Archive for February, 2010

MATTERS ARISING: Ghana for sale. Anyone?

Posted in Uncategorized on February 14, 2010 by Marian Toure

“Omo, if una no take care we go take over Ghana ooo. Na true talk way I dey talk. Some of my bros get houses and expensive cars– I mean major property — for that your fine contry shah. Ghana dey sweet my people”.


This is my Nigerian friend who has naturalised as a Canadian talking to me over the phone a few weeks back. Hearing him say this and knowing our history and that of our Nigerian brothers and sisters scared the living daylight out of me.

We sold to the Lebanese and Indians, then the Malaysians. Now we are selling to the Chinese and the Nigerians. The Nigerians?!? These are the same people who ill-treated, killed and chased away Ghanaians [in broad daylight] like cattle out of their country when we went to seek refuge in Nigeria during the famous Hunger of the 1980s. Don’t get me wrong, Nigerians are not all bad as Ghanaians are not all good but you will think there is always some truth in rumour right? Majority of Nigerians are corrupt and they have unfortunately managed to pull the few good ones into the gutter with them. Our people – Ghanaian land owners, chiefs, traditional leaders — think selling to a foreigner is making some good money. News flash, it isn’t! Instead, it is shooting yourself in the foot. Making it impossible for the hardworking Ghanaian to own a piece of land to build a descent house to live in, be it for now or when they retire. They are robbing mine and your children and their children – our future generations — of what is rightfully theirs. Our chiefs need to shop thinking about “No ko Feoo” and think about the future.

I happen to be a witness to a common practice among land owners which greatly infuriated me.  A piece of land had been purchased by a Ghanaian for GHc15, 000 [150 Million old Ghana cedis]. The new owner [leasee] paid GHc5, 000 [50 Million] and promised to pay the balance of GHc10, 000 [100 Million] once all the necessary checks had been completed and court documents notarized. A few weeks into the transaction the original land owner [leasor] threatened to return the deposit if he didn’t receive his cheque for GHc10, 000 that very day to complete the transaction. Upon gentle persuasion the gentleman divulged he had been offered GHc10, 000[100 Million] more thus GHc25, 000 for the same piece of land by a Lebanese businessman who had bought 3plots of land from his friend but needed 4 plots instead.

Malaysians practically own TV3, the Chinese will soon own the Jubilee Oil plant if Exxon pulls out due to the current corruption investigation and the controversy surrounding the oil deal escalates. As for the Nigerians, they will soon run our country.  We need selfless government and elected officials who will hold town halls with our Chiefs and traditional leaders to educate them and explain the effects and implications of their actions on the future generations. We need laws that will curb this and stop the practice all together. But who am I fooling? Myself of course! Because our own people, like in the days of the slave trade, will sell us out for “No ko feoo” to line their pockets. This is our country. We either prepare ourselves for a foreign takeover or we take the bull by the horn and protect our interests. Osagyfo Dr Kwame Nkrumah and our forefathers fought the colonialists and gave their lives to secure this land and our freedom; we must protect it at all costs.

The scariest part of this Ghana-Nigeria issue is that we are selling our National pride– Nigerians are purchasing Ghanaian passports – our birth right like you buy fresh tomatoes at the grocery store. What are we doing to ourselves!?! Imagine what would have happened to us — Ghanaians, our reputation, the way the international world sees us — if Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian-born alleged Detroit bomber, having purchased his ticket in Ghana, was actually travelling on an acquired Ghanaian passport?! Stop and think about it for a moment. I wonder if any Ghanaian can go to Nigeria and acquire a passport with the same ease with which foreigner purchase ours. No security system is fraud proof – the Titanic, famously known as the “unsinkable” at the time of construction sunk. The United States of America, with all its security measures has people in the Pentagon and on the ground who sell the green card for money. [The green card eventually qualifies the holder for citizenship after 3-5years]. Where is the freedom and where is the justice for Ghanaians??? Who do we hold accountable for upholding our rights as citizens of this nation? Is there any sense in fighting for independence if we will engage in practices that enslave us all over again? Our current leaders don’t seem to be interested in anything that builds upon a national agenda; instead they are interested in lining their pockets with resources that belong to the people – you and I Something has to be done and very fast!!!! Who better to do it than you and I? In my humble opinion I feel we need to train and better equip immigration officials at our airports and terminals to better protect our country and eliminate any fraudsters who misrepresent themselves as Ghanaians when they aren’t. Our immigration officers should be given the power to cancel, withhold, detain and or confiscate a Ghanaian passport from anyone going through our borders who is suspected of misrepresentation until further investigations prove otherwise — better to be safe than sorry. This suggestion will work perfectly well in theory but in practise??? Bribery and corruption will end the program even before it begins. I hope that we never get to a Mugabe-style leadership in Ghana in the future because we can’t have foreigners owning our country when citizens can’t afford descent living conditions.

