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Opinions of Friday, 17 August 2018

Columnist: K. Badu

A missive from Toronto: Are Ghanaians really serious? (II)

In spite of the busy schematic arrangements I had with my elder brother I had not met for well over 32 years, I managed to find time to follow on radio the ongoing Ghanaian political and socio-economic issues in faraway Brampton, Ontario (Canada).

A solemn reflection on the unfortunate events such as ‘the infamous despoliation of banks’, the needless opposition against the SHS double track system, the impishness of the boisterous brats at the Northern Region, the useless press conferences by the lousy opposition, the empty threats by a group of Chiefs, amongst others, may prompt any reflective thinker to pose: ‘are we (Ghanaians) really serious at all?’

The fact of the matter is that in any serious jurisdiction, the over GH8 billion Bank Bandits would face the law squarely, unlike a democratic country called Ghana, where the justice system more often than not, descends heavily on the goat, cassava and plantain thieves, and let go the hardened and remorseless criminals who hide behind the narrow political colorations.

Candidly, I would not acquiesce with those who harbour a sophistic view that Westerners are ever so righteous than their African counterparts. I am afraid, such an isolated thinker’s view indeed could be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, Westerners are not less corrupt than their African counterparts because we all have foibles as imperfect beings.

However, what makes the people elsewhere much more responsible than a Ghanaian and Africans as a whole is the rigidity of the state institutions and the effective laws and regulations.

Elsewhere, though, the laws and regulations are strictly enforced, and as such the vast majority of the citizens and denizens prefer the observance to the stringent fines and the harsh punishments.

It must, however, be emphasised that in as much as the followers have a duty of obligation, it is up to the leadership to bring sanity into the system by strictly ensuring that all laws and regulations are enforced without fear or favour.

It, therefore, beggars belief that individuals could form an alliance, create, loot and share gargantuan sums of money belonging to the state and would eventually slip through the justice net. How pathetic?

How could Members of Parliament knowingly keep double salaries to the detriment of the poor and the disadvantaged Ghanaians?

In fact, I feel depressed in spirits anytime I listen to Captain Smart’s “FABEWOSO” show (literally means come and dispute the facts) on Adom FM on Mondays and Wednesdays.

To those of you who are not familiar with Captain Smart’s “FABEWOSO” show on Adom FM, the debonair journalist and his selfless team seek to expose, name and shame the corrupt politicians and other public servants who have been cited in the Auditor General’s reports over the years.

Well, if you are in doubt about Ghana’s enormous wealth and how some ravenous and unpatriotic Ghanaians have been siphoning our resources over the years, then make it a date to listen to Captain Smart’s “FABEWOSO” show on Mondays and Wednesdays, so as to acquaint yourself with the facts.

In fact, after listening to Captain Smart’s show for some time now, I have come to a painful realisation that we are indeed not serious as a nation.

To be quite honest, I will disagree with anybody who tells me that leadership has got nothing to do with Ghana’s underdevelopment. Leadership has got everything to do with our sorrowful state of economic insecurity.

Let us be true to ourselves, we are at where we are today largely due to the rampant bribery and corruption in the country.

I will, nonetheless, venture to state that the deterrence for political criminals has been extremely disappointing. And, if that was not the case, how come political malefactors more often than not, go through the justice net despite unobjectionable evidence of wrong doing?

Let us admit that Ghana may not see any meaningful development, so long as we have leaders that are not willing to ensure that our laws are enforced stringently and only tend to follow narrow party coloration, devoid of patriotism. The Brazil World Cup saga is still fresh in our memories.

And, given the risible and inborn predilection, we can reasonably infer that misunderstanding of patriotism exists in the minds of many of our leaders, who would often choose party interests over the national interests.

It would, however, appear that we, Ghanaians, and Africans as a whole, are possessed with kowtowing characteristic of a morally degraded mind which dislikes anything that comes with honesty and integrity.

Thus, some of our leaders, having first-hand knowledge of our servile compliance and hero-worshipping nonsense, tend to take us for granted and continue to dip their hands into the national coffers as if tomorrow will never come.

Paradoxically, in Ghana, greedy and corrupt officials are held in high esteem by the party loyalists for stealing from the national purse at the expense of the suffering masses.

Let us however be honest, and rightly so, we definitely need attitudinal and behavioural change, for we must not and cannot keep on hero-worshipping individuals who harbour ulterior motives.

“We are not serious as a nation, are we?”