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Opinions of Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Columnist: Abaogye-Akrasi, Simon

Produce the evidence

One cannot wish away the fact of the statement made by President Barrack H. Obama of the U. S that “Africa does not need strong men but strong institution”. It is therefore not surprising that the sustainability and productivity of every society in future strongly lies with the youth and how they are better equipped towards those prospects.

Today, we live in a society where morality, ethic and virtue have gone into hiding thereby given way to bonking, pervasiveness, corruption and promiscuity to a large extent. It is no secret that the practitioners of the above are celebrated within the society. We are in a generation where one ought to know someone who knows someone in return for a special favour. It used to be “to whom you know ’’ but contemporarily, it has assumed a new dimension thus “who knows you”. It is an era where either bribery or sexual favours are demanded from both males and females respectively in their quest for jobs. Our societies are so pervasive and morally crooked. What has happened to virtue and our conscience? Let me state emphatically that this piece of work is not meant to denigrate anyone, neither is it to serve as a target instrument in somebody’s life but rather to echoe the sentiment of the masse over the years.

From the Greek orator, Pericles, who once said “we alone regard a man who takes no interest in public affairs not as a harmless but as a useless character” It is in the light of this expression that I maximized my inspiration. One would recall that in 2008, a research finding was made which revealed a rather flip side of the story. It was about KNUST, Kumasi and a University in Tanzania in which the lecturers demand for sexual favours from the ladies in the award for colossal and unmerited marks. It was strongly refuted when it was alleged and reported by the immediate past Vice – Chancellor of KNUST when Joy FM were making inquiry into the veracity of the allegation. It is indeed a situation on the ground which is the reversal of fortune. It is an era where one demands for an evidence even when the evidence in question is closer to the person. It is true that, “he who alleges must prove”. What has happen to the numerous kick backs, the condoms, the bottom power, the M. V Benjamins, the Marbey and Johnsons, the powers, the pampers, the gargantuan all emanating from people we have entrusted the destiny of our great nation. Indeed, our era is the type where women are made to rub shoulders with their male compatriots, given rise to gender empowerment, gender equality and quite recent “be bold” mantra.

They have really being overpowered. From every sector of our establishment they are everywhere of which hitherto, was not the case. Do they reach the zenith of their respective career with genuiness or otherwise?

All of us need to confront and accept the challenges so that we can feel the exhilaration of victory because without challenge there is definitely no achievement. The situation is so appalling and it is eating deeply into our moral fabric.

Why should job seekers with all their requisite qualification go through a rather harsh and humiliating ordeal before getting jobs? Palms are greased by the men; sexual harassment and trauma are experienced by the women. Where have we reached as a country? Are we so serious with our national policies? Failure to qualify to the University, then the next available habitation becomes the training college. In years gone by, the training colleges were grounds for the best brains so that they can significantly impart to the future leaders fragments of their knowledge acquired. Where are we taking our future leaders to? The earlier we stem the tide the better. On the carnage on our roads, people who do not go through both practical and theoretical test are given license to drive. They do not posses any knowledge on the road signs, inscriptions and the various traffic regulations are largely ignored. They are gradually turning our roads into graveyards. We are losing lives. Who is killing who? Is it the drivers or men in authority? Who issues out the licenses without due diligence and rigorous check. It is no secret that there is the need for the existence of strong and productivity institutions that can submit significant support to the nations political and socio – economic agendum. In Ghana, the National Service Scheme is one of such institutions.

The Ghana National Service Scheme was established in 1973 by Military Decree, (NRCD) 208) with the mandate to mobilize and deploy Ghanaian citizens of 18 years and above; especially from accredited tertiary graduates on national priority development programmes that contribute to improving the quality of life of the ordinary Ghanaian for a one year mandatory national service. The Scheme was legalized under the 1979 Constitution of Ghana with the thrust of NRCD 208 being upheld. The National Service Scheme Act 1980, Act 426 was published and passed by the Parliament of Ghana to give legal and constitutional backing to the scheme. In 1979, a Cabinet decision reduced the duration of service from two years to one year.

It is on record that one of the Metropolitan Directors of the National Service Scheme has admitted that some National Service Scheme coordinators demand for sex from female national service personnel’s before posting them to the areas of their choice. He added that, “sexual demands were not part of the code of conduct of the scheme. This was in reaction to a question posed to him during a seminar where the questioner wanted to find out what female job seekers should do when they were asked for sexual favours in exchange for jobs by managers of companies. Reference is made of the February 1, 2012 edition of the Daily Guide, caption –‘Sex for Posting in National Service’. It is said “there is no smoke without fire” there is also “no needle without piercing point and no razor without penchant blade”. The questioner might have experience the embarrassment of it or a relation of her might have been a victim. It is a fact that these people after their service are given a juicy offer in the establishment of their choices notwithstanding the qualification or their know- how through either fair or foul means.

If evidence is anything to go by, then, it has been provided so do not ask me for one. The situation is so pervasive that it permeates through every spectrum of life.

Gone were the days when Ghanaian expertise were needed in our sister countries. Can the same be said of our today’s corrupt era, where favours are the hallmark for employment instead of qualification and competence? Your guess is as good as mine. The situation as it is, has been reduced to a square peck in a round hole in effect contributing to inefficiency and ineptitude in every sector. It must be noted that there is a clear distinction between policy and efficacy. To the practitioners of this diabolic act and the beneficiaries thereof, one would be quick to react to this in any unfortunate manner as it were, be it, ’even among the roses, there are thorns’ or ‘it is the order of the day’. With recent labour agitations among public sector workers juxtaposed by the emoluments which is the Constitutional provisions per Article 71 vis-à-vis the timing of it. Should the president intervene in all industrial disputes for amicable settlement whereas issues of energy, water, and the likes continue to confronting us as a nation without solution? Is it not the work of the Fair Wages Commission, the National Labour Commission, the Ministry of Employment and other stakeholders who matter in the affair? It is hard time that heads must role in most of our institutions for the numerous negligence. Astute achievers and result oriented personnel must be rewarded with jobs on merit and not otherwise, such as nepotism, political persuasions, the highest non performing bidder and the rest. Yesterday was GNAT, NAGRAT, GMA, and CLOGSAG, which other institutions will follow. Our legislators, political appointees must put the nation first before their parochial interest.

So are we in a way producing criminal intelligentsias with the huge task payers’ money?

The best ways to solve problems are to foresee them before they become problems. Our men in authorities must rise above these menace and canker in our society so as to save our society for posterity. It is rather appalling, that the so – called responsible personalities do engage in this pervasive act. We cannot continue to fail this country with our negligence. The time to act is now so as to avert the faux pass by public officeholders. A word to a wise is enough.