Whilst withholding judgment – temporarily – on the Anas/galamsey TV programme (until the government has reviewed the unedited tapes) would be salutary to isolate a few instances of the behaviour engaged in by officials, as captured in the film as shown.
Now, the trouble with officials in this country is that many do not read! If they did, the difficulties encountered by the officials portrayed in the film might have been avoided.
You see, I had more or less anticipated such embarrassing behaviour in a piece I wrote in the Ghanaian Times on 09 01 2018 – and later reproduced in Joy News – entitled ‘Amateurism Is Dangerous In Politics’ (htttps://www.myjoyonline.com/opinion/2018/january-11th/amateurism-is-dangerous-in-politics.php)
In that article, I used the controversies in which the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Special Development had then been recently involved, to warm officials about “banana skins” that are regularly thrown into the paths of officials to embarrass them. And I pointed to the fact that if officials are embarrassed, then whoever appointed them is also implicitly embarrassed.
With regard to the behaviour portrayed in the film, the question is: How naïve can one get?
I mean: you are lucky enough, in a country teeming with unemployed thousands, to be given a nice job in a new project. And someone you don’t know comes up to you and chat you up, and within five minutes, you are telling him how the organisation works; whom you can facilitate contact with for him?
So one thing leads to another and then – money finally changes hands! Yieee?
I mean – what is the background of these guys and how were they recruited? Were they psychologically profiled? Having been recruited, what sort of orientation were they made to absorb before they were unleashed on the public?
Did they – do they – accept, for instance, that the anti-galamsey campaign is not just something dreamed up to deny small-scale miners a means of earning a living, but a complex and balanced operation aimed at safeguarding our water resources for future generations?
Did they – do they – intuitively accept that the destruction of our water-bodies, forest reserves and food farms is a crime against The Nation and must be fought by all patriotic Ghanaians, whether employed by the government or not?
Do they not realise that by opting to help galamseyers cut corners or “fast-track” carefully-formulated procedures, they were siding with the destroyers against the saviours of our natural environment?
Did they not know that the government had, through the IMCIM “road-map”, put a great deal of money into state-of-the-art scientific techniques to prevent galamsey from going on as before and that they were the front-line army in that objective?
These are matters which even a child should be able to understand. And yet full adults, some of whom had actually been to sites where they had seen with their own eyes, rivers and streams whose beds had been ruthlessly upturned with excavators and chanfans, showed themselves ready to conspire with the enemies of the “road-map”!
Does it not matter to them that if the current anti-galamsey struggle fails – as others had failed in the past – the government whose members had been good enough to offer them employment and training, would be laughed at?
It is so pathetic that the good intentions of the government should have been so dramatically squashed from within the structure on which it is relying to save the grim situation presented by galamsey.
Do these people not know that there is a very strong lobby of powerful but misguided people, to whom money is the be-all and end-all of life and who will do everything to sabotage the “road-map”?
Are they not aware that:
- Some Ghanaians don’t give a toss whether our children and their children will get water to drink or not, in future?
- The poor people in the rural areas cannot afford to buy sachet water to drink, when they are thirsty, and that they are forced to drink mud-filled water?
- That even in the unlikely event that our poor people can buy sachet water to drink, they still must find a way to get water to cook their food?
- Do these people not accept the fact that unless the anti-galamsey struggle succeeds, our Nation shall inexorably face an existential crisis – even before climate change attacks us with its genocidal effects?
- Do these people, in reality, care so little about the president they claim to support, that they will pocket a few thousand cedis and help to defeat his programme?
- Indeed, where is their oft-proclaimed loyalty to their “beloved Nana”? When they see him, do they not smile broadly and yell “Nana oooh! Nana ohhh!”? How deep does that body-language go?
“I shall telephone you to let you know when the coast is clear! I shall link you with the one responsible for the documents….” That’s what their “loyalty” is worth.
So, although excavators keep being seized in the fields, there are always excavators ravaging the land in the bush!
Chinese nationals in the service of Ghanaian principals do get. Some are prosecuted and some are even deported. But there are always new ones to take their place.
Ghanaians, what are you doing to yourselves?
You know, every society has crime in it; corruption; theft!
But there reaches a point where a person’s innate patriotism rises and says: “As for dis one diƐƐƐƐ….!”
Yes! We are Ghanaians! We too can say it! We too can do it!
Don’t let future generations say of us, “They were complete and utter fools! Nature had given them some of the best water on the entire planet, but they destroyed it all!…
Destroyed it all!
From Cameron Duodu