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Opinions of Saturday, 7 July 2012

Columnist: Atta-Boakye, Ken

Ghana is on the verge of collapse.

Ghanaians wish for Public Officials to take responsibility for their actions. Their gross disrespect and failure to be accountable to the people have led to numerous hardships. The Law Enforcement Agencies (Police) connive and condone in corruption. The Courts cannot be trusted. Corruption is pervasive and has assumed an alarming proportion in day to day activities.
After the infamous AFRC 1979 Firing Squad of all the heads of State and corrupt Army Officers, one would have thought that corruption would have minimized and public officials would think twice over their actions but it has had negative effects, nobody was deterred by the killings. The Limann administration that inherited the AFRC regime engaged in more serious corruption which set the nation back.
Two and a-half years later retired Flt Lt JJ Rawlings infiltrated into the Army to stage another uncalled coup. The coup was unpopular as he stated he wouldn’t hand over to any Ghanaian. But “lo and behold” some lawyers (Opportunists) joined with him to ruin the nation.
Ten years later (1992), the nation started a multi-party democracy and today (July 2012) Ghana is under a civilian government, thirty years after the firing squad. Corruption is now deeply rooted and has taken several forms. Public Officials appointed to serve and to seek justice to the people are the very people causing hardships to the people via corruption. The campaign slogan of P V Obeng (PNDC era) was “Obiara ba a saa” (All politicians Will do the same-corruption) and it is precisely what they are doing. They have stolen State money in gargantuan proportion and acquired properties outside in foreign nations. Now, their mode of operation is to abandon previous contracts and to negotiate new contracts for kick- back and cuts. Meanwhile, the nation is burdened with judgment debt settlements and every Ghanaian is perplexed.
Ghana is on the verge of collapse through the payments of various judgment debts. While the government claims with pride that inflation is in single digits, prices spiral to defy and make the single-digit inflation a hoax. When Forbes says that Ghana is among ten worst-managed economies, Ghanaians think it is imperialistic ploy to discredit third world nations. Ghanaians are wonderful people. Most of the leaders are inward-looking and would do things only for their selfish interests and ends. The few leaders who have integrity and ethical character of behavior should be commended. It is not easy on people who have passion for Ghana. I’m not being a prophet of doom.
The IMF boss in Ghana, Mr Allum, says the problems are “homegrown” and I wholeheartedly agree with him. We have all the resources to provide our people with decent livelihood but the masses are paupers depending on the goodwill and handout from others. We turn round to blame our failures on imperialism and neo-colonialism. I don’t buy this: we build the economies of foreign nations by stealing money from Ghana and stashing them in foreign accounts as well as buying properties over there.
In conclusion, I suggest that the government should team up with National Commission for Civic Education, (NCCE) and under their umbrella of Project Citizen introduce Civic Education in the schools to train future leaders of high moral character. This is what Ghana needs for the next decade.
(This article is an extract from the Study Guide Book of Campaign to Promote Civic Education in Ghana). Please, share your thoughts.
Ken Atta-Boakye
703 986-8438.