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Notes from the Ghanaman File: The Social disorders and Political Hypocrisy

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I wonder if you have observed how several average Ghanaians refuse to observe simple regulations and have very simple reasons for breaking our social rules and turn round making it  look like they are rather the ones at the receiving end. It is like the bad guy who killed the parents and before a judge pleaded for clemency because  he is an orphan.

The clearest way to understand me is to check our roads on a daily basis. Some tro-tro and Taxi cab drivers behave as if they own the road or everyone else using the roads owe them so some of them are so reckless sometimes, I suspect they are mental cases. But when they hit or scratch your car they plead that you don’t call the police or you spare them the cost of fixing your car. One would have thought that, such people will be law abiding and prevent trouble but they are rather the ones breaking the rules with impunity.

How come petty traders invade public places and when they are being asked to leave, they rather pretend to be the victims by demanding that government or City authorities find them alternative places to ply their trade?.And their mantra always is; ‘what shall we and our children eat?’.

The concerted fight against ‘galamsey’ has also brought up how impunity has been allowed in our social fabric. How have people been emboldened to enter forests and jumped into river bodies to dig precious minerals without thinking of the net effect on the general populace? Yet the operators and their supporters are bold to ask that Government offers alternative means of livelihood before they stop the blatant infringement of the rights of the majority of the people to good water and fresh air!

Check out how motor riders, not only Okada riders have made themselves uncontrollable by the police and therefore criss-cross our roads at everybody’s peril with some hitting and killing or maiming their victims. Yet I listened to a senior Police Officer admit on radio that it’s a lost battle because in an attempt to arrest one offending motor-rider, there’s a high risk of hitting more casualties.

Such things make me really feel very sad to be a Ghanaian because in Nigeria, where the use of motor bikes, better known there as ‘machines’ started several years ago and where the name okada came from, the riders obey traffic rules. Even locally, cities like Tamale with a high concentration of bicycles and motor-bikes have the riders follow the rules and the answer is pretty simple; that right from the word go, they built the culture of regulating them.

Our social disorders are not only on our roads. As the president mentioned at this year’s May Day, some public and civil servants in state institutions show more impunity than those we see on the roads. They can take the whole nation to ransom by hiding files to stall the processes of state machinery.

The stories of some nurses in public hospitals worsening the health conditions of patients who go for health care is no more news. How about our public schools? In most public schools, some teachers rather turn their pupils into young traders or sellers and in some rural community schools; farm hands. I have been a strong defender of our police service because I believe that every country gets the police service it deserves. But it’s disheartening to get stories about thieving police officers and also observe clear negligence of duty of officers paid from the national kitty.

We can go on and on with the rot in our social and public lives but not to overlook the clear hypocrisy in our national political lives. How come, what is wrong for either NPP or NDC at any time becomes right when they either get into power or go into opposition? What is this debate about what has become known as the ‘Delta Force saga?’. Why should the NDC in opposition break our ear drums about the Attorney General’s office freeing the accused NPP vigilantes through the courts? And what makes the NPP sympathizers now see that by law, some offending party foot soldiers before the courts can be freed by the same law including residential pardon when a few months ago, in opposition the then president was a devil for freeing the ‘Montie 3’?

When will morality be allowed into our national politics with politicians and their followers acting in consonance with natural laws and ethics by speaking the truth and conceding when they  find themselves on the wrong side of judgement to show that they have some modicum of respect for those of us who do not wear any political colours?.

Our society appears sick and needs some healing. Ironically, most of us are Christians, Muslims or Traditionalists. So what are we told in our churches, mosques or shrines about values and upright behaviors?

By Kojo Ackaah-Kwarteng

Head of Station,Onua 95.1