General News of Thursday, 31 October 2013
Paramount Chief of Essikado Traditional Area, in the Western Region, Nana Kobina Nketsia V, has bemoaned the unbridled corruption in the country. The chief says he is even more worried about the excessive politicization of almost every corrupt act.
The academician, who was speaking at a public lecture organized by the Western Regional Branch of the Old Vandals Association at the Takoradi Polytechnic auditorium, says there is the need for a massive revolution in the consciousness of Ghanaians.
The public lecture is the second to be organized by Western Regional members of the Commonwealth Hall on the theme, “Mining and Development The Perspectives of the Western Region”.
Nana Kobina Nketsia V, who chaired the occasion, said dishonesty in governance was at its peak.
The Paramount Chief in an angry tone called for a massive revolution in the consciousness and attitudes of Ghanaians if there is to be a change in the country’s governance system.
“We need a revolution in this country, and unless we can do that, what is happening will keep on happening and we won’t have any future because we have reached a point in our country where people try to lie to make profit. I saw a fleet of V8s tooting their horns around, at very top speed.
“About four of them were empty. I looked at them and I could see my wealth being drained up by very stupid people who you and I are more intelligent than. We pay them, we elect them to serve us and they come and sit on us. And you are busy dividing yourself into NDC and NPP, for what? I am a Vandal and a Ghanaian and it matters much more than all these things that are going on".
"When somebody is corrupt, you find one party defending him, and another party says no. So even corruption we can’t get the mind that this is bad and so we should not do it? So if we can’t govern a country in truth, then what are we doing? And this has been going on for too long,” he stated.
Commenting on the theme for the lecture, the chief bemoaned the low levels of development in the Western Region in the midst of vast natural resources.
“I went to school free. What have I done to Ghana? When you see my eyes red, they are as red as the flag of the vandals. In the whole of the Western Region, there are no motorable roads. Yet we sit down and say that the Western Region is the richest, richest in what? Poverty,” he asked.
"This region has the kind of resources that we Africans can use to develop to become the hub of development for the whole of the West African sub-region. Japan has no gold or oil, we have the gold and yet we say we are poor. Who are we? What did we go to school for? I am sorry that I am bringing some of my anger but you need to be angry with your country in order to put it right. You need this revolution in consciousness,” he asserted.
A mining specialist in charge of Extractive Industries with the Non- Governmental Organization, Friends of the Nation, Solomon Ampofo, who delivered the lecture, said the impact of mining on the Western Region, which produces the highest amount of minerals, is largely negative. He warns Ghana could repeat mistakes in the oil and gas sector.
He cautioned, “If we don’t learn the lessons from the mining sector, then I am also afraid we are going to repeat it in the petroleum sector, because mining has come with huge social and environmental cost. If we are doing cost benefit analysis of mining, it will be negative because we don’t have anything to show for it. All that we have to show is extreme social and environmental damage.
And I am afraid if we don’t put in the legal and necessary regulatory framework, if we don’t build strong institutions and utilize the revenue effectively, then we might repeat the mistakes that we have done in the mining industry”.