Ghana is Finished

Ghana is Finished… It’s just a matter of time before the political hallelujah boys come jumping from one media outlet to the other, to rationalize an impending absurdity. For a while, I have elected to watch the game from the sidelines and mind my ‘tie-and-dye’ business. Indeed, I have, quite fairly, succeeded at keeping my pen well tucked in my breast pocket for a while. But I can no longer hold my peace. Even if it only means raving and ranting in the blogosphere, at least, it will serve my conscience. Yesterday, when the news started doing the rounds, as is always the case on this side of town, about the End of Service Benefit (ESB) of our outgoing Members of Parliament, I tried to resist the temptation of getting caught in the fray on Facebook. I fell along the line. I have no regrets at all for my inability to zip my lips. So, like the sentinel on the walls of Zion, speak, I shall, and I shall keep at it till somebody cares to listen. Of course every laborer deserves his pay. No qualms about that. For the past four years, our MPs have worked hard. In fact, they have faithfully and selflessly served the nation. You disagree? Well, that can be a fight I dare not challenge you to. It’s a fight fit for the gods. So, yes, they must take their pay. In very much the same vein, every other Ghanaian worker (including teachers), who also so faithfully and diligently served the motherland, deserves what is due them. We are all building one nation. Or? We are told, and some are still battling to come to terms with the reality that the meat has been chopped to the bone. A call to sacrifice. No exceptions should be made. Teachers across the country just returned to class after ‘begging’ to receive what is due them. The negotiation process, we understand, has resumed. Lecturers in our public tertiary institutions also dropped their tools, to as it were, spend time to beg for what has been due them over the past twelve months. Government is appealing to them to go back to the classroom while their arrears are staggered for them over the next six or so months, in three installments. The absurdity. Our very hardworking MPs are going home with 200,000 Ghana Cedis each? It will not be staggered. I don’t think so. They will take a lump sum. In fact, some of them have retained their seats in Parliament and so they will take this amount, or multiples of it again, come next four years. If they have been in parliament for more than one term already, it means they took home so much at the end of their previous terms. Justification? A certain animal called Article 71, gives them the privilege to take it again and again. The MP’s job is the most lucrative today. One gets to take pension every four years, and starts working again. It is even more exciting if the MP doubles as a Minister of state. They take double salary, and I guess double ESB too? Yea, someone said it’s optional. This is an option not even the Pope will reject. The university lecturer and the MP are both building the same nation. Sure, under different circumstances. I agree. Hmmm, now I am beginning to choke on my words. Tears well in my eyes. Cry, the Beloved Country! I shall return. Worla. (Inspired by Charles Kofi Fekpe). 03/04/13.

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