Choosing the right answer from the many options

No, the heading had better be, if you were a farmer, which of these two labourers will you honestly employ to work on your farm? This is a true story but not simply a case scenario.


In the late 1950s and early 1960s when I was growing up as a child, I used to spend some days at Asiampa, my ancestry place of birth, especially during the school holidays – long vacations.

In those days, the farmers of Asiampa were noted for their vegetable farming, especially in tomatoes, garden eggs and okra (okro). They used to call that type of farming “Petra” in the local parlance. “Petra”, I should think meant “going beyond the dry season”. This type of farming was done in marshy areas by the riverside and streams and especially, during the few months preceding December, the Christmas month.

In December, there is no rainfall in Ghana but because the farms are in marshy areas, they thrive well. It did yield seasonal job for students who needed pocket money when school re-opens. Juabenhene Nana Otuo Serebour II, then a school boy, will bear me out. This is just a brief background about my story.

Here goes the main story. In those days, Asiampa abounded in wild animals like zebra, grasscutters (rodents), porcupines, antelopes, rats, snails etc. The grasscutters were noted for destroying the farms, voraciously feeding on the young seedlings. To prevent your farm from destruction by grasscutters, a farmer, especially the female farmers, would have to employ a farm help (labourer) to put a fence of palm frond or palm branches (the type used for weaving baskets) around the farm. They will leave small spaces throughout the fence on the ground floor at certain intervals with traps laid to ensnarl any grasscutter intending to reach the farm to feed on, or destroy, the young vegetable seedlings.
The fences did not only help protect the crops from destruction by rodents but also, raised meat as a by-product for the farmer and the labourer were any grasscutters caught in the laid metal traps or another sort of trap called “kuntunu” (purposely planted bent strong sticks with metal wire hooks on the end tip to trap the grasscutters).

There happened to be two labourers with divergent views. Labourer (Mr “A”) decided to follow the normal village procedure of protecting the farm against rodent destruction – fencing it the way he came to find his employers do.

Labourer (Mr “B”) rather decided not to fence the farm but to let the grasscutters come in while he hunts them with his dogs and gun.

However, the grasscutters have no set time of visiting the farm to cause their devastations. They can come at night, in the morning and in the afternoon. Will Mr “B” stay permanently in the farm to be able to see the rodents come and then hunt them down as planned? Will his dogs not wander away in search of food as done by village dogs that have to seek their own food instead of being fed by their owner? Will Mr “B” not feel tired keeping constant watch for the arrival of any grasscutters? Will he not by mistake fall asleep, giving the animals the chance to sneak in unnoticed to destroy the farm feeding rapaciously on the crops?

Is prevention not said to be better than cure? Which of these two labourers will you employ having your own way as a famer or an employer who seeks maximum yield and profit from their farm? Will you go for Mr “A” who will put a fence around the farm with traps laid to curtail influx of grasscutters into the farm thereby physically reducing the magnitude of destruction to the crops or you will go for Mr “B” who believes in an open door policy, leaving the grasscutters to come into the farm as and when they like, and then hunt them down as explained above?

Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss Public Reader, have you made up your mind as to which labourer (Mr “A” or Mr “B”) that you would employ given the opportunity as a farmer? If you haven’t yet done so, please do it before you proceed to read the motive behind this write-up by the up and coming political strategist Rockson Adofo.

When former President Kufuor’s NPP-led government was in power from the year 2000 to 2008, they installed drugs (cocaine) detection machines at the Kotoka International Airport in Ghana. Ghana was notoriously becoming an international transit hub for hard or Class A drugs (cocaine). As soon as the machines were installed with people getting caught in Ghana rather than abroad, the drug traffickers ceased their trade. Ghana started regaining her lost reputation which had been tarnished due to the drug trafficking by Ghanaians and foreigners operating from Ghana.

As soon as the late President Atta Mills’ NDC-led government took over on 7 January 2009, they DISMANTLED the machines for what reasons nobody knows. Soon after, the cocaine trafficking via Kotoka airport started sky-rocketing. The couriers were being caught at unimaginable rate as soon as they landed in, or arrived at, foreign international airports. The image of Ghana started to dip to the point that Ghanaians resident abroad were eerily viewed by their White contemporaries as all being drug dealers. This is how bad the situation was.

Now, which of these two governments will you support, the one taking measures to stop Ghana from being used as a drug hub by installing prevention and detection machines or the one dismantling such installed machines to ease the trafficking of such harmful drugs?

Note, the consumption of cocaine has far reaching adverse consequences on people. It kills. It ruins people’s lives. It makes addicts steal to soothe the pangs of their cocaine/drug addiction. These are just, but to mention a few.

Which of the mentioned governments will you support given the chance to make a choice between them based on the same arguments used for labourers Mr “A” and “B?”

Here is the description of the type of machines installed by the Kufour-led NPP government but were hastily irrationally dismantled by the Atta Mills’ NDC-led government. “An explosives trace-detection portal machine, also known as a trace portal machine and commonly known as a puffer machine, is a security device that seeks to detect explosives and illegal drugs at airports and other sensitive facilities as a part of airport security screening. [1] The machines are intended as a secondary screening device, used as a complement to, rather than a substitute for, traditional X-ray machines”.

The term “trace-detection” refers to the machine’s ability to detect extremely small “traces” of these compounds. The exact sensitivities of these machines is not available information, but a mass spectrometer detects compounds on a molecular level and would only be limited by the efficiency of the collection from the air puffed to obtain a sample for analysis. The machines also have a low false alarm rate that can be [vague] less than 1%. [2]

Do you see how good the machines were, yet they were removed by the NDC. When Ghanaians were being apprehended at international airports having travelled through Kotoka airport with undetected drugs on them, the naïve NDC supporters were arguing that it is because Ghana government was doing a great job in her fight against drug trafficking by liaising with foreign governments hence the many arrests of Ghanaians abroad carrying drugs on their body. Does any intelligent person see any sense in their argument? I personally don’t.

Will you support a government that directly or indirectly sanctions drug trafficking? Why were the machines removed sooner after which drugs trafficking through Kotoka went on ascendency?

I shall be back.

Rockson Adofo
(Up and coming political strategist who has prophesies hidden in his write-ups if people might care to find them out. He is the champion of liberating the minds of Ghanaians from inferiority complexes, educating them on their rights and taking pretenders to straight to the cleaners without hesitation)

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