By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Monday, February 11, 2013
We are angry that the government is not solving the problems caused by foreigners, especially the Chinese, who have entered our country anyhow and are doing acts to endanger the economy and lives in the various communities. We are not happy that despite all the reports of the illegal activities of these undesirables, nothing is being done to rid us of their menace.
Forget about the actions taken against the Fulani. Those half-hearted measures are politically motivated and shouldn’t be applauded as the solution. Even then, how long didn’t it take before the government put in place those cosmetic measures to contain the situation?
Undoubtedly, the government seems to be more focused on hardcore political issues now than stepping out to tackle problems that threaten the economic sector. I challenge it to prove me wrong. From what has begun unfolding, I won’t be surprised if the local communities threatened by the influx and illegal activities of these Chinese and others (be they from sister-states in the ECOWAS sub-region or not) begin taking the law into their own hands, as is evidently clear in the case of Manso Abodom. I am not asking for anything verging on xenophobia; nor am I advocating inhuman treatment for foreigners in Ghana. I am solely bothered that despite all the overwhelming and irritating presence and activities of these foreigners, our own government (from the national through the regional to the local levels) has continued to stand aloof. Why should it be so?
There is every reason to condemn the local chiefs all over the country who collude with these Chinese undesirables to go where they shouldn’t. We have long suspected them of doing underhand deals with these Chinese illegal gold miners, allowing their conscience to be bought with money and petty gifts, and fronting for them.
When the Chinese feel so secure and emboldened by this tacit backing, they will arm themselves to the teeth to defend what they erroneously consider their “inalienable economic right” to exploit our mineral resources.
Why can’t the government take prompt action to flush out those residing in the country illegally? Why can’t it immediately establish Task Forces in all the regions to identify these Chinese undesirables and begin taking them through the legal process of deportation?
Why can’t the various local and regional authorities put an action plan in place to streamline this process of plugging all the loopholes that these Chinese undesirables are exploiting? And the chiefs who serve as their internal collaborators punished?
Do we not have laws on such issues to be enforced? What are the law enforcement agencies doing? Or are they only at post to be used against political opponents? Indeed, you can tell from the questions gushing out from my head that I am really angry. If the government cannot protect our mineral resources and safeguard life in the various communities, what is its relevance?
Of course, Ghanaians deserve tons of praise for being tolerant, peace-loving, and “hospitable” to the extent as to accommodate foreigners and the deviants among them. But they shouldn’t over-do things, remaining dormant or docile to be so undermined on their own soil.
The experiences of those of us living in others’ countries clearly confirm to us that in a country where no law is enforced, mayhem results. It is not easy for anybody to just enter those foreign lands and do anything anywhere, anyhow while the law enforcement agents look on placidly or turn a blind eye to happenings. It doesn’t happen. Why should it happen in Ghana? And to imagine that the Chinese illegal immigrant shot the Ghanaians with an AK 47 assault rifle!! How did he come by that weapon? And who authorized him to own it? For what purpose if not to do what he has just done?
Indeed, I will leave matters here; but I will do so on this note: The government has to know that the result of the citizens’ willingness to obey the law is protection. If it fails to do so, it shouldn’t turn round to blame the citizens if they take the law into their own hands to deal with this Chinese menace. The people’s stock of patience and tolerance is not inelastic or inexhaustible. There is a limit to everything. And as they continue being pushed to the wall—as is really the case now with this Chinese menace—they will act in their own interests and that of the country.
They did so in communities endangered by the Fulani menace and are equally poised to do so with these Chinese undesirables.
The people know that if they fail to secure their natural resources, posterity will not forgive them. Obviously, the ruin of a country begins from the homes of its people. I think that we are gradually getting to that moment in our national life. Just a quick detour to the memory lane. When the Apartheid authorities in South Africa had pushed the indigenous Africans in that country (owners of the land and its resources) too far to the wall, they defended their interest with weapons available to them—including stones, bows and arrows to confront the agents of an oppressive regime armed to the teeth with sophisticated weapons. That is what happens when a people resolve to act resolutely in their own interests.
I don’t think the government wants to look on for this kind of situation to happen in Ghana. Ours may not be on the scale of the Apartheid system versus the indigenous South Africans but it has its own potential of sparking off something very unpleasant in its conception and destructive in its implementation and outcome.
The seeds of such horrendous events have already been sown and being nurtured by the laxity of our government and its agents all over the country who are so inefficient as not to know what is brewing or how to stem the tide. Gradually, we will get to the tipping point, and it is then that those being deceived by the comfort of their offices will know how not to take the Ghanaian for granted. Are we cursed to put in office those who are better at compounding problems than solving them? You, be the judge!
I shall return…
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