Feature Article of Sunday, 7 April 2013
Columnist: Badu, K.
Indeed, the true patriots have every right to be concerned about Ghana’s seemingly hopeless situation. For, Ghana, our beloved country, is fighting a losing battle,–struggling to shrug off a chronic cancer called ‘misappropriation’.
I am not seeking to hyperbolize the true picture of Ghana’s condition, — far from it, for indeed, the country is in the throes of economic breakdown.
Of course, if we do not find an antidote to Ghana’s gloomy illness sooner, our beloved country, Ghana, may die eventually. For, it seems the odds are stacked against her. Indeed, prognosis for her recovery does not look promising, it looks gloomy.
Truth must be told, at the moment, we are deep in the pickle jar, and it seems that, in terms of socio-economic anguish, we are sinking deeper and deeper into the mire.
In fact, we are deep in the pickle jar because of our apathetic politicians. They have failed time after time to put the country on the right path. That, for me, is a listless resignation on the part of our politicians.
Clearly, we lack good governance. So where lies the justification for additional emoluments- the ex gratia award to our phlegmatic politicians?
Of course, it makes sense to reward good governance. However, in the case of our politicians, I wonder if they, the incompetent lots, deserve their salaries at all, let alone gargantuan tax free ex-gratia.
The ex-gratia, in my view, is a reward for mediocrity, or worse still, incompetence and impishness. For, if that is not the case, what is it then?
If you, dearest reader, would take a critical look of what is going on in Ghana today, you would agree with me that, our policy maker’s performances are nothing to write home about. They, the policy makers, have failed to come up with advantageous policies, time after time to move the nation forward.
So, if a group of academics (Chinery-Hesse, Prof. Ewurama Committees etc.) converged and juxtaposed the emoluments of policy makers elsewhere to justify their recommendations of ex-gratia award to our listless politicians; I do not acquiesce.
This is because, policy makers in say, U.S.A and Great Britain work very hard, compared to ours. The epochal question then is what have they, the politicians, done for us lately to warrant such largesse?
That said, for me, the introduction of ex-gratia was irrational. For, the politicians, mulishly sought to elbow their way through, and in the process, engaged a group of academics, who in turn defended decades of research and their academic standings by justifying additional emoluments- the ex-gratia payments to the unachieved politicians.
Fortunate enough, we, Ghanaians, boast of abundant natural resources, needless to say, lack of ‘leadership by management’ has rendered us poorest among nations.
Our policy makers are indeed incompetent, otherwise how can we command all these resources and still be one of the poorest nations in the world?
Strange enough, in this day and age, Ghanaians have to endure intermittent supplies of electricity and good drinking water. This, for me, is sheer lousiness on the part of our politicians.
For instance, we, Ghanaians, have superfluous sunshine that can be generated into solar energy, yet we lack resplendent policy makers who would come out with bold decisions. We have enough water bodies; however we have allowed foreign infiltrators to engage in illegal mining, and in the process destroying our sources of drinking water.
Yes, we are being swamped by tons of rubbish, yet our policy makers have failed to brainstorm how we can use such rubbish to generate power.
For me, the size of our politicians ex-gratia is too ‘gargantuan’. So in the future, the Article 71 Office holders will have to be looked at again, because it is irrational. Of course, everyone deserves a pension, including our parliamentarians. Nonetheless, they, the politicians, cannot and must not make favourable policies for themselves to the detriment of the masses. For, the national ambiance will only prevail in the midst of equal rights.
“We are not serious as a nation, are we?”
K. Badu, UK.