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Opinions of Sunday, 31 May 2009

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Instances of "Sakawa", a National Menace, and its Eradication

Oh "Sakawa", how wicked art thou? Your detrimental impact on the lives of many a Ghanaian cannot be overstated. You are ruinously ripping up the lives of many an exuberant youth without them knowing. Many others are the warped minds that are gaping, and in awe of the mysterious ways you have come to torment Ghana. You have come to dominate the attention of Ghanaians; whether for good or for bad, it is without precedence. The jobless youth avid for financial pleasure and power are now your spellbound audience. Both girls and boys without moral consciousness are dancing to the tempo of "Sakawa"; eager to become monstrously rich overnight.

What then is "Sakawa", one may ask? It is a currently coined and popularised Ghanaian word to express the undue process by which one gets rich quicker. It could be some Ghanaians idling about in Internet cafes, with the evil intent of duping unsuspecting foreigners and or fellow Ghanaians resident abroad. These louts have taken what used to be the "Nigerian 419" a step further into the domain of pure daylight robbery and murder. They craftily con others out of all their life savings by pretending to be their genuine future partners while on presumptuous blind dating. The infatuation of "get rich quick" as started at the Internet cafes has assumed a weird unstoppable demonic dimension across the entire country. It has degenerated into the physical ritual extermination of some unfortunate persons who happen to be at the right, or the wrong place, at the wrong time. "SAKAWA" is in effect the abbreviation for SOCIETAL AVARICIOUS KNOWLEDGE AIDING WRONG ASPIRATIONS.

How this national menace did called "Sakawa" start? It started many years ago on a low level of what then was a "Sikaduro", a supposedly illicit spiritual means of getting rich quicker taken after by a few in the society. I have never believed "Sikaduro" to be feasible and hence, deemed it non-existential. But many are Ghanaians that believe in its existence and shamelessly want to avail themselves of its supposedly concurring glorification and opportunities. These lackadaisical Ghanaian nincompoops, "Sakawa" fanatics so to speak, never desire to engage in any hard genuine enterprise but quackery to making easy money. They are energetically into dubious nation or life ruining malevolent activities seen by them as very easy but non-tasking means of making great wealth at no sweat, but at the crack of the finger.

The devilish "Sakawa" has taken various forms and shapes depending on how its fanatics see it fit. The current conglomeration of the Ghanaian youth in Internet cafes with the sole motive of duping unsuspecting Whites and fellow Ghanaians resident overseas is amazing. The Internet cafes are full of people of all sorts especially youths, surfing the net from daybreak till night all in the hope of finding someone to prey on. This is on its lighter note. On its more serious note, some of those desirous to enjoying the benefits of "Sakawa" to the fullest do go the extra mile of sacrificing human life. This nonsense has become a worrisome national menace. This canker should not be ignored with the brink of the eye. It must be confronted head-on using the most unprecedented radical means. It must be dealt with in a pound for pound, a punch for punch, and a flesh for flesh, do or die situation. Many are the innocent young children that are of late being abducted and murdered to satisfy the insatiable quest of some damn lazy, stupid and bastard Ghanaians who have vowed to get rich quicker. May the stakeholders in the perpetration of "Sakawa" perish in the sulphuric hell of fire!

I understand on the Internet, the crooks in Ghana will formulate all sorts of nonsense to let one believe and sympathize with them. They may narrate sorrowful but untrue situations they assume to currently find themselves. They may tell about their illness, death in the family, involvement in lorry accidents, hospitalisation, attacked by armed robbers, their homes ransacked, being evicted from their homes and other silly stories just to have one pity them. All these stories come up after one has got into intimate e-mail correspondences with them for whatever reason, especially, when blind dating. These crooks of all colours, makes and shapes, and with congenital fool's mindsets then request a financial assistance from you after alerting you to their current sorry plights. These tricksters keep up the pressure in subtle but incessant way to fleece you of several Pound sterling, Euros, American or Canadian dollars, or any other hard currency the victim may possess. Once they have duped you as much as they can, and once you begin to get leery, they cut you off. They cease to acknowledge your mails and change their mobile phone numbers. In Ghana, a "pay as you go" mobile phone number can be changed as many more times as one changes diapers in Europe or America. Changing their phone numbers to lose trace or track of these social pests is not a problem to them at all.

Ghanaians, who by ignorance always think to outsmart others in their emulation, have surpassed through escalation, their Nigerian counterparts' silly "419" exploitative ploys. The Nigerians as best crooks as they are, think to be smarter than Ghanaians. They started their Internet "Sakawa" by e-mailing people to assist them transfer bequeathed millions of American dollars from one bank source to another. They promise the interested party a percentage sum of the money if able to transfer. Once one shows interest, they then ask the person to disclose their bank account details for the money to be transferred into. When your bank details are revealed, they then ransack your bank accounts to the last cent. As by their dismantling attitude towards what the sensible Whiteman has mounted, these social Nigerian vermin think to be smart. They even dupe people by suggesting to them to send over some money to bribe those in higher positions to enable him/her, the fraudster in this case, transfer a million-fold of the sum sent into the accounts of the one tipped to dupe on certain terms of agreement. By these crude ruses, they do enrich themselves at the indignity of their nation and race. Ghanaians, deemed inferior in the eyes of the Nigerians for not taking after their whimsical behaviour, now want to prove themselves not only smart but smarter, by doing worse than the Nigerians hence, the dominance of Sakawa in every nook and corner of Ghana.

