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18.03.2013 Opinion

The State Of Our Nation: Who Is In Charge Here?

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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By I. K. Gyasi
I do not want to believe that President John Dramani Mahama has become so blind, so morally deaf, and so morally dumb that he has adopted the attitude of the Three Mythical Monkeys: 'See no evil, Hear no Evil, Speak no evil.'

Very recently, investigations by Joy FM reporters uncovered massive fraud, embezzlement and corruption at the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP).

The good thing is that the investigation showed that Mr. Abuga Pele, then in charge nationally of the NYEP, had taken action by appointing a committee to investigate the allegations.

Unfortunately, unseen hands threw away the Abuga Pele report, on the rather dubious and untrue grounds that the committee did not have the mandate, and that the affected persons were not given a chance to be heard. Mr. Abuga Pele rebutted these lies, as the Joy FM investigation found out.

National Security got sufficiently interested to investigate the allegations. National security also found out that the allegations were true.

You know something? Political pressure 'from above' stopped the publication of the report by National Security. To the best of anyone's knowledge, all the people named in the proven allegations are still at post. The only one, who left, did so to take up another state appointment.

If National Security was actually stopped from publishing the report, and also from causing action to be taken, then the 'order from above' could only have come from the highest reaches of government.

If the boss of an organisation is not taking action against wrong-doing in that organisation, it could be that, in fact, the wrong-doing has not been brought to his attention.

It could also be that even though he might be aware of what is going on, he may be too temperamentally weak to take any action. There are bosses like that. They fear criticism.

Another reason could be that the boss benefits financially, materially or otherwise from the wrong-doing. His involvement in the wrong-doing, as a beneficiary, effectively stops his mouth and hamstrings him.

Finally, the boss himself may indulge in corrupt practices which those in that organisation dare not to talk about openly, for fear of being victimised.

President Mahama cannot pretend to be unaware of the reported stench at the NYEP uncovered by the Abuga Pele Committee, National Security, and the wide publicity concerning the investigation by Joy FM reporters.

You might think that the least President Mahama's government can do is to ask the alleged fraudsters and embezzlers to refund the money, not to talk of arrest and prosecution.

This kind of criminal conspiracy to protect wrong-doers can only result in cynicism, while it encourages wrong-doing with impunity elsewhere.

The money, which those people at the NYEP diverted into their pockets, should have been used for the intended purposes, and not criminally diverted with the help of bank officials and other top people in the public and civil services. We pause for an answer.

The impunity of certain bosses and their organisations beggars description. Alum is a chemical which the people at Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) use to purify the water we drink.

Recently, the story broke that the water people were using expired alum to purify our water. Apparently, the expired alum would either kill us or be ineffective in treating the water, would it not? A plethora of statements followed.

No, the expired alum had not been used at all. Oh, only a small quantity had been used, but it was not harmful. Blame the Chinese for exporting the expired alum to us. No, the alum had arrived at the port a long time ago, but the papers to be used to clear the alum could not be found.

Oh, the water people had sought the assistance of National Security to retrieve the sacks of alum from wherever they were being kept?

As I write, four relative minor officials of GWCL have been interdicted. What about the Managing Director? Oh, he is still at post. I was under the impression that a ship's captain goes down with the ship when it sinks. This is Ghana for you.

And, still talking about water, perhaps it is no longer necessary to complain about its scarcity. Even some of our hospitals, places where water should not be in short supply, are suffering.

Ah, the electricity people. Educate me, dear reader. Was Akosombo Dam not built to stop or severely reduce our reliance on thermal power? Why does the Volta River Authority (VRA) need money to buy diesel?

They say they need more money. The Electricity Company Ghana (ECG) also says it needs more money. By its own admission, the ECG is owed millions of Ghana cedis by individuals, companies and the government of Ghana. Instead of collecting these huge debts, the ECG's solution, it thinks, lies in piling on more debts, instead of retrieving what is owed it.

Do you know the big joke put out by the ECG? It says its vision is to be among the best providers of electricity in Africa. It has a slogan in the form of the acronym POWER.

'POWER' means Professionalism, Openness, Well-being, Excellence and Reliability. Dear reader, do you actually find the ECG, as a service provider, professional, open, excellent, reliable and devoted to the well-being of its customers? The joke could be enjoyed were it not so tragic.

GHANA POST could have made money with its Instant Money Transfer (IMT) scheme. It rather chose to embezzle customers' money, and the scheme collapsed.

Today, we hear that GHANA POST has had to pay a large sum of money as judgment debt to the company it contracted to run the scheme. GHANA POST is sinking, if it has not sunk.

Yet, it has a large labour force. And it is defrauding customers with its hefty increase in letter box rentals. Last year, the charge for small letter was GH¢15 (Fifteen Ghana Cedis). This year, 2013, the charge has shot up to GH¢30 (Thirty Ghana Cedis). That is a clear case of armed robbery.

Unregistered, fake, counterfeited, substandard drugs, some even without a company's name or country of origin. The merchants of death who are engaged in this murder of innocent people should be put to death.

But, do not be surprised if nothing happens to these individuals and their companies. They may be too powerful, too influential, and too rich to be touched. They will definitely have prominent backers who will frustrate the law, in spite of the efforts of the Food and Drugs Board (FDB).

After all, are the NYEP people not still at post? Ghana is morally unhealthy.


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