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Opinions of Friday, 9 June 2017

Columnist: Rockson Adofo

Could Ghanaians please let common sense prevail in critical times?

I cannot really understand what at all is wrong with some Ghanaians. Is our lack of common sense in critical times poverty-driven or contrarily, it is the dictation of intuitive desire for corruption? At times, the people entrusted with higher positions to serve the citizens do take decisions that make one wonder if they actually care about the nation and her sons and daughters.

It is known worldwide that the government of President Akufo-Addo has vowed to eliminate illegal surface mining (galamsey) from Ghana. Most of the galamsey activities in Ghana are aggressively carried out by foreigners of whom the Chinese are prominent.

The uncontrolled galamsey activities have resulted in the contamination of most of the nation’s water bodies, especially the big rivers like Pra, Birim, Densu and Offin; the destruction of our arable lands and reserved virgin forests as well as the pollution of the air that we breathe.

Despite the government’s ultimatum to all galamseyers to suspend their mining activities, some foreigners, especially the Chinese, disregarded the order. They continued with their mining activities as though no warning had been issued by the government. Some Chinese have been arrested and are waiting to be prosecuted.

What is shocking about the whole scenario is the Chinese Ambassador in Ghana giving financial gifts to our law enforcement agencies or departments. Not long ago, the Chinese Embassy in Ghana gave the police command GHS50, 000 towards the construction of a police building. They have again donated GHS10, 000 to the Attorney General’s Department.

What does the Attorney General Department need that money for; could Ms Gloria Akufo please explain it to the nation? Yes, our leaders have misapplied the resources of the nation hence Ghana becoming artificially poor. However, are we so desperate to receive such meagre gifts which have the potential to influence the outcome of the prosecution of the arrested illegal Chinese surface miners in the country?

One is always left to query if at all some of our leaders who are succumbing to such trivial temptations do sleep on pillows at night when they go to bed? Some of their actions do not make sense one bit.

Nobody can convince me that the police and the Attorney General will not somehow be induced by the Chinese gifts to proceed leniently with the Chinese nationals in Ghana whenever they blatantly flout out laws.

The police who were the first to accept such offers came under barrage of public chastisements. Therefore, the Attorney General should have taken a cue from that precedent to not have accepted the GHS10, 000, especially when there are some Chinese on remand facing prosecution for various crimes against Ghana and the people of Ghana.

What an error of judgment by the Attorney General, Ms Gloria Akuffo! The more I desire to take a long break from internet publications on Ghana politics, the more our leaders commit political faux pas that call for constructive criticisms or if not outright rebuke from me. Their attitudes keep me lurking around to not only pounce on them but also, to correct them by way of constructive criticisms; giving them advice and suggestions.

Finally, would Ms Gloria Akuffo please return the money to the Chinese embassy since it was taken at the wrong time? She should in future not accept any such offers from anyone, especially when that person or a member of their family has fallen foul of the laws of the land.