Cherish must we this country — our motherland and its rights and privileges [including the passport and resources] — with hope and peace.

“Arise Ghana youth for your country, The nation demands your devotion,  Let us all unite to uphold her, And make her great and strong, We are all involved (3X), In building our motherland!” [A patriotic Ghanaian song that calls all Ghanaians to action] Choboe! Arise and let’s rebuild together!!

NOTES

“No ko feoo” –  GA, a term meaning ‘Something small’, used when referring to money

Osagyfo Dr Kwame Nkrumah – Ghana’s first president and founding father of the CPP and Ghana

Choboe – A call to rise to action

CAPITAL CRISIS

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on February 1, 2010 by Marian Toure

Some 5years ago when I was in Ghana, I took a walk almost every night and didn’t feel afraid for my safety but that has completely changed. Two months ago a friend of mine was robbed with a machete and a loaded gun by a gang whilst driving home after 11pm by some Nigerian and Ghanaian armed robbers. He tried to escape but wasn’t lucky – as he backed up, his rear tire got caught in a pot hole [more like a death trap] which shut the engine off and he was left at their mercy. They managed to flee with an obscene amount of money which he had received earlier that day to clear a car from the Tema Harbour. But for the mercies of God, Ebo [surname withheld] wouldn’t have lived to tell his tale. These armed robbers use guns which according to reliable sources can be traced back to the National police service and armed force. How desperate can one get that he will betray his country and oath of office. Does it ever occur to these people, that the robbers could turn on them and their own families in the future??? Selling AK 47s registered to the Government of Ghana to people who intend to wreak havoc on its citizens? Unthinkable!

NO MERCY FOR THE MERCILESS?
In a very twisted way most Ghanaians feel justified when they kill a thief or armed robber. I live on the other side of town—towards McCarthy Hills in Accra, where a thief was left for dead on the streets for stealing a car battery just a few days before Christmas. I must say the news saddened me because I felt the punishment he received was rather harsh and no one deserved to be beaten to death irrespective of the nature of their crime. But my 70-something year old grandmother put it into perspective for me, “he will kill you to rob you or escape if he has to so it’s his life or yours, you choose”, she said. “God forbid something like that ever happens to us grandma”, I exclaimed. I guess she is right but life is a precious gift and I don’t believe anyone should take it but the maker – armed robber or otherwise.

FUNNY THING
Fulani nomads are destroying farms and raping woman at gun point in broad daylight with AK47s and cutlasses in the Ashanti Akim district of the Ashanti region of Ghana. Who is responsible for tackling crime in Ghana??? How can freaking Nomads ride camels into Ghana and take over a spot and rule it? I have never heard any group of Ghanaians going to Europe or American or even a neighbouring African country to disrespect its citizens like that. Even Nick Thatcher, a British and son of former Prime Minister of Great Britain Margaret Thatcher and his co-ops decide to take over Guinea-Bissau because it had resources they needed? I still haven’t fully wrapped my head around that and how the court case started and ended. I always thought borders and boundaries were there for a reason.
Wake up people! Wake up Ghana!!! Wake up Africa!!!

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