By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Monday, February 11, 2013
We have had good cause to complain about inefficiency in the governance of this country over the years; and we will continue to do so until our leaders change for the better. We will not leave them to do things at their own pace, though. Very soon, we will take our protest a step further to put sustained pressure on them at both the local and national levels until they act responsibly to solve problems, not to create new ones to add to existing ones.
No empty sloganeering about a “Better Ghana” or a “Positive Change” will deter us from taking our leaders to task. We are serving notice so they don’t continue to mistake our leniency for a weakness to exploit.
When Ghanaians went to polls, they endured physical pain and mental agony to exercise their franchise in the hope that those to put in charge of affairs will be responsible enough to know their plight and work hard to uplift living standards.
They didn’t endure all that inconvenience to put dummies in charge of national affairs. Consequently, they will not sit down unconcerned for those in office to continue rubbing salt into their wounds.
I am completely angry at this stage, apparently because of what I have just read from Myjoyonline about a Chinese illegal gold miner shooting and wounding three Ghanaians with an AK 47 assault rifle in the Manso Abodom community of the Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region. (Please, see:
The suspect, Xia Gui Xiang, who was arrested five days ago, has been remanded in police custody pending further investigations. His victims, who were rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, are receiving emergency medical care.
The victims—identified as Kofi Bobie, Kwame Kyerematen and Kwaku Manu—were said to have been shot when they joined others from Manso Abodom who had entered the camp of the Chinese, who was mining illegally on Finger Mining Limited's concession.
The chilling impact of this occurrence has virtually rankled with me and I want to begin this campaign to call our national and local leaders to order. The circumstances surrounding the incident are enough to prompt immediate action:
1. The Chinese were alleged to have been mining illegally in the concessional area of Finger Mining limited, a small-scale mining company with legal rights for almost a year; a situation said to have created tension in the Abodom community and its environs.
2. Unhappy about the activities of these Chinese illegal miners, the youth from Abodom had, on Tuesday February 5, 2013, massed up at their chief's palace, complaining about the rate at which the Chinese had been mining illegally in the area.
3. The Abodom youth also alleged that the chief of the community had collected money from the Chinese and allowed them to operate illegally in their environment.
I congratulate the youth of Manso Abodom for rising up to tackle this Chinese menace, however limited their actions might be. Or however unfortunate the outcome might be. They have served notice that when the government and its security apparatus fail to defend the interests of the people, they (the people themselves) will do so on their own, damn the consequences.
There is a Chinese menace to confront head-on. Nobody should deceive us that there isn’t.
Within a short span of a little than 10 years, the Chinese have swarmed our country and are doing acts that largely flout our laws; but the government is not acting efficiently to clamp down on them. They are everywhere, vigorously exploring and exploiting the loopholes that we have created in our system.
How many Ghanaians can go to China to do things as they like, bulldozing their way through the national landscape and grabbing every substance of value they can reach?
The nuisance that these Chinese have become to us is beyond description; but our governments (especially those of Kufuor, the late Mills, and the incumbent Mahama) have either looked on unconcerned or looked away to encourage their activities.
Our state institutions responsible for immigration and immigrant quota or work authorization (if there is anything like that in Ghana) are either complicit in the influx of these Chinese undesirables or arte themselves fronting for them to act illegally in the country.
How do these Chinese enter the country, in the first place? What is the legal backing given them to live in the country? How do they ever know the parts of our country that have rich minerals to settle in? How do they establish themselves in the various communities to operate their illegal mining (or other economic) activities?
More importantly, how do they manage to win the trust of the chiefs and members of the various communities to be able to do their economic activities?
How do the chiefs feel by either collaborating with them to exploit the resources of the land with so much impunity and gusto while their own people remain unemployed and destitute, forced to resort to anti-social activities (armed robbery, especially) to eke out their livelihood?
There are many more disturbing questions that will end up tearing me apart if I continue to brood over them.
I blame the government—this John Mahama-led NDC government—at this stage. There is nothing to persuade me that it has any plan to deal with this Chinese menace. Hindsight persuades me that there is a cunning official complicity that must be condemned in no uncertain words. And that’s exactly what I am doing.
Having gone with well-padded knee-caps to panhandle in China, and having sold its conscience to the Chinese authorities, what can the government do to solve this problem without being browbeaten into submission by the Chinese authorities? And why is the government afraid to act on this menace?
I recall what happened last year when some 31 Chinese were said to have been arrested (with one dying in the rumpus) for flouting the laws of the country on economic activities. The Chinese government quickly warned Ghana of the consequences, and we haven’t heard anything about that matter since then. You see how cowardly our leaders are? What are they afraid of, anyway?
There are many more instances to confirm the weaknesses in our government’s handling of cases related to foreigners trooping into Ghana and destabilizing the economic, cultural, and social sectors while our government looks on, paralyzed by its own incompetence in tackling such problems.
The half-hearted attempt to flush out foreigners from the retail business was more politically motivated than economically expedient. No wonder it ended all too soon without any success. And nobody in government is even thinking of that any more. I am really pissed off at this stage; so should you be too.
I shall return…
• E-mail: email@example.com
• Join me on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/mjkbokor to continue the conversation.