This Culture of Nepotism and Favoritism Is Undermining Our National Security

Feature Article This Culture of Nepotism and Favoritism Is Undermining Our National Security

One would have expected this to be decidedly a nonissue this late in the two-term and, on the whole, the fairly progressive Akufo-Addo Administration. Unfortunately, like all forms of bad habit deeply ingrained and perennially underlain by official corruption and unconscionable profiteering, the pathologically unprofessional conduct of our immigration officials, especially those stationed at the nation’s foremost gateway of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), has become such an unbearable eyesore of an embarrassment that Mr. Henry Quartey, Ghana’s newly appointed Minister for the Interior, was recently forced to issue a stern warning to those immigration officials who have made it their second job or professional avocation of escorting relatives and friends through and around security cordons and checkpoints at the nation’s oldest, largest and busiest airport to cease and desist from such unethical and patently criminal practice, forthwith, or find themselves with a job (See “Stop Escorting Your Friends to and from KIA, Else You’ll Be Sacked – Henry Quartey Warns Immigration Officers” 4/7/24).

While this warning may have come almost too late in the political game in this watershed election year, nevertheless, coming from the reputable and the highly respected former Greater-Accra Regional Minister, the season and the timing could not have been more smack on target. You see, as Regional Minister for Ghana’s Capital of Accra, the Ga native or indigene of the latter Metropolis carved an enviable niche for himself as an antiseptic stickler for order, hygiene and discipline. It is widely said that about the only Ghanaian citizens and residents of Accra who are averse to the impeccably professional conduct of the graduate of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), are antisocial human vermin, in particular the leadership of the country’s main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), whose Serial and Dynastic Presidential Candidate, Mr. John “European Airbus Payola” Dramani Mahama, was perennially and incessantly described by the late globally acclaimed Founding-Father of the latter political establishment as the most thoroughgoing corrupt postcolonial Ghanaian leader.

To be certain, the criminally unprofessional conduct recently decried by the ruling New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament during Ghana’s Seventh Parliament, was firmly established and normalized by the putatively kleptocratic leadership of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress, the immediate successor to the John Evans Atta-Mills-led regime of the National Democratic Congress, of which Mr. Mahama was at the time the hopelessly payola-addicted racketeering Vice-President. Significantly, there was a widely publicized Wikileaks piece or report in which a then newly elected President Atta-Mills was quoted to have told the extant US Ambassador to Ghana that he could not, to a person, trust any of the immigration and customs officers at the nation’s ports of entry, especially those on post at the Kotoka International Airport, including senior officials personally handpicked and appointed by the late Prof. Atta-Mills himself, as the former University of Ghana’s tax-law lecturer was also widely known and affectionately called.

This culture of rank official corruption was even far worse under the watch of the Jeremiah “Jerry” John Rawlings-led junta of the erstwhile Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), a regime that proudly and, in retrospect, self-righteously billed itself as a “Housecleaning” Apostolic Missionary Propagation of “Probity, Transparency, Accountability and Justice.” In those days, it was the Airport Police, located just a stone’s throw away from KIA on the Legon-Accra Highway, who had constituted themselves into armed carjackers and literally and routinely cleaned up the luggage and the baggage of “Been-To” Ghanaians. This author’s own late mother, then long-resident right here in the United States of America, would be robbed at gunpoint. This incident occurred some 40 years ago, in 1984, exactly a year before Truly Yours departed the rankly corrupt shores of Chairman Rawlings’ Ghana and never looked back or missed “Revolutionary Ghana,” that is, till 2001, when authentic and full-blooded democratic governance ushered Ghana into what has presently become known known as Fourth-Republican Ghana.

In other words, any serious attempt to infuse discipline and professionalism into the culture of our immigration officials and immigration protocol will, perforce, have to go way beyond the mere dismissals of these rankly and pathologically corrupt immigration officials to include the rigorous criminal prosecution and the imposition of stiff and long-term prison sentences, if deterrence is really the ultimate goal and objective here. All the same, we say kudos to Mr. Henry Lartey. Power to you, Onukpa, with the protective wings and the guidance and the blessings of Divine Providence.

*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
Professor Emeritus, Department of English
SUNY-Nassau Community College
Garden City, New York
April 7, 2024
E-mail: [email protected]