Opinions Fri, 31 Mar 2006

Kennedy and Eric?s Law;

...they shamelessly keep marching on!!!!

I happen to be a critic of this government, and sometimes in the fervor of being critical of any enterprise one might tend to lose objectivity. At the core of all my criticisms of this government is the fact that I hope I have tried very hard not to lose objectivity. I am however very hard pressed not to go off on a vitriolic diatribe about an issue that should really bother every right minded Ghanaian. Scratch that. Every sane Ghanaian! The confrontation on my mind is thus;

What in the hell was wrong with Hon Akuffo Addo and the government when they decided to push for the introduction of a bill to parliament for a protocol to be established with certain Governments so that Ghanaians who have been convicted for drug trafficking offenses can be returned to Ghana to complete their sentences?

First of all, apart from the obvious security concerns, that our government should be concentrating on more pressing needs of our citizenry goes without saying.

We are all aware that Hon. Akuffo Addo is going to be vying for his party?s presidential nomination. On the face of it, this exercise in debauchery is being camouflaged as good statesmanship, but this writer opines that there is a warped intention behind this ludicrous attempt to once again pull the wool over the eyes of Ghanaians.

Akuffo Addo needs the support of a very influential wing of his party. The narcotics wing of the party. The likes of Hon. ********, the verbose so called self made millionaire who has a host of relatives in jail in Thailand for drug trafficking, the likes of Hon. Eric Amoateng who is facing a lengthy sentence in the United States for heroin smuggling and the likes of those 3 women of the Dzorwulu office of the party who were busted for attempting to smuggle drugs onto a Dubai bound flight.

These people have a lot of financial ability, and have the power to make and unmake candidates at all levels of the party. They have the financial muscle to influence delegates in the prelude to the nominations. Hon. Akuffo Addo knows full well that he will be the toast of these people if he manages to secure the repatriation of at least some of these criminals.

Some may argue with the premise of my assertions, but there is a clear track record that speaks for itself. This government has made no secret of their indifference and indeed tolerance of drug trafficking. The recent Amoateng scandal is a case in point. Up to today, the parliamentary leadership of the NPP has steadfastly refused calls to organize bye - elections in the Nkoranza North constituency.

It is bad enough that a sitting legislator of this country and one of the party?s leading financiers is busted with a van load of cocaine in the U.S. It is bad enough that the dishonorable gentleman lied to parliament in order to excuse himself from the floor of the house.

It is bad enough that a newspaper which is owned by another parliamentarian and his wife gives the country daily welfare updates of the drug baron turned politician and constantly feed us lies about his innocence and supposed release date.

But for members of his party to stand so solidly behind a criminal and his enterprise is another thing all together. It demeans the very essence of our government?s respect for the rule of law and the so called international protocol that they seek. The failed promise by Capt Nkrabea Effah Dartey to give the nation an update on the mysterious disappearance of the 3 NPP women who were busted with the heroin is a further illustration of the lengths this government will go to protect their favorite criminal enterprise. As I write today, both the women and their dockets have vanished from the system. We all know that 10 minutes after the repatriated criminals have set foot in the country; they will be freed to continue their criminal sojourns. They will be released into the populace to continue their inimical activities so that they can continue financing the NPP.

They will be released to sell their poison to people to snort, inject, smoke and die. They have no compunction about causing so much pain to so many families the world over with their uniquely destructive product. Since they have forgotten what the people of this country regard as priority, let me remind them of a few.

We live in a country where we can now proudly say that potable water is an essential commodity in every single part of this country.

From Gambaga to Accra, from Wiawso to Keta, from Cape Coast to Kpandu, from Kintampo to Worawora, we are united in water shortage. That Ghana is second only to Sudan in guinea worm infestation is not by divine intervention. It is the result of years of mismanagement of our water resources, unchecked pollution by mostly foreign firms prospecting for and in the process polluting our water bodies with all sorts of chemical effluent like mercury. Wetlands and catchment areas have been ruthlessly exploited and laid to waste by unscrupulous chieftains and crooked developers. Is the government concerned? No not at all! Instead they want to go and bring back criminals from Thailand.

We live in a country where we can now proudly say that health delivery services are at an all time low. It is not unforeseen for nursing mothers to be placed on the floors of hospitals, accident victims to lie in corridors of hospitals waiting to expire and nursing mothers being detained on the orders of the venerable

Dr Frimpong Boateng (who might I add is also running for president). People are contributing to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) but still get to the hospital and are told that they are not covered. People are dying from easily curable and preventable diseases because we train medical officers and nurses, and as soon as they get their certifications, they are off to look for greener pastures.

