not let down our gallant heroes who fought for our freedom. We must do our part to make the future of our nation brighter….It is our time to shape the future of the country.”
“We can help overturn Ghana’s situation of being a rich but poor nation, to a rich, equitable and prosperous nation in which there is enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed”.