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06.02.2006 Press Review

Editorial: The False Impression...

By Palaver
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THE impression given by President J. A. Kufuor at his last Sessional Address was that of a Ghana, whose image is dazzling and thus attracting the applause and support of world governments.

We grant him the benefit to think that way, because he does not have to pass through the normal immigration formalities at the ports of entry, any time he chooses to fly out of the country.

Otherwise, the President would have been the first to realize the sinking image of this country, due to the numerous drug cases, in which our citizens have been hauled like fishes (big and small) caught in nets.

There is no doubt that the authorities have "lost their place", as serious anti-drug campaigners and thus rendered the security checks on passengers, traveling outside the country, as "value-less", in the eyes of the outside world.

We believe this notion has further been "heightened" as a ! result of some recent drug cases, which have come to our notice, but which appears to have either been buried by the Government or treated like ordinary crimes, like fowl-thieving.

For instance, despite all the queries raised about what had happened to three 'leading' women members of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), caught drug-trafficking, years ago, no one in authority, has found it necessary to provide an answer to put all at ease.

Then came the case of an angry woman, who came on air to expose her husband, an NPP bank-roller, as a drug dealer.

Surprisingly, no one, not the police, not the other security agencies, not the Narcotics Board, has bothered to delve into the case, the circumstances, which prompted the revelation, not-withstanding.

We have two "big fishes" now struggling in the net of the American security agents, caught in connection with drug deals.

One is the son of a loyal servant of the British Empire, while the other happens to be a law-maker of this country.

However, since they are presumed to be innocent, we also presume that the Government is keeping its fingers crossed, to avoid the embarrassment of facing any unpleasant consequences, especially in connection with the latter case. We do not support the view that the Government, as a policy, is promoting any drug business in the country.

After all, there have been and there are cases, without number, of drug cases, in which the culprits have either been dealt with or are facing trial at the law courts.

However, the fact that the authorities appear to deal "leniently", in handling some of the cases is mind-boggling.

And, perhaps, the reaction by some Government officials and some political renegades to the recent case of ! the MP, whose seat is now unoccupied, is even worse.

Imagine a pro-Government university don going on air to describe the arrest of the MP, "as nothing to worry about", perhaps, since, he himself, considers gun-totting by kids as a "play school" act in a television programme.

The Ghanaian traveller, carrying no VVIP tag, is now treated like a doormat at international airports. He has nothing dignifying about him.

This, we think, must be a cause of worry to President Kufuor, if he intends to help keep our image in attractive colours.

And, certainly, not that of carrying ballot boxes across the oceans, to prove our maturity in democracy or indeed, show the world, how best we have advanced in electoral thievery!

The Government must ensure that the security network at the Accra International Airport, especially, is run more efficiently than it is now. ! At least, we shall be wiping out some of the dirt off our image, if steps are taken to remove Ghana's name as one of the easy transit points in the world's drug trafficking business.

It is this kind of deserved honour we must aspire for and not the "scratch-my-back and I'll-scratch-yours" business being initiated at meetings of African leaders. For, we care little about diplomatic jargons. It is what is on the ground that matters most to us.