Feature Article of Saturday, 28 July 2012

Columnist: Eyiah, Joe Kingsley

Greetings from Ghana!

From Joe Kingsley Eyiah, Accra-Ghana

As I disembarked from the KLM flight from Amsterdam to Accra on the night of Monday, July 9, 2012, the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) looked quite familiar. The weather was not as hot as I thought it would be! My last visit to my motherland was ten years ago and I was very thankful to God that I could see the land of my birth again!

It was around 9pm when I came out of the airport. Immigration and custom procedures had been smooth for me though the queue of arrivees at the other nationals’ kiosk was very long! The ride from the airport to Bubuashie, where I spent the night with my niece was very nostalgic! We passed in front of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation where I used to read my news commentaries and reflections on national radio and television during the 80s and early 90s. I remembered my visits to this house as a national patron of the GBC Fan Club to often participate in discussions on youth and national issues on GBC Radio 2 in those days with veteran broadcaster, Godwin Avernogbor in the chair. Thank God, my GBC Fan Club mentoring activities at the Asokore SDA Teacher Training College, Koforidua eventually produced dynamic media workers in the persons of Tim Quashigah of GTV and Nana Sefa Twum of TV3 (now domiciled in London-England) as well as the prolific social commentator, David Godfrey Okletey! Guys, I am proud of you. I miss you all!
Back to my first night ride in Accra, the capital city of Ghana: the Arko Adjei Interchange (formerly Sankara Circle) looked familiar. However, I was shocked that there were no adequate lights under the flyover, making the place dangerous for pedestrians at night. The driving home that night was not as dangerous as I was to experience in Accra later. The traffic lights in Accra Central were working well and soon we were at our destination though the side roads in Bubuashie look very deplorable!
I must confess that my over two weeks stay in Ghana has opened me up to a lot of good things going on in my motherland, yet there are a lot of bad things as well as unfortunate attitudes on the part of the citizenry which need to change in order to move the development of Ghana in the right direction. I have already travelled to the Central and the Eastern Regions from Accra (I am yet to travel north to the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions before going back to Canada) and I have a lot to write about! I cannot do all in this write-up for the sake of space.
Attitudes and Lawlessness
I am very impressed with the new Tetteh-Quarshie Circle to Mallam Junction highway. Traffic on it is swift and mostly smooth. However, I am taken aback by the lawless attitude of some pedestrians on the same road. Some unscrupulous pedestrians (both young and old) climb over the median separating the highway to cross the road at unmarked sections (unmarked crossings). I am told by users of the new highway, linking Accra Central to Kasoa, that many lives have been lost on this good road due to this lawless act of pedestrians on the road. Behold, I became a personal witness to one of such deaths last Saturday night as I was commuting the same highway in the capital city of Ghana.
Still on the roads and streets in Accra, development is seen in the provision of traffic lights at many major intersections in the metropolis. However, some of these traffic lights have not been functioning for some time now. A typical example is the one at the Kasoa/Bawjuase/Nyanyarno intersection causing unnecessary traffic delays and careless driving on the part of some drivers. What is heartbreaking about the traffic lawlessness in the metropolis is that some members of the Motor Traffic Unit (MTU) of the Ghana Police dispatched to maintain law and order at these intersections are visibly seen doing their own thing while drivers horn and scream at each other trying to make their ways through the jam-packed intersections!
One could see a huge improvement in the supply of electricity in the metropolis with the involvement of foreign companies, mainly Chinese. On other hand, the many foreigners who have ‘invaded’ our motherland in recent times are taking over our economy and gradually depriving many Ghanaian traders of their daily bread.
There is also a boom in illegal mining in the country with alarming news of lawlessness by Chinese immigrants at such ‘galamsey’ areas predominately in the Eastern and Central Regions of the country. These foreigners have become so powerful in their illegal activities in Ghana. They are seen carrying guns and threatening lives when confronted. Chiefs and even Reverend Ministers are calling for action against such lawless foreigners. I add my voice to their clarion call for the government of Ghana to act now!
Unfortunately, I end my greetings with sad news on the passing away of the President of our motherland Ghana, Professor John Evans Fifii Attah Mills, popularly known as ‘Asomdwehene’. He died on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the untimely and painful death of President Professor John Attah Mills. Already, tongues are wrangling at homes and in the streets of Ghana! Time will surely tell but for now we all mourn our departed President!!
Ekumfi Otuam neba Fifii Attah, me nnaba! Damirefa due!! Due! Due!!!
May his soul rest in perfect peace until the Resurrection Day! MARANATHA! MARANATHA!! MARANATHA!!!