The United States’ report on human rights issues dropped in a mix feeling style of reading. Its treatment from the Ghanaian public has been fuzzy, at the same time funny. We are trying to make a case on sovereignty, and self-reliance. But in each case, how far have we gone? Are not playing by negligence?
They started elaborating few mechanisms of our bureaucracy and government. Proceeding with detailed legal absurdities with tons of examples that are, unknown to top officials. It was all human rights affairs, exclusively made by the Us State Department, written with direct language and unwrapped tone. It contains declarations and poses the ‘I put it to you’ style as if Ghana was at the Federal Court of the US Justice Department.
The report was a probe, at the same time a warning. But to some top officials, a condescension toward our sovereignty. But it is not now that the measuring of the degree of Ghana’s sovereignty should be taken seriously. In the meantime, the sovereignty lurks behind the statement “corruption, brutality, poor training, lack of oversight and an overburdened judicial system” written in the report. Ghana would be among the few countries to be addressed in this way by the US State Department. And that should be the premises from which our sovereignty must be searched.
But the report went beyond mere skepticism of effective constitution and state of human rights. It went on to put contempt on our moral imperatives and the values of our culture. And when other nation gets the chance to question even the legitimacy of your own local institutions, know very well that you once compromised your sovereignty with them. In this case, a puppeteer is talking to a puppet.
Yet, the assessment of the report went fuzzy. Negligence was quickly sacked for egoism and hypocrisy to take over. There is a difference between doing the right thing without getting the right assessment and not doing the right thing to get a corresponding report. Also, past records and how serious you uphold your own values would determine how an offshore institution will treat you. After all, you collect donations from their mere activists to hold funerals in support of their programs. Something that Kigali will never do.
“Ghana is a key partner in deepening regional economic, [and] security matters” Tony Blinken, US Secretary of State, said in January 2022. And if Ghana, through her Presidency, is ready to partner with the United States on regional security matters, won’t she be ready to at first, concur with them on addressing internal security and economic matters? If you are ready to partner with them in solving security and economic problems pertaining to West Africa, won’t you partner with them to solve internal security and economic problems? In the report, they boldly said, “impunity remained a significant problem in the Ghana police service”. Whether it is true or not is still a matter of concern.
And if indeed, the United States will remain our strong partner, and at the same time wants to care too much about our values, morals, and sovereignty then we will kiss a viper and will refuse to hug a python, just because it has a venom.
This is a partnership that comes with aids, borrowing, and help. And we have refused none. Even craving for more. Now is the time to pay the ultimate price, and we will pay it!
The human right and the security issues of the United States under the Biden administration comes with the scopes of LGBTQ+ rights and protections. And they didn’t shy away from talking about it. They went on to cite incidences in some towns even unknown to the Ghanaian media. If we want to project ourselves as a peaceful nation, and still want to brag on being the beacon of African democracy, we should know that the very people whose systems and institutions, we have copied, will continue to be our puppeteers. And that is the role the United States is playing in the report. And they will make sure their perceived human rights mechanisms, including the LGBTQ+, would be imposed.
Before you pissed, ask yourself? Where is your sovereignty? Can they do the same in Russia, China, or even Rwanda?
The report was a substantive one, and it comprehensively details the state of our human rights records. That is to say, it is a human right from the American perspective. The bitter truth is that all what they said was true. Only that we didn’t like some of the elements they cited, like the LGBTQ+ matters. And the sweeter truth is we won’t be able to solve serious existential problems like the prison conditions and constant harassment of activists, and at the same time, we won’t be able to resist the crusading LGBTQ+ rights that have been mounted. Either way, we will embark on a zero-sum game and shall return to abyss.
In the report, we are failing to bow down in shame for our prison conditions and the state of activists and journalists who speak straight to the government, because LGBTQ+ matters are woefully attached to it. But since we aren’t good at separating favorable from the unfavorable, let’s all pretend as if the whole report is trash.
Objectively let’s analyze it this way.
What have been our reactions to our own problems and predicaments? What are the current human rights conditions for the Apiatse people who sleep in tents and huts? Are their taxes not part of the state housing rotting in bushes? Did people like Kakaa and Vormowor get justice when they were killed and arrested? What is the state of our prisons? Did the report go wrong in its details? What are our moral conditions here? Is it clean? Has the government been able to ban pornographic programs and materials from the media? Can she have the moral strength to deal with LGBTQ+ issues? A program that billions of dollars are invested in?
A government that cannot treat anti-gay bill in parliament as urgent to protect her moral values but can spend millions of cedis going around to hold town hall meetings, educating people on e-levy bill? Can this government fight the second wave of the LGBTQ+ crusade which is to come soon? Has she been able to clear the swamps of her corrupt officials? How much money have her anti-corruption institutions retrieved from corrupt officials? How many people serve the President in the flagstaff house? And how much are they paid every month? What do they do? What are their inputs in national development?
What are the functions of these bloated ministers in the cabinet? How have they contributed to our development? Was a sanitation minister able to solve half of the sanitation problems in four years? How much money was wasted on his salaries, allowances, budgets, and staff? What are the specific functions of the council of state and the other ambiguous portfolios? How do they contribute to national development?
What are the institutions responsible for cultural development? What have they done? What is the state of our education system now? In the past ten years, what has been the impact of graduates on national development? Are the media having limits on their profane programs? Don’t they continue selling foreign cultures, saying they are educative?
These are not to validate the morality and the legitimacy of the US report, the report itself lacks legitimacy and morality. This is about the state of our own affairs, our institutions, morals, culture, ethics, and norms. And we can’t boost proper to any of them.
Is the readiness of our institutions something to write home about? Are they committed to the welfare of the Ghanaian public? How better do they know about our status quo? Before trashing any external report or assessment, we must ask for our own report on our internal ills. Or ‘Impunity’ as was mentioned more than ten times in the report will still rule the day.
Before you think about sovereignty, you must first think about dependency, for you have no idea about how they funded scientists and researchers to prepare vaccines to be given to you for free. Nor have any idea on how WHO generated the fund for you to squander. How dependent are you?
Quashing and trashing the report is not a consciousness of values and morals, it is rather an alibi not having any!
By Opoku Andrew
You can reach him at [email protected] and can read more of his articles on, andrewdisqus.com