It is a pity to hear "Sakawa" frightfully being on the ascendency yet our numerously dumb and unskilful politicians are doing nothing about. They are happily but unknowingly depicting their lack of intelligence, lack of wisdom and lack of political expediency by cheeringly calling their year 2009 National budget "Sakawa budget". What a bunch of ignoramuses who cannot tell what constitutes a national menace from what is simply a joke. I am mortified by the dismal attitude of our politicians who find nothing wrong with "Sakawa". They are themselves into it. They take to some unpalatable means to enrich themselves. They are the head and champions of corruption in the Ghanaian society hence, seeing nothing wrong with Sakawa.

Many young children are succumbing to premature deaths all in the wake of Sakawa. I was shocked recently to listen to live narration of the story of how a young Teshie school girl escaped sacrificial Sakawa attempt on her. The story was heard from the horse's own mouth over Peace FM programme hosted by Madame Afua Konadu. This lady was late within seconds to catching her school bus. She then joined three other school girls to flag down a taxi to take them to their various schools. The taxi driver assuring them of avoiding the traffic congestion took to tortuous routes. According to the girl, there was a Rastafarian guy in the front passenger seat when they climbed into the taxi and into the back seat. Somewhere on the route, the taxi stopped and the guy joined them in the back seat. This guy then injected them with a product that made three of the girls fall asleep. She could not fall asleep. She was scared and then started praying silently to God Almighty. In the end, they found themselves in Nsawan though the taxi was to take them to school in Teshie. The guy unlocked the door, elbowed her out of the car and they drove off with the remaining three chloroformed girls. A Good Samaritan found her. He helped her phone up her Dad in Teshie, one Mr. Sackey. This man was present at the narration of the girl's ordeal on Peace FM radio station. He was advised on his way back after collecting his daughter from Nsawam by the passengers on the bus to first go and see Peace FM about the issue. This was to help inform the nation about the incident and the plight of the missing three girls. Where are the other three girls? They have probably become sacrificial Sakawa lambs to feed the unquenchable desire of some twats getting richer just by twirling their fingers.

We hear of Sakawa coffins on daily basis. People upon hearing of the coffins hurtle to observe them either in admiration or in fear. What are we doing as a nation to arrest the spread of what I consider as problematic for the security and safety of Ghanaians, and the economy in general?

I suggest as following: * The Parliament must enact a bill banning fraudulent activities in Internet cafes. Random computer seizures for examination can take place throughout the country. Computer experts accompanied by police can be empowered to visit and retrieve computers at will from any Internet cafe to examine the hard drive for any suspected ongoing Sakawa activity. Any Internet cafe found to be the seat of Sakawa must be closed down and the owner prosecuted. Some Internet cafe owners recently expressed disgust at the fraudulent activities by their customers yet they concluded that they cannot report them to the police as they patronize their cafes, yielding them income. * Our politicians should cease their corrupt attitudes reflected in their ostentatious living. This outward show of political opulence has triggered off the bizarre quest for money in the youth hence, the dominance of the dreadful Sakawa. * Anyone found to perpetrate or collude to perpetrate acts of fraud of any sort must be prosecuted and handed harsh punitive sentences. * People must be encouraged to inform on Sakawa fanatics. Those reported must be dealt with accordingly if proven guilty. * Anyone found to have abducted any other person for Sakawa should be prosecuted. * Anyone dealing in human sacrificial Sakawa, be they Fetish priests, Mallams, or Reverend Fathers, should be liquidated straightaway. * All Ghanaians resident abroad should cease any form of Internet blind dating with Ghanaians back home. They are all into Sakawa. Should you find any that you are desirous to marry, never send the person a penny before seeing him or her in person no matter how long it takes to and or whatever sorrowful encounters they may recount as finding themselves in. Don't give them the chance to underestimate your intelligence by using their stupid Sakawa craft to dupe you of your hard earned pound sterling, Euros or dollars. * No Whiteman or Ghanaian should purchase say, the mineral gold, diamond etc. from any individual or group of individuals in Ghana. These people are understood to show you a genuine product at the commencement of the deal. But once the deal has been concluded and paid for, they short-change you by giving you a fake mineral. Or where authentic product changes hands, they do arrange for armed robbers to attack you to retrieve it from you. The present Ghanaian like their contemporary Nigerians will stop at nothing to dupe someone to get rich.

I will be back with more information on Sakawa as and when deemed appropriate. SAKAWA IS A NATIONAL MENACE THAT MUST BE STOPPED IN ITS TRACKS AT ALL COSTS.

Rockson Adofo, London