Do our laws really work in Ghana?

Mon, 8 Feb 2016 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Folks, there is no doubt that Ghana is relatively stable and attracts international interest. Many are those rushing to relocate there to pursue their agenda in life, even as Ghanaians themselves desert the country for foreign lands, where they are reduced to non-humans. The foreigners have virtually taken over the country; and there is a lot going on wrong in that pursuit to provoke us, especially when we consider their negative activities. Do laws in Ghana really bite? If not, why not?

Forget about the self-destructive claim that Ghanaians are hospitable. Senseless hospitality endangers national life, especially when the doors are thrown open for foreigners to be where they are not needed or when their activities endanger limb and property but cannot be checked or stopped because of systemic problems.

The focus is now on the Fulani nomads plying their damaging trade all over the country, incurring the anger of indigenes but enjoying whatever their circumstances offer them. And they are operating everywhere in the country because they know how to play their cards. But playing their cards endangers our national resources and lives. If you doubt it, just read the news report here (https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Forest-guards-abandon-posts-over-Fulani-herdsmen-413387), for instance.

We have also been told about the arrest of some Yemenis without valid documents trying to enter Ghana. Why not when the government is harbouring two of their compatriots? Ghana is open to anything at this time. Why so?

In addition to that danger is the influx of the Chinese, who have virtually settled in the groove in Ghana to do things with impunity. They are everywhere, mining gold and diamond, establishing enclaves and practising prostitution, entering into forest reserves and exploiting the resources, and selling just anything anywhere to prove that they are really in charge of some sectors of the Ghanaian national life that they can call their own. And Ghanaians are chafing all over the place but can’t act to rid themselves of such undesirables. Why is it so? Why should it be so that Ghanaians should be held “hostage” by these foreigners in their own land of birth?

The answers to this question lie nowhere but on the laps of our political authorities. Should we begin with the crave for support from China to grow our economy under Presidents Kufuor and Mils or Mahama? Take them apart and you will see why Kufuor paid a visit to Beijing and relished whatever was offered him even at the time that his Chinese counterpart was undertaking a foreign tour, indicating to the Ghanaian authorities before Kufuor’s visit that he won’t be available to host him.

Then, bring in the desperate moves by Atta Mills to secure a 13-billion Dollar loan from China to support his “Better Ghana” agenda. Nothing has come from China thus far (even under Mahama) because the Chinese won’t just be comfortable playing the Father Christmas role. Nothing goes for nothing. Yes, China claimed it had money to give Ghana; but what could Ghana offer China in turn for a solid quid pro quo arrangement to be effected?

Behind it all was the hidden agenda of China to spread its tentacles everywhere, especially in Africa, taking advantage of the bad-blood relationship existing between formerly colonized Africa and its colonial masters. Thus, China presented itself as a friend in need and a friend in deed. Nothing concrete has come to Ghana in that co0nstruction.

History reminds us of what had happened under the Great Osagyefo when all that China presented to Ghana under Chou En Lai was a mere political rhetoric to clothe Nkrumah in the Chinese costume and present him to the world as the champion of communism in Africa. He lost big time. Has Ghana gained anything from China since then? Nothing.

Thus, when Kufuor and Mills began gravitating toward China, some enlightened folks expressed serious concerns that they were only preparing Ghana for the slaughter house. Reason didn’t prevail. What do we have today under Mahama to account for all those efforts? The influx of Chinese undesirables to annoy Ghanaians!! Forget about the political rhetoric and concentrate on economic reality. We are being duped by these Chinese and must wake up to that painful reality to get rid of them!!

As is reported daily, the activities of these Chinese undesirables are despicable. Unfortunately, no one in authority is ready to muster up enough courage to act promptly for them to be dealt with. Why is it so? Could it because of the warning given about two years ago by the Chinese government to the Ghanaian one on how not to mistreat Chinese elements entering Ghana? And why should the Ghanaian authorities cower? Why can’t our government stand firm against the bullying tactics of the Chinese authorities? (Folks, we are aware of some scandals involving Ghanaian government officials on official business in China being bribed with petty gifts and what-not.) We wrote about such scandals some years back. Is anybody in government, therefore, looking over the shoulders and, therefore, scared of being exposed if he leads the fight against these Chinese undesirables?)

True, Ghana needs the help of other countries to solve its internal economic problems; but it doesn’t have to accommodate undesirables whose activities compound problems. Unfortunately, it seems those in authority are more willing to sacrifice the national interest to sustain the activities of those undesirables than to serve the interests of Ghanaians. I am particularly concerned about the devastation of Ghana’s forest reserves by these Chinese undesirables. As reported, they have caused so much havoc as to alarm every sane Ghanaian.

The snag is that the Ghanaian authorities are quick to take action against Ghanaian citizens entering forest reserves to exploit the resources but incapable of doing so to the Chinese undesirables or the Fulanis now haranguing the society. Why should it be so? Do we really have any regard for the Ghanaian anymore? Or do we have laws that really work? If so, why can’t action be taken against these foreign elements, especially the Chinese undesirables? Who in Ghana is providing a safe haven for these undesirables to act the way they do? Who is cushioning them?

I am highly disappointed in our government and the institutions charged with securing national assets and integrity. Is the Ghana Immigration Service really up to its responsibilities? How do the Chinese undesirables get the green light to settle in Ghana to do things the way they do them to annoy us? What are the various security apparatuses (national, regional, metropolitan/municipal/district) doing things? Why are we in Ghana so porous in our attitude to matters of this sort?

Folks, it is clear that law and order have broken down, which allows all these undesirables to enter the country and do things anyhow. It is not so in other countries. What at all is happening? I am more than appalled. If care is not taken, the situation will deteriorate further to destabilize our country. Too bad for a country with over-abundant resources yet wallowing in poverty because of the shortsightedness of its national leaders and the criminal laxity of its state and local law-enforcement authorities. It is not so in other countries.

In the United States, for instance, one cannot just cut down a tree (whether the branch or stem) on one’s own, regardless of where the tree is located on the property (especially if that property is residential) without p8unishment. One cannot just develop land because one claims it or because one has money for that purpose. Everything is circumscribed within the law. We in Ghana are lagging behind, which is why anything goes; and we suffer the negative backlash that unconscionable politicians exploit to deepen woes.

Ghana can never be built on lawlessness. That is why I find the goings-on to be reprehensible. I challenge President Mahama and his team to act decisively so the relevant institutions can stop the menace. Otherwise, it won’t be surprising when foreigners dig in and enslave Ghanaians on their own soil.

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.