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Opinions of Friday, 4 May 2018

Columnist: Rockson Adofo

Civilized western countries create stronger institutions; Ghana, her sister African countries create monsters

No foreign person or country can effectively and better assist in the socio-economic development of Africa to a remarkably appreciable level that will bring smiles to the face of Africans than the African themselves. The Ghanaian or the African’s overly reliance on the Western world to provide them with everything from the toilet paper they use to wipe their bum (British slang for anus) to the dress they wear, the food they eat and the cars they ride, has greatly denigrated them and cost them any little respect they might have earned in the sight of their White contemporaries.

Did the former President of America, Mr Barack Obama, not advise Ghanaians to create stronger institutions instead of creating stronger persons in his address to Ghana Parliament when he visited Ghana during his first term in office when Ghana became his first trip to Africa as the President of America? He knew very well that the infatuation with the people of his fatherland to creating stronger persons who turn to become monsters in the cloak of dictators, at the expense of stronger institutions, is the bane of Africa’s socio-politico-economic development. No wonder that Ghana and almost the entire African continent are wallowing in extreme poverty, to be tormented by uncountable number of diseases and preventable deaths.

Let me limit myself to Ghana. The institutional problems besetting Ghana are same as those prevailing in almost all her other sister African countries. As their skin colour is black, so is their mind hence the degrading description of the African having a black mentality. Black mentality denotes only things that are evil or bad.

For many years, Ghana has come to acknowledge that corruption in the judicial system has been militating against the delivery of justice in the country. Where there is no justice, there can never be any deep-rooted peace but superficial one wobbling on skinny legs that stand the greater chance of breaking at the least subjection to pressure. Anas Aremeyaw Anas, the most respected nationally and internationally selfless and renowned Ghanaian investigative journalist, helped to expose the rot within the judiciary. Some judges who became lovers of corruption and subsequently fell on their own sword of corruption when caught by Anas, were expelled from the judicial service.

However, the judiciary has not yet totally cast out its shameful corruption-soaked cloak. There could still be people within the service taking bribes to delay or twist justice. Many a time, vital documents get missing from plaintiffs’ or defendants’ files left in the care of the courts. The court registrars or some of the clerks do remove these documents to hide probably at the behest of a would-be guilty party but who has been able to grease their palms with bribe. Had this attitude by our court clerks taking money even from the poor before helping them in making photocopies, retrieving their files from the shelves, filing their files on the shelves and causing the disappearance of documents from files not been bemoaned by former Chief Justice Mrs Theodora Georgina Wood? Are these ongoing attitudes that prevent most people in Ghana from enjoying justice not militating against our quest to prosper as a nation?

If such habits are dangerous and harming us as a nation, what are our Chief Justices doing to stop their occurrences or continuation? Why can’t they sack any of such registrars or clerks to serve as a deterrence to others? Ghana abounds in joblessness. Many are out there looking for job so our readiness to sack the corrupt ones to be easily replaced by others will cause the automatic stoppage to the deplorably criminal attitudes ongoing within the courts.

In the Western world where I am conversant with their employment laws, proven gross misconduct as per a company’s internal policy often culminates in the sacking of the offender without any ifs or buts. The sacked employee can take their case before the Employment Tribunal if they feel they have been wrongly sacked. However, if the offence alleged or established to have been committed is proved beyond doubt, the employee is sacked for good without the granting of their sought for compensation or re-instatement to their post.

With the laws working effectively in the Western world, all other institutions are bound to tow the same line hence the prosperity they are enjoying as a nation and as individuals. On the contrary, when you come to Ghana or Africa, we rather create stronger persons who could be monsters and have no respect for the laws of the land. They do what they want when they want. A typical example is the “Overlord” of Asanteman, thus, Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. He does not respect both the constitutional laws of the country as well as the conventions of his Asante Kingdom. He claims to be above the laws and will do whatever he wants when he wants, without anyone being able to call him to attention. The members of Government and all the traditional heads are at his beck and call to serve his selfish and criminal needs. How can a country in this sense and state prosper? Tell me, the public, please.

I have just read that yesterday, Thursday, 3 May 2018, the National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaa (Hon), ran to Manhyia Palace following the tactically nonsensical public outburst by Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II against the NPP government. What did Kan Daapa go there to do, to prostrate to him to pardon the NPP? Why should we accord such a veneration to someone who is obviously a criminal in every sense of the world? By our attitudes, are we not guilty of what President Barack Obama admonished us against?

Having created a monster in the person of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, what has Asanteman or Ghana gained? Zilch! We are just being intimidated and kowtowing to him like inhibited persons. We are allowing him to have his own way to the detriment of Asanteman and more especially, Kumawuman.

I can see that our fondness for creating stronger persons is what has strengthened the ramification of corruption in Ghana to the detriment of the majority of Ghanaians. These unfortunately created stronger persons use their positions to exploit the masses rather than to helping them. A classic example is the current Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. Had he not been using his special relationship with then President John Dramani Mahama to exploit Ghanaians to the hilt, especially, the people of Kumawuman? Was he able to use that relationship to acquire anything tangible for Asanteman? While the Ashantis became the victims of the NHIS Capitation introduced firstly, if not only, in the Ashanti region, for several years to deprive the sick and the poor of free or reasonably-priced healthcare, unlike in the other regions, what did Asantehene do? Nothing! He sat there enjoying his illegally-acquired wealth coupled with making non-stop or incessant trips to South Africa to seek better medical attention.

Ghana continued to make former President J. J. Rawlings stronger and bigger until the members of his own singlehandedly-founded NDC turned against him. Ghanaians continue to make stronger the most corrupt and exceedingly incompetent President in the political history of Ghana, in the person of Mr John Dramani Mahama, stronger? With such stupid attitude of ours, how can we emerge from our poverty as a nation?

We hail and worship those who embezzle state funds and assets as heroes. These people after illegally enriching themselves turn against us. They begin to use their wealth and power acquired through our obvious ignorance to suppress us. Are we that stupid as a nation and as a people in search of socio-politico-economic emancipation?

Please, fellow Ghanaians, let us go back to the drawing board to plan again as we have failed ourselves as a nation and a people. Let our Law Courts work and if they should, without fear or favour, Ghana will stand up on her two legs and begin to walk, if not run. Unless our judges shed their corrupt practices to ensure that justice based on facts and credible evidence become the cardinal determinants of their verdicts, Ghana as a nation will continually wallow in the creation of monsters who will always turn to devour us. Simply put, the law must work without any respect for one’s status quo.


By: Rockson Adofo