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Opinions Tue, 17 Mar 2015

Ghanaians Must Reject The Dead Goat Syndrome.

The impunity, the arrogance and recklessness of our public officials is just too disgusting this time. This is precipitated by the disinterestedness and “I don’t care” attitude of the average Ghanaian concerning how we are governed. The “dead goat syndrome” adopted by our political public officials is endearing because of citizens inability to insist on the best practices in governance as practiced elsewhere. We all complain about things for just a moment and go to bed. No one takes the real challenge of contesting this unscrupulous political officialdom in courts for their negligence and fraudulent acts on the ordinary person.

We see these clearly in recent times from the energy ministry which unlawfully wasted over Ghc5million of money meant for rural electrification project on acquisition of luxury vehicles, the electoral commission whose negligence and ineptitude made Ghana lose over Ghc300milliion while it still demand Ghc90million. The negligence, complicity and inefficiencies of the Antony General department is so glaring in the public domain by its inability to retrieve monies that the state fraudulently lost in cases of GYEEDA, SADA, SUBA, and more especially the Wayome case. The 2014 world cup fiasco and the NSS scandals are better not mentioned. It is all one story of debauchery after the other.

The last time I listened to the former energy minister Dr Oteng Adjei on radio, I was boiling within myself. I nearly ask whether Ghana has a state prosecutor or an Antony General department which should defend her from unscrupulous individuals like Dr Oteng Adjei. I mean, how could Ghanaians be so forbearing to accommodate everything including rubbish from people we employ and put in charge of our public purse to manage? This is the minister who spent over Ghc5million outside its budgetary allocation for purchasing 38 unneeded luxurious vehicles in the name of using it for project monitoring while people still sleep in darkness, he chooses to keep two of them for himself even after ceasing to be minister, he returns one of them after a huge public criticism and outcry and unashamedly refusing to return one whiles throwing a challenge to anyone to take him to court for that. I mean how possible? Utter impunity and acquisitiveness at its peak. Thank God, the God sent Occupy Ghana has stood up to the challenge. God bless lawyer Ace Anan Ankomah and his team of occupiers for suing this man for Ghanaians. Ghana is crying for more of your caliber. I pray our courts and justice system does not disappoint Ghanaians on this one too.

The inactivity and lackadaisicalness of the appropriate stake holders within the state officialdom towards protecting the tax payer money is just irritating. I sometimes feel that given the slightest option, I just won’t pay my tax to this government because of the huge leakages and wastages we see and hear of daily. Last month when I checked on my pay slip the amount of money that is deducted monthly in the name of income tax I nearly became frustrated.

The 2013 Auditor-General’s report which was recently published indicted so many Ghanaian ambassadors and heads of missions abroad for litany of cases involving embezzlements, misappropriations and causing financial loss to the state. These malfeasances of different forms involve really huge sums of Euros and dollars which if retrieved can be of a huge augmentation to our struggling national budget. We have never heard any official pronouncement from the corridors of the powers that be about it. The last paragraph of that reportage is the most irritating, it reads; the Auditor-General has recommended that officials involved be made to refund the monies. Be made by whom? I ask. Thank God for the big brain Ace Ankomah and Occupy Ghana for hauling a bunch of incompetence to court to be re-educated on their powers of surcharging and disallowances which is never been used a day for the benefit of mother Ghana. This is what I call for and that is what I stand for. This is what I impress on Ghanaian elites to do.

The fact is that, we can’t continue with the passivity, the dormancy and the disinterestedness about political issues and expect to see a change and development in our life time. I am not preaching partisan politics. What I am preaching is personal and collective responsibility. Taking our destinies in our own hands by pressurizing those who manage our taxes and national resources to be discipline, transparent, accountable and responsible because they know equally educated eyes are watching and monitoring them. Ghanaians should not admit the “dead goat syndrome”. Leaders must be compelled by incessant collective, formidable and legitimate pressure from citizens to respond and change. We the citizens are the kingmakers; we pay the pipers and so must decide the tune. We must reject the dead goat syndrome.

Send comments and critiques via suakapeter@yahoo.com, tweet, @suakapeter. 0200922728.

Columnist: Suaka, Peter