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Opinions of Monday, 5 March 2007

Columnist: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka

NPP, Neo-Colonialism And Corrupt Leadership In High Places!!

Do We Hate Ourselves? : Npp, Neo-Colonialism And Corrupt Leadership In High Places!!

My fellow Ghanaian, welcome to the golden age of neo-colonialism aided and abetted by the black man! Who said colonialism is over? Ghana is spiraling in the wrong direction and who is bold enough to say it? Will the NPP or NDC blowhards speak up in the interest of the good people of Ghana? Just check out some of the examples below and tell me if a HPIC country like Ghana should be engaging in such willful and decadent behavior! What do we have to show for Ghana@50?
  • Macmillan Book deal—Britain
  • Soccer Coach--- France ($700,000)
  • Ghana Telecom---Norwegians (paid millions of dollars)
  • Stadia for African Cup of Nations—China
  • 30 Million dollar Presidential Mansion---Indians
  • Water and Sewage Management----Indians
  • Roads---China etc
  • Textile for Ghana @50---China
  • Poultry---Foreign imports (several)
  • Railways---South Africa
  • Assorted goods---Dubai, China, USA, Britain etc
  • Others……on and on and on and on!!
  • ..Jobs for Ghanaians-----Zilch, “Zelo”, Nada!!...............

Haba Ghana man! What is it that blinds thee? Have you no care for yourself and country? We twitch and bitch all the time about slavery, seeking to animate the fine nuances to boot, then turn around and validate it? This time, our slave masters need not whip or brand us! Is fifty years of raping not enough? We can’t and must not shun the world but we must take care of our own just like every country does. Ghanaians first is not a bad motto. Instead, our leaders are taking care of their pockets at the expense of the poor and weak! Being hospitable does not mean that we should think less of ourselves!

There is no country on the face of this earth that developed from without. Even if trillions of dollars flow into Ghana’s economy, it will take the efforts of Ghanaians to build and sustain the country. This is why we should believe in out people and build their confidence even when they dither! We are criminally giving up our right to control our own destiny. We are building castles in the air with this kind of reckless economic myopia that we continue to display. To think that we do this to ourselves even as we preach culture, traditions and all kinds of defiant Pan Africanist drivel is mind numbing. There is absolutely no way to sustain this madness and debt forgiveness round two will soon be on its way. I hope Bono and the rest have enough pipes to sing us into development. What a stinking shame! There are some who assume that structural democracy is a caveat to under perform or not perform at all. They forget that functional democracy is a logical extension of structural democracy. Structural democracy has to do with the process that seats a democratic government. Functional democracy relates to how the government operates democratically and efficiently to produce results once seated. Getting the vote or winning power through the process is one thing and being effective once in power in another. We are failing miserably on the functional democracy count. When will the people wake up?

Leadership of our country is gone with the wind. These days, leadership boils down to begging and borrowing. If you are in the opposition, leadership means boycott and marches! God save us! Whoever shines remarkably in the fine art of begging and borrowing is hailed a leader and hero! Sad indeed! Any dunce can beg and borrow, right? No? Hmmm! Take for example, our energy crisis. What does the president do? Take more loans on behalf of the poor people and throw money at the problem. This president said nothing about long term plans trained at effective distribution of energy in his state of the union speech. As a friend regretfully said, there is not a single gem in that piece of hot air that the president billowed. Haba Wofa per diem! This nudges me to believe that his effort was ad hoc at best. It is not well thought out and obviously represents a lazy approach to solving a much more complex and tricky problem that goes beyond generation of electricity. What will our projected energy needs look like 15 or 30 years from now and how are we putting the pieces in place to make sure that we don’t have to go for more loans?

Note painstakingly that the president does not personally pay for the loans and will never have to go to court for causing financial loss should these loans fail to do the messy and unconnected stuff that he laid out. Yet, the people must pay every bit of it. This loan is being contracted in their name! Can you follow why these so called leaders opt for the path of least resistance? Absolutely no accountability and responsibility for their acts! They sit and watch the problem fester and at the very last moment go for loan to palliate the situation instead of solving the problem. How many energy loans have we taken and why more loans now? How much money did Wereko Brobbey waste at VRA?

