By Abubakr-Sadiq Braimah (Snr. Journalist)
The turmoil Ghana is going through is as a result of the indiscipline that has eaten into the moral fabric of some Ghanaians, especially those who get to be in charge of affairs. In any case, most of them are suspected to have gotten where they are after being identified as people who have learned to keep their mouths shut or have helped in a compromising manner of one act of omission or commission.
DELIBERATE DISTORTION OF DIRECTIVES:
Most public officials misinterpret directives as part of a plan to cheat the country for their benefit. For instance, why is it that no management team and the board of the S.S.N.I.T. since the last one headed by the late Eric Adjei has directed its investments towards projects that will ameliorate the suffering of the Ghanaian worker? How come the S.S.N.I.T. has not told the worker in very clear terms how much money has been made through the share-holdings it has in the many businesses it claims it has done?
It is not only the S.S.N.I.T. that is guilty of such “unbusiness” like behavior that clearly shows complete disregard for the feelings of the owners of such businesses. Most management teams that have been appointed by Governments of Ghana do not show any indication that they know why they are there; or it is rather the appointing authority that has failed to set positive targets that it expects to be achieved?
ABDICATION OF RESPONSIBILITIES BY THE EXECUTIVE:
Almost every MDA in Ghana has failed in one way of the other to achieve the objectives of their set up. The President and his executives are like the board of directors of Ghana represented by the various MDAs. But from all indications the appointing authorities do not seem to want to demand results from the heads of the MDAs.
Some two months ago, the Presidency issued a directive that all government vehicles should be licensed with the GOVERNMENT VEHICLE (GV) number plates. No action has been taken on that and the heads of Public Service Commission and the Office of the Head of Civil Service have not made a move to ensure the compliance.
The history of this directive is that since 2000 various MDAs have bought vehicles directly from dealers, gotten the suppliers to register the vehicles with private number plates, but the ownership of some of these vehicles and their whereabouts cannot be guaranteed. Some of them have simply disappeared.
In the same manner, the estates department of the Ministry of Water Resource, Works & Housing has consistently failed to produce an inventory of Ghana Government buildings and parcels of land. And that is how Government houses get stolen; in the same vein, furnishings of Government bungalows are removed and get lost as soon as they get to the Public Works Department.
The Lands Commission and the Ministry of Land and Forestry either dispose of Government land and fail to give an accurate account of the transaction. The list can go on and on.
There is a clear indication of mismanagement and or inability to manage from most MDAs and their management boards, but Government just “brushes” it aside perhaps as usual business. Organizations and individuals involved have been cited in various Auditor-General’s reports that have gone before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC).
It appears Government has abdicated its role of executive management with the “fear that they will take us to court” self control. Governance has been abdicated to the courts that look at issues in the interpretation of the letter of the law and not its spirit. It is the support that people get from the courts that has led the country to the critical stage it is in now. Sooner or later the courts will have to adjudicate on its very existence and that will be the end of the show.
MISAPPLICATION OF DEMOCRATIC PRACTISES:
Quite recently, the Government issued a directive to the effect that except in approved cases, nobody should use a siren on their vehicles. But almost on a daily basis, police, military, ambulances and even some drivers of private 4 x 4 sedans drive brazenly with all headlamps and sirens blaring sometimes on the wrong side of the road. The police are the worst offenders; as soon as police officers on duty at a traffic intersection spot a police vehicle, they change the direction of traffic to allow their “compatriots” to drive through.
COMMERCIAL DRIVERS AND PEDESTRIANS:
Commercial drivers stop and pick passengers at will even at intersections, and at traffic lights. Sometimes it happens in the middle of the road and at pedestrian crossings all in the full glare of police officers or metro guards.
Pedestrians also decide to stroll from one side of the road to the order and or do not exercise the patience for vehicles to slow down for them, but just rush in front of vehicles. Some engage in “jay walking” with telephones glued to their ears.
The litany of acts of indiscipline can go on and on and on. The length of the litany of acts of indiscipline is inverse to the rate of decline of the state of Ghana. The courts, lawyers, medical doctors, teachers of various levels, students and pupils and virtually everybody indulge in one act of indiscipline or the other.
Though the Ghana statute is full of laws that deal with various acts of indiscipline, prosecuting officers deliberately fail to indict offenders with the appropriate charges and some judges pretend not to notice these flaws and offer low punishment to offenders.
The indiscipline is increasingly scary most probably because since others have not being punished, why should one constrain himself to conform with appropriate behavior; thus you see supposedly decent and matured people break all the traffic relations.
STAND UP AND RESCUE GHANA:
The older folks in Ghana- those between 50 and 65 years have a duty to rescue the country. Those above 65 may not have the strength again to help in this fight, but those of us within the 50 to 65 year bracket can still influence matters by example and also drawing attention to any misconduct.