Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ghana’s Cult Of Corruption

Virtually every Ghanaian knows and strongly believes that any day Ghana is able to make up its mind to end its obscene and ruinous romance with the stubborn monster called “Corruption”, this country will automatically witness the kind of prosperity no one had thought was possible in these parts. Just imagine the amount of public funds being stolen and squandered daily under various guises by too many public officers and their accomplices, and the great transformation that would happen to public infrastructure and the lives of the citizenry if this organized banditry can at least be reduced by fifty percent!

Now, is this monster divorceable? Of course, yes. But are there any signs that anyone in the corridors of power is interested in ending the strong grip it maintains on the very soul of the nation? That is the problem. It is sheer foolishness to expect any of them to willingly block the very hole from which great goodies also flow to him or her just because some other persons are also benefiting from there. No, you can neither fight corruption with soiled hands nor retain monopoly of it! It spreads like cancer. And the whole thing has now been horribly compounded by the emergence and empowerment of a very formidable class whose sustenance and longevity solely depend on its ability to continue sustaining the culture of corruption and bleeding the nation pale.

This problem began when public office gradually ceased to be a platform for rendering selfless service to the people and transformed into the easiest route to financial empowerment. And since then, several generations of public officers have passed through public office, looting the nation blind with utmost impunity, and retired into abundance and incredible plenty, without any fear of anyone ever prying into the clearly unearned wealth they flaunt with utmost abandon. Thus, an ever-swelling Cult of Looters has emerged, whose nuisance value and the ruinous culture they are perpetuating, are now the undisputed headaches of the nation. And since it is now almost impossible to find any former board chairman, minister, president (military of civilian) and several other categories of public officers who is not sitting on boundless accumulation of unearned wealth, it has also become impossible to persuade the current rulers to resist the temptation of surpassing their predecessors in the stealing contest – the only thing that qualifies them for the membership of the great Cult of Corruption.

Indeed, wealth has become everything and no one cares any more about leaving behind sterling legacies and a good name. And so, virtually no Ghanaian minister or say DCE, for instance, would find it ennobling to wake up every morning, after he had left office, to engage in honest labour to earn a living. That would automatically demean him, and present him as “inferior” to his colleagues; in fact, even his people may begin to call him a big fool for returning from the Government a “poor man.” And, so the desperation to retire into boundless wealth and comfort is the reason for the mindless stealing going on everywhere.

Who now will break this circle? Well, he must be a person with no inclination to steal! And who is that person – who does not want to retire into billions after public office? Is it the president, ministers, or even the chairpersons of bodies set up to battle the monster to the ground? That’s one question we need to answer sincerely, because, it is difficult to find any person among those ruling us today who is more interested in acquiring a good name than accumulating unearned riches. No doubt, the Cult of Corruption is an attractive assemblage of the nation’s political and economic elite, and the sole qualification for initiation into this elite cult is wealth, boundless wealth, stolen from the public treasury, and ownership of a couple of exquisite mansions in choice areas in Cantonments, East Legon, owing fats bank accounts outside and so on.

I doubt if the point being made here should in the least sound strange to anyone who has lived in Ghana.
How then can this monster be tamed? How can anyone make all the past public officers to give up all they had stolen and live normal lives with resources whose sources are explainable, in order to make those currently in office to resist the temptation to steal? Where would any one possibly start? And who would lead such a campaign? When will Ghana be made a functional state so that people would not need to go to great lengths to steal in order to provide for themselves the amenities and comforts they were failed to put in place for the entire citizenry when they were in power? With this dreadful cult in effective command at all our public institutions, how then can we possibly hope to have a free and fair election in this country? Because, having criminally accumulated so much money while in office, these fellows only enthrone themselves as formidable godfathers and kingmakers, and deploy the billions at their disposal to install and remove governments at will.

Many of them can single-handedly found and fund political parties without the slightest impact on their bottomless pockets. They also have all it takes to frustrate any attempt to pry into their slimy and hideous pasts.

The Cult of Corruption also has many quiet and more deadly members. These include “very successful and wise” fronts, errand boys (and girls), thugs whom the ‘Boss’ use (or had used) to prosecute their criminal accumulations, and, also, the countless mistresses, concubines and “state prostitutes” who take care of the leisure moments of the Boss.

These, too, in the process of time, acquire their own wealth and clout, and gradually rise in prominence to become “successful business moguls” or “party stalwarts.” Others get into government as Special Advisers, Commissioners, and Ministers. A nation is judged by the quality of persons leading it. On this score, Ghana has been most unlucky.

Now, with such a very formidable criminal elite controlling the politics and economy of the nation, with many of them even maintaining effective hotlines to the Presidency, how can anyone pretend to enthrone transparency in the governance of the country? How can corruption be rooted out? How can progress be recorded? Do the fellows ruling us even understand what it means to build a country? By the way, where would the person intending to root out corruption even start from? The sheer number, clout and destructive ability of members of this Cult of Corruption are simply too intimidating. Some have over the years even matured to become refined, patrician “elder statesmen” (and women) with vast “family business” empires, commanding enormous respect, but still doing enormous harm to the nation.

