The New Ghanaian - Drugs, 419 & Armed Robbery

Fri, 23 Feb 2007 Source: Panford, Kwamina Mbra

I am very sure most of us have been reading about the spate of reports of drugs, 419’s and armed robberies that are being featured on the internet and the Ghana news media. You can add the disgusting pornography that I’ve been informed appeared on the internet and DVD being sold around. I am pleading to every decent and reasonable Ghanaian to stop and do a self- examination of who we are and why these abominable behaviors. What happened to the decent and honest Ghanaian we all knew?

I concede that the world has changed considerably from the sixties and the seventies. However the direction we are heading does not augur well. How do you feel when you’re virtually humiliated at the international airports because you’re a Ghanaian? We use to take our good name for granted. I have been a proud Ghanaian and African – very proud of my roots and heritage. It seems this pride is going down the gutter because of the aberrant behavior and character we have developed. Why this change?

I feel the simple reason is that there is a big gap between the affluent lifestyle some Ghanaians have acquired and the means to achieve them. Some Ghanaians will resort to every possible means to satisfy their inordinate craving. On top of this factor, some of us do not want to subject ourselves to the hard work our fathers and ancestors put themselves through. They want the shortest and quickest way to get rich. We have lost our sense of shame.

A reverend sets up an orphanage in a village near Suhum. He pays some villagers to send their kids into the orphanage and collects money from the Dutch Ambassador!!!

What we are seeing here is a selfish individual who cares only for himself. He has completely ignored the fact that his actions could block countless orphans who genuinely need help.

When you examine the phenomena critically, the factors go back to socio-economics. It is a fact of life that no matter how a society is shaped, there are going to be some bad elements. Years ago, in every community most people knew the bad guys. Now one cannot trust anybody. Honest and sincere Ghanaians are becoming endangered species. Yes, our population has quadrupled but the increase in volume does not justify our moral decay. Our moral decay cannot be attributed to sheer numbers.

In the past few years, we have all witnessed the inordinate greed of our elected officials, musicians, and the ordinary Ghanaians all seriously involved with cocaine. The urge to get rich so quickly is such that people are ready to swallow balloons of cocaine or heroin ignoring the risk to their lives. Boat loads of cocaine have disappeared from the custody of the top brass of our law enforcers. Daasebre Gyamenah who rocked the hip-life world with “I still love you” is now languishing in jail in Britain. His song was so “sweet” most people would not get off the dancing floor without an encore. How does such talent end up in jail? Whether he was guilty or not, a Ghanaian was involved – the cocaine went through Ghana. Ghana is classified as one of the major dealers in “conflict”- blood diamonds. “The Texas Attorney General has indicted 3 Ghanaians and about 25 Nigerians for Medicaid fraud “(Ghana Home Page 1/28/07)” A Ghanaian couple of Bowie, Maryland,USA were sentenced to a total of over 25 years by US District Court”--(Chronicles- 12/15/06). I personally examined 3 money orders of $93 turned into $9300 each to purchase vehicles ($27,000) from a used car dealer in New York. The computer skill used to accomplish these counterfeit money orders would buckle any mind. If we are that ingenious, why can’t we use our ingenuity to do legitimate business and build our country???

My fellow Ghanaians, the level of decay of our national character and morality is alarming; we have to think seriously as to how we could stop it. Otherwise we shall reach a point where we cannot live our own country. Ghanaians are being robbed and shot at for their cellular phones!! Who would have thought this could happen in Ghana? An African- American told me that, at a party of tourists in Accra, all that was being discussed was; how they have been robbed one way or the other by some Ghanaians. We cannot hide our dirty linens anymore. Our reputation is fast fading..

Kwamina Mbra Panford(New York)

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Columnist: Panford, Kwamina Mbra