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Opinions of Monday, 1 September 2003

Columnist: Aidoo, Prince Junior

Children for sale in Ghana, who cares?

Fellow countrymen, kindly permit me to say that slavery is a natural evolution and that is the reason why Africans will continue to suffer under this cruel factor till the end of out time if not checked. Who cares if your child is a left out?. Does a President of a nation care about the welfare of children being sold as slaves in Ghana?. No, it is natural. Yes, one may ask if it is not justified to see our poor and helpless children being treated in such an awful manner in Ghana and Africa as a whole?. Yes why not?. Yes who cares?. The president of the state will perhaps say at the back of his head that, oh! lets get on, after all they are not the elite children. Everyone for himself and God for us all is our motto in Ghana and elsewhere today.

"Our Ministry of Employment and Manpower Development in Ghana said "that children are being sold, some as low as ?500,000 at some markets in Ghana,". Preferable at markets like Maamobi, Nima, Agbogbloshie, Makola and Kumasi respectively".

What is new about this?. Do children have any rights in Ghana?.

Child slavery in Ghana is a the real problem for the poor and needy people in Ghana but not a meaningful problem for the President or his subordinates. Do they care whether your child will be selling dog chains, dog meat, tomatoes, or goat meat on the street to make a living or turning into prostitutes?. Who cares?. Ask the president and his ministers, whether they too sold dog chains, tomatoes, dog meat or goat meat on the street to make a living in Ghana?.

Do children have right of education?. What about schools in Ghana? To be precise, let's talk about basic education in Ghana and how it is failing the public on the other hand. The President and most of his ministers, top officials and high class citizens such as the united nations secretary general Mr. Kofi Annan and many more enjoyed free education under that President Kwame Nkrumah who some Ghanaians still claim to be stupid and have done nothing for Ghana. Today they are all able to do citizens and cannot afford selling their kids at the market for even 100.000.000.00 Cedis or letting their next of kin sell dog chains, tomatoes, dog meat or goat meat on the street to make a living?. God may forbid them to do so to their own children.

Their Children are among the elite of today enjoying university education home and abroad whiles others are suffering under slave trade and some selling dog meat and chains to make a living today in Ghana. A father once said: "His death is not what he is worried about, but his children he will be living behind". The sleeping place of an orphan child. This means in Ashanti language: "Agyanka Dabere". This what is what the government of Ghana calls: "Freedom and Justice". Yes it was justified at their time to get freedom and free education to be what they are today. Now their father Kwame Nkrumah died and left his poor children with these disgruntle elite with the hope that they will extend free education to the orphan ch! ildren of Ghana.

Nkrumah is dead and gone and his children have no place to put their head. The only remedy is to be sold as slaves or sell cow chains and dog chains in the streets or being a prostitute in Ghana today. That is what we call human rights anyway. What has a poor family got to say in his life time in Ghana?. Has a poor Ghanaian family any rights in Ghana?. Is there any Justice for them?. The real answer shouldn't be surprising. In a country ravaged by AIDS, prostitution, stealing, stories about child slavery or its variant are what you are likely to hear. However, poverty of a country should not be the excuse. If really we are poor, that does?nt mean our brains are automatically poor. The government always have enough money to pay his soldiers and the security personnel's because of fears that they might cause havoc i! f they are not paid, but money for child care is "Taboo". They have no idea whatsoever. Selfishness and wickedness is what Ghanaians are experiencing from those whom Nkrumah left his children with. May God bless them.

No amount of useless campaign promises will justify children's rejection in our society. Those parents who try to educate their children cannot afford the expensive school fees and as such their children are welcomed as fall-outs. To hold seminars is just to cry foul about child slavery in Ghana, when there have been reports underling the social risks in the growth of "out-of-school population" in past years, undermines the seriousness of a government's purpose. Do they care? According to the official report, it is estimated that "Over 800,000 or more children in Ghana are involved in hazardous labor and that there was evidence to show that the menace was on the increase." A government at long last is admitting tha! t there are abusive child labor practices on a massive scale in the country. Is there any work for the children?. No because all the factories left behind by their father Nkrumah has been sold of demolished because of hatred. Ghanaians said he was the worst leader Africa has ever seen. History will judge this.

Those better leaders could build nothing to justify their injustice to the children in Ghana. The government's admission is commendable, but it still leaves a question: what is being done to repair this state of affairs if putting a child to work or becoming a prostitute is not a crime?. It will be wise to note that unwise government policies have gutted the free educational systems of places like Ghana, starting in the 60s. Today, basic education as we had prior to the 60s, is not affordable to the majority. Our leaders have enjoyed their free education. What is affordable now is junk education. What Kwame Nkrumah did in only 9 (nine years), criminal politicians claimed it can be done within 2 (two years! ) by UP, PNDP, NDC and others. Now 37 years is gone and the result of this assumption is what we see today. No wonder kids who should be in free schools have fallen prey to slave traders today.

The solution to the problem is to raise committed youth now to free our people from political bondage. The need to mobilize political will and the resources to deliver at least free basic primary, secondary up to university education to the public cannot be over stated. Someone out there should tell those disgruntle politicians that they should go on with their suspicious minds. They should get ready to feel the stick that they used to hit Mr. Baah, that same stick will be used to hit them very soon. They will feel the sword of the uprising sooner or later.

Long live Ghana. God bless you all.

Prince Aidoo (Evangelist)

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.