A Generation of Kleptomaniacs
We live in a part of the continent where everyone wants to take, own or earn something that he or she does not necessarily merit. People want to use the least available opportunity to steal, confiscate or rob the other of an equally shared advantage. In our homes, offices, institutions, organizations and even some churches, people in authorities use every means possible to outwit their subordinates in the sharing of certain privileges.
In Africa, the issue of corruption, nepotism and tribalism is an albatross around the necks of all and sundry except very few. People do things based on how they feel about it, the favorites involved or the group of tribesmen involved than what actually needs to be done. These traits are not an African problem because there's corruption in Europe, Asia and the world but why does Africa stand out? It is the systems incorporated to check and weed out such people who may engage in such irresponsible acts. The laws in Ghana are docile and no one cares what happens. It's a free world in Africa. Survival of the fittest!
I was thinking and believing that the youths in Africa, Ghana will know better and do the right thing but truth is it's worse now and from what is happening from our youth led institutions, the future is bleak. We may face a life of barbarism in the future if we don't change from our ways going forward. Right from the University, youth leaders begin to amass wealth for themselves. They scavenge for various portfolios and use their positions to engage in atrocious activities.
Why will a so called leader in the university use his position as a conduit to be having countless sexual relationships with female students. Others who are shameless even have affairs with vendors, lecturers wives and even landladies. What is wrong with this generation? Are we indeed the future leaders we are purported to be?
Well that's just by the way. My bone of contention that has necessitated this article is with regards to the thievery, I mean the kleptomania going on at the National Service Secretariat. The NSS has taken it upon themselves to take the laws into their own hands, take decisions, make moves and implement plans without the consent of the indispensable stakeholders-the national service persons.
For quite a long time now monies are deducted from the meagre allowances of personnel without consulting us and that's illegal. If the laws in Ghana were working as they should, we can take them on boot for boot. Just last year, they organised an end of service celebration for all NSS persons across the nation. I was privy to that of the Kumasi metropolis. It will interest you to know that, in Kumasi the venue and time for the celebrations were sent to persons just two hours to the time. That program was held at the KNUST poolside. Just a handful of people attended and that was it! They did their work, they have gone with their loot. Wicked kleptomaniacs!
This year, a new crop of leaders are in, taking tips on how to outsmart us but we are sorry to disappoint them. This year an amount of 20ghc has been deducted from our allowances to print some secondhand yet transparent T-shirts to be worn by personnel to work. Funny enough these T-shirts arrived just one month to our completion of service. Where do they want us to wear them to? The farm, the house or as working gears in our various would-be workplaces? Maybe they can tell us better!
That notwithstanding, they have unscrupulously deducted fifteen Ghana cedis each for their so called NASPA week celebrations. What are we celebrating? The high rate of unemployment we are about to be released into? Or perhaps we are celebrating the fact that we are ignorant of the penury, the sufferings, the rejections and the deplorable state of this country? From our rough estimation, there are a total number of about 85,705+ persons and by charging us 15ghc each that will amount to about Ghc 1,285,575+. Imagine such huge sum of money taken from personnel across the length and breath of the country to be used for such celebrations. What a national wastage? Can we not use this money for better development? Are we that adept as our old folks in positions who are hoarding money for their generations?
This country is really breaking at the seams, a magma is boiling beneath and if not soon then later there will be an eruption that will do more harm than good. People are very much agitated at the happenings in Ghana under the watch of our leaders from both political divides. None seems to give us the change we want. Leaders from both parties keep robbing Peter to pay Paul and vice versa.
The National Executives of NSS should kindly remind themselves that change begins with them, they cannot impose things on us as though we are peasants and they, our masters. They must treat us with due diligence and respect. When we work we need to be appreciated for our services to mother Ghana. They cannot deduct any money without our collective consent as a people.
On this note, we will like to crave the indulgence of the government of Ghana, the National Service Secretariat and all stakeholders to kindly reimburse our monies with expedite effect. When that is done, they can now come to us so we discuss the way forward. We don't want any useless celebrations which has no immediate nor long-term benefits on us. We want our monies back and we mean it with all sincerity!
To all service persons across the country, we plead with you to come onboard and do something right at least for the first time. Let's not sit forlorn, hoping and wishing for a better day when we can do something. All the best of luck!
The Writer is Martin Selorm Attopley. A Graduate of KNUST and An Alumni of the Prestigious Kufuor Scholars Program.
A leadership, governance and development enthusiast.
A National Service Person at Prempeh College, Kumasi Metro.
Email: [email protected]