Do people become corrupt in a day? Do people become thieves within a twinkling of an eye? Vices or virtues graduate in stages. They start gradually and spread across.
People do not become saints or Satans in a day. It takes time. If students are allowed to cheat in an exam at the primary level what do we expect? If people are paying unauthorised or illegal monies before getting things done for them what do we expect if they get the job done finally? If players have to pay before they get a team or a manager what do we expect? If students are paying before gaining admission into schools what do we expect? If musicians have to give "soli" or "payola" before their music is played on the airwaves what do we expect? If prospective security recruits are paying before enlistment into the service what do we expect? If voters are taking money from candidates before casting their voting what do we expect? If ladies are made to use their bodies to secure grades and job opportunities what do we expect? The list is endless. Some of these unauthorised payments mentioned above have become "amamr?" in some institutions. Who dare you question the payment. Dare raise your voice and you would be the last to be served or even be ignored. We see these things happen every day but we cannot question.
Number 12 is not the only corruption scandal in the history of Ghana oo. At least I can recall four of those scandals: Ports and CEPS, Osu Children's Home, Cocoa Board, and the Judges. Has anything changed? Nothing has changed. The value is the “shame”. When we listen and watch these scandals we shout and condemn the practice just to go and repeat those things we condemned yesterday. For political parties, it becomes their campaign messages upon which they get elected. It was last year we heard of that of the judges and we saw people form long queues to go and watch those alleged culprits. We would have wished that this corruption scandals would reduce if not stopped by now, but what do we see? We see No. 12. After that of the Judges we went to sleep just to wake up this year to form another long queue to go and watch No.12.
Corruption would not end with No 12. I guess next year we would witness No. 20 if Anas and his team do not stop naming and shaming business. We must change our attitude as a nation towards our work. Corruption is not with only politicians and states officials. It is all around us. From the Street sweeper in Maame Krobo to those at the presidency. Let us take a second look at our approach to work and what motivates us to work. We should not strive to occupy occupational space but strive to work to alleviate the plight of people. The impact of corruption on our country cannot be overemphasized. The results are often disastrous.
If employers pay their employees’ well things will change. If we begin to appreciate and utilise the salaries and allowances we receive, things would change. If we begin to deal with people on merit and not on mere relationship, things would change. If begin to award contracts based on ability and not "I-give-little" things would change. If we begin to promote people based on the skills they have gained and not the “Sika” they have paid, things would change. If state institutions vested with power and authority do not abuse their powers things would change. If voters see elections as means of deciding on the fate of the country and not a money making event, things would change. If political parties also stop promising heaven on earth but be truth to themselves and the electorates, things would change. Let us not wait for No. 20 to come for us to question the credibility of Anas and his modus operandi and also to begin another talk show but let us start in our small ways to stop the stop the practice.
I conclude with articles 14 and 41 of the 1992 constitution. Article 14 states we have the right to work under satisfactory, safe and healthy conditions, and ought to receive equal pay for equal work without distinction of any kind. Article 41 makes us aware that as we enjoy those rights, it shall be our duty as citizens to promote the prestige and good name of Ghana and must generally refrain from doing things (like corruption) detrimental to the welfare of other persons. It further enjoins us to work conscientiously in our lawfully chosen occupations and also to protect and preserve public property and expose and combat misuse and waste of public funds and property. God bless our home land Ghana and make our nation Ghana great and strong.
Rev. Fr. Stephen Kofi Sakpaku
Donkorkrom Apostolic Vicariate