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Try To Stop “Them” And You Are Dead!

Mon, 13 Dec 2010 Source: Darko, Otchere

Corrupt Public Officials are like Armed Robbers, except that the latter kill openly while the former kill clandestinely and, thus, make it hard for the law to track and punished them. Read this third of Serialised Revelations of Public Service Corruption and know how some Corrupt Officials deal with those who try to stop them. [This fictionalised story of Ampeh is a true account of a real Ghanaian Public Office Holder.]

By Otchere Darko

After completing his National Service, Gyeabuor did not get his posting to his new station early, because of technical problems he encountered during the processing of his public service appointment papers. He did the same university course with Ampeh; and both completed their course in the same year. However, he got his posting letter nearly one year after Ampeh had already reported at his new station. His own station was only a stone-throw from that of Ampeh. The former’s station was smaller in size than Ampeh’s station but it provided identical services to a special section of the communities in the nearby areas. So, after reporting to his new station, Gyeabuor went to greet his colleague; and both were happy to have been so closely placed. The new arrival was more of a “go-go” man; and was, also, far more open in his dealings with people than his colleague, Ampeh. As his name suggested, he was as tough and unyielding as a rock, with respect to his attitude towards people; and he was also as protective of his office and his name as a bee was protective of its honey. Unlike Ampeh, he was not married and, as such, liked socialising more than his colleague. Since Gyeabuor’s station was a bit smaller in size, it lacked certain social amenities, such as workers’ canteen and drinking bar, which were available at Ampeh’s station. Accordingly, he had been spending a large part of his off hours and weekends at his colleague’s place of work, in order to enjoy the amenities there and, also, get the opportunity to socialise with people.

During such off-work periods, he often spent some time with Ampeh in his Bungalow and gave the latter accounts of some shocking “discoveries” he had made at his workplace. “I seem to smell ‘foul scent’ in every department at my place,” he told Ampeh during one of those visits. “These people were ‘chopping’ a lot before I came; and they are still ‘chopping’, even under my nose and in my face. Allowances of “inmates” who were no longer at the place are still being paid and received. There were hundreds of them paid in the past; and there are hundreds of them still being paid now, ‘My Brother’. They have to stop this ‘chopping’; or I’ll jail all of them. Nobody does ‘kalabule’ at my workplace, and in my time. They can only do their ‘chop-chop’ over my dead body”. Gyeabuor was furious that day, and was roaring like a lion. His face confirmed his intention to his colleague.

“The tiger is strong and bold, Gyeabuor,” Ampeh told his colleague that day, “but even this ‘wild tiger’ pursues its prey slowly and cautiously. It only attacks the prey when the right moment comes”. Advice is for taking or for ignoring, as the saying goes. And that is what happened. Ampeh had advised his colleague, but the latter could exercise his right of judgment and decide what he wanted to do at his workplace; and that is exactly what he did.

One Friday after work, two things happened simultaneously but tangentially in the lives of the two colleagues. Ampeh and his family left for his hometown to mourn the death of a close relative. That same Friday, around the same time, Gyeabuor decided to accept an invitation from his workmates to go out with them for a little “boozing night” and enjoyment. Gyeabuor was not a stranger to “Friday boozing” and enjoyment, but it was unusual for him to go out and drink with work colleagues who constituted the group he considered ‘smelly’ and who were, therefore, not the ‘type’ he would want to drink with. On Monday morning, Ampeh and his family who went to mourn returned to their station to hear the strangest news they never ever thought they could hear. Gyeabuor who stayed behind to enjoy had died on the night of the Friday he, Ampeh, and his family left to mourn the dead at home.

Mr Gyeabuor, the young but uncompromising boss who would allow corruption at his workplace only “over [his] dead body”, was allegedly poisoned with an extract from crocodile bile while he was drinking with those work mates that Friday night. These workmates who were secretly angry with Gyeabuor for his “bossiness”, “interference” and “poke-nosing” used the opportunity they got to prepare to drive their knife into their boss’s chest and cut their “pound of flesh”. While they were drinking that Friday night, Gyeabuor who was half-boozed left his workmates for the ‘gents’, leaving his half-full glass of beer behind. During that short time, these “conspirators” he was drinking with allegedly put what was said to be a ‘slow-killing extract’ from crocodile-bile into his unfinished glass of beer. Gyeabuor returned from the gents to finish his drink, allegedly unaware of what his workmates had done while he was in the gents. Soon after he had emptied his glass, his workmates told him that they believed he were all getting boozed and, therefore, they should all leave for home. He agreed with them. At home, ‘I-sleep-alone’ Gyeabuor developed severe stomach pains that same night. He rang a pharmacist-friend of his who came and gave him some medication for the night, with an advice that he should go and see a doctor the following morning, if the pain had then not stopped. This pharmacist-friend of his left him. Gyeabuor died that night before Saturday morning broke. Ghana being Ghana, the body was quickly conveyed to his hometown by his distraught relatives who were too sad to bother to ask for “investigation” into this bizarre death. Gyeabuor was buried quickly in his hometown, where Ampeh joined others to pay his last respect to a colleague and a friend who dared to confront the “evil ones” in our corrupt Public Service. Join the author in praying for Ghana and hoping for change. *[This is part of the writer’s campaign against corruption in Ghana].

Source: Otchere Darko; [This writer is a centrist, semi-liberalist, pragmatist, and an advocate for “inter-ethnic cooperation and unity”. He is an anti-corruption campaigner and a community-based development protagonist. He opposes the negative, corrupt, and domineering politics of NDC and NPP and actively campaigns for the development and strengthening of “third parties”. He is against “a two-party only” system of democracy {in Ghana}....... which, in practice, is what we have today.]

Columnist: Darko, Otchere

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