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War On Corruption And The Latter Day Saints – The “Occupy Ghana” Wahala   
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Much has been said about Ghana becoming one of the most corrupt countries in Africa (some say the world). Whatever level it has reached – whether continentally or globally, I perfectly agree that Ghana is a corrupt country. The conflict I have within my mental faculties is when did it start and how/why did it grow to this ‘untaming’ stage.

When a woman gives birth to a child and refuses to breast-feed it and the family look on without forcing her to do what she ought to do naturally; or any early intervention by even aiding the baby with alternative feed – when that child dies it is not only the mother who takes the blame but the entire family and to a larger extent the community. But in this circumstance, corruption – in spite of its negative disposition, was rather ‘breast-feed’ by all of us, developing to its current advanced state.

As a matter of fact corruption has ‘occupied’ every aspect of the Ghanaian society and no group of people should ever think that they are out of the box of this canker. In my article titled “When Ghana Fails: Religion Will Be The Biggest Failure” published on ghanaweb April 2 this year, I specifically attacked the church and blamed it for the spate of corruption in this country. For this reason I feel it has no moral compunction to extricate itself from blame as these men of some ‘gods’ are now parading themselves as the apostles of piety.

The church has lost its position as an entity that models members of its congregation in their spiritual/moral up-bringing. This is so because commercialization of the word of GOD has been placed high above the raw word of especially Jesus the CHRIST our LORD, who taught us in the gospel to live moderate lifestyles if indeed we want to see the Kingdom of His Father.

Church leadership, without any sense of shame has ignored his teachings and has recklessly lived lifestyles that are very distasteful to his teachings. This same leadership – in order to illegitimately acquire wealth without much sweat has preached prosperity to congregations where they are made to invest in the church in order to get dividends.

The members who in the first place must be ‘INTIMIDATED’ by these generational rogues in pastoral garments to fear them instead of the GOD we are supposed to worship will do anything even beyond their means to honour requests by these pastors. This is why/how the leader of a local church boasts of how without any foreign assistance he managed to build his multi-billion church complex and university with contributions from his members. He again boasts before his captive congregants that he and his family are far away from POVERTY and they gapingly applaud him for this unpardonable insult. The question is how did members of his church get extra resources to fund those projects he is boasting of?

A friend in my Christian denomination complained bitterly when his name was captured in a list of ten personalities in the church who were slapped with a levy of GH¢4,000.00 each to enable it procure an electronic lighting equipment which cost GH¢40,000.000.

According to him the other colleagues equally were not happy about the selection because they were not even given prior notice only for their names to be mentioned in open church after a Sunday service. When asked what he was to do, he said he would have to explore any means possible to find the money. I jokingly asked him whether he would not mind corrupting himself to satisfy the church and he also jokingly told me it was a possibility.

This brother is a professional Accountant who works at the Auditor-General’s Department. This story was told me in 2010 and anyone can guess the value of GhC 4,000.00 four years back. I committed this development to memory due to the question I asked whether he was to corrupt himself in a bid to satisfy the demand of the church to which he gave a ‘positive’ answer.

My church is an Orthodox one which used to be a very disciplined one but the scandalous money-collection virus has become the dictating pace as to how GOD or ‘gods’ are worshipped – anchored by the Pentecostal/Charismatic churches, has caught up with it.

In the early 1990s, a Charismatic church leader took custody of some two flashy saloon cars given to him as a gift by an international Ghanaian illicit drug lord who is currently doing time in a Brazilian prison. The same leader managed to corrupt the political leadership of this country and bought parcels of land in the restricted area of the Aviation Lane and very closed to the Accra-Tema motor-way. So, it is either that these people have wickedly refused to see themselves as generators of corrupt acts or something else that I cannot fathom.

It is an undeniable fact that the Christian population in Ghana outnumbers any other religious sect. These days, activities in churches run throughout the week and in almost all the gatherings money is demanded. Common sense will tell the average Ghanaian that these members of churches are forced to live beyond their means and, therefore, ‘anything can happen’. The churches leadership, while complaining that times are hard have never failed in demanding offerings. Not a single day have we heard of a pastor telling his congregation that because of the hard times that we are confronted with – one aspect of the numerous offerings should be skipped.

Unfortunately, it is the leadership of these so-called Pentico-Charismatic and some Orthodox institutions who have suddenly discovered their voices and crying loudest of late. If these noises which are legitimate to me had started earlier, I don’t think we would have been where we are today. The bad seed of corruption was sown long ago and it appears to me almost every Ghanaian either directly or indirectly nursed it to its current state – let nobody think that he or she is blameless.

