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21.10.2010 Feature Article

When Boys Rule…….

When Boys Rule…….
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The subjects suffer. Ever since the government took over the administration of the country, things appear not to be working properly. Developments in the country since the inauguration of this administration have been everything, but encouraging. It would be wrong for anybody—not even the fiercest critic of the government to insinuate that nothing at all has been done by the government. Some things have been done, though very little. They are not doing much because “boys” are at the helm—boys are ruling.

The government has failed to pull us along a clear-cut policy direction. There has not been a concrete plan, a transformational vision to improve upon the fortunes of the country. It is obvious that there is a dearth of leadership in the country. This is what you get when you have boys, and not “men” ruling. The pronouncements, actions, and even inactions of some elements in this administration show that the future and destiny of the nation are in wrong hands. His Excellency, the president might be a good man with good plans and ideas for the country, but as long as he continuously grosses over the ineptitude of some of his appointees (especially the loose cannons), then we should not expect any meaningful turnaround in the country.

By boys, I mean novices, inexperienced bunch of presidential appointees who obviously and surely do not know the reason why they are occupying their respective portfolios. (The only thing they know best is to do nothing to uplift their respective ministries, but rain insults on their dissenters). If you do not know the nitty-gritty of your job or the dictates of your responsibility, then it is certain that you are an amateur. And there are plethoras of boys in this administration who are contributing nothing to the progress of their ministries and the nation, but sadly dissipating the State's resources: we spend moneys on them for doing absolutely nothing. Let me provide a practical definition of the concept “boy.”

Who is a boy? A novice, an amateur, an inexperienced practitioner, who has an aspiration, desire to accomplish something worthwhile in a chosen career, but is not refined yet. Boys are not cut for, or ready to make any meaningful contributions to their chosen profession. What we are seeing about this government is that some of the ministers, deputy ministers, and presidential aides are simply put, liabilities. Sadly though, some of these appointees do not even make for boys; they need to be apprenticed. Let us look at the characteristics of boys briefly.

First, apart from the fact that boys are not thoroughly cut or prepared for their jobs, they are also petty. Instead of focusing on important and worthwhile issues—developmentally oriented ones, they deliberately settle on trivialities. Things of insignificance are their major preoccupation. Instead of thinking progressively, they allow petty politics to be the hallmark of their actions and decisions. A serious government, instead of nicodemously and surreptitiously changing the given name of the presidential edifice from Golden Jubilee to Flagstaff house, should be thinking deeply about bettering the lives of the citizenry. Pettiness, which is being exhibited by some key figures in the government, is preventing them from thinking deeply in order to solve our numerous challenges. The government should move away from the petty politics and buckle down to work.

Another characteristic of boys is arrogance. Their arrogance is situated; it is situated in their mistaken belief of their illusionary superiority to the hoi polloi. They think they are powerful when they are not; they believe they are competent when they are not. They should understand that their being a minister- or a deputy minister- of State is a privilege they are enjoying, and not a right: every educated citizen of our motherland deserves to occupy the position they are occupying. When government appointees—paid by tax payers' money can disrespect their own office and that of others by virtue of their “superior” position, then we should fathom that boys are in charge because matured and thoroughly bred people will not scoop that low. Mr. Rojo Mettle Nunoo—the deputy minister of health's abusive words thrown at nurses and midwives when the latter were on strike demanding the payment of their outstanding arrears and Dr. J.S. Annan—the deputy minister of education's reference to those who wrote the November-December (Nov-dec) remedial examinations as “inferior students,” clearly show that they are boys, and do not deserve to hold their jobs.

Again, boys are prone to engaging in knee-jerk reactions. Boys, in their hurry to make contributions within the remit of their job, throw caution to the wind by not thinking through the implications or consequences of their actions and reactions. They do not wait to assemble their facts before putting information in the public's domain. Instead of getting their facts right—a hallmark of experts, before opening their mouth to speak to issues of national relevance, they always, without recourse to due diligence put misinformation and disinformation in the public domain. This is what we are getting from the boys at the helm of the information ministry. No wonder Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings—just last week referred to Mr. Ablakwah—a deputy information minister as a liar.

At times we wonder how they got that job in the first place. A deputy information minister told the whole world that the government renovated the house of the mother in-law of ex-president Rawlings, but when he was asked to support his claim with evidence by the commission of human rights and administrative justice (CHRAJ), he said he was only guessing. Could you imagine? And the president does not see the danger posed by Mr. Agyenim Boateng—a deputy information minister to his government and the nation in particular. He was the same boy who said that there was no legislative instrument (LI) backing the name (Golden Jubilee) given to the presidential edifice, thus the government's decision to restore its prior name: the Flagstaff House. Asked by Kwami Sefa Kayi—one of our most intelligent anchors on our airways to name the legislative instrument that established the Flagstaff House, he could not. So you see the problem of boys? They speak or put information in the public's domain without getting their facts right.

Finally, boys are judgmental. Boys do not solve problems by looking at the root cause; rather they resort to judgmental attitude. They judge people's motives instead of trying to address the issues at stake. In doing so, they needlessly stoke the fire. Whatever people do—whether organized labour embarking on industrial action—or head masters addressing a legitimate concern pertaining to their schools, they observe them as political. They even make those spurious arguments even though it is obvious to them that members of organized labour or head teachers can never belong to the same political bloc. So the deputy minister of education and a deputy minister of information (Mr. Ablakwah) could accuse lecturers on strike demanding for moneys owe them by the government of being manipulated by politicians as if all the lecturers align themselves to only one political party.

We all seek a better country for ourselves, our children, and posterity. Therefore, the president should, as a matter of urgency address the snag of incompetence within his administration before it gets too late. Most of the deputies, I think should either resign honourably or be fired by the president, they might have the desire to serve the nation; but are not ready yet. The president should therefore bring “men” on board; the boys are simply messing up, big-time!! God bless Ghana!!

Source: Kingsley Nyarko, PhD, Educational Psychologist, Accra ([email protected])

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