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Opinions of Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Columnist: Aboagye-Akrasi, Simon

We live on gold but beg for silver

It is a well-known fact that Ghanaians are very hospitable in their dealings with people from all walks of life.Our culture is absolutely dynamic in nature to the extent of accommodating, and as it were, adopting others in relation to modern trend.What can then be the factors for our free embracing nature hence hobnob, albeit maltreated insofar as it endangers fundamental human right vis-a-vis the constitution of the land, and the Universal Declaration of Human Right which has been ably adopted and proclaimed on the 10th of December, 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations?
Ghanaians go through nasty experiences in acquiring either visas or switch nationality status to seeking greener pastures, furthering education, or for whatever personal reasons.Some succeed, whereas, most fall prey to swindlers and scammers of visa agentries with huge financial implications consequences . Some do leave the shores, whereas, marital vows are denounced, all in the name of acquiring suitable working permits, resulting in other marriages to their host contemporaries. So horrendous, are the ordeal that Ghanaians are subjected to. Remittances, as generally anticipated, by relations back home, are largely denied from the bread winners. Others loss their lives through the desert or thrown into the deep sea.
Can the reverse be said of their (foreign) nationals Ghana host? A resounding no! was the answer. How long must the trend continue? Whose responsibility it is to have the right thing done?
Our entrepots are laxly porous, Ghanaian passports are illegally in the hands of their nationals through their conduit and with the connivance ofGhanaians which they use to engage in nefarious and heinous crimes, both home and elsewhere around the globe amidst little or, no stress. Indeed, as enshrined in Article 13 (1) (2) of the UDHR that;
1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
If the spirits of the above are generally practicable, then, the world is not a fair haven to Ghanaian pilgrimages at all.
Ghanaians want their religious hospitality be reciprocated by their hosts across the globe and not the other way round, or at the cost of tension and life threatening.
Clearly, Ghana a is middle – income status, courtesy, IMF & World Bank reports. It is a common knowledge that the nationals of the developed countries engage in highly lucrative businesses especially in the communication, energy and the mining sectors with fragrance impunity and disregard of our laws.
A lot have gone down in recent years. Ghanaians have been at the merciless receiving end of inhumane treatment from the so called financially clout wielding foreign expatriates who extort our mineral resources to our detriments. Is it the golden age of business? Call it so, and you will have reasons to figure out how these elements made their ways through with, or without validly acquired documents. How long must we continue to depend on these people for our infrastructural and technical advancement? We compete with them in their schools abroad whereas we even demonstrate higher academic prowess inter alia, than they do perform. The over exploitation of our resources both fiscal and natural are enough. Just take the coaching honorarium for the foreign expatriates in connection to our national teams per their output, juxtapose to the same task execute by a black skinned Ghanaian. Pause, and ask whether the incentives are around the same neighbourhoods? The black even does it better than the highly paid ‘experts’.
This piece is not, under any circumstance advocating for neither a racial warfare nor xenophobic cleansing. It is not a call for internecine bellicosely either. They (foreigners) contribute little but the actual work undoubtedly and performances are done by the meagre paid Ghanaians, thus golden age of business of course.
In mining, we have Australians, South Africans, Norwegians, Americans, Canadians, British, etc. duly registered, operational and concessional agreed. Can $3bn. loan and the construction of stadia take us back to neo-colonialism in disguise to an extent of losing track of our sovereignty?
Under the aegis of diplomacy and protocol, the issue of illegal Chinese miners is an albatross around the neck of our leaders and a sword of dinosaur dangling over the head of the poor citizens of Ghana. It is inhuman and degrading of our environment, the extent of the killings meted out to us by these Asians with the greatest hierarchy of impunity.
Simply put, they were informed about the abundance of gold by us with the able support of the chiefs (custodians of the land) to engage in illegal mining otherwise known as galamsay, with the connivance of immigration officials and consular section (Ministry of Foreign Affairs). In effect, they were alarmed not by those in Ceuta, but rather the indigenes;“aboa bi beka woa na efri wo ntamamu” to wit, the enemies of man are his household. The kind of heavy machinery and equipment they use cannot in anyway be described amongst the category of small-scale miners (galamsay). Be curious a bit about the real owner, and you know that there is a big man behind it all, since kick back is a common cliché in Ghana now.
A cursory research about their real abode in China reveals that they are from the poorest province. Their penury is palpably unmatched. They have gained more than necessary from our lands. They describe Ghana as,” a real harb of influx, a land flooded with gold which the citizens are blindfolded in discovering the free gift of nature”. Back home in China, their poverty levels have reduced drastically, though, not rich a province, thanks to our inherent suave benevolence. They remit their relations back home from our wealth. To them,” Ghana is as good as gold”. Come to think of this, when stadia were constructed for CAN 2008, they provided the labour themselves through their nationals whom Ghanaians tax payers paid for. Allowing them to rape our land of its wealth is taken too much from us. It is really a golden age of business.
Today, they are competing with our market folks even in the retail businesses at Makola, Agbogbloshie, Adum etc., under the glaring watch of the Trade & Industry Ministry, leaving Ghanaians compatriots to the disadvantage. In a simple term, we hate our own. We fight our own hard working entrepreneurs, pull them down financially amidst corporate business in our dear land and clandestinely cry aloud for local content after it has been given out to the expatriates and their firms. It is abundantly clear, and have come to the inevitable conclusion of a survey conducted, the intent behind the overwhelmingly naked abhorrence of our in- law, President Robert Gabriel Mugabe of Zimbabwe. His policy of indigenization and the restoration of right of ownership by the citizens have led to international economic saboteurs by the West. Large numbers of Ghanaians have joined these opportunistic Western media in lambasting him, and over blowing and sensationalizing their situation out of proportion, without recourse to even the relationship. Thinking Zimbabweans will own up the father of the nation as a candidate for the ICC, is obviously indeed a remote possibility. The cry of Chileans is ‘had we known……..’ as in the case of the then senile and aged, Augusto Pinochet. The aftermath of the instigated Arab spring, have rather left a rather worse and adversely far reaching implications in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Portugal has gone to their former colony, Angola with a cup in hand for a grant. The continent was not meant to be poor, but rather, it is bereft with smart thinkers and leaders. Clearly, it is a reversal of fortune of which the chicken is coming home to roost. The Portuguese have buried their pride. What is 3000 pounds visa guarantee for? Just multiply it by the total number of annual Ghanaian emigrants to the UK and you will come to the realization that, it is nothing, but a subtle request for grant with utmost pride. Why should Zimbabweans economy go through a vicious cycle because of their sovereign policy that is apparently, hostile to foreign interest- the West? We live on gold but……. Africa is indeed the richest continent. George Walker Bush and Tony Blair are free after the Afghan war which killed millions. They are free after the failed outcome of the weapon of mass destruction ghost expedition in Iraq, killing Saddam Hussein and many others and none is inviting them to ICC? Are they super humans, or above the UDHR laws? It is an indication enough that, failure to protect your own none would do that for you. Ghana in particular and Africa in general, must speak with a common resounding voice.