Interestingly, a breed of Ghanaian citizens has now constituted themselves into an organization called “OCCUPY GHANA” which seeks to put the government on its toes regards this canker. This is an engagement that must be encouraged by patriots. However, it is unfortunate because observing the faces that constitute it one sees them as old as when the canker was maturing.

The only young and innocent face in it that one can say just grew to meet it at its advance level and has vowed to fight it genuinely with his youthful blood, is the about thirty –year old Manase Azuure Awine. But those who walked, dined and slept with it are morally corrupt to show their faces claiming to be fighting it including the so-called men of GOD.

A cross section of the population has labeled these latter day anti-corruption activists as political stooges who have so cleverly hooded their political faces – claiming they are a non-partisan but Middle Class elite in the country who now has Ghana at heart. I personally have a problem with many of these surrogates of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) who are not that bold to state that indeed they belong to it.

I am of this opinion because almost all the ‘ANGELS’ in this fight against corruption have concluded that the canker has reached its pinnacle. If it has indeed reached that height – then we have accepted the fact that it started from a certain stage and gradually propelled to where it is now.

The legitimate question that the ‘angels’ need to answer is where were they when this cancerous decease was developing? Did they just wake up this year from their sleep to the realization that corruption is endemic in this country of ours?

Sadly, these people don’t want us to read politics into their actions. But unfortunately for them I am brushing them with the political colour they belong because for the past fourteen years it is political colours that we put on in fighting corruption.

It was with the colour of a political party, that some activists of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and media houses sympathetic to it that complaints of corruption were made during former President Kufour’s eight-year administration. This was what led to the infamous statement by Kufour to the effect that corruption started from the days of our original grand Father – ADAM.

The same pro-NDC media managed to push the former president to acknowledge that he is unable to fight corruption because he would have been exposing his party to public condemnation. This was Kufour’s admission that indeed corrupt practices were common in his administration but he was not ready to fight it because the NPP would have become unpopular if he did so.

At the time all the popular faces of ‘angelic’ repute heard it but refused to comment on these ‘nursing’ statements of corruption of no less a person than a then president of this country called – GHANA. They had lost their voices! Lips clipped and their legs had suddenly been crippled, disenabling them to walk to the Christianburg Castle to ‘OCCUPY CASTLE’.

That is the hypocrisy that belies the “OCCUPY GHANA” activists. And they are not alone! As expected the NDC sympathizer media houses and many activists will not see anything good about “Occupy Ghana”. My position may sound controversial but why should it look so?

I am of the strong conviction that corruption is very-very endemic in this country and I totally support the actions by “Occupy Ghana” except their claim that they are not a partisan organization. Their selective nature of fighting the malaise is what is also suspect to me and maybe many others.

My wild passion at fighting corruption can never be tamed by my being a member of the NDC and for that matter should not see anything wrong with the Party as acts of CORRUTION has engulfed it. The fact is that one act of it sends school-going children to the street as a drivers’-mates or street-venders of dog chains. It sends a mother in labour prematurely to the grave because there are no health facilities.

Currently the alleged theft of almost a GH¢100,000.000.00 is so huge an amount that could have been used in building not less than four multi-purpose tertiary health facilities across the country to cater for our needs. But as it stands those who have allegedly STOLEN the money collectively are not even thirty Ghanaians in number who have, with the craftiness of a fox inflicting this alleged ROBBERY on the rest of the twenty-six million Ghanaians.

By this consideration and from now the fight against corruption and naked stealing should not be limited to one particular political party in government or in opposition. For, if we had started during the latter days of the Rawlings era through to Kufour – the tendency by these greedy elements in our midst to continue with fraudulent activities to kill this country would have forced them to pull the brakes in the Mills/Mahama administrations. We failed to do that and helped in growing this ‘wild decease’ which is devouring vulnerable Ghanaians.

That is my strongest belief because if citizens were identified to have acted in ways that made the state to lose revenue and got them to refund such funds, convicted and sentenced to jail terms – corruption will cease to be an attractive ‘adventure’ for these economic/financial vultures in this country.

OCCUPY GHANA has just emerged and in spite of the reservations that I have about the political ‘colourlessness’ of the activists in it – it is still a welcome move that all Ghanaians who have this country at heart to support the subdued motive and thereafter condemn the PARTISAN motive. Maa no esi, enso me san aba bio.
Source: Camillus Sakzeesi

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