After all, the Akosombo dam has been generating electricity since its inception. What happened to the electricity so generated is the puzzle no one wants to touch. We can generate all the electricity we want if our distribution system is inept, we will come back to square one. If our folks, believe that, they can use electricity without paying (bypassing the meter) or can work for EGC and collect pay without showing up, what will generating enough electricity do? We absolutely have no foresight and lack planning big time! How can the elite on both sides of the aisle give the president a pass and expect anything to change? I cringe when I watch those who ought to know better sit and watch as this wicked carnage continue. Yes, some may shoot you directly but this form of killing is just as lethal as gunfire! “All die be closing eye.”! Where is the NDC in all this mess? Can they speak up for a change?

We’ve become incurably dependent on everything foreign. Our loans come from foreign governments. Our orders to act come from foreign lands. Our validation comes from outside the country! Our budget aid comes from foreign governments. Our poultry and white rice comes form foreign lands. Our contractors are mainly foreigners. Our managers come from outside! We now import foreign plantain and palm oil? Our toilets come from foreign lands! Things are so bad that even our chiefs run to foreign universities to seek validation by accepting honorary doctorates when we know that their knowledge and deeds do not measure up. While our chiefs run off to foreign universities for validation, our own universities have students standing through lectures and a single class enrolls over 400 students per lecturer. How do we expect real learning to take place under these sordid conditions? Our leaders no longer seek nor care for validation from the people that put them in power. When elections roll around, they con the people with bribes, invoke tribe and offer decadent gifts to get their votes and then leave the people to wither on the vine.

As the notorious Kofi Wayo admitted in a recent radio interview, even our needles come from outside the country. This simply means that our consumption goes to create jobs everywhere else but Ghana. As if this is not ugly enough, we now outsource almost all our well paying jobs to foreigners. From Ghana Telecom to the builders of our presidential palace!! Some of the key significant investments like Areeba Mobile services are owned by foreigners who take their profits outside the country. Give an African president a problem and he or she is on the way to a foreign land to borrow money. Nothing seminal or novel can be conjured from within to solve any of our problems. Is this the way to lead a people to development?

Is this a way to lead a country that is on its knees in poverty? Is this a way to lead a country that has very high unemployment? Is this a way to lead a HPIC country? What happened to our pride and dignity? What happened to African personality? What happened to work and happiness? What really was our independence about and why did some fight and die for it? Does the word independence mean anything at all? Does it really?

It will not take much for any outsider to glaringly see how much some Ghanaians self hate. We hollow and squawk all the time about traditions, culture and pride, only to turn around and give the store to foreigners while our own people crawl on their knees starving. Recently, Rawlings had the crass nerve to tell us that the water in his toilet tank is cleaner than what most drink in the rural areas. You and I may not care for the shenanigans of Rawlings but did he tell the truth? What did he do to solve the water problem when he ruled for almost 20 years? Who is willing to solve the real problems? When will all Ghanaians get clean drinking water? Is the latter not the real question?

My friends, let me leave you with a quote from William Easterly book, the white man’s burden, “ The Gang of four---Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan---went from third world to first over the last four decades. China, India and the Gang of four did this through the efforts of many decentralized agents participating in markets (the ideal vehicle for feedback and accountability) without significant Western assistance as a share of their income, with some efforts by their own government (at their own top), and without the west telling them what to do (P.27).” My friends, if others did what we so desire in four decades (40 years), why can’t we do the same? Yes, it will require hard work, dedication and perseverance. Did anyone tell us that development will be a bed of rose or a tea party? The current crop of leaders continues to fail us terribly. They are lost and until we vote our conscience to get the right people in office, we might as well forget it. The elite are misguided in their approach. They continue to cast a vote of no confidence in the very people that voted them into power by outsourcing everything to outsiders. How do you expect the Ghanaian carpenter or mason, trained by our own polytechnics, to have any confidence, if Indians are the ones building our presidential mansion? How do you expect the Ghanaian architect to have any confidence if he or she is denied the pride and joy of designing our president’s abode? This NPP government has no self-confidence and it is exporting this character trait into the average Ghanaian. We must reject this lack of confidence and continue to believe in ourselves. We can and must do far better! We must steadfastly demand better!

Ghana is 50 years and what have we to show for it? Even as this orgy unfolds, will the real truth be told? Will we have serious reflections from these lost leaders? Will the corruption fade? Will the injustice continue even as the real heroes are relegated to the back of the line? Who is willing to stand up for the poor and defenseless? Will the poor stand up and be counted? I hope that well meaning Ghanaians will stand up and expose this false presentation that we are about to witness. Thou shall not bear false witness! We must return to doing the work of the real people who languish in the rural areas of Ghana. It appears as if our so called leaders are there to work for themselves and not the people. Sad indeed!

Nii Lantey Okunka Bannerman (Also known as “Da Double” edge sword)

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.