Monday, August 31, 2009

Giving Power To Shallow Brains

The Deputy Minister for Works and Housing, Dr. Hannah Bissiw, has been chasing the General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Ohene Ntow for allegedly over-staying his welcome in a government bungalow.
According to her, the NPP scribe overstayed his welcome in the government bungalow and so has committed some type of crime for which he should be penalized!
I have a lot to say on this matter, but suffice it to say that Dr. Bissiw’s hounding of the NPP scribe is amply testimony to the fact that this country today is being governed by people of shallow ability and even shallower intellect!
I have always posited that being a Minister in a government is serious, serious stuff. It comes with great and awesome responsibilities, and it goes with, or should go with great vision and ability. Unfortunately, that is not what we are seeing in our country today. We have ministers who have reduced their onerous duties to that of chasing people out of bungalows and chasing cars! It is pitiful!
Sometimes when I sit down and reflect I wonder whether the people who are in charge of our governance really know what they are about. For instance, the other day, the Ghana Police Service announced that it was going to arrest people riding motorbikes after 8.00 p.m. When I heard this news, I wondered to myself if the political bosses of the police had any interest at all in the antics of their men.
It is similar to the decision by the police to arrest drivers using cars with tinted windows. For all intents and purposes, that was a bad decision, yet the government which is supposed to guide and guard policy direction in this country is constantly and consistently quiet over such flagrant abuses of the rights of the populace!
I keep saying that our government seems to be at sea. It is only a government that is at sea that would allow its members to be chasing cars and bungalows when there is serious work to be done. Let me go back to the issue of Hanna Bissiw. Even though this country currently has a problem with the management and control of crime, the Police Administration this year cancelled its entire recruitment exercise. The reason for the cancellation was that the police did not have enough housing for the police.

The question I ask is; what has the government done, since the announcement of the cancellation of the recruitment exercise, about assuring the police of adequate housing so that we can recruit more policemen next year? If what I read in the press is anything to go by, then the government has done absolutely nothing. Hanna Bissiw, who, along with her minister, have the duty of providing housing for public servants including the police have not taken any steps towards assuring the police of an adequate number of houses. If the status quo is maintained, I would not be surprised if the I.G.P decides next year that he still does not have enough houses so he would not recruit more policemen. If that happens, the crime wave that we are experiencing would only worsen. Worse, we would press our already over-stretched police personnel to impossible limits. And it is not only the police who need housing. Across board, this nation does not produce nearly enough housing units to house all the millions of workers who require housing.

That is the job of the Housing Minister and his Deputy, that they would do serious thinking about finding housing for all of us! Instead of doing that, they are busy occupying their time chasing piddling issues that could very well have been left with minor public servants in the various state agencies. The antics of Hanna Bissiw are replicated across board. As I write this piece, the infamous H1 N1 virus, known as the swine flu, has arrived on our shores. I find it instructive that government is still playing the lackadaisical attitude in as far as pushing a mass public education in this matter is concerned. If we are not careful, and if we are not lucky, this virus may vector into the body politic before government decides to take pre-emptive action. By then, of course, many people would be dead! Government has a responsibility to show policy and direction.

They ought to be telling the people of Ghana where they are taking them in all spheres of public endeavor. Instead of doing that, they are busy chasing useless issues about how much food somebody’s wife used to cook in a garage. It is pitiful! It breaks my heart that with such a great opportunity to change the lot of our people for the better, we are squandering the opportunities chasing ghosts! It is my hope that this government would learn sense very quickly, that the officials in power today would learn to repudiate shallowness and pettiness! If they do not, then surely, we would have to live with four years of stagnation!