By Maxwell Obiri-Yeboah
“I promise to hold in high esteem, our heritage won for us. Through the blood and toil of our fathers’ and I pledge myself in all things to uphold and defend the good name of Ghana, so help me God” – this is an extract from the national pledge, coined by the leaders of old toshape our thoughtsand affect our deeds about our heritage,our motherland.
During my infancy, this part of the pledge was what I revered and feared most, for two reasons; based on my religious background, for anything that invoked the name of the Almighty ought to be done diligently even when no one is watching and also because it preaches the gospel of patriotism, the bedrock of every successful race under this sun.
Now, I am an adult and I have realised that a huge part of the unending woes we see on daily basis are weaponised with a collaborated effort from ‘the top’, to benefit a hand full of the manipulators in the helm of affairs, while the mass majority tremble in penury.
I have seen many people occupying sensitive positions in our society, reciting many consecrated oaths before assuming office and tasked with the responsibility of protecting the national interest at all times.
Yet the narrative of irresponsibility, increased state of insecurity, injustice, willfully causing financial loss to the state among many others, being the order of the day.
Nowhere under the sun have I seen that, while you smell awful, you intentionally and continually add flatulence to increase the fouled air around you.
From time immemorial, an enemy has grown so tall, devoured all the good in us and swallowed so much on our field.
For decades now, it has eaten into the neurons of our very foundation and has gigantic roots inherent deeply into our systems.
Endemic corruption, according to a research conducted by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, in 2018, stated that Ghana loses GH¢13.5 billion annually through corruption. This huge loss could be used to solve many of our basic problems.
On Monday, October 30, 2018, a statement from Mr. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, head of the Transport Ministry read: “…as the sector Minister, with oversight responsibility over the Ghana Maritime Authority, I wish to indicate that I have directed the Board of the Authority to investigate the allegations and report to me for necessary action.”
Nine months after the sector minister issued this statement to probe corruption allegations against Mr. Kwame Owusu, the tax payer whose monies is used to pay him and in whose interest he serves, have not been given any update on the investigations; nothing has been trumpeted through the lenses of the cameras about any work done. The matter has been beautifully swept under the carpet.
For decades now, we have thrived on one thing as a nation, killing all state owned enterprises, yet these same Ghanaians are able to run private entities to successful heights.
Generation after generation, instead of getting problem solvers, it appears we keep putting square pegs in round holes. These people are only capable of manipulating figures to enrich themselves. Surprising, they have no shame after being exposed.
The last straw that broke the camel’s back was a notification I received from a popular online news portal last week. I was sad when I read that the first gentleman of the land has appointed a character smeared in the smoke of corruption to a sensitive position.
This [decision] will forever dent his image and undermine the tune he has been humming, both home and abroad, to bring our old enemy, corruption, to its knees.
The former Ghana Maritime Authority’s boss, Mr. Kwame Owusu is now the new Director General of the Ghana Revenue Authority!
Someone who is known for using a whopping GHS 1 million to renovate a house, ordered the Director of Administration in his former office to illegally pay an amount of GHS 145,777 to some businesses that sources claim he owns.
Upon hearing this, questions were running through my mind: Will the public have confidence in paying their taxes that is supposed to build the nation with this man at the top of revenue generation? Is he [the president] sure that the public purse would be protected under his watch in this sector?
So, does it mean that among the 30 million Ghanaians, there is none so fit for this position than Mr. Kwame Owusu, who is due for retirement, with no experience in the field of taxation and defying all odds to continue to serve in public office?
Does the president know that this particular action is bound to erode the confidence the public have in his regime in fighting corruption? Why won’t the president wait for the report of the investigation to at least come out before such a choice would be made?
Finding no answers to these raging questions, I concluded that the story is never changing; sadly the narrative about Ghana has come to stay!
A nation that is so poor, yet often caught up in corrupt deals the world has ever recorded. People that have more than 80 percent of our populace to be Christians and Muslims, yet we are so different from Prophet Mohammed and the Christ we claim to follow.
I understand that because most of us may not have the privilege to preach the Word of God on pulpits and as a religious nation, our works and workplaces are supposed to be our pulpits; telling our values and beliefs louder to win souls for the second coming of the Most High, yet it appears those grounds are where corruption are hatched.
Have we forgotten the part of the Bible that states that, “…the conclusion of the matter (is that,): Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil?”
It appears we that we are busily fulfilling prophecy by being lovers of money and ourselves, rather than building our treasures above; where there would be no death, termites or destruction.
If for nothing at all, let us keep in mind that our actions are indirectly affecting generations unborn negatively.
Let us remember that if we continually acquit and discharge corrupt ministers of wrongdoing, we will forever remain where we are.
Let us remember that we shall not remain in public office forever. While we frustrate the work of the Special Prosecutor, there is an all-seeing eye above watching our deeds and all these would be laid before us in judgment.
Let us keep in mind that, there is a God up there who is slow to anger yet capable of administering swift justice, and He will reward us ACCORDINGLY!
Let us not forget that until we renew our minds and provide efficient services at where we are, Ghana beyond aid can never be achieved, for we cannot take out our intestine and fill our belly with cotton. Until then, this Ghana has come to stay!