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25.06.2010 Feature Article

Is The Worst Also Coming From The West?

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Ghana's Western region plays an important role in the History of this country. The man who led the struggle for our independence and the first President of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah is a native of this region. His leadership style and qualities is unparallel in the annals of this country. It was under his reign that the country experienced massive infrastructural development. The region can aptly be described as the economic backbone of this country. The Western region can boost of minerals, cocoa, timber and the recently discovered oil. It also has sandy beaches and other wonderful tourist attractions. The natural resources of this region provide the government with the needed foreign exchange to pursue its developmental projects. The oil discovered in the region has opened up the country to a lot of investors and prospective businesses, the local folks are cashing in by leasing and selling their properties to these investors at exorbitant prices. The indigenes are happy their region has discovered the black gold and are relishing in all the publicity that comes with the news. The influx of these investors is also opening up the region for more business opportunities, employment and infrastructural development.

For quiet some time now, civil society organizations and professionals in the oil industry have been holding fora to educate Ghanaians about the dangers in the oil industry. The reality of this situation has not dawn on Ghanaians yet because we have not started the exploration, one thing which is creeping up in the region even before the exploration begins is the moral decadence which has been reported in some parts of the region. Just recently, there was a demonstration by some Muslim youth and other groups about a increase in gay and lesbian activities in the region. This was against the backdrop of a supposed gay wedding held in one of the hotels in the region. Thanks to the media, the public got to hear of it and since then, a lot of groups have condemned the act and have called the authorities to act fast and save the region from moral decay. The recent demonstration by the Muslim youth and the call by some of them for the Sharia law to be introduced in the country are farfetched, this can simply be described as killing a fly with a sledge hammer. Gay and lesbianism has been with us for a very long time, it is very rampant in our second cycle and tertiary institutions. Their activities are no more a secret and most people in our society know them and where they meet for their activities. The constitution of Ghana enjoins Ghanaians with some rights and responsibilities, although their activities do not conform to societal norms, Gays and lesbians we are told have rights enshrined in our constitution and these rights must be respected by all. What we as a society should do is to acknowledge the problem and see how best we can resolve it. I am totally against lesbianism and gay activities but I don't think Sharia is the way out of this situation. My plea with parents and guardians is to take good care of their children, observe their actions and teach them good morals.

One other problem which has been reported in the Western region is the activities of child prostitution. It is been alleged that some of the foreigners in the Western region are taking advantage of the young girls and boys in the region. They are luring them with money and engaging in illicit acts with them. They are seen together at hotels, beaches and in obscure areas. Poverty in some parts of these areas is very high, but that does not mean parents should shirk their responsibilities and allow their little children to be used by irresponsible adults to satisfy their libido. Our laws frown pedophiles and I urge the authorities to clamp down these irresponsible adults who come to this country under the guise of investing in our country and rather end up swelling our budget on health. I also plead with management of some of these hotels and guesthouses to seek the greater good of the society by reporting the activities of these criminals to the appropriate authorities. The communities should also serves as watchdogs and report such illegal acts to the police.

Just recently, it was reported in the news that, certain characters from the troubled Niger Delta region are moving into Ghana to settle here. The news raised a lot of eyebrows and created some panic in the country. Players in the Oil industries know how deadly these militants are. I had the opportunity to listen to an interview that these gentlemen from Niger Delta granted to a Radio station and I was very much convinced about their quest to relocate to Ghana. I was latter shocked to hear the High Commissioner of Nigeria to Ghana describing them with some strong words and his appeal to the Ghanaian government not to entertain his countrymen. Who are we to doubt their President's representative in Ghana? I believe our national security should do all it can to investigate the real motive for their settlement. We cannot toy with our new found oil and also the security of our people. Ghanaians are peace loving and hospitable people, we would not mind having our brothers and sisters from Nigeria relocating into this country, after all we have a lot in common. my only plea to them is to go through the proper procedures and regularize their stay. They should also come with clean a heart and mind. Citizens of the two countries should not do anything that would bring about enmity between them. It is however heart warming to know that the security agencies are keeping a close eye on them and are collaborating with them to see how best their issue can be resolve. I also urge this group to find a better way of dialoguing with their High Commissioner in order for them to feel secure and protected in Ghana.

The best they say comes from the West and with the Oil discovery adding to the numerous natural resources in that region, there isn't any better way to put it than to agree with the statement. God has blessed us with this oil, how do we manage it properly for it to be a blessing rather than the curse that it has been to some other country. It is my prayer and hope that the government manages these resources very well, provide the much needed infrastructures to communities living in the Oil area. The indigenes should also be provided with jobs to ease the level of poverty in these areas. Moral decadence and its concomitant problems would be best resolved with the right policies and programs for those living in the community.

We the citizenry as a whole should do well to nip in the bud the growing level of moral decadence in that region and the entire country. For now what I would say is that we should not allow the worst to also come from the West, because good and evil cannot be bedfellows.

Mustapha Jimah
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Mustapha Jimah
Mustapha Jimah, © 2010

The author has 25 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: MustaphaJimah

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