You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2007 05 23Article 124360

Opinions of Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Columnist: Ablakwa, Samuel Okudzeto

The Hypocricy Of The Ruling Class in Ghana

In my very candid opinion, the ruling class in Ghana can only continue the way they do without any shame or remorse because they have lost their conscience. This is a crop of people who drunk from the cup of free education, this is a crop of people who enjoyed the pleasure of the Akosombo Dam; this is a crop of people who generally benefited from true selfless leadership of the founding fathers of this country.

Today what do we see?

POLITICS is now “poLOOTics” where we have a ruling class that is a LOOTING BRIGADE. The very people who enjoyed free education and were even given allowances in addition so they could stay in school, the very people who were fed three times a day and whose breakfast included cornflakes and horlicks not to forget the daily 3pm tea have today turned round and throwing innocent Ghanaian children onto the streets to go and fend for themselves because of some IN-OUT-OUT-OUT residential policy. It is this same people who have watched the Akosombo Dam dry up and have said- you Ghanaians I must ration power for you as my only solution whiles I use generators because thanks for your taxes, I can afford them.

Without any conscience this ruling class still refer to their days as the good old days as if those days became good by themselves and that it wasn’t decent and selfless leaders of this country who sacrificed to make those days good old days. It is a statement of fact that despite all the vituperations the Ghanaian terrorists and CIA apologists who staged the ‘66 coup showered on Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, they could never accuse him of corruption. Indeed until this day, there is no single evidence of wealth he personally acquired due to the mandate he was given by the Ghanaian people.

When these people turn around and say the world has changed and that all should pay for education and go and find their own hostels, they forget that by the 50s, 60s and 70s when they were enjoying education for free, the West had created the needed societal foundation and was bringing its free education to an end, indeed some had even moved on but despite all these, the selfless Ghanaian leadership at the time didn’t say that because the world has changed or is changing – you go out on the streets and go and fend for yourselves.

I include the present crop of university authorities into this ruling class. They are of the same breed and as guilty as the “poLOOTicians.” Indeed there is no difference between these university authorities and the “poLOOTicians.” It is very important to point out that because they are the same, they accept LOOTING opportunities to serve on boards and councils and appointments to carry out all manner of superficial reforms so they can have their “fair” share of the LOOT.

It should therefore not surprise anybody that unlike in the civilized past when students and university authorities joined hands to demand their due from government in terms of subventions that the universities need, this time the university authorities are ever ready to take all the blows from students and never shift the problem to government which should be the case since it is the latter that is in custody of our taxes. The fact is, even as statistics available to me indicate that government subventions have continued to dwindle over the years and that these days these subventions only cover remunerations as more than 70% is spent on remunerations of staff and lecturers with very little left for research, infrastructural expansion, purchase of chemicals for laboratories, purchase of books to restock the museum-like libraries etc.

This new “leave Government alone” or “I shall pretend it is not a Government responsibility” phenomenon on the part of the university elite, goes beyond hypocrisy- the point is, they have successfully attached themselves to the current “poLOOTicians” and are themselves in the LOOTING BRIGADE so why rock the boat – the boat that contains the LOOT for all of them. What has changed that Vice Chancellors of old like the Professor Kwapongs and Professor Akilakpa Sawyers who stood up to government and demanded greater commitment to education that the Professor C.N.B Tagoes and Professor Kojo Yankahs of today cannot do. Instead, they throw students out and as if that is not enough, they further state without any shame that they are going to reduce intakes as from the next academic year when indeed impeccable statistics show that the number of qualified students who must be admitted into the university increase in quality and quantity every year. It is even known that only 60% of qualified students are admitted on the average every year.

So where would all these Ghanaian children whose only crime is that they have been born in Ghana go? It appears we are not overwhelmed enough with streetism. No wonder the conscience of this country’s ruling class and the looting brigade has totally been lost.

What is even pitiful, the student numbers we have failed to manage in the case of the University of Ghana is just about 28,480, where as in Libya’s state sponsored university where education is absolutely free, they have a student population of 70,000 and quality has never been compromised. There are many other universities from UNILAG to Makalele who have student numbers in excess of 50,000 but whose authorities are not exhibiting such intellectual and managerial bankruptcy and hypocrisy as is the case here in Ghana. What a shame!

That is why today, students, majority of suffering lecturers who have refused on principle not to join their colleagues of the looting brigade and the mass of Ghanaians have been left alone in their struggle without any support from the so-called intellectual community headed by these authorities.

Today, Ghanaians are at the slightest demand told there is no money, yet still a presidential palace in the excess of 45 million dollars is being built for one person, over 20 million dollars is found for some so-called jubilee celebrations which shamelessly holds a press conference to demand 15 dollars more and I bet they will be given. Today, the victims of the Tamale rain storm are being told that Government cannot find the 40 billion cedis needed to restore them yet again money can be found to implement ROPAL. Meanwhile children of these poLOOTicians who are touted as business magnates and it must be added energy experts are putting up 8 million dollar solar powered hotels (these children appear wiser than the economic managers and energy experts in their parents’ government). Government functionaries and other apologists are driving in gold plated state of the art luxury vehicles amidst our worst performance in global corruption ratings. In the midst of all these, the masses continue to wallow in absolute poverty but are again told by the president at the last May Day celebrations to objectively re-consider the “no money in pocket phenomenon” – their suffering is not enough, you want them to subject themselves to the torture of a useless so-called objective analysis. How long will this “listen to me but don’t look at me and my lifestyle” phenomenon on the part of the ruling class continue?

What all these has come to is that, Ghanaians have no hope for the future, that is if even there is any future for us, we have lost confidence in this ruling class that lacks any conscience and youths like me only take consolation in the fact that through out the history of the human race, leaderships of lack of conscience and looting brigades have never lasted for long, they are swept by their deeds and they never even live to enjoy their loot – from the Russian revolution to the victory over imperialism and colonialism and even their local traditional ilk like Togbe Agokoli, victory has never eluded the mass of society. Above all I have one stronger hope – Between Good and Evil, God is not neutral.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
(Former President, NUGS)

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