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Opinions Wed, 30 Aug 2017

Is Ghana a failed state? A close introspection of our otherwise beautiful land!

Second Time I Am Asking In 15 Years!

When the social, economic and legal criteria under which a state or nation is built reaches a point where a few in power neglect their duties of service and seek their own interests, indiscipline overrides law and order, health and security are ignored save for the few, and government seems to talk but don't deliver services, the state can be said to have broken down or failed.

In a PhD research study conducted by this writer in 1998-2003, culminating in a Book: Leadership Concepts and the Role of Government in Africa: The Case of Ghana (Danso, K.A., 2007. Xlibris Corporation, USA), respondents were asked what constituted the most important expectation of leadership in Ghana. The largest criteria by far was "concern for the interest of the people, followed by management of national resources for all.

Living in Ghana after the US can make one feel so down sometimes ,,but then for many people like me, a few seconds later I feel the Holy Anger and so enraged about our Ghana being brought to the verge of breakdown due to the last 50 years of evil thinking and deeds, of hatred towards one another for tribal or political reasons, and then the greed and selfishness of our leaders in society! All leading to silly military adventures in Governance!

Any fool can take a gun and take over our nation! How about the educated elite?

Examine well educated smart people taking on Leadership in the last 50 years:

Dr. Busia, Dr. Limann, JA Kufuor, Prof. Atta Mills, John Mahama, and now Nana Akuffo Addo. They all seem unable to have an overall long distance view of Ghana catching up to others as a developed nation! Sure some grand visions are often expressed; but they all rather seem to be touching on edges of modernity without tackling the fundamentals needed to set up an Economic and Financial basic system for modern development!

Can you imagine anybody pretending to want to join the list of developed nation but

1. Lacking the first requirements for Planning,

- no catalog of homes, land or real property;

- no National ID of the people;

- no computer database of businesses and vehicles in each town, district and region; and

- no phone list of government offices!!

I just spent an hour or more trying to find the Eastern Regional Minister's offices to discuss the reason for the shortage of water in the rich Kwahu towns such as Abetifi, and their plans to restore service. There is no functional phone!

Due to the above deficiency, Ghana seems to consequently have

2. No Planning!!

And

3. No leadership moral will!

And lets add the final straw:

4. The arrogance of some of our men and women elected to office.

A good example is last week's episode on August 21, 2017 where one Minister called Honorable Samuel Atta Akyea, a Lawyer elected and made Minister of Housing, could not see the value of providing simple chairs to people waiting 3 hours in the corridor standing for appointments, but his office suite has about 24-30 luxury chairs with full blast all day air conditioning.

Basic courtesies, human decency and respect for others requires this service. Article 15 of the Constitution demands respect for the dignity of all persons, and clearly states:

1. The dignity of all persons shall be inviolable.

2. No person shall, whether or not he is arrested, restricted or retained, be subjected to

a. torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

b. any other condition that detracts or is likely to detract from his dignity and worth as a human being.

What Hon. Atta Akyea did to us was a total disrespect and abuse of our constitutional rights!

Why should senior citizens and mature men and women, some not in the best physical condition, with appointment have to wait in the corridor and be tortured standing on concrete floors for three hours!

And the man tells his friend who made the appointment, a US Medical Doctor, to get me out of his office! My sin was in expressing some doubt in some government ability to deliver timely on a service of providing loan guarantee to a US capital firm with $200 million for housing.

Ghana seems to have an incurable problem!

I have lived more than forty years, long enough in the US, and studied life on both sides and cultures long enough! I have compared the US to Ghana and nobody can convince me that white people have any unique God-given intelligence better than what the same God gave us in Ghana! After all, some of us competed favourably to the highest educational levels with the white man and worked even in Professional and management roles!

So what is the difference why Ghana cannot seem to make it work?

The exceptions as my studies show, lie in these:

1. The cultural arrogance of our leaders, refusing to learn and adapt; Arrogance in ignorance is a disease! Lawyers and Economists pretending to know everything have sold out and allowed foreign interests above that of Ghana while residential roads, streets and highways have 20-100 times inflated cost but built so poorly to become a safety hazard!

2. The short-term mentality of greed and selfishness that translates into corruption;

3. Cultural inability to impose discipline and punishment! The fama-Nyame (Give-it-God) syndrome.

We can add one more:

4. The poor conceptual understanding of science and rather cultural beliefs that become a waste of time on this earth expecting free things by "grace of God", some spending 12-15 hours per week going to Church when they cannot spend 30 minutes per day reading!

We don't even seem to know what to do, or perhaps have no moral strength to have prosecution when even the Auditor General has discovered malfeasance and major corruption and missing moneys!

One government discovered 57,000 ghost names on government payroll and to date nobody has gone to prison! Another government wants to set up a judicial commission of inquiry to probe malfeasance and obvious cases of public theft or corruption! What is the use of the Attorney General and the police and state prosecution systems? In excess of $103 Billion are reported to be unaccounted for and yet nobody goes to prison!

Well, perhaps we can continue doing what we are doing because as of now Government offices seem to have no working phones!

Once elected, officials think only of themselves! Corruption seems impossible to prosecute! As President and Founder of the the global professional group, Ghana Leadership Union (GLU), it is my duty to probe, assess and evaluate and offer opinions if leadership care enough. So I ask one more time:

Is Ghana a failed state?

Columnist: Dr. Kwaku A. Danso