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Sententious law breakers

Sun, 23 Mar 2014 Source: Kwabena Aboagye-Gyan

It is repugnant as much as regretful that some members of parliament take bribes to articulate the views of some individuals and organisations on the floor of parliament, as Honourable Alban Bagbin claims (See Graphic Online/GhanaWeb 10th March, 2014). Naturally, such a shameful act is extremely difficult to admit. Hence, it is reasonable that the minority leader is striving so hard to prove to the world that Honourable Bagbin’s claim lacks authenticity. In 2003 and 2008, such allegations of bribery were denied by those who cared, which means this is not the first time such an issue is being raised, and I fear it will not be the last time. That is not to say it is true though. But can I say it is untrue? As bribery is extensively recognised as a major threat to nations, we have to be concerned about the havoc it can wreak on us. Or should we wait till Honourable Bagbin produces the “hard core” evidence before we do that? No! So here we goooo.

Obstacle to development

It is no secret that if an individual accepts bribe from an organisation, his/her support is likely to swing to that organisation, regardless of how detrimental that organisation will be (or whatever it wishes to introduce). In that sense, the organisation which refuses to bribe those who matter will always be left to lick its wounds, irrespective of how beneficial it will be (or whatever it wants to introduce). Therefore, as Honourable Bagbin alleges, if the MPs take bribes from an organisation, it is likely to be awarded contracts. It might not be because of how beneficial its activities are going to be, but because it has bribed the MPs. This invariably leads to “systemic inefficiency”. Or should I say this has led to the “systemic inefficiency” in Ghana? But do these MPs care? No! So who suffers in the end? Of course, we (Ghanaians) do. A case of feeding us with “crabs," and blatantly depriving us of “soya beans” that are more scrumptious and nutritious. Suffice it to say that taking bribes stifles the development of a country.

Distrust

If MPs, through their egocentric tendencies, enrich themselves to the detriment of the development of their country, the citizens tend to lose confidence in them. For instance, bribery and corruption are said to have eroded the prodigious trust the people of the Philippines had for their government (in the context of Ghana, it will be our MPs). Citing this case (the Philippines) does not testify to a rancorous and recondite conclusion on my part that our MPs are guilty of the allegation, but they should be reminded that if “our MPs take bribes” becomes a hackneyed rhetoric among Ghanaians the result is monumental distrust for them, unless they want to ask me: “Richard, who cares?”

Recipe for lawlessness

Saying that bribery is not infectious is like giving an omelette sand-witched between two sliced bread to a 15-year-old boy who has not eaten for fifteen hours in a conflict-torn region and not expecting him to eat it. You are wrong! It should be noted that where there is distrust caused by MPs predilection for bribery, there can be “lawlessness," where people do what they please – taking bribes from people with impunity. “If my MP is fatuously involved in bribery (and corruption), what am I waiting for?” Will be the question most people will ask themselves. And the anthemic recitation of several people will be: “What is good for the goose is good for the gander”. Hence, from (A)dministrators to (Z)oologists, bribery will permeate the whole country.

Conclusion

We (Ghanaians) should avoid being drowned by the usual iconoclastically evanescent attitude with which we approach such potentially virulent issues, which has proved to be unsparingly deleterious to our development prospect, but keep ziling these “immortals” to give us reasons to trust that our country is in safe hands. Otherwise what is the point in expending resources and time on “law-breakers” who ironically, and rather belligerently, take grandiose delight in being trumpeted as “law-makers”?

Kwabena Aboagye-Gyan

(kwabena25@hotmail.com / inhim.life@yahoo.com)

Columnist: Kwabena Aboagye-Gyan