A rather vociferous minority amongst those who sit on the benches opposite those of the majority side in parliament, are giving ordinary Ghanaians the clear impression, that they are determined to exploit the concept of the rule of law to the hilt – to enable them continue furthering their parochial interests: at the expense of the Ghanaian nation-state (and the generality of its citizenry).
How else can one explain the continued insistence by some politicians that those obscene ex-gratia payments are made willy-nilly: in the face of widespread public disapproval – because they were sanctioned by a law passed by parliamentarians: most of whom we now know were in reality merely self-serving, self-seeking and the most dishonourable of individuals, driven purely by the basest of motives, to sanction those payments?
As a consequence of this rather unhealthy development, the question many independent-minded and discerning Ghanaians now urgently want answered by our political class is: Can the rule of law be allowed in Ghana to be manipulated by a clever and greedy few – to legitimize the creation of an unjust society in which only the powerful and well-connected prosper (in what is supposed to be a democracy)?
Yes, it is true that in spite of their nation-wrecking collective-agenda, such politicians may be able to rely on the continued support of those tiresome, “My-party-my-tribe-right-or-wrong” myrmidon-types, whose blind support for political parties ends up destroying them when they eventually win power (because they wear their infernal “blinkers-of-intolerance” permanently – and are hence too blind to see what is wrong with our nation: and too thick to think for themselves).
However, what such politicians must always remember, is that it is a relatively small group of swing-voters: the independent-minded, patriotic, and nationalistic Ghanaians (the so-called “floating-voters”), who ultimately decide who wins power in the Ghana of the 21st century ICT age – and those principled and fair-minded Ghanaians are most definitely not enthused in the slightest by the unfathomable greed that those monstrous ex-gratia payments represent.
Why should ordinary people tolerate what in effect are the building-blocks for the creation of an unjust and unequal society in their country – by those who have an elitist worldview, believe in inherited privilege (the worst enemy of any meritocracy) and, to add insult to injury, did not succeed in improving the quality of life of ordinary Ghanaians, when they were given the opportunity to govern our nation?
Should such political failures be the chosen and blessed few in our country, as well as the only section of society, to enjoy Ghana’s “democracy-dividend”? Why in heaven’s name are ordinary people expected to tolerate such an egregious example of injustice – and accept it quietly as a matter of course too?
More so when those building-blocks of inequality are the handiwork of those whom when they thought no one was listening in to what they believed were secret and seditious meetings (held to engage in a conspiracy to enable them steal the December 2008 elections – and deny Ghanaians the change they so clearly wanted), made no secret of their utter contempt for Ghanaian democracy; the rule of law; and the prevailing national mood for regime-change.
Do these ace hypocrites think that Ghanaians have forgotten their pernicious deeds and words during the December 2008 elections so soon – deeds and words caught on tape recordings (in which they were exposed espousing their shocking elitist and anti-democratic views) broadcast in December 2008 by the brilliant Raymond Archer: who was then hosting Radio Gold FM’s “Election Forensics” programme?
We cannot possibly allow the creation of an unjust society in the democracy we are trying to build in our homeland Ghana, if we want our democratic institutions to survive and thrive – and if we are also truly committed to building Africa’s equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia in our country.
No one begrudges the payment of reasonable ex-gratia payments to those who serve our nation diligently and honestly as public officials, when they eventually retire – but only as long as our nation has the wherewithal to do same for all its public officials working in all spheres of human endeavour in our national life.
The contribution of every Ghanaian worker towards nation-building in our homeland Ghana is as important as that made by the members of our ruling elite – and deserves to be equally well rewarded too when they finally retire.
Excessive ex-gratia payments that do not take the dire economic circumstances of our nation into account, at any given point in time in its history, must never be sanctioned by those who under our constitution, are supposed to protect the public purse. On those grounds alone, the controversial ex-gratia payments for our parliamentarians and other retiring high public officials from the previous administration, can never be justified under any circumstances.
It is important that that bald fact of life in the Ghana of today, is made abundantly clear to those parliamentarians, amongst whose abysmal record of protecting our national interest from predators in the immediate-past, even includes sanctioning that scandalous sale and purchase agreement for the privatization of VALCO – ostensibly to two reputable international metals conglomerates, Norske Hydro and VALE: both of whom strenuously denied ever committing themselves to purchasing VALCO.
The greedy ambitions of a powerful few at the top echelons of society must never be allowed to determine public policy, to the detriment of our nation and its people – particularly when those ex-gratia payments were clearly only ever meant to empower those whom we all now know played fast and lose with public funds when they held power.
Those payments are simply meant to enable yesteryear’s masters of the universe to continue milking our nation dry even in their retirement years – and live in the opulent style to which they had become accustomed during their tenure in office: when they were so incredibly profligate with taxpayers’ money.
Let no one in this country seek to justify those payments – because they can never be justified morally in a poor developing nation that still struggles to meet the monthly emoluments of serving government employees: and a majority of whose citizens (particularly pensioners) can barely afford even two square meals a day.
Those truly honourable ones left amongst our country’s largely self-seeking political class (who still have a conscience, i.e.) must reconsider their stand on this matter – whiles the opportunity for them to right this terrible wrong done to Ghanaians and their nation still remains within their grasp. They must not use the law as a cloak to hide their greed and legitimize an injustice against ordinary Ghanaians.
If the concept of the rule of law is to continue to survive in this country, no groups or individuals must ever be allowed to manipulate that great tenet of democracy, simply to further their parochial interests – and at the expense of ordinary Ghanaians and their nation.
Above all, let no one attempt to use the rule of law to try and legitimize efforts aimed at the creation of an unjust and an unequal society – in which equality of opportunity does not exist. We must ensure that the democracy we are trying to build in our homeland Ghana is one in which all citizens, not just a greedy and powerful few, enjoy a good quality of life – whatever their station in life is. Period. A word to the wise…