Friday, 18 November 2011

SHOULD THERE BE LAWS PREVENTING UNSCHEDULED VISITS BY THE PUBLIC TO THE OFFICES OF PARLIAMENTARIANS & GOVERNMENT MINISTERS?

Considering the large number of visitors who daily stream into the offices of members of Parliament and government ministers, to try and see them, it is a wonder that our nation's leaders are able to get any work done at all.

If we want the business of our country to be done well, and with some dispatch, surely, the general public ought to be restrained from trooping into the offices of parliamentarians and government ministers in such large numbers?

What serious nation would allow a situation to persist, in which there is never ending disruption to the day to day work of its leaders, I ask? Is it any wonder governments achieve relatively little in modern times - compared to the legacy Nkrumah left behind?

The need to do some background research for a planned article (about how aspects of Ghanaian culture impact our national life negatively!), took me to the government ministries in Accra, yesterday.

For the second time this year, I was amazed to find visitors already waiting to see a minister who often starts work as early as 6 am and sometimes leaves the office as late as midnight - just so that the work he's forced to put on hold by the sheer volume of visitors who come during regular working hours, eventually gets done.

As he was busy getting through some of his work, the numbers in the minister's reception waiting to see him kept growing - even at that early time in the morning. How absurd. In the meantime that poor gentleman's health is slowly being ruined. Must service to country end up destroying the health of those who lead our nation, I ask?

Surely, that is no way to run a nation that aspires to become an African equivalent of the egalitarian and progressive societies of Scandinavia?

Why do the political parties in our country, not organise themselves in such a manner that when they are in power, those of their supporters who seek help of some sort from parliamentarians and government ministers, can go to the ruling party's welfare office - specifically set up to liaise with the machinery of state, and well enough resourced to assist supporters needing to access services provided by the state, or leverage government programmes and special initiatives?

If a majority of Ghanaians saw politics as an opportunity to serve Mother Ghana and fellow citizens less well off than themselves, would it not make our nation a better place for all its citizens?

If that were the prevailing view of politics, one doubts very much, dear reader, if so many people would feel compelled to ambush a member of Parliament or a government minister - in order to use him or her to secure their portion of the sharing out of the political equivalent of the spoils of war.

Far too many Ghanaians, particularly those professional spongers-and-layabouts, whose short-code-to-riches is the malevolent phrase "we are being neglected by the government", the so-called party foot-soldiers, see politics as an avenue to riches.

It is not - and we must not allow it to be seen as one in an oil-producing African nation in which corruption is endemic: and the political will to fight it, practically non-existent, across the spectrum.

That mentality leads to the nation-wrecking what's-in-it-for-me mindset, which breeds the corruption slowly destroying the moral fabric of our homeland Ghana. Politics should never be a money-making venture. Period.

We must all put the common good at the forefront of our thinking - and volunteer our time and resources to participate in the politics of our country, to help make our homeland Ghana a just society: in which we are all equal before the law and have the same opportunities to use our God-given talents to advance in life.

Perhaps a first step towards making that happen, would be to restrict access to our leaders - so that they can concentrate on the important work they are elected or appointed to do for our country and all its people: and work diligently on all our behalf, towards that end.

If we still insist on disrupting the work of members of Parliament and that of government ministers - "because that is part of our culture", to quote some unpatriotic and misguided soul - then at least let us set aside just one day for that non-productive purpose.

On that particular day, members of Parliament and government ministers, will be available to members of the public: and meet with those who have secured prior appointments for that purpose, on a first-come-first-served basis.

If we want our country to be transformed into a prosperous society in which all Ghanaians enjoy a good quality of life, we may have to pass laws that restrict access to members of Parliament and government ministers whiles performing their official duties.

Making unscheduled visits to the office of a member of Parliament or government minister without prior appointment, ought to be an unlawful act, for which one could be prosecuted and jailed. A word to the wise...

Tel (Powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.
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