Reserving Dignity For Ghana?s Youth


From Bernard Kwofie

??I am so very deeply moved to the core to learn that?Egbert Faibille. Jnr?and?Kofi B Bentil?have so very quickly activated their promise and issued a writ in court to get reasonable compensation for the melcom disaster victims. I do know how much time and resource will be sacrificed, because I spent a whole year doing one such pro bono case and I know it takes special grace to be truly committed to such. God Bless??. Sampson Lardy


The above words boldly captured on the facebook wall of the renowned ?news file? host and lawyer, caught my notice. And I must confess, it moved me to the core too, to the extent that it gave me thoughts to be anxious and to write.


In my opinion entitled, ?GYEEDA rot: who will find justice for us?? I highlighted the neglect being suffered by today?s youth. I stressed how privileged youth have even become more vindictive than the older ones. I also mentioned how the wars of youth are left to them alone to fight, knowing well their vulnerability, and powerlessness.


And so for some us the hardship being endured by the melcom disaster victims even after a year on did not come as a surprise. After all melcom knew they had no where to go and nothing to go with. And it is not the first time that young people have become victims of circumstances. They knew young people have not been given that much and there will be no need for precedent.


What is most surprising; their woes are being justified by some very Ghanaians. Again, Ghanaians in the midst of their sympathy continue to help them amass wealth to use it against our very youth even in depressed moments. Interestingly, a Ghanaian ?veteran? who claims to speak for them thinks the young victims who have had their life and career crashed in trauma have been adequately compensated with the?GH?1,000/1500?paid them.

Well, he may be right. After all they may have not even earned that in 5years if there were to have been working. Sad you say. These are the woes of Ghanaian youth, very helpless, unheard, and under extreme exploitation.


As young as I may be, I have been privileged to know that here in Ghana there are a class of lawyers who have projected themselves in the minds of discerning public to belong the class of public interest lawyers. Interestingly enough, their interest has not seen the plight of Ghanaian youth. And so the most times we heard them in these role have been when they have had to pursue their partisan bid. Not long ago we heard of some ministers who have taken another former minister to court over the ownership of a government bungalow. Not that these willing minister are old, they belong to the class of young, and so one would have expected that their willingness would have stretched to the plight of Ghana?s youth including victims of the melcom disaster. That they will push for more protection for young people; that they will push their government to create more jobs and an enabling environment to enhance the growth of young people. More revealing, there is also a Center for Public Interest Law her in Ghana.

Going back, when the first anniversary of the melcom disaster discussions revealed that one option available will be to sue for reasonable compensation, I wondered who will stand up for these young victims. Fortunately enough the discussions caught the voices of two of the finest brains in Ghana. Whom themselves are learned. This time, the plights of the victims did not only catch their brains it also caught their promise.

Although I was surprised to hear that only one victim had the courage to sue, I take consolation from the fact that change can be possible even with one. More assuring are the brains behind. I know this journey will be a very difficult just as Sampson put it.

When the infamous ?Amina saga? culminated?, only one criminologist stood up and got counted in the league of young and vulnerable champions. Then there were no women in law and development, I suppose, to even issue a press statement. Unlike today when they think the dismissal of one ?ill? intent deputy minister is gender motivated and?stereotyped.

I do not rule out frustration and victimisation in this pursuit of reasonable justice; particularly on the part of the plaintiff, even from his own circles. But truth be told, wars are not only to be won, they are also to express our disgust. There have also been times that lost wars have been victory in itself. There have times that justice has been massaged. And so for even if it takes a year or a loss, it will still send home the message that it took the hope of two of our sons to reserve dignity for Ghanaian youth at a time when many were silent. These are my thoughts.

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