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Opinions of Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Columnist: Abdul Latif Alhassan,

What if our leaders were not corrupt

On that cool Tuesday morning, the first person I sent a whatsapp message was that family brother, fancifully, I call him Alfaata.

After finding out how he was doing, I as usual started to talk politics with him, as we always do because we support different political parties.

He resisted all my efforts to do politics; instead, he started to discuss life related issues that were of concern to both of us as graduates.

I realized our entire conversation was dominated by the interjection, “hmm”. Any point one of us raised (typed), the other will first reply “hmm” before he said something. Guest, what we were discussing? As graduates, I think you need no soothsayer to tell you what we were discussing that elicited a lot of “hmms”.

At a point in our chat my eyes were full with tears, and currently as I write, I am still tensed with a heavy heart. Because I asked him a question, which he could not answer. As a graduate from the university, I never thought he would have failed to provide an answer to such a simple question. I was so ashamed when I asked him; “Abdul, what if our leaders were not corrupt”?

Of course, as graduates, we were worried of none but the high rate of graduate unemployment in the country. We were worried of none but our future as individuals and as a country at large. None but graduates sitting home with bouquet of entrepreneurial skills and business ideas but no start ups to start. None but our narcissistic corrupt and stomach leaders.

In modern day Ghana, we have leaders who occupy and take salaries/wages from a number of sources, whiles graduates are on the street wanting to have only a single job position. We have institutions and offices flooded with family and friends even without qualifications. In any eventuality they do not have cronies to push those available jobs to, they turn to sell them out to the rich who can afford to buy.

Hmm, consider a scenario when a friend was called for a job interview, he went, performed well, only to be called a day later that he has to pay a gargantuan sum of money before he could be given the job.

He was eventually denied the job just because he had no money to buy. Why won’t poverty be a family life cycle? Why won’t the rich always be rich and give birth to richer children, and the poor always be poor and bring forth poorer children. You called him for an interview and later called him to come for job orientation the next day, you promised sending him money for his expenses, only to tell him to hold on with coming, and that was all.

Later investigation revealed the job position was given to a crony who was already too busy with jobs. This is a joke! Should those already working continue to be flooded with jobs, and the jobless continue to be so? This is a total cheat! Hmm, what if our leaders were not corrupt? What if what is Caesar’s was given to Caesar, and we were all served on merit.

The holy scriptures are so explicit on matters of just treatment from leaders to subjects. Qur’an, the Holy Book of Muslims says; “And oh my people! Give in full measure and weight in justice and reduce not the things that are due to the people and, do not commit mischief in the land, causing corruption.

(Qur’an, chapter 11, verse 85). On the same vein, the Holy Bible says: “Do not rob the poor because he is poor or crush the afflicted at the gate: For the LORD will plead their case. And take the life of those who rob them” (Proverbs: 22:22-23). Just to mention but a few verses from the two scriptures. No need to take you through Quranic and Biblical quotations, surely, you know them better than I do. Are we no more the Muslims and Christians we say we are?

I have a strong conviction that many problems we face as a nation would have been bearable if those in charge of our affairs were to do things diligently. Leaders are supposed to serve in loyalty but not in royalty.

Leaders are but shepherds and every shepherd shall account for any missing animal. Mr. Leader, today is your chance, tomorrow is somebody’s. Treat us today, as you will like to be treated tomorrow.

Thank you.

Abdul Latif Alhassan,