Mr. Speaker, in any case, I do not think that the President and Government should be defensive about this report. I felt very sad when the President tried to question the objectivity of the report in the press interaction he had
after he came out of the presentation of the report. He tried to question the objectivity of the report. Mr. Speaker, all the things that have been highlighted in the APRM report are issues that we have known and talked about locally. Mr. Speaker, it did not need even the APRM to itemize these things that we have been talking about.
Mr. Speaker, if we had been listening to our own people, we would have taken corrective actions before an external body came to identify exactly the same matters that we have been talking about for the last five years or so. Mr. Speaker, therefore I think my hon. Colleagues on this side should not be defensive; we must accept the issues that are indicated here. Let us all get involved in terms of agreeing to the programme of action that is going to be submitted in August, and let us all be part of the process.
Mr. Speaker, the issues here are critical for our movement forward, strengthening the institutions of State, strengthening the fight against corruption. Indeed, I say that we would need the political will and the leadership to fight corruption. If we have a leadership that says that we shall not go on a wild goose chase about corruption and that we would only investigate corruption if you bring the evidence, we can give the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) whatever kind of money they want to expand, we can pass the Whistle-Blowers Bill but if we are not prepared to investigate the allegations of corruption, we would go nowhere.
Deputy Minister for Energy (Mr. K. T. Hammond): Mr. Speaker, I rise to associate myself with what has been said and first, to congratulate the Minister who is also a member of this House for this process in the country, and of course the President, who has made himself available for this review.
Mr. Speaker, the point has been made that the Government must take blame or indeed that there is some hypocrisy in this whole process, because to start with, you have a President who has opened himself up: for his peers to look into what has been happening in his country. Mr. Speaker, it is said that that is not in keeping with the process. Mr. Kwabena Agyapong has specifically been mentioned that he has made all those comments heaping praises on the Government and on the President. Mr. Speaker, I think we should put this in perspective.
A President is the head of a country and by its very nature, this process encapsulates having to look at the whole political, constitutional, and legal processes in a particular country. So by necessity the head would have to open himself up. And so if in the process of opening himself up a point is made, for example, that we have made progress in our democracy and that the progress has its genesis in the period when the constitutional regime started in the country and so the Government before the current Government took the reins of power in this country also must share in whatever the findings are, Mr. Speaker, I for myself, cannot see any hypocrisy in that.
Because seriously speaking, democracy on paper, at least, did not start with the Government of the NPP. It is the good governance as we witnessed that the NPP
takes credit for. [Hear! Hear!] We must be careful, Mr. Speaker, the kind of things that we say in this House. Television cameras, everybody, the world, they are listening. The hon. Member for Bole/ Bamboi, John Mahama, my very good friend -- I like him very much -- when he said that this House is the bastion of democracy.