MPs that aspire to retain their seats spend at least GHS1 million on campaigns, Nadowli-Kaleo MP Alban Bagbin has said.
According to the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, there is so much corruption in Ghana to the extent that MPs would have to spend so much to get into public office.
“To get into parliament now, depending on your constituency, you will not spend less than GHS1m. You’re looking at the T-shirts: they now will not take anything apart from Lacoste; you’re looking at the motorbikes, you’re looking at the pickups, you’re looking at the billboards… the system, what we do is not done in many, many countries,” Mr Bagbin told Bola Ray on Accra-based Starr FM on Wednesday, 21 June.
In his view, the corrupt system corrupts even saints. “Our tolerance level for corruption is completely unacceptable,” he said, adding: “We extol corruption and when you are in a crowd and somebody is doing something wrong and you want to point it out, you see that the people will run at you … So that is an issue that we have to confront.
“We should all admit, we are all corrupt, it is a fact, because of the system,” he said.
In response to a direct question to him about whether he is corrupt, too, Mr Bagbin said: “Yes. Look, we have Reverends, we have pastors who go through the system, and they are corrupted.
“Because of the system we are operating now, even if you bring Angel Gabriel he’ll be corrupt. We treat public office in Ghana, particularly political office as private property. We allow people to look for money from anywhere, anyhow to sponsor themselves and it’s now very, very expensive to get into public office and then you say please save the public, not the sponsors; he who pays the piper calls the tune.
“And, so, we need to take a re-look at the whole process of elections. That is why this issue of moneycracy is coming in and I think that we need to regulate it and we need the state to play a serious role in what we do.