Mr. President, Captains Jettison Cargo That May Rock A Boat!

When I contacted my Thesaurus on the term ‘Rock the Boat” this was what it said:  To do something to move a boat from side to side, causing it to rock. To cause trouble where none is welcome; to disturb a situation that is otherwise stable and satisfactory.

The President, Nana Akufo Addo had cause to tell his appointees at the just ended National Delegates Conference held at Cape Coast that he would not countenance anyone who will try to rock his boat.  He reminded them that, as the captain of the boat, he will not sit down for any Jupiter to turn the apple cart upside down and that to me is most appropriate. The President has been in power for barely eight months and only God knows what informed him to make that thought-provoking statement. In the run-up to the 2016 general election, then candidate Akufo Addo told the world that he was not corrupt, had never been corrupt and will never be corrupt.  When he made that pronouncement his main contender, Mr. John Mahama never countered by telling us that he too was the same.

If you have ever sailed in a cargo ship like I did during my salad years, you would have understood better how dangerous it is when a boat is rocked.  During such times, the captain of the ship will quickly descend from the Captain’s Bridge and tell his 1st Mate to quickly summon a meeting of sailors to determine what made the boat to rock so violently.  If it happens that the ship is in turbulent or troubled waters and there is the need to jettison some cargo to save the ship, sailors do not hesitate to do so quickly.  In fact, if you have ever sailed on the Atlantic Ocean you will experience how a ship is rocked by tidal waves.  Sailors sit on tenterhooks until the ship sails past the rising waves.  That is why every captain makes sure his ship is not rocked when it faces a stormy weather.

President Akufo Addo and the NPP for that matter were given the nod by the good people of Ghana to hold the reins of power because of the glaring and institutionalized corruption that we saw when the Mahama-led government was in power.  The arrogance of power, impudent snubs coupled with disrespectful behavior of appointees of that regime brought them where they are today. If therefore, a new captain on board the ship of state makes a pronouncement that he would not allow anyone to rock his boat, it is understandable.  The President had cause to tell his appointees sometime ago that if they thought they were in government to make money they should forget it since he will never allow that to happen as the president of the nation.

Whether you are a member of the NPP or not, it is the duty of every Ghanaian to support the president in his fight against corruption.  Soon, very soon, the Free Senior High School programme will take off and money would be needed to execute the programme.  Day students would be given launch at school and the government will have to buy textbooks for students.  All these and many more entail money.  We will not sit down for anybody to use such monies which could be used to execute the programme to his or her own parochial interest.  Whatever goes into the Consolidated Fund is the taxpayers’ money and as such we should all protect the purse, irrespective of one’s political leanings.  After all, when schools reopen and the Free Senior High School programme kicks off, not only the children of NPP supporters will benefit but every Tom, Dick and Harry.

Even though the President was admonishing his appointees on that day, Ghanaians should not think only politicians chop our money.  Look at what is happening at SSNIT, EC and other institutions which are not manned by politicians.  We have to keep an eagle eye on public sector workers, especially Civil Servants.  Just visit posh residential areas and make your own research and you will realize that only a few politicians own mansions there. Greater number of the mansions with architectural wonder are owned by Civil Servants and technocrats.  You see a Civil Servant’s mansion and you begin to ask yourself how much he receives as his salary for a month.

The other day when the Minister of Information, Mustapha Hamid told the world that very soon the Whistleblowers Bill will be passed into law, I clapped my hands for him but sadly the whole thing is still in the pipeline and if care is not taken it will rot in the pipeline.  If the government had sent a Bill to parliament for the purchase of Mansions for parliamentarians, you would have seen how quick the Bill would be passed.  Some of us have bought a FIFA made whistles to blow when the Bill is passed into law but sadly our whistles are lying idle while corruption and malfeasance still go on.  In this democratic dispensation, one should do things according to what the law dictates hence the need for the Whistleblowers Bill.  Any delay in passing the law will give criminals the leeway to continue milking the state coffers.

But my cherished reader, don’t you think we should pat the shoulders of the President for ordering the CID to wade into the allegation of corruption leveled against the two Deputy Chief of Staff and Madam Ursula Owusu?  History is made from such bold actions.  The President has also generously asked those who leveled the charges to collaborate with the CID and provide evidences to that effect so that actions could be taken.  If the accused persons are found to be culpable, I know very well the President will let the law take its own cause. In view of the fact that he has vowed to fight corruption, I can bet with my last pesewa that he will never hesitate to crack the whip when necessary.  If he walks the talk as he promised, it will send a clear signal to all Ghanaians that times have changed.

On the other hand if the three persons are found not guilty, I expect those who leveled the charges to openly render apology to the trio and seek for forgiveness.  If they too do this, it will also send a signal to every Ghanaian that you don’t tarnish the names of people who are serving the country at their peril without any evidence.  It is good Kennedy Agyapong and A. Plus have done what they have done because from this day onwards, government appointees will be extra careful when doing anything untoward since their own people are watching them from the sideline. We used to have a Prophet in Israel I like so much.  He was called Jeremiah. As for Jeremiah he prophesized openly and warned the people of Israel to stop their idol worshiping else the wrath and fury of Almighty God will visit them one day.  When the Israelis did not pay heed to his admonishment they ended up in slavery.

I never liked what Prophet Nathan did to King David.  The King had impregnated the wife of Uriah, a soldier in his army who was at the warfront and went on to order for the man to be sent to the frontline to be killed because he knew when Uriah returned from the war and saw his wife pregnant he will raise an alarm and King David will be disgraced.  Instead of prophesying in public like the way Jeremiah did, Prophet Nathan rather went to the palace of the king and revealed what God told him privately.  Instead of naming and shaming King David, Prophet Nathan chose the secret way, thereby, letting David off the hook.  Because of the seriousness Ghanaians take the issue of corruption, things should not be swept under the carpet like it happened during the Mahama-led administration.  Any appointee who thinks the kitchen is too hot can get out and just be.  There is a moving violation on the way so you either comport yourself or face the music when caught.  In our attempt to fight corruption, the vehicle which we are driving to chase corrupt officers may drive through a red light, damn the consequences. Simplista!

By Eric Bawah