Batidam quits AU anti-graft board over ‘corruption, abuse of power’
Ghana and West Africa’s representative on the AU Advisory Board on Corruption, Daniel Batidam, has resigned, citing deep-seated corruption, lack of accountability among others at the secretariat of the board and the AU Commission for his action.
“After witnessing several instances and degrees of bad governance, including the abuse of trusted power, corruption, lack of probity, accountability, transparency, and integrity at the secretariat of the African Union Board of Corruption and some departments of the AU Commission itself for over a period of three years now, while all efforts at seeking redress have yielded no results, I have decided on grounds of principle that enough is enough,” Mr. Batidam’s resignation letter, which was to be transmitted to the Chair of AU Commission, Paul Kagame, read in part.
The AU Advisory Board on Corruption is an autonomous organ established within the AU and tasked with the core function of preventing and combating corruption among members of the continental body.
The Board is mandated to deal with corruption and related themes in Africa.
According to Mr Batidam, his resignation letter, dated June 8, 2018, reached the office of the Chair of AU on June 12 and a reply acceptance letter from the Chair of the AU was sent to him within 48 hours.
He thinks the acceptance letter came too fast and failed to take cognisance of the serious issues he raised in his letter.
Commenting further on his resignation on MultiTV’s current affairs programme, PM Express, on Thursday, Mr Batidam revealed he took the decision to prompt the AU Commission to take urgent action to deal with the malfeasance at the continental body.
“I think that the reason my resignation was accepted was simply that the evidence to support the issues I raised in my resignation letter [are] with the Commission and there could not be an argument.
“Ordinarily, what one would have expected was you receive an invitation letter…[asking] ‘can you tell us exactly what you mean’ but apparently, because they already have the documents and the evidence of what I am talking about, the only thing to do was to say ‘okay we accept it’”, he said.
Corruption remains a major anti-development problem on the continent.
According to Transparency International, of the ten countries considered most corrupt in the world, six are in sub-Saharan Africa.
Also, a 2002 AU study estimated that corruption cost the continent roughly $150 billion a year, a figure markedly higher than the aid received by African states from developed countries annually.