October 21, 2017

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You steal state assets and ask Ghanaians to be patriotic? – Gyampo asks Mahama

A political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon, Prof Ransford Gyampo has questioned the morality in former government officials asking the “poor Ghanaian” to “tighten” their belts and be “patriotic” when they [ex-officials] never demonstrated any shred of patriotism while in office, but rather plundered state resources for themselves with careless abandon.

His comment follows a complaint by former President John Mahama that Ghanaians are no more patriotic and thus no one wants to die for Ghana anymore.

Below is Prof Gyampo’s full post on Facebook:

You’ve worked very hard to earn a living, built properties, mansions and purchased good cars. You boast that you were a self-made person already prior to entering politics.

But you forget that in demonstrating love and patriotism for God and country, there should be evidence to show that self-made persons become a little bit impoverished after exiting politics. This is so because such persons forego their businesses just to serve in capacities given them by political appointing authorities.

Political appointment, indeed, is an opportunity to serve and not a quick way to make money. Unfortunately, in Ghana, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Immediately after political appointment, you rent your own building out, park your own car, request for a state-fuelled vehicle to drive anywhere and anyhow you please.

You move into a state bungalow, insist that it should be completely renovated and that all its fixtures and fittings be changed to suit your new status at the expense of the state.

You take fat salaries and allowances, receive per diem for every single meeting attended, take traveling allowances for every trip.

You enjoy free air ticket for all your travels, receive allowances for entertainment, clothing, telephones, and enjoy free utilities.

Per your allowances alone, you should have enough to foot your medical bills. Yet when you fall sick, you want the state to pay for your bills.

When you are reshuffled or fired, you practically steal all state fixtures and fittings in your accommodation and other utensils including spoons.

You park one brand new state salon vehicle in your garage and buy it at a ridiculously give-away price after four years.

You enjoy all these at the expense of the state and later ask ordinary poor people to tighten their belts and sacrifice to demonstrate patriotism to the state. Really?

Thankfully, the Ghanaian people aren’t fools. Gradually they are becoming aware about how politicians milk the state dry.

Why would anybody easily and willingly accept national service posting to the village to go and suffer? No one wants to suffer or die a little for Ghana because of the deficits in patriotism. But the history of Ghanaian politics is replete with examples of who voluntarily opted to be posted into the hinterlands to go and teach as part of their national service.

How did Jerry Rawlings inspire university students to abandon their studies to go into the forests to carry cocoa beans to areas where they can easily be transported for processing? How did Acheampong do it in getting students to abandon their studies to go harvest sugar cane for the sugar factories? How did Nkrumah do it too? How about JA Kufuour who for the first time in Ghana’s political history had some Ghanaians calling on him to increase fuel prices during the early stages of his first term?

President Akufo-Addo, I applaud the fact that you still live in your own house. I am told you drove your own car when you were a minister and never bought any of the state vehicles that were being sold cheaply. You will succeed in rekindling patriotism among Ghanaians if you replicate your own desire to sacrifice for Ghana, among your appointees.

Mr President, please resource the NCCE and charge them to deliver on their mandate in a more proactive way to instil the values of love for country in us. On your part, please note that deficit in selfless and exemplary leadership by some politicians in Ghana is a major cause of lack of patriotism.

Sir, you have an opportunity to deal with this problem aptly articulated by former President Mahama recently. We can be citizens and not spectators only when we are patriotic. A patriotic citizenry is an asset for national development.

So, over to you, Mr President.

Yaw Gyampo Prabiw, A31 PAV Ansah Street Saltpond

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