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“They” are the ones that are destroying Ghana


Photo Reporting“They” are the ones that are destroying Ghana

"People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.” Edmund Burke

No, it is “not we”, “They” are the ones that are destroying Ghana.

"People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.” Edmund Burke

When I read Dr Abbey’s interview (?) reported on Ghana web, under the title “We can’t continue destroying ourselves,” it reminded me of a remark that a dead uncle of mine made about forty years ago. He said, “The only people who are destroying Ghana are the so-called educated people. They are pen thieves!” He had converted to Islam and become a great Islamic scholar.

Along the line, he had decided that he would not let his own children go beyond the three Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic) in the formal education system. Instead, he resolved to make them Islamic scholars and he did just that. They became decent members of the local community and contributed positively to it, which I cannot vouch for some of their contemporaries who went on to become teachers, bank managers, civil servants and the like.

No, it is not “we” as in all of us or a majority of Ghanaians that are destroying Ghana. It is the so-called elite of Ghanaian society, who are destroying the country, through their contemptuous disregard of the institutions of state. It is those we somehow elect and/or appoint and remunerate handsomely (perhaps more handsomely than they deserve), to direct the affairs of society, who are destroying Ghana through their actions and inactions.

Those of us who are aged about 58 and above, who saw a bit of the Gold Coast, got the best free education that any country could offer, and have served Ghana in one capacity or the other, are the real culprits; we are the ones to blame.

The Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), is probably the best institution, apart from Parliament and the Supreme Court, that was proposed by the framers of the Fourth Republican Constitution. But it was killed at birth by the very government that brought it into being. When CHRAJ established that some functionaries of the government had acquired properties beyond their legal means, the government quickly published a “White Paper” to exonerate them.

The commission has hitherto never been allowed to be effective. Other governments that followed have directly or indirectly “looked after their own people” since then. Sometimes I wonder why we continue to fund that and other institutions like it, if we cannot abide by their findings, especially against those who have free access to state resources.

Over a decade ago, the Supreme Court of Ghana pronounced that “the celebration of the June 4 aberration was illegal”, but a certain Jerry John Rawlings, who considers himself the patron saint of Ghana, and therefore above the laws that govern ordinary mortals of Ghana, has been celebrating that even in defiance of the Supreme Court ruling and the rest of us look on with bemusement.

In fact on at least one occasion, a law professor who would later become the president of the Republic of Ghana actually supported that illegal celebration, calling it a private celebration. Yet the cenotaph, the state vehicles that are driven to the site of the celebration and those civil and public servants who take French leave to go and listen to his ranting, are all paid for by the hapless Ghanaian taxpayer.

The coup of 24th February 1966 was very popular among Ghanaians of all walks of life, including ministers who served the overthrown regime. What if some of the people and institutions like the Sekondi-Takoradi Railway Unions who believed in it, decide to celebrate that event annually?

Over the past nearly twenty years, the Auditor-General of Ghana has consistently reported annually, what amounts to plain looting of billions of the Ghanaian taxpayer’s money by ministries and other state organisations, to Parliament. Each time, the party in power has used its majority to scupper any decent debate or review of this daylight robbery. Instead, they quickly approve ‘improved appropriations’ so that even more billions can be stolen in the ensuing year, all at the expense of the poor cocoa farmer, especially.

Last year, nearly every institution in Ghana overspent its budget without recourse to Parliament, as prescribed by the Constitution. The Presidency alone overspent by a whopping 600 million! How they arrived at that milestone only God knows.

As I write, a government has been sworn into office for six months, and I don’t believe to date any of its appointees has declared his or her assets, as demanded by the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana. In four years’ time long-dead relatives will resurrect to bequeath properties, including mansions overseas, to appointees!

I heard on radio one Kakra Esamuah, a lawyer, a child of the manse and apparently an important member of the ruling party, declare that “if the NPP petition at the Supreme Court succeeded in making Nana Akufo-Addo president of Ghana, he would support a coup d’état in Ghana.” This man is still walking freely on the streets of Accra, without as much as an informal police enquiry.

The Chairman of the ruling party of Ghana is reported to have made the outrageous declaration that the fire outbreaks that now seem to be part and parcel of the trading day activities of Ghanaian markets, “are caused by the NPP,” and the man is still walking about a free man. As for the police and their bribe taking and falsification of court exhibits, the least said about them the better.

In other words, there are two sets of laws for the people who one way or other get elected or appointed to see to the affairs of Ghana and another for the rest of us ordinary mortals. Does it really require rocket science to understand why many ordinary Ghanaians have no respect for state institutions?

An elderly acquaintance once told a joke about the creation of Ghana. According to him, one particular angel observed God carefully as He created nations. When it came to the turn of Ghana, God first dropped gold into it, then diamond, timber, manganese, fruitful farmlands and finally oil. Then the angel asked God,”Why are you giving all these resources to this one country?” To which God replied, “Do you know the kind of people I am putting there?” That was meant to be a joke, but it sums it all up.

No, we are not all involved, at least not directly, in the destruction of Ghana. It is those who think they have more stake in Ghana than everybody else that are destroying Ghana. Some Ghanaians believe that giving the name of a failed ancient Kingdom to the newly independent Gold Coast was a bad omen.

Almost certainly, it was the behaviour and poor decisions of the leaders of the ancient kingdom that caused its demise and it is the same road that its modern namesake has embarked on and unless something drastic happens to the way and manner we choose and monitor those who run our dear country, it will end the same way. Stay blessed.

Source: By Dr A. Ofori Quaah, Flitwick, UK



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