Instead of giving them the necessary incentives for them to stay, they have to fight to be given their extra duty allowances amidst threats and intimidation from the likes of you guessed it! Dr Frimpong Boateng. When it comes time for parliamentarians to be given loans that are uncollectible every 4 years to buy cars, it is OK. Those that have 3 or 4 cars courtesy of the taxpayer, even have the audacity to collect the $25,000 so that they can ?add their own money? to get more expensive luxury cars, whilst the rest of the nation wallows in abject poverty.

When it comes to government oppressniks buying needlessly expensive business class tickets for frivolous travels and awarding themselves exorbitant amounts of per diem (A story is told of a certain minister who collected warm clothing allowance for a trip to Mauritius). That doesn?t bother them at all. Let the doctors ask for their measly allowances to be given to them and all hell will break lose. They are called all sorts of names, they get disgruntled and leave. Of course our loss is most often a developed country?s gain. So I ask the literati of this government. In terms of the long term cost to benefit analysis, is it cool to spend in the region of $70,000 to train a doctor and then not recognize his worth to society, let him go to another country which has infinitely more resources than you do simply because you are too pig headed to pay them?

Isn?t this crazy phenomenon akin to exporting your raw materials to another country for value to be added and sold back to you?

How does Hon Akuffo Addo feel when he hears that there are only 3 doctors in the whole of the Upper West region, whilst he runs around showing statesmanship by trying to free a bunch of drug trafficking criminals? Does he care?

No not at all, he is busy trying to bring Kennedy and Eric?s friends and relations back home to restart their devilish franchise.

We live in a country where we are educating an underclass in Ghana right now. We have loads of children and teens that have been left by the wayside because the educational system is in shambles. Whilst the youth of this country do not go to school, opportunity passes us by. The global trend that is outsourcing for example is passing us by because we simply do not have the human resource capacity to take advantage of this bottomless potential.

For a country the size of Ghana, we could solve the problem of youth unemployment overnight if our youth had the skills to be counted in the face of such opportunity. Sadly, a majority of our youth spend time idling, selling deodorant, dog chains and magic chalk whilst their most productive years ebb away.

Teachers are the most endangered species in our country because the government just does not give a hoot about them. It should not surprise anyone that no one wants to be a teacher and those that are supposed to teach our kids are now involved in every other vocation known except teaching our kids at the appointed times.

They normally spend class hours foraging for business, and tell the kids to come and pay for extra classes so that they can charge what they feel they are worth. And in response to the problem what does the directorate of education do?

They meet and decide to BAN the use of cell phones in all schools. In today?s technologically enhanced world, isn?t it a blessing that school kids can have cell phones at affordable pricing so that they can be safe? So that they can call someone when they are in distress? What an abject abdication of responsibility. The reason why cell phones are so popular is that THEY ARE SMALL, and as such it is easy to hide. So they can?t find them even if they conducted random searches.

I would not waste readers? time talking about our decrepit infrastructure, roads (and someone should please tell Mr. Anane to get his nose out of that white woman?s derriere because 70% of our roads are not ok. In fact not even 25% are ok), railways, housing etc. Of course we have heard that they are going to spend billions building NEW prisons to house these inmates.

Jobs for the neighborhood boys of course!

I am sure there will be contracts galore!

There will be the supply of sand and cement to Amoateng, the supply of laterite, stone and formwork to the 3 women who cannot be found and the air-conditioning contract will go to Kennedy Adjepong.

What utter nonsense!!!! What an utter disgrace!!!! What sheer effrontery!!!! When the University of Development studies is crying out for renovation of its medical school?

When 2 floors of the Tamale General Hospital have been abandoned due to water shortage?

Someone?s brain is out of its holster my fellow Ghanaians!!!! I would however like to challenge the members of parliament including the rubber stamp brigade of the majority party not to allow themselves to be used to foster drug dealing as a national past time on our nation. The NDC MPs save for Madam Akua Dansua have all kept quiet. They are just going to go and sit for sitting allowance sake. It is time for members of the house to stand up and be counted and not allow Hon Akuffo Addo to ride on their backs to his presidential nomination. If he wants to liberate his criminal friends he may do so, but not in the name of the state.

We are already listed as a transit point for narcotics between South America and the western world. It is a dubious distinction we do not need, so don?t let our parliament become known as the parliament that condones drug trafficking.

As for Monsieur le President de Waa Waa, I will not ask him to intervene because he doesn?t even have a clue what time it is. 2 days after he was re-elected, he was a lame duck. As far as he is concerned, it is ok to keep marching on and on and on!

To perdition here they come!

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Quaye, Rikard