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Opinions of Sunday, 20 August 2006

Columnist: Mornah, Anbataayela Bernard

This Ghana Of Ours And The Blame Game Must Stop

There has been image difficulty with our beloved Ghana for some times now over narcotic trafficking. In 2002’ Ghana was noted as a transit point/root for narcotics into the US, UK and other parts of the world. Despite the unpalatable revelation, this did not attract appropriate actions from our state authorities in any angle that suggested that the name “transit point” was either inappropriate or that efforts would be made towards reversing the appalling name.

Not long, Eric Amoateng NPP MP for Nkoranza North was alleged to be trafficking drugs into the US and arrested. This Amoateng saga generated a lot of debate in several aspects:

1. The alleged has indeed damaged the image of Ghana,

2. That the institution of parliament has suffered serious image mutilation

3. That Amoatengs’ seat should be declared vacant to allow for a by–election to ensure a representation of the people of Nkoranza– nevertheless, this call for by-elections is yet to materialize hence the people of Nkoranza have not been represented in parliament since.

Following the proverbial saying “misfortunes never come singly”, there was a serious allegation leveled on a former deputy Minister of Trade and NPP for Asodjaman constituency, Hon, Osei Ameyaw by a certain lady that he was involved in cocaine dealings. The lady further alleged that at one point in time the H.E. President, John Agyakum Kufour appealed to her not to make public her threat and instructed the “Hon” Ameyaw to discharge his part of whatever bargain there was between the two. This did not happen as the lady broke the news to session of the media – may be that is why hardworking Osei Ameyaw was dropped in the recent cabinet reshuffle.

As the country was trying to contain these vitriolic scandals, One of Ghana’s ace musicians, Dasibre Djamena, was also been detained in the UK on drug related issues. There have been several reported cases of drug arrests of Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians in and outside the country. The outcome of most of these reported cases of drug offenders only seem to hit the news headlines and immediately thrown into the dustbins as Ghanaians are not informed subsequently of the whereabouts of both suspects and the narcotics so confiscated. Surely these do not augur well of a country trying to achieve middle-income status and a nation perpetually priding herself of the rule of law.

A country that delight itself on good governance, rule of law, and respect for human rights cannot allow these negative image to linger else all the attributes we arrogate for ourselves only serve as plat form for mockery. Clearly the danger of these drug related cases have tremendous consequences on the youth and health care systems in Ghana now and in the future, no wonder mental/psychiatric cases have reached a crescendo in our national life.

Never mind, that an NPP presidential Aspirant Hon. Captain Effah – Dartey and former Chairman of the narcotics control board, who after he lost his position as deputy minister in the recent ministerial reshuffle became a lawyer to drug suspected criminals-Defending them against the charge of dealing in narcotics and pleading their innocence-God safe Ghana.

We have had cases where quantities of narcotics confiscated and locked by the security agencies get lost from the depots.

It therefore came as not surprise that certain senior officers within the police service names were mentioned in recent cases of complicity in the avalanche of drug cases that now grudgingly undermine confidence in the competence of our police service. To say the level of alleged involvement of the Ghana police in these drug related issues is highly nauseating is just to plead for soothing words.

There appears that the Georgina wood commission is doing its bid to get to the bottom of the matter and probably redeem the sagging image of Ghana.

PAINFUL AND WASTFUL The people of Ghana are being subjected to yet another painful and probably wasteful enterprise of a committee of inquiry. Justifiably so, the Ghanaian has seen the establishment of many committees and commissions whose recommendations are only good when they gather dust. There have not been serious attempts and budgetary allocations to implement their recommendations as in the case of National reconciliation commission (NRC)

I am sure that for whatever reason, government has not been bold enough to tell the people of Ghana how much state resources are expended on the various commissions and the commission members. But I am confident that anytime such amounts are disclosed for the information of the taxpayers, they would be up in arms any time a ministerial or presidential commission is put in place because it is wasteful and painful.


Last week I read that the general secretary of NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia at a press conference called on the president to as a matter of prudence ensure that a bi–partisan parliamentary committee was established to investigate the drug debacle so as to clear the negative image the country has been embroiled in recent times.

Furthermore, he called on government to ensure the police officers cited in the ongoing cocaine probe be made to proceed on leave [indicted]. For me, despite what ever ill one may harbor about the NDC, this call by NDC was harmless and very legitimate and did not subtract from the menu if it did not indeed add.

Characteristically, H.E John Agyakum Kufour waded into unusual political euphoria to remark that the NDC should be blamed for the current drug image of the country on the bases that an NDC luminary (Rojo Mettle Nonoo) was reported to have worked for suspected Colombian drug barons. This statement is a very dangerous statement to make especially by a president under whose auspices the Georgina wood committee has been mandated to investigate these cases.

Optimistically, I would believe the competence of the committee in doing a good job. But not when the President could pronounce that Rojo Mettle Nonoo is guilty before the committee could submit its reports.

I have known all along that anytime the NPP is accused of wrongdoing, they find solace in telling Ghanaians that the NDC did the same and the conclusion inevitably elicited is that people are not justified to point out the ills of the NPP-led government-how sad?

My candid answer to this razzmatazz by NPP and NDC is that if the NDC was voted out because of wrong doing by Ghanaians and ushered in the NPP then the Ghanaians would not tolerate a replica of the NDC. Or is the NPP suggesting that we played a dangerous political game in 2002 and 2004 by voting for change in chapters?

Mr. President, may I admonish that as the “father” of Ghana, you must serve and not lord, you must to work to improve the lives of every Ghanaian, bring smile on every weeping Ghanaian, restore confidence in politics and bring hope to every desperate Ghanaian by acting and speaking state manly. These should be done without pointing accusing fingers. The buck stops with you if this country frees herself from this squalor of drugs. I pray that you be guided in all undertakings as you prepare to hand over power after you have supervised the $20 million golden jubilee celebrations of our independence.

Anbataayela Bernard. Mornah
[Upper West Region-Ghana, P.O.Box 562, wa]

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

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