What would be the resultant effect of Ghanaians in China who are law abiding, if the laws of Ghana should be stretched to its fullest limit?” The international ramification must be avoided and possible concomitant repatriation or spilled over effect”‘, thus the opinion of diplomatic experts and some university dons. It means foreigners are well respected in our own yard more than us and enjoyed well protection than we. To the international relations experts and the Human Rights activists, their shouts are just nothing but to their self-seeking interest.
The heavily wielded weapon illegal Chinese miners on the defenseless Ghanaians continue unabatedly enriching themselves and degrading our natural environment. Little resistance by the poor citizens’ of the land triggers their lives being curtailed. It is a golden age of business. Our wives and innocent women are raped in the process by these strangers. We are helpless and defenseless in our own bona fide abode; we are poor in our own land. We sit on gold but……... We spend huge sums educating our people for national advancements in every field, only for them to be rendered redundant by the power that be, for a rather preferred foreign nationals thereby contributing to their own GDP growth. We have lost our national priority through flaws and hostile economic decisions by succeeding governments.Do not be surprise, one day, to see an alien president and cabinet in Ghana, if the hasty diplomatic hobnobbing trend continues. The earlier the ugly knack of our international ostentatious display of nicety in our modus operandi tide is stemmed, the better would it be for us and posterity. This is the morbid conundrum of our dilemma as a country which leaves much to be desired.
Heads must roll, the laws must be strictly adhered, and the field must be even for all of us. Ghana must be first before the others. Political profiteers and the demagogue must give way.
Ghanaians can develop Ghana more than a foreigner. The borders must be beefed properly, chiefs and others must be arrested and sanctioned and must not be thin god albeit their negligence.Bowiri, in the Biakoye district has enormous and untapped resources which can be harnessed for the country’s economy and job creation. By this, attention must be directed towards the place before this Chinese discover the potentials.


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