Those of us who were born before Ghana attained independence have lived in all the regimes—both military and democratic dispensations. Comparatively, no regime, since independence, can surpass the National Democratic Congress when it comes to corruption and stealing of state resources.
Anytime I hear people calling corruption a perception, I quickly disagree. The thing is simply CORRUPTION. It is like calling the loan that we are about to take from the IMF a bailout or referring to the crisis that we have found ourselves in as challenges. The truth is that whether the man was King Moshosho of Lesotho or King Lesotho of Moshosho, the bottom line is that he was a king.
If we were to be living in the seventies and eighties where coups d’état were fashionable, this government would have been booted out of office and surely heads would have rolled. Mr John Mahama and his cohorts should count their blessings because Ghanaians are not prepared to welcome any coup maker. And so for now, they can continue to rape Ghana with a serrated penis but they should remember that crime has no status bar. Because it is very difficult to prove corruption in this part of the world, the NDC has a field day, stealing the peoples’ money from all angles; and when we complain, the hounds and babies with sharp teeth in the party fire from all cylinders while the President tells us we talk too much. They use unprintable words to describe anyone who criticises the government, if even the criticism is constructive. In fact, they don’t spare even men of God and traditional rulers.
And come to think of it, do we have to blame them? The Akan say that if a person who has never bought meat gets money to buy a liver, he shouts from the rooftop, calling people to bring him an axe so that he can cut the liver. If somebody who has never landed any job in his life finds himself living in a plush government bungalow with flashy cars to match and a handsome salary, what do you expect such a person to do? We only have to contain them and remind them that one day a Pharaoh, who may not know Joseph, may come to rule Egypt. That would be when the sons of Jacob will smell pepper. It’s a matter of time.
Sometimes I do sincerely understand the silence of Mr Jerry John Rawlings in the face of the naked robbery which is going on in the government of his own party. The man sounded the alarm bells long ago when Professor Mills was in power but nobody cared to listen to him or join him in the trenches to fight the canker. He continues to hear and see what is going on but as a single man, he cannot do anything to stop the mess; and to add insults to injury, guns do not rule anymore. At his age, the man knows that if he doesn’t take care he may contract a heart attack if he continues to talk about corruption in the NDC government and the way people in government are amassing wealth to the detriment of the well being of the common man on the street.
Rawlings may be looking back at the early years of his own agitation propaganda and how people suffered during the revolutionary days simply because they were perceived to be corrupt. He might be remembering very well the number of people who were killed or caned in public as well as properties which were seized, and comparing their offenses to what is happening today in John Mahama’s government. He may be asking himself: ‘Was I right in punishing those people in the revolutionary days?’ I wonder what cadres of the 31st December Revolution are thinking now. They were the guys who put their noses on the grindstone to fight corruption and retired to their villages, penniless. Today they see people who were not even born during the revolutionary days or who were born too late to see what happened in those days, living like Epicureans and enjoying the good things of life. These upstarts have cultivated insatiable lust for wealth and are building mansions of architectural wonder and amazing geometric dimensions wherever they may find space. They and their spouses ride in flashy cars and display wealth as if the world is coming to an end.
The other day I was glancing through an old copy of the Peoples’ Daily Graphic (That was the name of today’s Daily Graphic during the revolutionary days) when I saw the picture of Mr Kwamena Ahwoi wearing his trade mark Osama Bin Laden-like beard and sitting in judgment at one of the sittings of the Citizen Vetting Committee (CVC). I quickly travelled down memory lane and recounted to my eleven-year-old grandson how properties of Ghanaians were seized by the CVC and the punishments which Ghanaians had to endure when they appeared before the CVC. I remembered the fearful faces of drugged and drunken soldiers who were guarding Mr Ahwoi and compared the situation to what is happening today where people do not even look back as they go on the stealing spree of government monies, and I cursed the day I was born in this country called Ghana.
I must admit that Mr Kwamena Ahwoi, now Professor Kwamena Ahwoi, who is abiding at the Ivory Tower, is incorruptible and selflessly served the revolution. My problem with this fine gentleman is that he has been quiet in the face of this naked thievery and display of opulence by government officials. He and his colleagues could have made cash and owned properties when they held the country at ransom; but they did not, for the love of God and country. People like Professor Ahwoi have the moral right to speak up against this wanton thievery of state coffers because they once punished people who towed that line; and the scars are still there for those who suffered to remember their ordeal.
One cadre who has earned the respect of Ghanaians is Mr Martin Amidu. He looked around him and saw the government he was serving stealing the monies of the people and boldly criticised it. But for Martin Amidu, that trickster called Mr Woyome would have bolted with our money. Even as an Attorney General and Minister of Justice, he dared the devil and told Ghanaians that at a point in time the late Professor Mills did set up a committee to investigate then Vice President John Dramani Mahama for allegedly striking a stinking deal in the purchase of the Presidential Jet. He went further to mention names of the committee members—who are still alive in this country and kicking—but none of them disputed his allegation, which implies that what he told the nation was the truth.
Amidu, the Citizen Vigilante, did not stop there; he went to court and made sure some people were prosecuted and monies reclaimed into government chest. When what he termed as ‘government rented press’ decided to take him on, he dared them and they had to run for cover. After his dismissal from government and the threat on his live, he was not deterred but went on full throttle and is still fighting for Ghanaians. Sadly the rest of the cadres, who should have joined Mr Amidu in the trenches to fight this battle, are either too old to fight or too weak to walk. There is this old and poor cadre living in my village who told me that if it were to be the revolutionary days some people who are in government today would have been lined up and shot at the Teshie Military range. This is a man who spent all his years serving the revolution and retired to his village to live in his family compound house where he shares only a single room with his wife. He weaves baskets for a living and obviously cannot make ends meet. In fact, he lives from hand to mouth.
We have thousands of this type of cadres who followed the revolution religiously, thereby missing the opportunity to get education, and as a result have become burdens on their families today. These people, both ex-military officers and civilians, see guys who were men of straw when the going was tough growing rich overnight and they regret putting their lives on the line to save the country. They remember the curses they endured from aggrieved persons they accused of enriching themselves at the expense of the Ghanaian worker, and they curse the day they joined the revolution. How they wish they had also capitalised on the chaotic situation during the revolutionary days to also steal money to better their lot.
Do me a favour by closing your nostrils because I am going to puff this Dominican-brand of cigar called Aging Room Quattro F55 Concerto. It is made by a cigar-maker called Jochi Blanco of Tabalera La Palma. In fact, it is one of the five best non-Cuban cigars in the world. This is one of the best cigars money can buy. Do you know cigar smoking improves one’s Emotional Quotient (EQ)? Try one and see.
Source: Eric Bawah/D-Guide
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