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Opinions of Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Columnist: Baafi, Alex Bossman

Institutional Weaknesses in the Face of Chinese/Fulani Menace

Alex Bossman Baafi

This article is no way intended to discount the relationship that is subsisting between this country and our Chinese development partners and our neighbors. It is also not meant to rubbish the important role foreigner in the business community play in the development of our country. We will continue to respect all foreign nationals who lawfully engage their businesses in the country as is done anywhere in the world.

I am highly disappointed by the failure of our state institutions including the Immigration service, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Minerals Commission, Forestry Commission and the Government to put the security and economic well-being of our citizens above the interest of certain Chinese who had come to the country purposely to engage in illegal mining popularly known as Galamsey.

Adding to the illegal mining by these Chinese is the continue invasion of our country by Fulani herdsmen crisscrossing our country with impunity. People in the kintampo south district and Agogo of Ashanti Akim south continue to lament about the wanton destruction of their crops by the marauding Fulani’s, for far too long with no solutions coming from any quarters.

We have failed as a nation to take our destiny into our own hands. We have more often than not relied heavily of foreigners to determine our future and in the process; these foreigners take our people for a ride because of abject poverty. Most of these foreigners invade, encroach and destroy our farmland and water bodies because the institutions and government of this country are powerless. It really beats my imagination how these Chinese/Fulani menace had become albatross on our neck. I wonder when we are going to be serious as a nation. Our citizens have become slaves on our own land of our birth with the authorities not raising fingers?

Sadly, our institutions and the government have failed to control home security issues. These foreigners, especially, the Chinese and the Fulani have become wealthier and powerful here in our country and are engaging in illegal activities with impunity. These atrocities cannot happen anywhere in the world where there are strong institutions in charge of home affairs or national security issues.

For me, there are three (3) negatives aspects of these foreigners invading our country.

First, the arrival of these Chinese and Fulani had brought economic dislocation. Our retail businesses have been disrupted locally and regionally. Whilst the Chinese in retail businesses have their trade booming, that of our people is collapsing. This disruption has hit hard the poor classes in our society more than never before. It has therefore led to increase in joblessness and hence poverty. Our garment industry had been decimated. This is because of pirated inferior garments that had flooded our markets from China. The Fulani and their cattle have succeeded to destroy vast farmland of our farmers. The Fulani go to the extent of killing and maiming our poor farmers whilst the less fortunate women who survive their attacks are raped to the last atom of their strength. There are several reported cases of this nasty incident currently ongoing at Agogo in Asante Akim District that is known to be the hub of these Fulani herdsmen.

Second, though we have our independence, there is still a sense of economic and political weaknesses on our part as a people and as a nation. For example, the government largely has made it a point that without the support of the Chinese loans, the future in terms of infrastructural development of this country is hopelessly uncertain. We have perhaps pledged our loyalty to china and therefore their nationals then become untouchable in our country no matter what they do whilst in our country. Most of infrastructural development project contracts are given to the Chinese though we have able indigenous institutions in this country that are capable of executing such contracts cheaply and perfectly. Even constructions of local markets are given to the Chinese to execute. What is wrong with our mentality?

Third, because our authorities always run them with cup in hand begging for money, we have perhaps sold our destiny to the Chinese. Our begging attitude has culminated into inevitable neo-colonial exploitation of our resources. Yes, China is taking advantage of our weaknesses, and bargaining from a position of strength, requires a certain percentage of our minerals resources including Gold and Oil to siphon off and send to their country, otherwise why are they here to engage in illegal galamsey?

The lack of political commitment to deal swiftly with the Chinese and Fulani menace had created a vacuum in the heart of the good people of this country. Powerful and serious –minded governance can only fill that vacuum. The reversal of the current socio-economic and political realities that are threatening the very existence of the masses can be realized with change for a political force that will put the interest of our nation and its people first. Forgetting the security, economic and political needs of the people is as useless as exercising the mandate of the people in weakness and irresponsible manner.