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Opinions of Friday, 1 September 2017

Columnist: K Badu

Why are you so unpatriotic and insensitive?

My heart will continue to bleed profusely for my beloved Ghana, so long as we have in our midst the cunning wolves, who have unfortunately disguised themselves in sheep’s clothing.

In fact, if the alleged $72 million corruption scandal at the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) found to be true, discerning Ghanaians will expect nothing but justice. That is by retrieving any funds and convicting those involved accordingly.

Obviously, the actors in the alleged SSNIT corruption scandal are innocent until proven guilty. But then again, we can discuss the matter without aiming accusing fingers at anyone or grubbing into the merit of the case.

To be quite honest, some of us cannot comprehend how and why the people we have entrusted with important responsibilities could persistently conspire with shifty individuals and steal gargantuan sums of money belonging to the nation without facing any stiff punishment.

Regrettably, despite the fact that corruption hampers the nation building, some corrupt officials are bent on siphoning our scarce resources to the detriment of the poor.

It seems that in Ghana, the justice system more often than not, descends heavily on goat, cassava and plantain thieves, and let go the obdurate criminals who hide behind narrow political lines.

How would individuals put a stop to their criminalities if the only punishment for stealing public funds is a plea to pay back the loot?

Obviously, such benign and somewhat lenient approach would not circumscribe the widespread sleazes and corruptions which have been retrogressing Ghana’s advancement thus far.

Disappointingly, the justice system tends to descend stringently on goat, cassava and plantain thieves, and more often than not, let go the impenitent criminals who hide behind narrow political colorations.

I will venture to suggest that we have separate laws for political criminals. And, if that was not the case, how come political criminals mostly go through the justice net, despite unobjectionable evidence of wrong doing?

I have always maintained that a fantastically corrupt public official is no less a human rights abuser than the weirdo Adolf Hitler.

This is because whilst Adolf Hitler went into a conniption fit and barbarically exterminated innocent people with lethal chemicals and sophisticated weapons, a contemporary corrupt public official is blissfully bent on annihilating innocent citizens through wanton bribery and corruption.

And, as a result of the corrupt public officials unscrupulous practices, the innocent citizens would end up experiencing economic hardships, starvation, depression, emotional labour and squalor which eventually send them to their early graves.

Let us face it, though, we are not making any meaningful advancement as a nation due to lack of monitoring and enforcement of the existing laws.

As a matter of fact, Ghanaians are not distant apart in attitudes and behaviours from other human beings elsewhere, because we are all susceptible to human foibles.

But what makes the people elsewhere much more responsible than a Ghanaian is the rigidity of their state institutions and the effective laws and regulations.

Take, for example, elsewhere, the laws and regulations are strictly enforced, and as such the vast majority of the citizens and denizens prefer the observance to the stringent fines and the harsh punishments.

In ending, I am of the firm conviction that we could make progress in the fight against the unbridled sleazes and corruptions if we employ stiff punishments, including the retrieval of any stolen funds, the sale of properties belonging to the offenders and harsh prison sentences for the offending public officials.