Feature Article of Tuesday, 7 August 2012
Columnist: Danso, Kwaku A.
By Kwaku A. Danso
As corruption gets exposed in Europe of African thieving leaders, we can shame our government in Ghana and other parts of Africa but if the Presidents refuse to have the AG office prosecute, what is left?
This story from France is a lesson itself for us all:
“French authorities have seized the Paris mansion of the son of Equatorial Guinea's leader as part of a money-laundering probe, officials confirm. Teodorin Nguema Obiang Mangue is currently being sought on corruption charges. His Paris villa is thought to be worth between 100m (£79m: $124m) and 150m euros, the AFP news agency reports. Mr Obiang, the 43-year-old son of President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mbasogo, denies any wrongdoing. Authorities seized the six-storey property on July 19, a court official told the BBC” (BBC, Aug.3, 2012)
Some of us older ones can only leave ideas and suggestions but in no nation has progress come without men and women standing up to protest and shout and say:
WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH AND WILL NOT TAKE IT ANYMORE!!
WE ARE TIRED AS HELL, AND WILL NOT TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!
WE WILLNOT TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!
How can the youth sit down and allow the adult leaders to steal so much! Something has to give! It has happened in Tunisia and in Libya and in other places like Yemen and Syria. In Ghana we don’t have to kill each other. No! We can do it in an easier way. After 40 years of social community activism, one cannot last forever and as I retire, I hope the younger ones behind us, as they see less and less money flowing from overseas, from people like me, to feed them and pay for school fees, for costs and funerals in Ghana and build houses, will finally see reality and decide if to confront their government head on. If not, they can wait to die whiles their colleagues in government keep stealing openly. As you note, the remittances from overseas peaked to $8.2 Billion from Forex Bureaus alone in 2006 time but now has dripped to the $4 billion range. Small family businesses have started seeing some pain in Ghana, as even merchants are seeing dried up customers unable to buy anymore even as school season comes around. There is very little money in peoples’ pockets, and whatever the people paid as taxes, NHIL, VAT, tolls, duties, and put together for us to build Ghana is being stolen by officials!! If they had used the funds to build infrastructures, it is the same people who would be employed and use the pay to buy goods! Greed and selfishness has overcome common sense in our government!
For anybody in Ghana who does not believe it, remember the old guys like some of us who went overseas in the 1960s to late 70s/early 1980s had a lot more patriotism or love for Ghana and desire to return to Ghana and hence pumped their money into Ghana, building homes and so forth. As we retire and get old, that money slows in trickling down. The youth coming from Ghana in the last decade and half seem less interested and less prepared to enter the top Universities right away. They hence struggle harder, will take longer, and they may have reduced tendency to send their hard earned money to Ghana. I have a friend who is doing business in Ghana, shipping items from China and he shows no love and concern at all, just to go and make his money, as he calls it. Why? He says he knows there will be no change and that the politicians are always interested in stealing - so why should he bother?
Let me go and watch the Rover Mars Landing now - it's 10:30pm Sunday night August 5, 2012 on CNN.
Everybody at the Space Center at JPL in Pasadena is happy and hugging each other. Waiting for pictures from Mars now!
The Youth and the Future -
The future of any nation depends on the youth. As the Dec.31 PNDC boys retire, and the nation knows their legacy of emptying the coffers and filling their pockets, it is the youth of Ghana who have to look in the mirror if they have any balls left. There is only so much the youth can take and beg and steal from uncles. The young men in Ghana are unable to even get married now due to economic hardship or lack of jobs. If they do not stand up and demonstrate and demand action, the nation is lost as a nation. I can only guesstimate the nation's direction from the men around my family and others close by. Remember the Chinese youth are gaining ground also as they roam the rural areas with guns digging gold. The government has to license the men to be able to own their own guns and defend themselves against any intruders. The police in each town ideally must be strengthened and as I have said many times, the only way is to give the towns and districts self-empowerment by amending the constitution. Allow them to vote their own Mayor or CEOs, and town Councils, and make their own decisions!
I am not sure how God allowed this to happen but as I write American Scientists are gathered at the Jet Propulsion Lab in California, receiving images from a robotic vehicles they sent to Mars! They are happy!! And we in Ghana can't even create underground sewage to dispose of our waste and living with 100,000 per year killed by malaria caused by Mosquito bites!! We cannot design and build roads and highways to manage traffic movement! We cannot purchase transformers for electricity reliable distribution! We cannot expand water treatment facilities in over 40 years and rationing water in Ghana! And the reason we cannot? We collect money and a few people in government spend the money as they wish, give out illicit dubious million multi-dollar judgment payments and steal the money!!
And the reason they do it?
They youth and people of Ghana sit idle, some praying and some merely talking!!
Enough said. Hope we meet again, Ghana my motherland.
Kwaku A. Danso, PhD
President - Ghana Leadership Union (NGO), Moderator-GLU and GLF Forums.
Author: Leadership Concepts and the Role of Government in Africa: The Case of Ghana