Yet the only day jobs anyone could remember they ever did were serving as ministers or ambassadors, army or police officers, special advisers, commissioners, permanent secretaries or just as a “director in the presidency.”

But should we give up? No! Never! No society should ever sit passively and watch the scums, scoundrels and dregs in its midst seize its tomorrow and murder it. That nation is doomed which has shameless thieves as its kings. Ask yourself today: What are the antecedents of my governor, lawmaker or councilor? Can a thief possibly succeed in rebuilding the very house he is busy plundering? It amounts to unqualified foolishness on the part of the majority to allow themselves to be perpetually enslaved by a criminally-minded minority? A time comes in the life of a nation when the people must rise with one voice and bellow a big NO! And that time is now!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Most Ghanaians often say that they are sick and tired of Ghana, while not a few admit that they are actually ashamed to be Ghanaians. However the truth is that they are proud Ghanaians who actually hate the Government for their gross ineptitude towards the affairs of our country Ghana.

Some actually describe the nation as a failed state but rather what we have is a failed government. There is a Chinese proverb that says “when a fish starts to rotten it starts from the head’ conversely what can one expect from a leadership that is politically and financially rotten?
Any sane and purposeful leader can make a desired change in nine months but half way through his first year not only are Ghanaians wondering what’s going on, their President Atta Mills is also waiting for someone to tell him what the heck is going on! He is like a pilot who is wondering why his plane has no auto pilot button.

According to Nicollo Machiavelli in his book ‘The Prince’ (If he reads, Atta should please spend an hour and half to read the book. It will do him good.) he said (and rightly so) that the major task of any ruler is to pick good advisers and once he has achieved this, the job of ruling the nation creditably is half achieved. Here our president has surrounded himself with a bunch of misfits and minions who are incapable of generating any idea or proffer any solution to move the nation forward.

A Communications director goes abroad and insults left, right and centre all in the name of helping the President come to power because he left his job at a bank.
What kind of advice can this man proffer? The same kindergarten boy has continually tainted our image both at home and abroad with his conflicting statements, action and inaction as regards the fight against drugs.

This brings us to another minister who in her desperate bid to be a minister condescended to be the one that does damage control for those whose stock in trade is to do everything their own way irrespective of the fact that it makes our country look bad.

She is so keen on rebranding hapless, homeless and hungry Ghanaians that she forgot that those that need to absorb the rebranding culture are her fellow ministers who go to radio stations with the intentions of beating up a journalist if speaks his mind about his work.

Also, the Deputy Chief of Staff who has turned the castle into a police station where imported posh cars only are seized from young men.

Though to be honest, I am utterly confused as to the effective way to get people who do not have access to potable water, electricity, health care, good roads, education and human dignity rebranded while those who under the guise of been professional politicians loot the country silly and sneer at the rebranding campaign claiming that the Minister is only looking for an avenue to feather her nest. Pray do tell what kind of advice she can proffer to President Atta ?
While our industries spend boardroom time mulling over why they should remain in Ghana instead of moving shop to South Africa.

No points for guessing the quality of advice President Atta will be receiving or has definitely received.
A minister of Health who sees his colleagues and other top government scurrying abroad to get a cure for a headache or to have a tooth extracted will definitely be the butt of jokes whenever he finds himself in the midst of other medical colleagues.

Perhaps he is doing his job and passing across the necessary pieces of advice to Atta and the President simply refuses to take any action, then I guess the honourable way out is for the minister to resign from the cabinet.

Jokes apart do we have ministers who handle and advice on transportation, roads, environment and labour? Our transport sector is spent, roads where available are decorated with potholes, fumes flaring from industries has destroyed our environment and health of citizens.
The economy is swimming dangerously down a precipice, and our or rather Atta’s economic advisers are obviously having such good time at Osu that they fail to see why people are complaining about the economy!

As far as they are concerned Ghanaians are a bunch of whiners and if they can just but stop whining for a second they will discover that the “Joshua Nyame” that is needed to revive our economy and put our nation on the path of rapid growth.

So while we wait for the ‘Joshua Nyame” to take effect and start work, can our economic egg heads whiling away at Accra look for another remedy in case Atta’s mighty power fails to produce the desired effect? I am not a pessimist but after nine months and the economy not showing any sign of recovery, I think its time to start shopping for other remedies.

The chief image maker cum spin doctor is a vibrant journalist with his caustic and incisive write ups on government action or inaction but now finds it more appropriate to leave more important issues behind and inform the nation that his benefactor has no intention to effect any change in his cabinet so the incompetent ministers should stop fretting!

He has now started writing promotional stories for his benefactor and even fights his internal fights for him, wonderful isn’t it.

Hungry Ghanaians can watch party Regional Chairmen and General Secretary in America on T.V having a good time at their expense-tax payers” we still love Ghana and Ghana will be great if only our Leaders will act like leaders and not like a combined team of armed robbers and terrorists out to destroy what they didn’t build.