Events happening in one of West African’s most peaceful countries make me think that country is not and would never be serious. The new administration since the beginning of 2009 has occupied itself chasing state vehicles alleged to have been stolen or hidden by functionaries and appointees of the previous administration.
That chase is still ongoing coupled with useless accusations against each other. Sometimes, I blame the media for providing their platforms for politicians to sell. There are a lot of social and development issues that Ghanaians need to talk about but have relegated those important issues to the background to engage in usually senseless political bickering.
When the rest of the world is brainstorming against Swine Flu, Ghanaians are using productive hours discussing and making fun of its president’s inability to pronounce the word – economy – properly during his State of the Nation address weeks back. Illiterates who do not have their source of livelihood spend productive hours making fun of the president when they could have used that time to make a living.
When the rest of the world is cushioning its economy against the dreaded financial crisis, most civil servants at the various ministries, departments and agencies are busily idle, staking lotto and crediting from cloth to banana sellers. Until you are told this is Ghana’s administrative hub, you might think it is a market zone when you get there for the first time. It is funny but serious. Ghanaians are making lavish spending on funerals, weddings and naming ceremonies. Nothing seems to be working right from the top to the bottom.
People are suffering and dying because the system is not working. A 24-year-old trained nurse, Stella, said she has been forced into what she calls ‘prostitution’ by the Ghana Health Service which failed to process her salary, according to a Joy FM news. Stella said she has been working without salary for the past 18 months and all efforts to get the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to resolve the issue have yielded no results.
Stella said owing to her precarious situation, she is forced to stay with a man to whom she is not and does not intend to marry. But she performs wifely duties in return for money for her upkeep and other basic necessities.
“It’s been difficult to be very frank with you. I live with a man, he is not my husband but he decided to pay my rent, give me some money and now am performing a wife’s duty simply because I can’t afford to take care for myself and it’s hell. I’m not the only person, most of my colleagues are going through similar, similar stories and is very very painful,” she lamented.
“Stella, how do you feel in this current situation?” she was asked, to which she responded, “to me is ugly for a nurse to go through these things. I don’t even like talking about it but the way things are it is better I say it. It is the ugliest thing I’ve ever done and is the thing I will be very glad to stop.”
The distraught nurse appealed to authorities to rectify the situation since it was exacting a heavy toll on her.
Stella’s case is just a tip of the iceberg. A lot more of her type are dying but are afraid to voice out. These are the kind of stories we need to spend our time and energy on and not those useless talks that would not yield any results for the ordinary citizen as the rest of the world runs ahead.