The former Executive Vice President of Unilever Ghana and Nigeria, Yaw Nsarkoh, says Ghana risks being turned into a narco-state.
Speaking at the Ghana Institute of Engineers’ Annual Ethics Lecture 2023, he said the excessive and dangerous over-monetisation of the country’s politics threatens the sovereignty of the nation.
The event was under the theme ‘Improving National Values, Professional Practice, and Engineering Ethics.’
His remark follows a report from the Centre for Development and Democracy which stated that for one to win a presidential race in Ghana, a candidate needs $100 million.
“When in a poor country like Ghana, with an economy that is significantly below a GDP of $75 billion, you are told that to win the presidential race, a candidate needs $100 million, know also that you have stumbled on the source of all evil. Where does such money come from?” he quizzed.
According to him, in the pursuit of raising such a staggering amount of money, politicians are compromised and with them, the state.
“Who still believes that our laws that bar foreign funds from entering the coffers of our political parties are being respected? I lived in Nigeria for six years. It is not a secret why so many of our leading politicians are always seeking out potential financiers from that country.
“This neoliberal democracy will lead us to mortgage our sovereignty if we do nothing. I have warned before that we are heading towards a narco-state. For there are now much more than subtle hints that massive flows from the international narcotics trade are being laundered in our Santa Claus democracy.
“That should explain why so much money is kept under beds, and in cupboards, wardrobes and chamber pots,” he said.
Yaw Nsarkoh noted that the failure of citizens to question the sources of these campaign funds contributes to the populace’s complicity in the erosion of the nation’s sovereignty.
“We have become the society that expects politicians to turn up at Church harvests, durbars, birthday parties, funerals, weddings, outdoorings, events of their alma maters to make substantial donations.
“We know the salaries of these public officials. Yet, we ask no questions about their source of funds. Where do they get such monies to make these donations so frequently and regularly, as well as fund their ostentatious lifestyles and side-chics?
“By not asking the questions we know we should be asking, we, all of us, have collapsed into collaborators. We are dripping with the guilt that characterises, the lumpen bourgeoisie everywhere – elite compromise,” he said.
“For as long as we do nothing about political campaign funding, we are stuck with egregious corruption. And keep in mind that corruption denies the majority of our compatriots of dignity because it deprives them of social services they deserve simply because they are human!” he added.