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Opinions of Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

"Amma Ghana, me ne mensu biem"

My Sons are Corrupt!

Are the Ghanaian chiefs and queens not equally ardent perpetrators of corruption as our notorious myopic politicians, one may ask? I can hardly make any sense out of the current role of our traditional leaders in the economic and social emancipation of Ghana. They are the very master-minds of corruption that has permeated the fabrics of the Ghanaian institutions, daunting the aspirations of many a selfless and honest Ghanaians.

Most of the Ghanaian paramount chiefs, delude themselves into believing they were born with vast tracts of land attached to their umbilical cord. This false assumption compels them to say with authoritative impunity that all stool lands are their jurisdiction. They claim to have the prerogative to do as they like with the lands without anyone being able to raise a finger or an objection. Belch! They sell the lands and pocket the money. Most of these chiefs don't even exhibit the slightest respect for decencies. They don't part with even a small portion of the money accrued from such sales of lands towards the development of their towns. What an insult to the dignity of the inhabitants of their area. Almost all Ghanaian paramount chiefs are guilty of this nonsense of the highest degree.

The government should come out to explain the aims and objectives of the "Ministry of Culture & Chieftaincy Affairs". This institution is perceived by many to be just a White Elephant. It is such a barking but completely a toothless bull. What a government institution that cannot regularise the excesses of the paramount chiefs although, that role should have been its priority? Was it created by Former President Kufuor simply to compensate Sampson Kwaku Boafo for losing his post as the Ashanti Regional Minister during his government Cabinet reshuffle? Former President Kufuor should please tell us his motive behind the creation of such a useless Ministry. This is tantamount to President Mills' creation of Committees to sit on any silly thing that springs into his mind. It is all about finding jobs for their boys which jobs are though, unproductive to the State in the end, and quite unbeneficial to Ghanaians at large.

The chiefs, thinking they are smarter have come out with a policy to graft the Ghanaians further. Having almost sold all the lands and squandered the money, they have since the year 2003 after the death of Our Lord Jesus Christ, devised the most stupid form of corruption. They have introduced a tax called "Stool lands Income Tax". This tax is levied on houses and buildings, farmlands and any piece of land sold to one by the chief or the local Council for any purpose. Almost all the money collected goes again into the pocket of the chief but not to develop the area. This nonsense was again accepted by the then government without scrutinizing it. Many are those homeowners that are refusing to pay this tax which is additional to the annual "Property tax" already paid by them. Our traditional leaders are having a field day preying on the ignorance of the "Onyame bekyere" and "Fa ma Nyame Ghanaians". What next if they exhaust this form of money generation geared towards satisfying what is their insatiable quest for riches? They will surely conjure another policy that will sit well with the government to further dupe the unsuspecting Ghanaian. Â Ghanaians should arise against this corrupt practice officially sanctioned by our inept successive governments. Many corrupt practices are not only rearing their scary ugly heads but are also utterly thriving on our ignorance and laissez-faireism in presto. Be it known to our disgusting chiefs who think they are tin gods that there is coming a day that they will flee with their tails tucked in-between their legs like frightened dogs should they continue to engross in these acts of daylight robbery.

Our politicians and governments should lead exemplary lives worthy of emulation. It is only by this that they can rein in our wayward chiefs. I am not insolent but I cannot stand this anti-social, anti-economic and anti-development behaviour of our traditional leaders and politicians that impact negatively on the emancipation of the Ghanaian. If rapid changes for the better are not made, we shall forever remain underdogs simply by the ruinous attitudes of our leaders. While the governments look on unconcerned when our traditional leaders misbehave by taking their subjects for fools as explained above, the nation becomes prostrated by years of corruption.

It is the duty of all discerning Ghanaians to join hands with me to condemn the despicable attitudes of not only our chiefs, but also our politicians. For how long should we live without caring about our own backyard - (country) but rather desirous to flee to fleece the Whiteman's greener pastures? Oh, for lack of knowledge my people perish, so says God in the Bible. If you see that ones pastures are greener, it means they have been well tended over a number of years.

To conclude, I say, enough with the nonsense by our chiefs who see themselves as almighty. The proceeds from the sale of stool lands should go towards the development, and investing for or in, their localities. Is there a single paramount chief in Ghana who stands not accused of my accusations against them? If any, let him put up his hand after battling successfully with his own guilty conscience. I may not be telepathic enough to see your honest reaction on this question; however the Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent God will see you.

The flame of the battle on chieftaincy corruption rages unabated!

Rockson Adofo