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10.09.2003 Feature Article

Attacking Corruption from within

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I am sure we have all debated the depilatory issue of corruption over and over again. Often, we wonder in amazement why our own kith and kin engage in such nation busting activities. However, those of us who visit frequently can attest to the fact that the situation in Ghana is a desperate one. I have always posited, in a simplistic manner I must admit, that there are those who are corrupt because of realistic needs and there are those that do it to meet their extravagant life styles. This post is going to focus on the latter phenomenon.

Folks among us now in the diaspora, are criminals, a cabal of meanies, who have robbed our country blind and are enjoying the good life while our people languish in hell. These people have stolen grant money, taxpayer money, and other key, and valuable assets belonging to the people of Ghana. These are Ghanaians who mingle and live with us. They show up at our parties and funerals and in some instances draw or exact a measure of success and respect that is totally misplaced. Their families and friends know they are on the most wanted list in Ghana, yet they walk and work free in the west. Why must this continue to go on in this day and age of technology? Why have I not seen a list of Ghana's most wanted anywhere lately? I mean Interpol and all?

Some of us in the non-profit business, aimed at improving the lot our folks back at home must express outrage and righteous indignation at the fact that our effort to help, is made more difficult by these thieves who rob the people and ship the money right back into the US, Canada or Europe and I am sure many other places. A good friend informed me just this afternoon that, some criminals who stole money from the water sewerage computerization project are happily living in Maryland and working in the metropolitan area. The project money was donated to Ghana by a western country. It is also on record that these individuals that stole the money siphoned it up here (US). These are extravagant people who travel first class and maintain huge houses through multiple spouses in the US. Folks imagine some one in Ghana, working as a clerk or manger yet, paying a mortgage of about two to three thousand dollars a month!! All this is done at the expense of you and me. Must we condone or tolerate this abhorrent behavior? Are we rewarding this behavior by witnessing it and not saying a thing? If yes, why must we worry about helping Ghana? If no, why are we not sniffing or smoking them out?

As you all know, law enforcement is Ghana is in complete shambles. How these wanted criminals could vanish from Ghana and reappear up in the diaspora, shoulder high and living the good live with their ill-gotten wealth is beyond me. This form of destructive counter development acts must be considered at high treason and be dealt with in the most ruthless was. Folks, as long as we, Ghanaians, give that the green light that this behavior is ok and can be replicated with impunity, we will continue to experience this form of burglary. What must be done

The Sunshine approach

The government of Ghana must in close conjunction with the western world make available pictures of these criminals to America's most wanted. The pictures of these national saboteurs must be plastered at Ghanaian parties and funerals in every state or western country. The immigration authorities of this country and all other willing countries should be furnished with the pictures of these criminals. Websites and other common meeting places of Ghanaians must be plastered with pictures and information about these criminals. Airports, restaurants and public toilets must all have pictures of these rapacious and congenital criminals. Why can we have a Ghana government website dedicated to just criminals of such nature? Cases of this nature must be kept on the books permanently. Normally these criminals stay out for a few years and bribe their way back into the country, only to commit the same crime again. This is shows how arrogant and wicked these criminals are. We must throw as much sunshine as we can on these cockroaches.

Rewards for their arrest must be made readily available so help capture and prosecute these criminals who make mockery of our laws and efforts to develop. We must do any and everything to drain the swamp so that these animals will lose their lifelines and comforts. They must not enjoy in the west, stolen money from the poor and desperate people of Ghana. In fact, attempts to attack and kill corruption in Ghana will go a long way to promote investment than the incessant and unrelenting travels of the president.

All of our embassies should have pictures of these nation wreckers. In fact, the government should tighten the laws on stealing form Ghanaians and shipping it overseas. This should go for government officials and their families as well. Anyone who knowingly harbors criminals or participates in the denuding of mother Ghana must be held responsible. Unless we draw a line and really examine our own acts, this talk about nation building will be exactly that. Talk!!! Ghana must not aid and abet its own sons and daughters who have chosen to use government resources to met their profligate lifestyles.

In the end, it will take vigilance from Ghanaian communities in the diaspora to arrest and send home for prosecution, these bastards who take us for a ride. Even though I have no evidence, it dawns on me that these criminals are the very people who will commit such crimes overseas to disgrace and soil the reputation of the Ghanaian community. To put a dent in corruption will require community policing on the part of Ghanaians. We have to do all we can to weed out those who plan to live big at the expense of the poor people in the villages. These evildoers must be neutered. Our people have suffered enough. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Nii Lantey Okunka Bannerman
Nii Lantey Okunka Bannerman, © 2003

The author has 17 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: NiiLanteyOkunkaBannerman

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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