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The sages say that you never ask your country what it can do for you, but what you can do for your country. That saying is profound for several reasons, the first being that it removes one from sliding on the path of selfishness.
Making a decision to do something is always very difficult. Whether it is a decision to help someone, contribute towards a cause or ignore an enemy. My father always told me that it is difficult to build but so easy to destroy.
His conviction was that it took God a week to build the universe and man but it only took Lucifer a day to try to destroy it all. But he always said ‘at the end of it all, light will over power darkness”.
I have had the privilege to spend some time around people of different tribes and nations. I watched people being victimized and attacked not because they were doing something wrong but because they were often misunderstood and misinterpreted or their actions were misconstrued totally.
I have heard of stories of people who devoted their time and energy attacking people thinking they were exposing an enemy of progress. Just like the biblical story of the Pharisees who thought they were doing a service to the people by attacking Jesus Christ. A good friend of mine made a profound statement in his book “fallen heroes”. He said on page 122 that “Just because you are doing something good doesn’t mean the world will rally behind you” As funny as it stands, there are people who take pleasure in destroying what other people have built and i believe that is what Manasseh is doing to Dr. Agyapong.
One thing I have personally witnessed in Ghana is that people doing something good are never celebrated nor urged to contiue to do it right for more success. They are rather singled out and publicly crucified mostly lead by some media men in media trials because of they have been misunderstood or miscontrued. The case of the Jospong Group of Companies and its Executive Chairman, Dr Joseph Siaw-Agyapong is an example of such people.
I have read many articles and heard commentaries of people coming against Dr Siaw-Agyapong and his businesses as if the man is not part of us Ghanaians most especially Manasseh. Sometimes I am tempted to ask, what at all has this man done to warrant such public crucifixion by Manasseh and his ilks but then I also give consideration to where the attack is being engineered.
For instance, an accusation by Manasseh Azure that Zoomlion Ghana Limited, one of the companies of Dr Agyapong, has “duped Ghana millions of cedis with little or no work done” is unfortunate. I have taken time to read some of the report shared by Manasseh, concerning some of the contract dealings of Zoomlion Ghana Limited with the government. Judging by what the he wrote it is clear that his agenda is aimed at attacking the personality of the founder of the company. I recently read a commentary from one of the many epistles of Manasseh.
In the said commentary, the writer called on the President of the Republic and the authorities in power to turn their attention to Dr Agyapong and his companies, particularly, Zoomlion Ghana Limited. That is where I find the whole crusade against the man a bit unfair.
I haven’t met Dr Agyapong personally and I am not craving to know him but judging from what his company has achieved over the past few years, I believe such men have to be celebrated. Do we as a people have to subject a man to such level of attacks? Is it right, fair and godly to set up businessmen, who have achieved great success in their operations to public oersecution? Is it right for a man born of man to wish his fellow man's fall just because people have their own have agenda?
Personally I have great respect for achievers who rose through fires of afflictions and attacks just to be known for one thing—helping their nations solve problems.
Zoomlion Ghana Limited came in at a time the sanitation conditions in Ghana had reached unlimited levels with the country struggling to tame the tonnes of waste generated in the cities daily. This company single-handedly fought through many shadows to get the government to see the need to invest in the sanitation sector. We watched the company birthed, crawled and now that it’s walking, some people are acting as if it didn’t go through the process. Do we always have to brand successful companies as corrupt? Must we always be mischievous about things we do not understand? That is why i said such people are behaving like the Pharisees who attacked Jesus Christ because they didn’t understand why the son of God should be born to a poor family.
Just because Zoomlion Ghana Limited has now become a global waste giant doesn’t mean it used dubious ways to get to that pedestal. Like Manasseh is saying, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo should turn their heat on Dr Agyapong and Zoomlion. King Herod hands were forced to sign the death warrant of Jesus, even when he (the King) didn’t see any wrong doing in him. Is that what Manasseh wants the President to do? Is Manasseh saying our entire system is blind?
We have had a number of government officials and the President himself applauding the contribution of Zoomlion Ghana Limited. For President Kufour, at last year’s end of year Jospong Group of Companies annual thanksgiving service, former President urged Ghanaians not to brand successful companies as using corrupt means to make money. He singled out Jospong Group of Companies and applauded its Executive Chairman, Dr. Agyapong for his role in national development. President Nana Akufo-Addo during a tour in Greater Accra region commended Zoomlion Ghana Limited for the work it has done towards addressing the sanitation challenges in the country. If these two personalities could look beyond everything said about Jospong and applaud him, why can’t we honour the man for his works? The likes of Bill Gates, Aliko Dangote, Warren Buffet and some of the world’s celebrated business men didn’t get to where they are now being attacked and branded as corrupt by their own countrymen.
It is time as nation we move away from pettiness and deal with the real issues of why Ghanaian companies cannot boast of being among the first 100 African brands, if not global icons. Its time we begin to look for ways to support our own and push them to the top. We need to support our own and stop this crusade to get businessmen punished for no wrong doing. That does not mean, any person we think is corrupt out to experience the same faith.
Just because people are being attacked doesn’t mean they are doing something wrong. Nehemiah was attacked for trying to re-build the broken walls of Jerusalem. Sanaballat and Tobiah didn’t think it was a good course. Manasseh may not think Zoomlion Ghana is doing any good work but that doesn’t mean he is telling the truth or his wishes for the fall of the company is right.
Perhaps let’s just shut down Zoomlion down for a week and see the implication on the country’s health system.
Richmond Yaw Asamoah, Freelance Journalist, United Kingdom
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