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Opinions of Friday, 1 December 2006

Columnist: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka

This NPP Government Is Not Playing Fair

While the wickedness towards the poor and needy continues in Ghana, the elite are salivating for an orgy. Is there anyone out there who doubts that this set aside for the ill timed celebration will end up in the pockets of a few?

Isn’t it funny that when it comes to parties the government is very prompt but when it comes to lifting up the rural areas the government seems to opt or feign amnesia? This planned fiesta to celebrate 50 years of failure and dependency does not make any sense. As one who does not care for ceremonies, it is very painful to sit back helplessly while this gaggle of misguided self seeking politicians brings more debt to our depressed folks. I know celebrations are for achievements not failures. Obviously, these celebrations will not go on in the rural areas of Ghana. I dare this government to take the celebration to the upper east or western regions. Even if the celebration has to come on, it must be muted and more reflective.

Go to the rural areas and see what depravity abounds. We can’t pay teachers well but have money to host all kinds of nonsensical escapades? We can’t get a health insurance system going but we have loads of money to burn on foolishness? WE can get an addressing system going but want taxi drivers to be test on street addresses? Tell me this is not a cruel joke! I wish these lost coots will take their guests to the villages, orphanages, mud school buildings and guinea worm infested areas. I know they will not be that bold to paint the real picture of our situation in Ghana. Majority of Ghanaians have very little to cheer about.

As if the ill advised celebration is not infuriating enough, some have chosen the path of injustice to accomplish their heinous and nefarious ends. I am talking exactly about the La land that is being cleverly taken by some corrupt officials in the NPP government. If what the papers report is true, then the people of La and all well meaning Ghanaians must rise and put a blunt force stop to this nonsense. I am appealing to the well meaning NPP folks to stand up within their party and speak up against this crime. If and when members of a group, through greed, soil the name of that group, it is the duty of the remaining members to stand up to the bad nuts. If the government takes land for one purpose, and that purpose is not feasible or abandoned, the land must be returned to its rightful owners. This silly excuse of using the land to build houses for guest who will stay in Ghana for no more that a few weeks is just a veil for repugnant thuggery. What we have here is a situation where some clever thieves are hiding behind their equally corrupt representatives or agents in government to steal precious land from the people of La. No where in Ghana will such nonsense be tolerated. Why in God’s name must these houses revert to some private individuals who coughed up the money to build them? If they want the land, why not buy it directly from the government or the La people? Why this sneaky stinking arrangement by these shameless opportunists?

Recently, a court ruled that a plot of land usurped by the Nkrumah government must be return to Asantehene. When the ruling came out, some folks were stunned. After all, we thought government was free to take and use land as it pleases, so long as the owners are treated fairly. Now, if government cannot take and use land as it pleases in Kumasi, why the hell does it think it can take La land and cleverly give it to its cronies? This NPP government has assumed a level of arrogance and ethnocentric privileges that ought to be challenged in very frank terms. Now, the NPP may think that it has power and the sashay to run roughshod over the very citizens it swore to protect. Well, I have news for them. These injustices will be reserved one way or the other. The NPP should know that it will not be in power for life. There will be hell to pay if a new government that is sensitive to the rights of the poor comes to power. What they are doing now is sowing the seeds of discord that will certainly come to fruition in the near future. The people of La must never acquiesce to this prattle. They can cleverly steal all they want but as long as God lives, these criminal activities will be reversed.

Let us all stand up with one voice and condemn this and any other dirty tricks that this government has under its sleeves. We will never be free as long as we tolerate injustice anywhere in Ghana. Some of these ignorant chiefs gave away the store in the past. As the dust continues to settle, the young and restless must step up and stop the bleeding. The proceeds from these lands, if sold, must be channeled to a dedicated fund aimed at development and education. Not a dime must go to maintain the highlife style of the local elite. It is time to change the broken paradigm. For far too long, and across the length and breadth of Ghana, we’ve watched on as these people in place of trust locally, continue to mismanage our affairs. Sometimes, I really question this value of playing deference to the elderly. While I am not against learning and showing respect where it is deserved, I think too much deference tends to dent assertiveness, creativity and innovation. We must say no more. Not just no more, but demand and take control so that we can better our environment. Now is not the time to stay passive. Rise up ye people of Ghana for posterity will judge you harshly if you allow these half baked leaders to take us all for a ride. Let us stop settling for mediocre performance. Yes, we can do far better!! Much, much, better!

As I have always maintained, a people deserve the kind of leadership they get. So long as the people sit and watch unconcerned, the concerned ones will loot and rape in anyway they can. This is why fence perching is not an option. I commend the La youth for standing tall on this issues. I comment them for eschewing violence and going to the civil courts, even though I have very little faith in our government influenced courts. In this vein, I ask and encourage the youth in all parts of Ghana to wake up to the call of leadership. Kufour’s generation has very little to offer. They have in fact failed us big time and to change the leadership paradigm, the youth must take over and turn this canard upside down and inside out. Let us roll back injustice anywhere it rears its ugly head.

Viva Ghana! Never again, I say!

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