Leave Zita Alone!!!

Wed, 23 Sep 2009 Source: Boadi-Danquah, Eugene

by Eugene Boadi-Danquah

All through out the media, in the last couple of weeks, one minister has come under fierce and acidic lambasting by different sections of the media and individuals. To some extents, some people have come to her defence, but on a broader stage, Mrs. Zita Okaikoi has had far less compliments than criticisms in recent times. For most of her critics, it is her lack of maintaining a solid presence in the media; but for her NDC cohorts, it is her inability to carefully articulate Government’s plans in its divulgence to the general public when she chooses to or better still, a rather lackadaisical attitude towards disseminating information to us.

In Zita’s defence, what information is there to disseminate? Should she conjure facts from the galaxies? The truth of the matter is, it is only in our country, which this will be a concern, because our politics has become 99% talk with 1% action. Portraying Zita in the limelight as an incompetent minister is woefully out of place, unfounded and I personally abhor it with unflinching vehemence! This silly dogma is poisoning our politics too much, and the earlier we shed it on both sides of the political divide, the better for all of us. The people of Ghana have eyes to see what the Government is doing; we have ears to hear and a brain to discern. Zita is there to inform us of anything that might be new or different from what we are seeing or getting, but in all these instances, what we see is what we are getting. From my personal observation of Zita, describing her as “incompetent” goes a long way to describe who we are as a country, which in effect defines who we will always get as our leaders; empty-heads, blabbing endlessly, deliberately throwing dust into people’s eye, shouting off the top of the dome with despicable nonsense and backing it with some kiddie antics, (aka action).

Those are who we call competent right? Let’s face it, if there is nothing for Zita to tell Ghanaians, she won’t make things up! Her silence means there’s nothing going on, which is the truth. Replace her with someone else who will constantly feed you with new developments, when indeed there’s nothing going on. That is probably what we enjoy.

Maybe we have turned into a nation of propaganda, being towed along with our toying politicians so rigorously that nothing matters to us, more than noise, which is exactly all I have heard Ghanaian politicians make, since I started following politics. Maybe we do not know who an “incompetent” minister is. For the sake of fairness, I will not speak too harshly of our incumbent Government but rather balance it out with the fact that the incompetence is spread both sides of the political pitch.

In 2001, two ministries were amalgamated; Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City. A minister was put in charge of it, for six years, huge budgets were allocated to it. Eight years on from that, we have News of the Slums of Sodom & Gomorrah now at its flourishing peak (in the Capital City), excessive congestion in the capital, poor planning of Accra, Paga crocodile pond in the most deplorable state in its lifetime. If fate had not been kind to us, the worst culprit in handling the ministry could have ended up being President of our country. This is not incompetence, is it? Because what we can see mean nothing to us, as what we hear. The issues that affect our daily lives do not matter more than the words we hear.

We have had ministers of foreign affairs since time immemorial, yet anyone could make up any name with a random date of birth and acquire an authentic passport. There are ministers of interior, defence, national security and whatnots, yet alleged murderers are pulled up from under the beds of deputy ministers, who are still serving our country.

We have a Highways minister who thinks that it is Government’s responsibility to allocate funds towards repairing shoddy construction work done by PRIVATE contractors. He carries his shoulder high, and travels 15,000miles to make such an assertion with confidence

We have an Attorney General who has only succeeded in making fun of herself five times by misinterpreting the very law that she was educated to practise. We had railway ministers who can buy train carriages on credit, put the country in a state of servicing the debts perpetually, while the trains are stored in a warehouse, awaiting a track and a signal system to be built. This same railway minister’s tenure, witnessed a head-on crash of trains in Ghana; one of the rarest occurrences in Ghana, much unlikelier than a pregnant man in a country where rail transport use is less than 5%.

I refuse to believe that our country is doomed to an inevitable decline, yet in all my life, I have rarely witnessed a year when our country has survived without going around begging. No! That is not incompetence of our leaders, it is fate! Right? When it concerns the things that directly affect us, we defend the men in charge endlessly. Yes, our government is not responsible for solving all our problems, but unfortunately in the case of our dear country, our government is our problem. A task to count the number of incompetent ministers we have had in our life time is less onerous than trying to fish out one who is competent. On the fingers of one hand, you can count all competent ministers we have had in our country.

We still have massive traffic congestions, we rarely sustain inflation as a single digit, our roads are horrible, our capital city floods year in year out with no hope of it seizing, our healthcare system is so sub-standard our politicians seek medical attention abroad, children still study under trees, there is armed robbery, alleged corrupt officials still go about unpunished and in most cases, they are even honoured, people pay bribes to get into the organisation responsible for checking bribery; in short, nothing simply works in our country. I do not believe all these are the doing of the Hon. Mrs.Okaikoi.

Countries grow on investing in massively in infrastructure, education, science, technology, agriculture and most importantly its citizens. Not much of this has to do with mere words, nor paying its politicians daily per diems more than the (annual) per capita income of the citizens of the country, so for the love of God, please leave Mrs.Okaikoi alone.



Columnist: Boadi-Danquah, Eugene