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Opinions of Monday, 11 June 2018

Columnist: Yakubu Ahmed

How far away are you?

Former President of the Ghana Football Association, Kwesi Nyantakyi Former President of the Ghana Football Association, Kwesi Nyantakyi

I have watched the Ghanaian space with a twin disgust as the Anas number 12 documentary is being premiered across the nation. My disgust stems from the fact that: #1, ‘When Misconduct and Greed Becomes the Norm’, even the meanest of devils are defiant; #2, we are all angels, after we are caught then we become devils.

Widespread corruption on the grounds. A little bird tells me greed and her daughter, corruption, have been given a permanent seat at the table of negotiation. God save us!!

But how could these ever be, it is the case of insatiable lust for eternally pregnant wealth, which in all cases is impractical. As much I am irked by the stench of impunity that has taken over this moment of scandalous deeds, I am also peeved by the angelic posture of the rest of us who fortunately or unfortunately are not victims of the undercover investigations so far.

I have listened to a number of people speak on this recent matter, crucifying the rot as is deserving of such shameful conduct and lamenting the current state of affairs. The sentiments expressed following this Anas expose are that of an old tale. The unanimous hymn is that something must be done to salvage the disgracing situation. But the other story that is not been told is that we don’t do the right thing ourselves

Of course, we as a nation must take swift actions to deal with the specific matter of unguarded corruption at the GFA, sanitizing the Ghanaian football atmosphere for the conduct of proper and serious business. I agree, totally with those who are of the view that the collapse of GFA is necessary. I also agree in part with those who say that GFA must not be dissolved, only that the right persons must be dealt with appropriately.

I agree with the latter because I assume they are afraid of the consequences that come with dissolving GFA. But if any real action is to be taken, I think the institution as a whole must be dealt with. The extent of damage caused by this scandal goes as far as to tarnish the outside image of the association, and if any proper action is to be taken then the effect must be whole, changing the entire face of the institution in question. Confidence and trust must be restored.

So unsurprisingly corruption is gaining the status of a fantasy state institution regardless of the endless crusades been waged against it by the government, civil society organizations, patriots and pan Africans alike. I am particularly amazed that despite this show of abhorrence, detestation and disapproval of the demonic act of corruption we continue to clutch to the ‘bar’/gain of corruption.

However, I think we have overemphasized the ills uncovered at the FA so much that we have forgotten that we are equally if not more corrupt than those of the number 12 fame. Unlike those victims who demonstrated crime on screen, we are equally guilty at the blind side of the law. It doesn’t impress me to say this, but we are the thieves off stage. But for the fact that Anas bribes for the purpose of investigation, he will equally be found wanting and hence guilty of breaking the laws of the country. So the giver of bribe is no better than the receiver.

So if you and me, after having watched this undercover videos, expressed our disgust with the situation and still find comfort in giving a cedi to the man in uniform on the road to overlook our failure to renew our license, or present some goats and tubers of yam to a judge in order to topple justice in the face of the law, then I would not be wrong to say that all this is much ado about nothing.

My point is this, the videotapes recorded and shown to us are what we are all seeing, but there is also the deadly pile of crimes we are not only seeing but committing as individuals. So how do we all help in this crusade? Ensuring that the dream of an ideal Ghana and most importantly a corrupt free Africa. The vision of Anas, civil society organizations and thousands of local and international anti-corruption crusaders will only see the light of the day if we amend the state of our minds in respect of corruption.

I have a proposition on that.

How about we all be our own Anas?

One may not have the camera on him/her, but when the tide of culpability and the ‘name, shame and jail’ mantra finally turns to dance on our side, we will come to terms with the reality that the busted criminal is no better than the wanted criminal. They say the wheel of justice grinds slowly. Maybe it caught up with Kwesi Nyantakyi and his crew, but it is still grinding. How far away are you?