The harder I cogitate about how and why Ghanaians have allowed themselves to be enslaved in their own country by foreigners, the harder and longer it takes for the answers to be forthcoming. The more I weep for my country Ghana and my Ghanaian compatriots, the more the country and the people plunge into enslavement under the hands of our political leaders and especially, the foreign guests sojourning in Ghana.
Having sojourned a few years in Nigeria in the 1980s and then residing in Europe, I have come to establish that Ghanaians are hard working and law-abiding people when they are in foreign lands. They do not seek trouble. They do not flout the laws of their host countries. Yet, they are looked down upon in some countries, e. g. Nigeria, as not being smart.
Yes, there a few of us who may infringe the laws of the host country but about 99% of us live within the confinements but not at the periphery of the laws of our host countries.
However, in Ghana, the foreigners, especially the Chinese and our very next door neighbours, the Nigerians, who think they are two inches taller than the Ghanaian hence are smarter, come to enslave us in our own country. How often have we not heard of Chinese flouting Ghana government orders not to engage in illegal surface mining (galamsey) and/or using arms on the poor natives who stand up to challenge their roguish attitudes in Ghana? Was Aisha Huang, the deported Chinese woman, not blatantly fearlessly disrespecting the government’s ultimatum to illegal surface miners to cease their activities? Was her sister also not engaged in the logging of rosewood in Northern Ghana without licence? They are not the only two, but they are in their thousands those illegal and legal Chinese in Ghana involved in galamsey and other activities contravening the laws and conducive environmental requirements of Ghana.
When you go to our own African neighbours, especially the notorious Nigerians who are too wise for anything good, they feel they are superior to the Ghanaian hence can engage in any activity, mostly criminal, in Ghana, with impunity. Unfortunately, unlike the Nigerians found in Ghana in the 1950s and 1960s, the current crop of Nigerians in Ghana are fond of engaging in criminal activities that will bring them quick buck. They have imported their armed robberies, kidnapping and cyber fraud into the country.
If Ghanaians in China or Nigeria do 1% of the criminal activities the Chinese and the Nigerians do in Ghana in say China or Nigeria, it will not take hours for such Ghanaians to be killed or incarcerated for so many years in their prisons. Why should we then allow them to come to Ghana to not only dictate to us or enslave us but also, to resort to illegal activities to destroy the environment, human lives and to tarnish the image of Ghana internationally through crimes, e.g. kidnappings?
To prove how Ghanaians in the 1970s and 1980s toiled harder in Nigeria only to seek to better their lives but were met with harsh maltreatment at the hands of the Nigerians, one Ghanaian musician, Opambuo, summed up the sufferings of Ghanaians in Nigeria in his song titled, “Amma Ghana”. All that he said in the song were facts and the absolute truth.
How has it been possible for these foreigners to take us for fools and be able to somehow enslave us in our own country? It is due to many reasons of which I shall try to highlight a few of them.
Ghanaians by their overly observance of their Ghanaian hospitality towards strangers have unintentionally demeaned themselves. They are ever ready to fight the corner of a stranger against their own Ghanaian compatriot regardless of whether or not the stranger is guilty. This unfortunate behaviour of ours has empowered foreigners to see it as a sign of weakness to capitalise on to use it against us.
Our love of tips have made us vulnerable. Right from our leadership to the common person in the street, we are easily induced with tips. Once a foreigner passes a few Ghana Cedis or US dollars, Pound Sterling or Euros to the Ghanaian, he can get the Ghanaian to do whatever pleases the foreigner. Is it normal for us to reduce ourselves to nonentities or nincompoops before the foreigners by doing their bidding at the crack of their fingers because they have money to give to us? Do we not have any self-pride as human beings to protect but to always relegate ourselves to Mr/Mrs/Miss Nobody?
