Friday, January 24, 2014
My good friends, I will stick my neck out to make some generalizations for a purpose.
Ghanaians have a major problem that is difficult to tackle: widespread indiscipline, disregard for law and order, and the penchant to dare the devil. There is also a strong motivation to get-rich-quickly, damn the consequences.
The consequences of all these negative traits are dire to the self and country; but who cares?
All over the country, the consequences of indiscipline are particularly noticeable. I don’t know what has come over the Ghanaian to make him or her want to do anything at all willy-nilly, provided self-interest will be served. And then, when everything backfires, the Ghanaian quickly turns round to blame the government for it.
And as if that isn’t enough of a major hindrance to development efforts, institutions of state also fail to do what is required of them, thus, creating room for more mess to be caused before they resort to knee-jerk measures, which worsen the situation and damage the government’s interests all the more.
Many happenings over the years have proved that there is a lot wrong with Ghanaians; but who cares?
The latest in the series is the demolition of houses in the Tema area. It has been reported that Since Tuesday, bulldozers, escorted by heavily armed military and police personnel, have razed down about 150 houses at Sraha and King Solomon City suburbs. This didn’t happen without fierce opposition from residents, local chiefs and the Member of Parliament for Tema West Irene Naa Addo. Gun shots were even fired by the security personnel to scare away the resistant residents.
The TDC had accused the home owners of encroaching on its lands.
Now, the NDC leaders in Tema have come out, urging President Mahama to remove from office “without delay” the Managing Director of TDC (Joseph Abbey).
I have seen pictures of houses demolished and the huge burden that has been placed on the victims. Only two issues pertain to this problem:
1. How did the residents get to acquire the land on which they put up those buildings? Or did nobody ever notice the developments taking place to stop them” We note that the buildings didn’t just spring up overnight but were constructed over a long period, which leads us to the next issue.
2. Where were the TDC officials at the time that these buildings were being put up? How did they begin solving the problem to ensure that the land wasn’t developed? Or were some of their own officials extorting money from the land developers to facilitate their activities? Likely.
Folks, do you see how the Ghanaian (mis)behaves? I am very much concerned at the manner in which the problem has been tackled—the usual recourse to inhuman acts when preventive measures could have been enforced long before those buildings sprang up. And the demolished buildings were really beautiful too!
People’s lives’ labour gone away with the wind just like that? When I saw the pictures, I nearly wept. How can human beings be so wicked? I blame the TDC for this happening.
One major move to stop the development of the land would have been to sue the land developers at court for the court to officially deal with the matter at its formative stage. But nothing of the sort was done to stem the tide. Mere warnings or inscriptions to “Stop Work!” won’t solve the problem because the Ghanaian is the dare-devil type in such circumstances. The law must work in a democracy!!
True to their nature, they went physical, relying on raw military and police strength to reduce everything to rubble, unperturbed by the consequences of their draconian act. This kind of attitude doesn’t solve problems. It creates more room for anti-social activities.
Undoubtedly, the lives of these victims have been disrupted beyond measure. Now, they are asking the NADMO to assist them live their lives, meaning that the burden has become the government’s to solve, failing which it will have a huge political price to pay.
I am all the more saddened by the fact that the victims might have invested all their lives' labour and earnings in such buildings only to lose everything at the pull of an accelerator.
Not only that. Consider the fate of school-going children who have been displaced by this excessive show of force. Now, the problem has bounced back to the quarters of the government itself because NADMO is registering the victims with the view to providing them some temporary relief.
Had the right thing been done, could the situation have ground to this disturbing point? The laws must bite but they must first be given teeth, meaning that the preliminary steps should have been taken by the TDC to rule out this "show of force" in the end!!
In a democracy, good conscience and recourse to the law should define human behaviour, not this kind of senselessness. What has the TDC earmarked that land for, anyway?
I have insisted on many occasions that the high degree of indiscipline and plain incompetence or wickedness in high places is a major threat to our country. Now that the matter has been politicized, I wait to see how the government will solve it to rid itself of the shame that has been brought to it by the TDC. Pathetic!!
I shall return…
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