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25.11.2005 Feature Article

Letter From The President: A Nation Shamed!

Letter From The President: A Nation Shamed!
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Countrymen and women, honourables and dishonourables, bootlickers and staunch opponents, I am in shock as I write this letter. How can I not be shocked when a man who is supposed to know better has shamed our country? I am talking about the MP for Nkoranza North who has been arrested in the Bushman's country for possessing heroin with the intention of selling it. He would have made an estimated six million dollars if he had not been arrested.

It's true that our law books say that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately in the case of the dishonourable MP, the evidence against him is so much that I believe the court will definitely find him guilty. He will surely go to jail to spend a minimum of ten years. He might even be jailed for life. I wish he would be given the maximum sentence prescribed by US law. If he is convicted, I pray that he rots in jail. I am in no mood to plead for forgiveness on his behalf and I want to ask all those (in government, of course) who have been trying to get him off the hook to stop and stop NOW! As a citizen of Sikaman, I feel very embarrassed by this scandal. I am more embarrassed than anyone of you because I am the first citizen of the land. When I first heard the news that an MP had been arrested for possessing drugs, I prayed it was not true. I didn't know how our nation could handle such embarrassment. Unfortunately, it turned out to be true. Now we need to do damage control. The first step is not to be seen to be making attempts to help the disgraced MP out. We should leave him to hang.

In my mind, I think this is the most serious embarrassment Sikaman has suffered since the founding of our nation. And who brought it about? An MP – a so-called honourable lawmaker. Now the news is all over the place. The whole world knows about it – and people from the North to the South Poles are forming various opinions about us. Thanks to the misdeeds of a single MP, we could all be branded as drug traffickers and junkies. It will take a long time for our nation to overcome the embarrassment and it will take an even longer time (if ever) for the world to forget that a sitting MP from Sikaman was once arrested and jailed (oh yes, he will be jailed) for trafficking hard drugs. What annoys me most is that the Americans are already describing him as a “top government official”. We have tried to tell them that the man is only an MP and he has never been a member of my government. But they will hear none of it. The Americans really believe in the concept of the three arms of government, you know. So as far as they are concerned a lawmaker is a government official. Therefore, in the eyes of the Americans, a member of my government is a drug trafficker. What America sees, most often than not, is what the rest of the world sees. The mere thought that they think that he is a member of my administration is so painful for me. That why I want him to be dealt with severely for blighting my record and creating a bad impression about not only my government but our dearly, beloved HIPC country.

From what I hear, the disgraced MP for Nkoranza North claims to have accomplices in high places and he has vowed not to go down alone. Well, I won't be surprised if he mentions my name. It would cause me more pain and grief but no one will take him serious. He's the one who was caught on camera examining packets of heroine. No government official was caught with him. I know he will not read this but if any of you get an opportunity to talk with him, please tell him that I said he should shut the hell up and dance to his own music. However, if he can prove beyond all doubts that some members of my government connived with him, I will gladly like to see all his accomplices rounded up and brought to trial.

The MP's arrest raises a number of serious issues for us to ponder on. First, it is yet another reminder that we have too many crooks in politics in Sikaman. Months before his arrest, there were reports of MPs forging documents and getting involved in visa racketeering. Nothing was done about them and we don't know what will happen to them. Now we have an MP selling drugs. What next? We never know. But let me say that the onus lies on our political parties to scrutinize the backgrounds of their members who wish to get into high offices – such as being in parliament. Our party failed woefully in this regard. No wonder people are saying that we are drug traffickers. Some are even suggesting that NPP stands for Narcotic Peddlers' Party. When the disgraced MP expressed his desire to run for the Nkoranza North seat on our party's ticket – we did not conduct any due diligence. The man stated in his CV that he is a “philanthropist” by profession. It should have raised eyebrows. Correct me if I am wrong. But nobody goes to school to learn how to give. Is there a university anywhere in the world which offers a degree or diploma in philanthropy? Well, our party didn't bother to ask him the tough questions because we needed money. So we allowed him to stand – even though his educational credentials were questionable. Even Bill Gates who has donated billions of dollars for various causes around the world does not describe himself as a professional philanthropist. If he did, he would say that he has a PhD in the philanthropy. A little man from a village donates a few bags of cements and some roofing sheets and he thinks he's the most generous and caring human being on earth and describes his occupation as philanthropy. And we were okay with that because we knew that his “generosity” would help us. And he did help us. We cannot deny that he contributed one way or another to our campaign effort in the last election. He did. He helped us win the elections but he also gave our party a bad name and it will be very difficult for us to distance ourselves from him.

This brings me to my second point. Money, indeed, is not everything. Our party followed money and we have been embarrassed. People voted for the disgraced MP because he had a lot of money and was engaged in “philanthropy” – even chiefs in his constituency vouched for him. We need knowledgeable and honest people in politics. Not rich crooks. I can't help but think that the man decided to go into politics because he knew that a service passport would give his “business” a boost. It surely did until his cup ran over. He had been in parliament for almost a year and available records indicate that he has not made a single contribution on the floor of the house. But he has traveled abroad several times. Who knows what he did when he traveled outside? Your guess is as good as mine. My fellow citizens, this is a lesson that we should not vote in the direction of our stomachs. I know it's difficult with poverty playing all sorts of deadly games with us. But our nation will be better off if we vote for poor but honest men. Rich crooks in politics will only embarrass us and lead our nation astray.

Forever drug-free,

J. A. Fukuor [email protected] Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

J. A. Fukuor
J. A. Fukuor, © 2005

The author has 204 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: JAFukuor

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