'Nepotism, nepotism,' congress people have been crying. I took a bit of time to look back, and I don't think they would laugh over what I have to say. In running a country like our motherland, the leader, chief executive needs managers with two basic quality sets: competence and loyalty. So the leader first looks for people with the required qualifications as well as practical life and living experience, to be able to perform tasks in the interest of the motherland.
We have experienced brother roles in doorman (sometimes ending in ride on brother for MP election coattails), official adviser, manager of siphoned resources, and cabinet minister. So, now, let us take the periods 2001 to 2008 and 2009-2016. There were four brothers in public view the second instance. Two of them had their presence felt from 2009 to the first half of 2012 and the other two from the second half of 2012 to 2016. One of the latter was more at the background while the other was the anti-nepotism spoiler. The 2001-2008 was one brother of excellence.
I want to assess or compare using the criteria: competence, family versus motherland, self against others, legitimate against illegitimate, results by no results, transparency vis-a-vis translucency and qualified or unqualified. If this were a research report, I could easily do a table that would show the differences at a glance. As a write-up, though, the best I am able to, perhaps, do is to organize the narrative with the readability pains that readers usually find in this column. It is about the medic versus the engineer.
In family versus motherland nation and self against others, the doctor excelled even when he had to briefly combine the defence and interior ministries. No whining; no complaining. He just pressed on with efficiency in motherland's total security management to everyone's satisfaction. He was the legitimately appointed brother public officer who competently executed his responsibilities to the motherland to the admiration of all. The other was a seemingly bogus and illegitimate businessman whose only business was appropriating state assets as his president brother would allow, direct, massage or facilitate. The differences in the two brothers' performances in the public interest could not be starker.
In his position as a politician legitimately elected into office and appointed as minister of defence by brother president, brother medic oversaw the building of a brand new Ministry of Defence headquarters. Civilian outfit sitting within the barracks, he relocated it outside the barracks, and by that, separated civilian administration from military operations (Burma camp). In addition, massive infrastructure development initiatives were undertaken within the Camp itself. Added soldier welfare schemes compared to the no results, unable to dredge even with the advantage of our commonly owned equipment freely leased and branded private.
Transparency in the medic's role contrasted the engineer's translucent contracting. It's an example of unmatched assessment of qualified relatives and how prepared they are for appointee positions.
Nepotism in the motherland sometimes gets stretched beyond the consanguineous to include region and ethnicity, which mischief makers confuse with names. There's no fixed formula for naming and names in our multicultural motherland where names are common across many ethnic groups and regions. It's not unusual to find a name that is used across the whole or parts of Ahafo, Ashanti, Bono, Bono East, Central, Eastern, Greater Accra, Oti, Savanna, Volta, Western, and Western North, that is, twelve out of the sixteen regions.
While the first brother was defending, the other was offending. Someone would say it is precisely because the so-called businessman brother took advantage of his brother's unlimited power to fraudulently rape the economy for which nepotism is condemned as bad for effective and efficient governance. The logical response is; they made that happen so they cannot deliberately do nepotism the bad so as to make it wrong and turn round to say it is wrong. As brother defence kept forward planning the security of the motherland, brother business kept forward planning and engineering the looting of national assets including banks and bauxite mineral deposits.
Our beef thus, boils down to two brothers of nepotism. One was so good performing in the interest of the motherland that he virtually legitimized nepotism to be accepted and advocated for as a good and effective practice for national development. The other was encouraged by the brother with power to make and unmake and to plunder state resources. The latter of living in that rotten glass house happens to be the one complaining about nepotism. Truly, talk is cheap, as congress people have always found it. And there is no pause to cheap talk by them in sight.
By Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh
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