In a quest to seek knowledge as a primary school pupil, I chanced upon a booklet containing the lifespans of all respective living organisms. One knowledge that was very new to me was the lifespan of witches and I wondered why years could be assigned to witches… I then questioned RICHARD OPOKU, one of my mates that “if witches could live up to 1000 years as the book claims, why then are humans battling with witches in this modern generation?”.. He answered by saying that, before witches die, they pass on the “legacy” to the younger ones to continue with the “gospel work”. This implies that as one witch fades away, the other will be in its prime.
This piece of anecdote gives a graphic image of the nature of corruption in our society.. In every country, city, town or a village, whenever the word CORRUPTION is mentioned, the only partners in crime that come to mind are politicians. We hold the assertion that corruption and politicians are bedfellows.. But have we sat down to carefully reexamine or better still redefined the concept of corruption in relation to our daily lives? Why do we always look at corruption in a very shallow context?? Have we ever, as ordinary citizens scrutinized some of our conducts to see if they actually conform to societal norms or mores? As the popular adage goes, “Charity begins at home”, we should not also lose sight of the fact that corruption begins from home… The home, as one of the agents of socialization has failed to instil morality into the young ones. And we should also appreciate the fact that the home is the loamy soil that provides good condition for the seed of corruption to germinate… The politicians we blame come from homes and communities.
In some homes, running errands for parents by children is an avenue for the children to request a favor in return. If the favour fails to come, no errands will take place. It’s sad to note that some parents gladly entertain such behaviors… This is the beginning of corruption. The child grows up to become a prominent person in future and then begins to extort monies from people before carrying out the duty for which he is paid monthly…. This is one of the key factors of corruption.
Another issue worth mentioning is the fact some parents do not live lives worth emulating.. The painful truth is that some parents literally tell lies and “teach” their children how to lie whether consciously or unconsciously. At times, parents turn blind eye on the flaws of their children and when issues pop up, they coach their children how to twist the whole issue… In the year 2000, I had the opportunity to watch a Nigerian film titled THE POPE MUST HEAR THIS. In the film, an 18year old boy raped a girl and when he was confronted by the girl’s parents he blatantly denied committing the offence upon advice of his parents. Out of pain and anguish, the girl cursed the boy that he would be addicted to the act. Years later, when the boy became a reverend father, the indelible curse that was laid on his life began to follow him… Even though his case was spiritual, it’s still a corrupt practice.
Finally, certain questionable behaviors exhibited can also be placed under corruption. In my local language(Akan) when something is said to be corrupt, it means “aprɔ” (it has gone bad or it’s spoilt)…indecent dressing, littering the environment, etc are some of the few things I can mention without going deeper to give detailed explanation. This goes on to state that if we don’t do what is expected of us as members of the society, then it means our morality has gone very bad.
Therefore, it is the duty of all and sundry to come together with an assertive voice and say “Zero tolerance for corruption”. Spoken words are not enough to eradicate the canker but our actions are very paramount.
Long live Ghana Long live Africa
OSEI PREMPEH AGYEMAN