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British Envoy Jon Benjamin bows out with final jabs at ‘greed, wanton corruption’

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Outgoing UK High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin, has delivered his signature sharp criticism of the ‘evils’ in the Ghanaian society at an event to mark the end of his three-year tenure.

Speaking Thursday night at a ceremony to bid farewell to him, Mr. Benjamin attacked institutions he said are behind entrenched corrupt practices in the country.

“We have seen far too much greed, wanton corruption in too many spheres – in government, in politics, in public administration, in religion, in traditional leadership, in football, in the media – and at too many levels from top to bottom,” he said.

He justified his comments with reference to the often reported incidents of “highly padded” single-sourced contracts and unfairly awarded tenders and conflicts of interest deals by state officials who use their positions to promote their private businesses.

Singling out last year’s Central Medical Stores fire in Tema, he said the perpetrators of the arson have not been punished because of deep-seated corruption.

A Committee set up to investigate the inferno reports that the fire was deliberately set to conceal evidence of theft, and deep procurement irregularities.

Mr Benjamin’s three years tenure as UK’s High Commissioner to Ghana has been checkered with both admiration and fierce criticism by the public over some of his comments.

His Tweets and public speeches have been the topic of media discussions with a many Ghanaians suggesting that his comments are unbecoming of a diplomat.

His favourite target has been the controversial founder of the International God’s Way International Church, Bishop Daniel Obinim.

He also joined Ghana’s twitter community to make fun out of trending issues including politics.

Last December, Jon Benjamin was forced to delete a tweet suggestively jabbing former President John Mahama after it angered sections on social media.

Mr Benjamin would be transferred to another Diplomatic Service appointment, according to a statement on the UK government’s website.

He will be replaced by Ian Walker in August.

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