FINALLY! Somebody just spoke my mind. Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Chairman of the Databank Group, has charged on Ghanaians, including the youth, teachers, NGOs, journalists and clerics to stop being quiet and neutral in the search for justice and show some courage and outrage in the face of attacks on integrity in our democracy and the way the nation?s finances are being mishandled. He further told Ghanaians to stop being cowards.
He accused clerics, civil society groups, journalists, Ghana?s middle-class and other important organisations, such as the National Peace Council and the Ghana Bar Association of ?cowardice and hypocrisy? and reminded the nation that it was this kind of culture of silence in the face of impunity that forced a young Jerry John Rawlings and his colleagues to stage their revolution of June 4, 1979.
My favourite part of the whole story is the ?Stop being cowards? bit. When I read some daily reports, I just ask myself if the country is a desert with no citizens apart from politicians.
In a country where the citizens pay tax, household bills and whatever amount of money the government can squeeze out of them; it seems they don?t care what the monies are being used for.
I?m using the word ?don?t care? because of the way they react through comments on particular issues. It will be a clich? to repeat myself that anything the government decide to do especially with money, doesn?t come from their individual pockets but the monies they collect from the citizenry.
One thing I have noticed with Ghanaians is they like ?Fa ma Nyame? (give it to God) too much. People sit there and hide behind cowardice with the intention of giving it to God. I may be wrong, but why did ?Nyame? give us brains, hands, mouth and feet? We are on earth, that is why He said that we should obey earthly laws (where are the bible scholars?).
This ?give it to God? syndrome is used in every area of their life, not only in political issues. Somebody took his pregnant wife to hospital to have a baby, through the lackadaisical attitude of health personnel in the hospital (name withheld) and loses both wife and baby and the only thing he could say was ?He?s given it to God?. Instead of speaking to right authorities and taking action, to avoid a fellow human being from going through the same thing, he?s given it to God.
As he rightly said, everybody is quiet as if everything is fine. People who manage big offices are not being held accountable for their offices; monies are being thrown away just like that. It?s even annoying how they?re justifying this pilgrimage and re-adjusting the fee. If it costs even cost Ghc 1, it is still waste of money. Student?s lives hang in a balance because of strikes and all what you hear is ?If you don?t want to go for the pilgrimage, then we?ll withdraw it?, whiles other parts of the world are busily fining and jailing parents because their children did not go to school? Ofori-Atta has spoken out, but what use can it be if he?s the lone voice in a crowd? It needs to be a collective voice.
The coat of arms is inscribed with the ?motto? freedom and justice, it appears the motto just applies to people in power (courts, workplaces, country as a whole); ?freedom with your money, justice (justified) to waste? AND the citizens are quite happy for the monies to be wasted or quoting Ofori- Atta ?In Ghana many people don?t like the truth, they want what is convenient, but what is convenient is not always right for the people.?
For instance, if it was anywhere in Europe or America that people are paying for electricity and water without any supplies, they would have staged a big demonstration to pressure those in charge to resign, fix things or get them their money worth.
In Ghana, all we do when we are being taken for granted is to sit on facebook and moan, and then ?Give it to God?.