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Opinions Fri, 31 Dec 2010

Change!!!!! Thus Saith Uncle Atta!!!!

Upon assuming office on January 7, 2007, I vividly remember that the first gentleman of Ghana, Uncle Fiifi Atta Mills began fighting the war change; changing not the good but obviously the bad. And so I guess his fellow change catalyst, Barack Obama was also doing. From Uncle Atta’s inaugural speech right through his world-famous first state of the nation address, he echoed and re-echoed how prepared he was to fight the holy war against evil.

Today, we are about two years into his administration and from my candid observation, some institutions are still not showing signs of catching the change fever. Naming the Passport Office as one of these institutions wouldn’t be a surprise to many, since they have proved consistently through the various governments that Ghana has seen that, they are not reliable. However, it was not until recently that I came in touch with another agency that even surpasses the Passport Office. Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce you to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA).

In case you did not know, the DVLA is responsible for the issuance of drivers’ licenses, vehicle registration among other road transport authorizations. Saying they are not doing their job will be below the below the belt, since the numerous vehicle license plates for 2010, culminating in thousands will bear thorough witness against me. On the contrary, I here say that the DVLA is performing abysmally. Due to my not being omnipresent, I may not know what pertains at other branches of DVLA, but from my own experience at one of their ‘big’ branches, I dare say that they are dragging Uncle Atta’s change campaign in the mud.

I was at the said branch (name with-held) to renew my drivers’ license and no word in the dictionary by my side can rightly describe what was going on there. I got to their premises at around 8:30 am, and was welcomed by a long winding queue. However, to my surprise, there wasn’t a single member of staff to coordinate affairs; not even a secretary. It wasn’t a holiday as well. Well, I concluded that probably their working time wasn’t up. Little did I know that I was wrong! Instinctively, I turned around and caught sight of a notice that stated categorically that work was to start at 8:00am! Per this notice, they were already about 50 minutes late. However, something fascinating also happened; while my watch and those of other comrades in the queue displayed the time to be 8:50am, that of DVLA, hanging on their wall displayed 8:05am! Can you imagine that!!! Well, even if we were to adjust our watches to theirs, either way, they were late for duty!

So eventually at 9:00am, an hour into their working hours, they started the day’s work. In spite of the human Kasoa-Mallam traffic the DVLA came to meet, they were rather seeing to people who were using unauthorized routes and the sidelines. It was an eyesore! The sight of the gross irresponsibility on the part of those DVLA staff was highly unpleasant, yet we had to bear it. We were in their offices after all, and you couldn’t complain.

This is but one of the ills and negative works ethics that Uncle Atta has been fighting and campaigning against. I can imagine how downhearted our soft-spoken president would have felt if he had paid that DVLA office a surprise visit that morning. I hope they heed to his call to make 2011 an action year devoid of all the mishaps of 2010. It is only then that the change we deserve will be realized!!!
Columnist: Yankey, Stephen Duasua