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Opinions of Sunday, 6 May 2018

Columnist: K. Badu, UK.

If you are not an enemy of the state, who is?

In so far as the political elites continue to exhibit unbridled selfishness, lack of patriotism, and revoltingly look down upon the downtrodden, Ghana may never develop meaningfully in our lifetime.

It is quite troubling to see some impenitent criminals hiding behind political coloration, devoid of patriotism and blissfully stealing from the national purse as if tomorrow will never come.

Let us face it, though, anyone can claim birth right to patriotism. Nevertheless, patriotism is not mere rhetoric and political gimmicks.

Yes, we could only evidence our patriotism through our actions and inactions. That is by showing our affection, solicitude and strong inclination towards our country in whatever we do.

Make no mistake, it is irresponsible on the part of the people who prefer to be called true Ghanaians to decide to squander funds meant to transform the lives of the penniless in society through corruption scandals such as the Brazil World Cup, the infamous bus branding, SUBA, SSNIT among others.

How could such individuals hold onto their Ghanaian identity when they can conspire and pay dubious judgement debts to the tune of GH800 million?

In fact, only celebrated nation wreckers can squeamishly create, loot and share monies belonging to GYEEDA and SADA which were meant to transform the lives of the poor and disadvantaged in society.

Apparently, the revoltingly cyclical corrupt practices amongst the political elites and other public servants have indeed resulted in underdevelopment, excessive public spending, less efficient tax system , needless high public deficit and destabilization of national budgets, heightened capital flight and the creation of perverse incentives that stimulate income-seeking rather than productive activities.

Greed, selfishness and lack of empathy have been the order of the day. Indeed, it is an illustrative case of ‘every man for himself’.

The unpatriotic and selfish attitudes of the men and women we often put in responsible positions have indeed cost this nation dearly. But all said and done, it is never too late; we can undo the wrongs by working honestly, collaboratively and diligently towards a meaningful advancement.

Of course, we have in our midst some honest men and women who have the wellbeing of Ghana at heart to put things right.

There is no denying or hiding the fact that since the birth of Ghana’s Fourth Republic (from 1993 to present), we (Ghanaians) have regrettably lost billions of dollars meant for developmental projects through unbridled sleazes and corruption. And yet the various methods used by the successive governments in fighting the menace have been extremely disappointing.

Corruption, as a matter of fact, impedes economic development by distorting markets and collapsing private sector integrity.

“Corruption also strikes at the heart of democracy by corroding rule of law, democratic institutions and public trust in leaders. For the poor, women and minorities, corruption means even less access to jobs, justice or any fair and equal opportunity” (UNDP 2016).

It is absolutely true that due to the corrupt public official’s criminal intent, the innocent citizens end up experiencing economic hardships, starvation, depression, emotional labour and squalor, which more often than not, send them to their early graves.

How long can we continue to defend and shield the extremely corrupt public officials who obviously do not have the nation at heart?

Ghana, so to speak, has been lagging behind in terms of economic advancement largely due to lack of true patriots to oversee important positions over the years.

In fact, the suggestions by some sceptics that the NPP government has collapsed, or is collapsing the economy in barely sixteen months into office are somewhat fallacious, so to speak.

Let us however be honest, and rightly so, the NPP government could not have messed up Ghana’s economy in just a little over sixteen months into office.

The fact however remains that the outgone NDC government’s awful errors in judgement and the alleged corrupt practices brought about the huge economic meltdown.

In fact, I could not agree more with those who insist that investigations and prosecutions have unnecessarily delayed.

Indeed, I share in the aggrieved patriots sentiments that it should not only take a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute the alleged criminals as we already have mandated institutions.

K. Badu, UK.