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Opinions of Thursday, 22 November 2018

Columnist: Charles Addai

Ghana is becoming a Banana Republic

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In recent years, the question which has been constantly itching my mind is Do we have a future for both the current and the next generations in Ghana? You will agree that the events unfolding in our motherland these days invoke desperation, panic and hopelessness.

As a matter of fact, the soaring exodus of Ghanaian youth in search for greener pastures overseas calls for an imperative attention. In-effective governance, corrupt judicial systems, injustice, misappropriation and bribery are among the many things jeopardizing the future that Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah initiated for our beloved country.

William Sydney Porter (popularly known as O. Henry), an American poet, phrased the term banana republics in early 1900s, in his writings, to bring into light why some countries like Honduras and Guatemala were failing to develop. He explained that the aforementioned countries had weak economic base with banana and other crops as well as limited mineral resources forming the country’s gross domestic products (GDP).

In other words, banana was the main product bringing foreign currency into those countries. Meanwhile, bureaucracy, corruption, injustice and over exploitation of the masses crippled those countries from growth, resulting in lawlessness and constant oppression of the poor masses.

In current times, banana republics may include all countries that depend on limited Gold, Diamond, Bauxite and few barrels of oil forming the GDP and, where corruption has crippled development, massive youth unemployment, high public debt and above all, a judicial trap that catches mice and lizards and leaves the antelopes and the deer.

In the banana republic that I know, goat, cassava and plantain thieves get no leniency from the law5years, 10years and 25years imprisonment. Their judgment is within days or few weeks.

However, corrupt political elites and public servants who suffocate the majority of the people to their premature deaths through hefty stealing of public funds or misappropriation and bribery are not punished. Ironically, the oligarchs are being protected by the same law and, the very poor masses forming the base of the dominant ruling or opposition parties. Where is justice for the looters?

The future of any corrupt country is disorder and armed robbery, poor healthcare, untiled roads, erosion, unplanned settlements, famine and many others because the planners refuse to plan, law enforcers refuse to enforce, and officers steal the money allocated for development.

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