During the penultimate year of tenure in all democracies, shocks occur. They are the results of actions and statements on both sides. But they are not exclusive to only them, though the third side would normally be reactions which may be its own; and that is either the appeasement or the worse. The governing NPP are ahead.
Its nature suggests mutual recriminations. It can also be understood as signs of unable to contain frustrations. Beyond that untailored or savvy public deliveries like speeches could open a whole Pandora’s box such as recently [17 Jan. 2023] by Roads and Highways Minister Kwesi Amoako Atta: ‘’the thievery in public office is alarming. We need to take strong laws to prevent it.’’
Processing public talk in the milieu of a political near-season, define-instruct couching for all. The explanation is costly, sweepingly damaging and plays into safe catch of opponents. I have read of furious reactions with menaces already. But greater disadvantage is the interpretation of ‘’unable’’ to deliver key election pledge summed in then candidate Nana Akufo- Addo’s repeated ‘’I’ll fix it.’’
The ‘’it’’ refers to corruption in its massive sense and the Minister’s ’’thievery’’ is core component. Without bias, there is the damage repair saying the depth of the corruption factor was underestimated. But whereas that serves a poignant advisory, much depends on how semantically the adversaries skilfully handle their counter-push.
The status of stealing stolen and looted is as plain as mud and therefore does not really have to hog the centre of the arguments—neither elitist attitude nor for party and or personal exultation. Its time has gone past the time as Kwasi Amoako Atta indicated.
The truth is we have contributed to this mess. Some latter-day opinion is evolving towards roundtable to design a certainly painful exit towards a modicum of bearable and hope build on. There are pursuant to that all-in solution, Kwasi said intriguing but ponderous—that ‘’crimes have no expiry date(s)and implicitly proposed seriously from our considered self-conscientious collective mind to enact laws that could set the deterrent mark to stop people from the past getting away because [a] time negates retrospective punishment.
What of the GES and the Norther School girls, The Wester Region’s similar vandalism with profanity and come on we were united, however muted the protest against saying in public [and privacy, according to reports—surely it was described then as detention casus belli] unpleasantries against the President Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah like elsewhere—in parts of Africa, Russia and other oriental Kingdom dictatorships].
We exempted ourselves from enacting a law specifically. It is because we have in our mores ‘’respect’’ generally for elders particularly in and as a sacrosanct injunction. Of course, we have jettisoned that generally but not in Kumasi. The global application of the ’’stop law’’ limits actions to clobber corruption — lands, reserves, national endowments and institutional assets. The cases of returned properties in our history is another albatross.
All that Kwasi Amoako Atta extends that width and challenges our legal system. I think it is an innovative thought as integral adjunct to re-visit Whitee’s law in tandem with ours to script a law to effectively overpower the ability to dispossess the state.
It calls for very delicate and heads-down collective thinking for ultimate and very distinctly apolitical barricades. There is so much stuffy surprises in pieces of information rushing at us. Naturally, these give us hardly a moment to react proportionately. For instance, if the finite conclusions spell out or indeed pre-that determine the Rubicon for ‘beri’ (no go), how would the country in its tattooed politico-religion choose the basis of the interdicts to both stop and or punish for the ‘’strong laws’’ to clean up:[i] for setting the example(s); and [ii] leave them provide the deterrence aimed. That alone is herculean. I remember in Caesar’s ‘’Bello Gallico’’, he sent ahead two of trusted lieutenants to Hannibal [..duos amicus ad Hanibalem dedit] both to spy and arrange surrender implicitly. I think that the borrowed strategy to settle the dilemma could borrow-translate in picking up a couple of stark examples of over-greed to demand restoration of stolen state property [in testate or testate and or made to cede back with some stiff penalties among the ‘or else’ and be properly seen done and be publicly notified as properly re-inventoried, not as in lost property shops in London to be bought back or received in our fashion per court ruling as hitherto. But the legal grounds could or might be right but the public mind believe otherwise — that lingering distrust.
What is at stake is to bring back to the fore that we all know the distinction between ‘’right’’ and ‘’wrong’’ . And the public resentment is the seemingly insuperable suspicions about incumbency and connections. This leads to who to turn to for counselling inclined to offer a kind of acceptable fairness-judgemental succour, undisputed. The point not lose is that our surreptitious involvement and politicising everything here dating back to CPP-Domo years, is rooted there and ignored looking for exits out of our national differences from petty to what confronts us presently.
The Church like in spiritual order just as our predominantly oral-handed down traditional norms, unlike unwritten like the British constitution; yet, works in simply organised labour principle of ‘who-does-what drawing lines between the Lords Spiritual and the Lords Temporal for authoritative guidance to settle moral and constitutional conflict respectively and or both in tandem similarly.
Bear in mind that European States were built on Judeo-Christianity, replicated in the colonies where they did not absolutely give up theirs necessarily and worked the two separately or alongside in contempt that their ancestors knew about the supremacy of that ‘’Oga’’ and acknowledge per variety of other codified accolades for the overall biggest overlord deity, given names to signify-stamp that belief.
Each has kept their awe-aura. However, the stuffy rushing at us from politics to clergy specifically on the National Cathedral huu-haa give anyone hardly any moment to react after adequate reflections. There is though one conclusion confirming harsh public opinion against the clergy and robs on the Church—the trust factor whether orthodox or unorthodox.
These have heaped the pile on alleged misconducts. The question is who intervenes to advise and resolve inclined to a growing vexed issue which has apparently tied up with the economy struggling to be fixed.
On another hand, the Minister, perhaps as some interpret as ‘’own goal,’’ has in other light woken attention to something overlooked, yet a kernel in the core of corruption. His case is to enact ‘’strong laws to reduce the high rate of theft in the system’’, to either punish and ultimately deter. He mentioned the past.
A new law cannot net retrospectively. What is in it is not resign but a closer deeper thought could arrive at picking up a few starks like state lands and institutions including polluted natural resources to draw the barricades. There is bound to foul cries over selections. But truth is always ‘’ONE’’ declares everyone knows the difference between ‘’right’’ and ‘’wrong’’ in such a deficit today.
My guess is its dual challenge is, the matter about clobbering thieving the state is not a cannot-be-done and a will to be apolitical handling it until hitherto. With regard to ‘’but too early’’ I can ref to advice written in this very column years back, to elder brother and fine person the late Dr Kofi Nyan Dsane-Selby contesting the NPP ticket to pace himself.
The story-lines attributions are mouthfuls presently. The substance as lean, can self-scuttle before peaking. I shall recall for philosophical-lesson, if and for whom to drive point: as Mummy’s Boy, I was used to driving to visit her at the grave yard anytime I was home—its not changed.
I once found her environment weedy and hired the labourers to clear up also the immediate location. Then, one of the labourers shouted back: ‘’master, this one he was standing is not included in the contract.
Why, it was sequitur to ask. In unison his colleagues said ‘’that fellow in my dear old lady’s neighbourhood was bad who would not pay for jobs hired when alive, they said. Well, you got it. The crib could be derived from then Cardinal John Newman’s ‘’de ills sequaebantur, posterero judicat sit’’ –the future generation will judge. That is how neatly Kwasi Amoako Atta’s posit contends irrespective of which side of the aisle he belongs. To repeat his thundering, ‘’crime Is not time-bound’’. He could only be speaking tongue in cheek.
By Prof. Nana Esilfie-Conduah