Simpa Panyin, have you seen the video making rounds, of a heavily drunk police officer holding an AK47 assault rifle in a trotro? Have you seen what I have been telling you? You keep recruiting party hooligans into the police service, through protocols; you will soon get what you are looking for.
Last Tuesday I drove behind an overloaded double-axle sand winning truck which had non-existing break lights, faded number plates, and an expired insurance certificate. This truck, which looked overused, rickety, and overly heavy, had tilted to the right, with no balancing in sight, as it moved menacingly on the road.
I could not identify the vehicle number, of course, because the number plate was faded, but I followed it from the Kasoa interchange, till we got to the tollbooth. I was happy that, just before the tollbooth, there were four MTTD road safety policemen on duty, checking vehicles, so I quickly stopped in front of the endangered truck, got down, ostensibly to assist the police to impound the vehicle.
As soon as the truck got to the MTTD stop, the driver’s mate opened the door, the policeman stretched both his hand and his head into the opened door, took something that looked like GHC10 from the mate, and the driver began to drive on. Nothing was checked on the vehicle.
I quickly approached the policeman, to draw his attention to the state of the vehicle he was letting go, including letting him know, that, that driver had no valid insurance, and pointed him to the general lack of roadworthiness of the vehicle. This policeman will have none of that. He ignored me, and stopped the next vehicle, and took another thing, and the driver drove off, and the cars kept lining up for his collection.
I stood there with opened mouth. The man had no pretention about his collection queue, for he plied his trade in plain sight. He took money from every single one of the vehicles he stopped, with such brisk, and had no intention to check anything on the vehicles, whether they were roadworthy or not, he did not care, except the sales he was making.
Anyway, it’s been over two years of Simpa Panyin; over two years of fighting with myself; over two years of hope, and of faded hope. The column began with a focus on the youth and gradually progressed to social justice, with a voice for change during the 2016 elections, and a support for the Akufo-Addo presidency bid.
My support for the Akufo-Addo presidency did not change after the 2016 elections; particularly with the implementation of the Free SHS project, I have decided that I will give Nana Addo my support, once again, in the next elections, believing that the Free SHS needs strengthening, and the one who believed in it, is the best person to consolidate its gains and to make it work.
Corruption perception was one of the major reasons for my support for a change in the last elections. I thought there was too much money flying in the face of poverty, and too many inexperienced, non-business people were becoming overly rich overnight, and knowing Akufo-Addo and his incorruptible history and posture, I had a good hope that he is well able to make corruption an unattractive industry.
A number of anti-corruption initiatives convince me to continue my support. The quest for paperless transactions such as procurement processes and port clearing is good. It reduces the number of human contacts needed to process transactions, and consequently reduce the loses the state would have suffered in the hands of miserable people.
Of course, you will have the beneficiaries of the old order mobilizing to frustrate anything that works to remove their illegal livelihood. They will frustrate the system, and make it look unworkable, and unsuitable, so that you will revert to the old order, for their continuous evil. Ignore them, or sack them, to ensure that we succeed in saving the nation what is duly ours.
I think the NABCO idea is smart. Employing 100,000 fresh post-national service unemployed graduates looks like we are effectively disbanding the Unemployed Graduate Association of Ghana (UGAG); forget about the cry over the GHC700; those who need jobs, and are hungry to gain experience, will jump to the initiative, and will use the experience to prepare for their future; those who don’t want it can remain in the house.
Unfortunately, I am currently confused as to how I should rate the government when it comes to corruption. We seem to be fighting the situation at one level while it is re-emerging from another. A few months ago a gentleman, call him Joseph, came to me. I have known Joseph for the past ten years. He completed the University of Cape Coast eight years ago, and has since remained unemployed. He has lived on the benevolence of friends and family, to feed him. Joseph joined the NPP’s campaign for change, and became an assistant to one of the leading members of the party.
Last February I met Joseph, on my way to the Registrar General’s Department. His life has changed, just a year into the NPP government. He says God has been good to him, do you get me? Joseph has bought for himself a 2018 registered brand new spotless white Toyota Fortuna, proudly able to afford a driver, with an obvious money engulfing his posture – he smelt money, his breathing, and his language, have both transformed into money.
I did not need anyone, or any prove to conclude that Joseph has begun to live on stolen money, for there is no employment in this world that gives an inexperienced graduate an overnight ability to afford a $45,000 Toyota Fortuna, and with the ability to fuel his journeys.
And I wondered if there is any contract that could be awarded to such an inexperienced person who did not even know how to set up a company, to a tune that is sufficient enough to make a profit sufficient enough to purchase such a vehicle.
My brother, people are ‘eating money oo, they are eating money papa’! The counterparts calibre of young people, in the NDC government, who were making deals, and taking home obnoxious monies have emerged in the NPP government, taking home riches which are overwhelming to themselves. The connection industry keeps expanding, with opulence endangering the environment.
It is only in Africa that people become rich when they are in power. And we are proud to say that being in opposition is equal to hell. Elsewhere people become poorer when they are in power. In our country, political power has been seen as an avenue for riches, the avenue to grab contracts, and the winner takes all scheme is played out to the full.
Nana Addo, please talk to your people oo, yooo. The several men and women becoming rich overnight is beginning to shock me. The many people, including some who never helped the cause of your election, who are now using your name, and the name of the NPP to perpetuate themsevels, and attacking everyone because the NPP is in power, please check them oo, yooo.
Very soon it will get to the brim, and we will not be able to take it any longer, then we will face them squarely, damn the consequences.
Anyway, Simpa Panyin is taking a short break; I’m going to look for a job. I have become poorer in the last couple of years, so I need a job. I might be back shortly after I have had my situation improved.
James Kofi Annan
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