You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2013 09 26Article 287018

Opinions of Thursday, 26 September 2013

Columnist: The Al-Hajj

Al-Shabab Invassion: Warning to Ghana’s ruling elites

Whiles the catastrophic event that resulted in the carnage at Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall in the Kenyan capital's suburb of Westland comes as a throbbing episode in the history of Ghana, particularly as one of her illustrious sons was counted amongst the dead of the vicious Somali terrorist group: Al-Shabab, it is also an alarm bell on politicians to turn a new leaf.

Rather than taking a long distant voyage of finding ways of tightening the security of the country to shut the door on the iniquitous and dreadful operations of militants and terrorist groups, Ghanaian politicians must ensure their country folks beneath the social strata are given a “scaffold” to give meanings to their lives.

It will not be gain saying that poverty begets terrorism; an indication that -until the widening gap between the downtrodden and the well-to-do in society is bridged to an appreciable level, all security efforts geared towards making Ghana an unsafe grounds for terrorist to operate will yield no meaningful result.

Whiles poverty cannot qualify as a justification for persons to form militants group, it will be absolutely out of place for anybody to rule out poverty as a key reason why some people would descend to that level.

Yes, there may be other reasons why frustrated elements in society would want to take that path of viciousness, but as the saying goes “the devil finds work for idle hands” and as such, youths who are fed-up with the system will often want to demand their share of the state resources from greedy, corrupt politicians; and the resultant of such development breathing of extremist groups such as the Al-Shabas and MENDs in Nigeria.

Many young men and women of today would not like to hold their jaws in bewilderment, whiles greedy and corrupt political elites dissipate the public purse for their own good. Though taking to terrorism is not the right medium for waging war against corruption in society, but behooves on the ruling elite to find ways of parting company with thievery and do what is required of them, by initiating policies and programs that impacts the lives of the masses.

The wealth margin between the ruling elite and the masses though cannot be bridged completely; there must be ways of ensuring the woes of the suffering ordinary people are addressed by people that they have entrusted the destiny of the country in their hands, rather than exploiting them to their own advantage.

As the renowned columnist, Mr. Kofi Thompson stated in one of his write-ups, “the intolerant extremists amongst our political class, who have a penchant for hiring thugs and criminal types to do their dirty work - particularly at election time - must now understand that the step from being a paid hireling by a ruthless and amoral African politicians/ political parties, and getting promoted to becoming a paid agent of Al Qaeda; planting bombs across nations in the continent, is a process. They must end their dalliance with such violent and criminal types once and for all.”

Politicians must understand that when they hire thugs to intimidate their opponents and they win elections, those hooligans will come demanding their share of the cake when they assume power. And if they fail to meet their demands, the temptation of illegally forming militants groups becomes rife.

People become susceptible to joining such groups when they lose trust and confidence in politicians and corruption becomes the order of the day.

It is sickening to see the ruling elite jet out to overseas for check-up -at the slightest medical discomfiture, whiles they leave the country’s health system which is ‘patronized’ by the masses they use as machineries in winning political power- in a mess.

Nothing is more maddening like seeing politicians ride in gaudy vehicles whiles the roads on which the masses travel is in a deplorable state.

Many of these things create a hostile atmosphere on which people take advantage to do all manner of dim-witted and treacherous things and the earlier Ghanaian politicians take a cue from what is happening in other African countries to avert such calamitous happenings, the better.