Mr Ace Anan Ankomah, Ghana’s ace legal practitioner, has condemned the willful disrespect of the laws of the land, saying State institutions and individuals mandated to enforce them and punish offenders rather connived to wreck the nation.
Mr Ankomah warned that Ghana would continue to lag in development if citizens failed to change their attitudes for the better.
The leading member of the pressure Group, Occupy Ghana, was the Guest Speaker at the Third Annual Public Lecture of the Rotary Club of Accra-West, on the topic, “Ghana: Caught between the Missing Link and the Trigger”, in Accra, on Wednesday.
The event formed part of activities, dedicated to promoting peace and conflict resolution, to mark the birth of the Rotary Club.
The Club, therefore, decided to use the Valentine’s Day, which is celebrated as the National Chocolate Day in Ghana to discuss critical topics of national importance.
He said: “We have failed as a nation because we do not insist on the right thing being done; the system has been set up for us to fail.”
The legal luminary chastised the law enforcement agencies for failing to enforce the law, noting that, when motorists jumped red lights, many traffic police officers took bribes and allowed them to go scot free, instead of arresting them, thus the impunity continued.
“Look at the way motorcyclists ride in Accra; though there are road traffic regulations and usually traffic police officers at the traffic lights, the motorcyclists jump the red light and just go away,” he said.
Mr Ankomah said Ghanaians collapsed the Ghana Airways because of mismanagement as the operators of the Airline at the time, carried the luggage of their family members and close associates without paying for them.
“Then after collapsing the airline, we call a national prayer meeting, it’s a joke! Did God fail Ghana or we failed ourselves?” he queried.
He said some Ghanaians had mixed superstition with religion and spent useful hours at prayer camps without making any efforts to find jobs and, thus expected manna to fall from heaven.
“He who does not work should not eat,” he made reference to the bible.
Mr. Ankomah said Ghana had designated productive days as national holidays, including the Africa Union Day, when Africa needed more work than rest.
Why is the AU Day not marked as a holiday in South Africa or even Ethiopia, where the AU’s headquarters is located”?
He said the nation had been endowed with many natural resources but its citizens had failed to add value to them to maximise the benefits.
Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire produced 70 per cent of the world’s cocoa beans, but unfortunately, Africa, he said, received only three per cent of the $100 billion dollar-chocolate business value chain worldwide
Mr Ankomah noted that Ghana had mined gold ore for more than 100 years, but mining had not made the needed impact on the lives of the local people, saying, “We cannot boast of any developed city like Johannesburg because we failed as a nation to add value to resource.”
There was chronic lateness among Ghanaians, he stated, and sarcastically remarked, “Apparently, the later you are to an event, the more important you are”.
“Therefore, it has become normal for guest speakers to attend events late, as it were, when you attend an event on time, you’ll wait… and…wait… and… wait, and when the guest speaker arrives, we all cheer him up”.
In Ghana, he observed, “When you invite someone to a programme, and ask what time he would arrive, he will tell you at ‘3:00 to 3:30 or 4:00”’.
Mr. Emmanuel Quarshie, the President of the Rotary Club of Accra-West, earlier in his welcome address, said the Club chose the Valentine’s Day, which, was dedicated to promote love, to discuss those issues that would inure to the benefit of the nation.