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Opinions of Monday, 27 September 2021

Columnist: Raphael Derbie

The increasing level of indiscipline in Ghana; a threat to peace and development

Indiscipline is gradually gaining grounds in the lives of Ghanaian Indiscipline is gradually gaining grounds in the lives of Ghanaian

"Indiscipline overwhelms everything good in an individual, just like a few drops of kerosene demolishes delicious food."- Aman.

It has increasingly been clear that indiscipline in Ghana today has reached a crescendo.

Any vertically deficient person can see it without standing on anybody's shoulders. It has engulfed the rank and file of the country - from the president to the ordinary Ghanaian. This cannot be contested. Our elders were right when they posited this wise saying, - "if the body of a fish will rot, it starts from the head."

I wish to use this piece to press on the notice why we must see it as a collective responsibility to unearth the odds, lampoon the norms of impunity and express to no uncertain terms the distasteful rising level of indiscipline in our country. This is a serious threat to national peace and development.

It remains unfathomable, the level of indiscipline being exhibited by virtually all professional bodies. The plethora of violence unleashed on ordinary Ghanaians by those who are supposed to protect us remains a worry to many Ghanaians.

It is without gainsaying that the security services have recently gained notoriety for brutalising harmless unarmed civilians for no provocation. Ghanaians are taken aback by the consistency with which the police and military torture ordinary Ghanaians. We have witnessed brutalities at Ayawaso bye-elections.

It is still fresh in our minds, the Techiman South debacle. The Ejura case, we have not forgotten, the brutalities meted out to residents in Wa, the Upper West Region still rings in our ears. The latest mayhem caused by some police officers was the dastardly act of brutalities on some individuals in Tamale. Why should ordinary citizens suffer this way in the hands of security officers?

What is more worrying is the financial indiscipline being perpetrated by the president of the Republic of Ghana. It is very strange to see an elder being so indisciplined to this magnitude. Peter Blair Henry once said, "a government decision that slashes spending at the wrong time and sends a weak economy into a tailspin can be just as undisciplined as one that unleashes a wasteful spending spree in an overheated environment." This statement manifestly reflects in president Nana Addo's air-bathing spree crusade.

In this era of COVID-19, the debilitating hardship and abject poverty among the ordinary Ghanaian, we have every right to expect the president to cut down some of the less significant ventures he uses our taxes for - the hiring of the three jets were wasteful ventures he spent our taxes on.

His insatiable quest to continuously spend our taxes bathing in the air despite the loud cry of the citizens smacks a gross disrespect for the very people who gave him the mandate to govern us. His callous attitude towards citizens' plight is very irritating and worrying.

What could be the cause of this ravaging indiscipline that is eating deep into our moral fibre? Mr.Tharangini sometime ago said, "the tragedy of modern life is that being modern is always misunderstood with being undisciplined. Let's strive to be disciplined modernities." C

Could it be that most of our people are complicit in the above statement? Many a time, I am saddened with the feeling of unfeigned regret and alarm, the way things are going under the leadership of a supposed human rights lawyer. We must reconsider the kind of modernity we are living in to be sure that we do not interchange it with Indiscipline.

Most children and youth of today do not know what it means to be disciplined. They have been taught their rights and how to fight for them without any recourse to the accompanying responsibilities. Human rights activists have made many children and youth bite more than they can chew. This is very common and practical in our various schools across all levels.

Students do not see why they should sit and listen to their teacher in class or read books. They believe that they have the right to pass their exams by all manner of means. The gross indiscipline of students in our schools is what whips up their insatiable appetite for leakages. It, therefore, stands to reason that the exams leakages crisis that has taken the centre stage in our media landscape is born out of indiscipline.

The rampant teenage pregnancies we are recording is yet another evidence of the escalating indiscipline among our children in society.

I, therefore, wish to state in the most emphatic terms that all our efforts are needed to curb this canker. If we fail to clip the wings of this seemingly insurmountable evil, then insecurity and failed development are as certain as the daylight for mother Ghana.

Some of the effects of indiscipline are as visible as the bright moon in the night. People get panicked and frightened when they see the military anywhere. Why is that so? It is so because of their incessant attacks on unarmed civilians.

The consistently growing level of the crime rate of all sorts including the reckless murder of innocent people in the country is disturbing. Recently gaining ground is the demonic LGBTQ rights fight.

According to Maheswari Das, "Indiscipline is like a rotten apple whose foul smell can spread easily." It is therefore imperative for duty bearers, religious leaders, traditional leaders, chiefs, and stakeholders to sit back, re-think and come out with swift ways of combating this battle.