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Opinions of Saturday, 28 October 2017

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

No, Ghana first

Of course, anyone can claim perquisite to patriotism. However, patriotism is not practised through mere rhetoric and political gimmicks, for 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.

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country (John F. Kennedy)."

Apparently, some discussants have been wondering why I live over six thousand miles away in the United Kingdom, but have made it a habit to meddle in the affairs of Ghana.

I have been attacked unfairly, insulted and threatened, but I have refused to buckle regardless, because for me, it will always be Ghana first.

Indeed, I have an illimitable and unflinching affection for my country of birth, Ghana, in spite of the long-standing British connections.

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

Apparently, 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 in entrusted 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 the men and women who have the wellbeing of Ghana at heart. People like the Honourable Kennedy Agyapong have made it a habit to put Ghana ahead of anything else.

Well, you may disagree, but in as much as the Honourable Kennedy Agyapong sometimes goes overboard in his attempt to expose the enemies of the state does not make him a bad person or “a Lucifer in the flesh”.

If anything at all, the Honourable Kennedy Agyapong is a certified valiant patriot, who has time and time again, shown his affection and strong inclination towards the wellbeing of Ghana.

I must, however, admit that it is because of courageous and patriotic individuals like the Honourable Kennedy Agyapong that I refuse to agree wholly with President Obama and all those who support his observation that Africa needs strong institutions, but not strong men.

Well, President Obama and all those who have been standing on his shoulders to expand on the strong institutions observation may have a point.

Rightly so, Africa needs strong institutions, but more importantly, Africa cannot do away with strong men and women in our attempt to strengthen the ever so fragile institutions.

Take, for instance, if some brats elsewhere choose to hide behind a political party and go on rampage, we will nonetheless need courageous and ever prepared security personnel to crack the whip without fear or favour.

If obdurate criminals put on political attire and commit heinous crimes against the nation, we will obviously require courageous law enforcement bodies and resolute judicial bodies to restore sanity into the system.

Frankly speaking, we need unwearied and honest strong men and women who are ever willing to defend and uphold the relevant laws and regulations.

Let us face it, but for the Honourable Agyapong’s unparalleled patriotism and whistling blowing prowess, the GH51.2million dubious judgment debt payment to Woyome would have been swept under the carpet by the conspiratorial plotters.

Take, for example, not long ago, the Honourable Agyapong came out and told Ghanaians that Ex-President Mahama’s brother, Ibrahim Mahama, had been evading import taxes over the past few years.

He was however scoffed at endlessly, and queried repeatedly about the veracity of the apparent sensational story. But alas, he was proved right.

Consequently, the EOCO rightly ordered Ibrahim Mahama to pay GH12.7million, as all his previous 44 cheques were dishonoured by the various banks.

Some of us, as a matter of fact and principle, cannot comprehend why the people we have entrusted with the national coffers could team up with shifty individuals and steal gargantuan sums of money belonging to the nation.

In spite of the fact that corruption is a serious economic, social, political and moral impediment to the nation building, some corrupt officials are bent on siphoning our scarce resources to the detriment of the penniless in society.

As a matter of fact and observation, corruption 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).

In sum, henceforth, the interests of Ghana, your country, my country, must supersede any other interests regardless.

K. Badu, UK.

k.badu2011@gmail.com; please visit me at: alljoycom.wordpress.com