I’m afraid, your Excellency, Ghana cannot develop in the midst of political criminals

Akufo Addo61 President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Thu, 8 Mar 2018 Source: Kwaku Badu

I cannot deny or hide the fact that I unhesitatingly admire President Akufo-Addo’s chivalrous and boundless enthusiasm towards developing Ghana beyond aid. Clearly, this positive attitude is a hallmark of a valiant and a real patriot.

Of course, ‘Ghana beyond aid’ is a slogan. But does it mean that the said development mantra cannot be translated into real action? Indeed, we can do it if we change our attitudes and behaviours and work in valence towards achieving that goal.

In fact, the concern being raised by sceptics in respect of the likely exigencies in our efforts to developing Ghana beyond aid is in order. We should, however, take solace in the fact that other countries have done it. So why can’t we do it? Of course we can.

Frankly speaking, we have to seriously block the sources of corruption and cease measuring our achievements according to the amount of grants and loans facilities we manage to secure from the same countries we started life with.

It is, indeed, extremely worrying and somewhat bizarre that after sixty-one years of independence, Ghana continues to lag behind the rest of the pack in respect of economic advancement. How pathetic?

To be quite honest, I cannot get my head around how and why some Ghanaians can contend somewhat speciously that we cannot develop our nation without grants and loans, and, would listlessly insist that it is trite and unconscionable for anyone to suggest that we started life with the likes of South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia, but we are happy to secure loans and other assistance from them. How bizarre?

Let us face it, we are at where we are today, because of corruption and mismanagement. Truly, I feel depressed in spirits anytime I listen to Captain Smart’s “FABEWOSO” show (literally means come and dispute the facts) on Adom FM on Mondays and Wednesdays.

To those of you who are not familiar with Captain Smart’s “FABEWOSO” show on Adom FM, the debonair journalist and his selfless team seek to expose, name and shame the corrupt politicians and other public servants who have been cited in the Auditor General’s reports over the years.

Well, if you are in doubt about Ghana’s enormous wealth and how some ravenous and unpatriotic Ghanaians have been siphoning our resources over the years, then make it a date to listen to Captain Smart’s “FABEWOSO” show on Mondays and Wednesdays, so as to acquaint yourself with the facts.

In fact, after listening to Captain Smart’s show for some time now, I have come to a painful realisation that we are not making any meaningful economic progress due to leadership paralysis and lack of monitoring and enforcement of the existing laws.

Verily, I will disagree if you tell me that leadership has got nothing to do with Ghana’s underdevelopment. Leadership has got everything to do with our sorrowful state of economic insecurity.

Honestly speaking, I would not acquiesce with those who harbour a sophistic view that Westerners are ever so righteous than their African counterparts. I am afraid, such an isolated thinker’s assertion indeed could be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, Westerners are not less corrupt than their African counterparts.

Well, you may believe it or not, but the fact of the matter is that Ghanaians are not different from other human beings elsewhere because we all have foibles as imperfect beings.

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

Elsewhere, though, 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.

It is, however, worth emphasising that in as much as the followers have a duty of obligation, it is up to the leadership to bring sanity into the system by strictly ensuring that all laws and regulations are enforced without fear or favour.

Of course, I am in agreement with the widely held view that every Ghanaian has a part to play in the nation building. However, I am of the firm conviction that if the managers of the economy fail to put expedient policies in place and ensure that the laws are enforced, we will get nowhere.

Let us however admit that Ghana may not see any meaningful development, so long as we have leaders that are not willing to ensure that our laws are enforced stringently and only tend to follow narrow party coloration, devoid of patriotism. The ‘Montie’ three remission is still fresh in our memories.

And given the risible and inborn predilection, we can reasonably infer that misunderstanding of patriotism exists in the minds of many of our leaders, who would often choose party interests over the national interests.

Regrettably, however, the people we previously elected to manage affairs have been disappointing. Truly, incompetence, corruption and arrogance of power were the order of the day. How can we command all these resources and still find ourselves in a pickle jar?

It would, however, appear that we, Ghanaians, and Africans as a whole, are possessed with kowtowing characteristic of a morally degraded mind which dislikes anything that comes with honesty and integrity.

Thus, some of our leaders, having first-hand knowledge of our servile compliance and hero-worshipping nonsense, tend to take us for granted and continue to dip their hands into the national coffers as if tomorrow will never come.

Paradoxically, however, in Ghana, greedy and corrupt officials are held in high esteem by the party loyalists for stealing from the national purse at the expense of the suffering masses.

Let us however be honest, and rightly so, we definitely need attitudinal and behavioural change, for we must not and cannot keep on hero-worshipping individuals who harbour ulterior motives.

The fact however is, if we continue that way, our beloved Ghana cannot advance meaningfully, indeed, not anytime soon, as a matter of fact.

How long can we continue to unjustifiably defend the voracious and corrupt officials who do not have the nation at heart?

The fact of the matter is that we cannot develop as a nation if we follow narrow political lines and continue to defend the greedy and corrupt officials who only harbour vested interests.

Apparently, we are at where we are, because of the gargantuan sleazes and corruption that are often perpetrated by some individuals in high positions. The fact however remains that the corrupt individuals close to the corridors of power persistently steal from the national coffers and often go scot free.

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

Verily, Ghana may not see any meaningful development, so long as we have officials who are extremely greedy, corrupt, and insensitive to the plight of the impoverished Ghanaians.

We should, however, not lose sight of the fact that corruption is a serious economic, social, political and moral impediment to the nation building, and as such corrupt officials must be held accountable at all times.

Apparently, corruption is found in all countries—big and small, rich and poor—but it is in the developing world that its effects are most destructive.

Going forward, we must not and cannot use the justice net to catch only plantain, goat and cassava thieves, but we must rather spread the justice net wide to cover the hard criminals who are often disguised in political attire.

Disappointingly, we began life with the likes of South Korea, Malaysia and Brazil, and look at where they are. They are diligently making cars, Mobile phones, electronics, good roads, good housing, and have put in place pragmatic policies and programmes to developed their respective countries and just look at where we are today.

Regrettably, however, we now go to those countries we started life with, and beg for donations, or borrow money--do you recall the STX housing deal which was unsuccessfully pursued by Mills/Mahama administration? I weep for my beloved Ghana.

Well, so long as we have politicians with no vision, myopic and do not think that every child can be educated for free (as it has been prudently implemented by Akufo-Addo’s government), and giving skills to excel in this world, Ghana will probably sink deeper and deeper into the mire.

Obviously, we need a true leadership with vision and ideas, altruistic leadership devoid of corruption, greed, Incompetence and capable of transforming us into an industrialized and robust economy.

In sum, ‘Ghana beyond aid’ slogan is achievable, and, I will humbly urge all patriotic Ghanaians to support President Akufo-Addo and work synergistically towards achieving that goal.

K. Badu, UK.

Columnist: Kwaku Badu