Our Ghanaian women do not help at all but do make matters worse by their attitudes. I shall not accuse them of promiscuity but to state the fact, they normally make themselves easily available to the male foreigners, be they Chinese men or Nigerian males. I really feel ashamed when they turn around to tell it to our face that Ghanaian women are cheap. What an insult or a double slap in the face! Until the Ghanaian takes the shackles from his/her body and mind, we shall forever remain slaves and be at the beck and call of the foreigners found in Ghana.
For the insatiable greed, selfishness and parochial mindedness by our leaders who love to be rich overnight and have a never-ending appetite for wealth, sexual gratification, luxury cars and all sorts of vanity, foreigners are easily able to worm themselves into their hearts to gain a slice of power to lord themselves over Ghanaians. If it were not so, how could the foreigners in Ghana, e.g. Aisha Huang, earn their authority to infract the laws of the land including orders by a sitting President? Do our very law enforcement agents who are disgracefully more of law weakening agents than enforcers, not collect bribes from these very foreigners to rather encourage them to flagrantly abuse our laws by doing what we seek to prevent them from doing?
The ignorance of the Ghanaian must also be blamed for being a cause of foreigners disrespecting us in our own country to the shame of mother Ghana. When foreigners are spoiling our lands, water bodies and polluting the air we breathe, through devastatingly uncontrolled surface mining (galamsey), and a visionary leader emerges to stop the very activity damaging the ecology, the ignorant Ghanaians go haywire. They say, “you have abrogated our source of livelihood so we shall not vote for you come Election 2020”. This is madness to say the least. Can the pittance your husbands and sons are earning compare to the damage their irresponsible activities are causing to the nation? Do you not know the importance of fertile lands and virgin forests, clean water and clean air to the survival of human life on earth? Why should we allow heartless Chinese who have no respect for human life and the environment to come and destroy the very elements for human life and its sustainability in Ghana for us?
Should we not change our attitudes to wise up, foreigners will for ever come to Ghana to hold us down as slaves in our own country. Kidnapping which was never known in Ghana, something foreign to us, is now being practiced by Ghanaians thanks to Nigerians flocking into the country, coming with all their criminalities and introducing them to Ghanaians. Where is the smartness of the Nigerian if it is not in committing crime with intent to enrich themselves hence being derisively called 49iers?
Our Ghanaian house owners prefer renting out their houses or selling their lands to the foreigners instead of to Ghanaians. They want more money which in commerce is much better but are we not alarmed the least by the reprehensible attitudes of these ungrateful foreigners who see our kindness as weakness; therefore, capitalising on it to subjugate us in our own land?
As a pastor once succinctly said in his preaching, “If you don’t go to heaven don’t blame Jesus”, so shall I say to Ghanaians that if they are looked down upon by foreigners and subjugated in their own land, they should blame themselves for cheapening themselves through their reprehensible characters as stated above.
Our Ghanaian leaders must be more responsible to ensure that laws are enforced in the country. Culprits must be speedily prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to years in jail. Ghanaians must cease their infatuation with worshipping foreigners as though, they are tin gods. Ghanaians must stop their irresponsible attitude of lowering themselves before foreigners in order not to be baited with a chicken feed (a very paltry or minuscule amount of money; the absolute minimum amount) as when a piece of worm is used to bait a big fish.
Foreigners found to be infracting the laws of the land must be dealt with by the justice system according to the laws in place. They should not be treated with kids gloves as done to Aisha Huanga.
The Ghanaian fondness for corruption has wiped off any dignity the Ghanaian has hence foreigners treating us with contempt in our own country. The earlier we deal a head-on blow to the kidnappings and armed robberies introduced into the country by foreigners and being relished by some rogue Ghanaians, much the better to save the country from degenerating into a dangerous state where people’s lives and safety are in doubt every day of the week.
The government must ensure that laws are enforced and anyone caught breaking the laws must be dealt with. The Ghana police and judges who think taking bribes will make them rich overnight must be disciplined without mercy when caught. They are by their actions helping foreigners to enslave us in our own country.
(Wednesday, 19 June 2019)
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