The Agbogbomefia of Asogli, Togbe Afede XIV, has expressed deep concern over Ghana’s escalating corruption problem, which is tarnishing the nation’s democratic reputation and stifling its development.
In a speech delivered at the second edition of the Asogli Yam Festival Anti-Corruption Day Celebration in Ho, Togbe Afede highlighted corruption as the primary obstacle to Ghana’s progress. He emphasized that political leaders, driven by personal gain rather than national service, were perpetuating this issue, and urgent action was required to reverse the trend.
Speaking on the rampant corruption plaguing the country, Togbe Afede remarked, “Our political elite have replaced our colonial masters in a more vicious scramble for our resources. If you want to know why they spend so much money campaigning to get political positions or appointments, the answer lies in their desire to gain control of our resources, not for genuine leadership, at least for the majority of them.”
The event took place in the forecourt of the Asogli palace and coincided with the birthday of Ghana’s first President. Togbe Afede lamented how Ghana, once ahead of the Asian tigers in economic prosperity, had fallen behind due to a failure to achieve the ideals set out in the 1992 constitution and the vision of the country’s founding fathers.
He attributed Ghana’s chaotic economic situation to a combination of factors, including inadequate planning, inconsistent economic management, and poor monetary policies. Togbe Afede also pointed out other issues such as dishonesty, partisanship, cronyism, and tribalism contributing to the nation’s woes.
However, Togbe Afede emphasized that corruption was not limited to politicians alone but had become deeply ingrained in Ghanaian culture. He called for a united effort to combat corruption, urging action against even “parasitic” public officials who hid behind confidentiality and secrecy.
Togbe Afede stressed that Ghana possessed the resources for a turnaround and called for collective action based on honesty, hard work, and genuine love for the nation. He emphasized the need for leadership that fostered unity and truth while discouraging divisiveness.
The anti-corruption event drew numerous dignitaries, including traditional and religious leaders, heads of government agencies, and political leaders. Mr. Daniel Yao Dormelevo, a former Auditor General and staunch anti-corruption advocate, described corruption as the deadliest disease to afflict Ghana. He called for reforms such as a robust public financial management system, strict asset declaration rules, and fiscal decentralization.
Mr. Dormelevo also suggested commercializing the prosecution of corruption cases, empowering individuals to expose corruption for a fee. Dr. Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe called on prominent figures to speak out against corruption and abuses of power.
The Asogli Yam Festival this year also marked the 20th anniversary of Togbe Afede’s installation as the Agbogbomefia, a prominent figure known for his unwavering stance against corruption and bad governance in Ghana.