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Expect More Influence Peddling, Mr. President!

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The latest video by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, has once again brought to the fore interesting legal terminologies, which hitherto had been gathering dust on our legal-political shelves.

In fact, one cannot remember the last time any issue bothering on ‘influence peddling’ was discussed in the public space, let alone getting anybody charged for it.

Even charges of ‘conflict of interest’ and ‘defrauding by false pretense’, which are relatively more often discussed, are sometimes watered down whenever the people involved happen to be politicians or ‘big men’.

The recent unprecedented move by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to cause police investigations into some alleged claims made by Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi, President of the Ghana Football Association on the Anas’ Number 12 video, is in order.

Kwesi Nyantakyi is alleged to have engaged in some influence peddling, using the name of the president and his Vice, and naturally, authorities are trying to get to the bottom of the matter.

What is worrying, however, is the tone of the Deputy Chief-of-Staff, Samuel Abu Jinapor, to the effect that the presidency is shocked at what has popped up in the video.

He said in part: “The president takes a serious view of this and believes it is a case of criminal conduct. Anyone found culpable in this investigation will be made to face the full rigours of the law”.

According to Mr. Jinapor, the GFA boss was allegedly captured attempting to use the President’s name and that of the Vice President and other senior officials of government to induce supposed potential investors into our country to part with various sums of monies.

The multi-million-dollar question on the lips of many political observers is whether this is the first time the authorities are hearing that people are smearing the president’s name.

THE PUBLISHER is surprised that the presidency seems to be surprised at the news, when indeed similar offences abound right under our noses.

If for nothing at all, the paper is aware that several aspirants within the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), in an attempt to win constituency, regional or national executive positions, openly misused the name of the president and made more serious, mouth-watering promises to unsuspecting delegates than what Kwesi Nyantekyi allegedly did in the Anas video.

It is the view of THE PUBLISHER that the bold step taken by the President to stop such predators will be more meaningful if the presidency equally goes after the hundreds of party people, some of them government appointees, who are hiding behind the cloak of the president and doing worse things.

Kwesi Nyantekyi is certainly not the alfa and omega of influence peddling in this country; and until the Fear of God is put into wrongdoers within the ruling NPP, the Presidency should expect more of such cases on its hands.

Playing the ostrich and pretending to be unaware that party people are all over the regions using the president’s name for parochial interests will not help the noble cause the president has embarked upon.

Charity, they say, begins at home.

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