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Opinions of Thursday, 1 June 2017

Columnist: Michael Nana-Sasu

Dear President, take action!

I have seen the savagery and evil in the hearts of Ghanaians. I need not see more. I could count not less than five animals wearing Wellington boots (Farmers or Galamsayers) and one more in a blue shirt with the inscription Obuasi Kristo Asafo calling Kwame Agyei. Holy Spirit, convict hearts and minds lest we fail. Rest in peace Captain.

The greatest nightmare of any soldier, pilot or covert security professional is not the harm to be inflicted on their lives but rather how vulnerable they will be when a close family relation dear to their hearts is held at gunpoint and used as a bargaining chip or a dangling carrot to negotiate a deal.

Nothing breaks the will of that soldier faster than the voice of their five-year-old daughter saying over a phone; Daddy/ Mummy please help me. Terrorists employ this tactic the most.

Terrorism and Corruption are cut from the same old dirty cloth. In Ghana, corrupt public officials quickly run to close family relations of the President (as was revealed in Sierra Leone lately), powerful chiefs, Pastors, Imams and friends to intervene on their behalf. Some ethnic groups in Ghana even have a Guantoahene (Chief of pleading). All these Chiefs do is essentially to persuade leaders to forgive offenders- ‘let things slide’; ‘Nana Gyae ma ?nka’. Mr. President, we as a people are tired of the stomach-churning days of Gyae ma ?nka in politically corrupt deals. And that is why the overwhelming majority of Ghanaians voted for a 72-year-old man as our President. Change was finally coming to our shores. Our hope was inspired by what you (Mr. President) have done all your life.

There is a growing disquiet among the general populace over the President’s seemingly extensive graciousness towards the thieves and pickpockets in suits and tie from the erstwhile Mahama administration. Almost everybody is asking when President Akufo-Addo is going to strike.

For years, our dear nation has been plundered and pummeled by thieves. They shared the booty and spoils of robbery under our very own eyes in broad daylight. They together with their cohorts raped our virgin forest and muddied our river bodies. They bribed most of our Chiefs and gagged some of our Media. They were answerable to none but their conscience, which was heavily seared anyway. As fate would have it, their boss (our former President John Mahama) was at the time battling series of corruption allegations himself. This weakened or eroded JM’s moral fiber to provide the needed leadership to his appointees. The flock of sheep was left in the care of hungry hyenas. The Ghanaian people spoke in a clear and unambiguous voice at the 2016 December polls, saying; ‘We shall no longer tolerate any acts of political corruption.’ Research findings prior to the elections, which were upheld by the electoral results, all pointed to the high levels of apathy in pro-NDC locations. They all didn’t necessarily vote for change but by staying away from the polls, they denied the wheels of corruption the oil it so much needed to turn.

Together with the Rawlins’s, the Afedes’, some journalists, statesmen and Civil Society Organizations, millions of Ghanaians made a bold declaration of intent saying, ‘Prosecute these corrupt government officials.’ They obviously were not satisfied with the name and shame approach of the Mahama era or of its effectiveness in addressing the canker of corruption. Ghanaians queued to vote massively for change.

Mr. President, it has been five months down the lane. It appears to me and many other like-minded patriots that the name and shame approach of the erstwhile Mahama regime has only been replaced albeit temporarily by the’ pay in installment all stolen monies (without accrued interest)’ approach. Mr. President, this was obviously not what we bargained for. Such an arrangement if allowed to continue, will hurt the society’s sense of fairness, breed more public demonstrations in demand for better service conditions, and encourage vigils and picketing at sensitive national installations. The seeds of corruption have leached very deep into our way of life and the principle of gradualism is not the way to go neither is Gyae ma ?nka an option for us. We need to confront it head on with everything we have. That is why millions of Ghanaians voted for President Akufo-Addo.

If Woyome or any of the Mahama brothers is too hot a shot for now, just give us one of the low hanging apples to play around with whiles we wait patiently for the coming of the Independent Prosecutor. Give us a Dumelo or Opuni to satisfy our thirst for justice while waiting for the Independent Prosecutor to deal with the bigger fishes.

God bless our homeland Ghana.

God bless the President.