Ironies and Paradoxes – Gordon Nana Asubonteng Former MCE Dormaa

sometimes I wonder if we mean what we say; or do we say things out of convenience?? In our dear country leaders (myself inclusive) often preach virtue but practice vice.

This behaviour feeds into our national psyche. Almost everybody thinks that his/her next neighbour is the cause of Ghana’s problems. People blame politicians, pastors, heads of institutions, family heads, and so on, for all manner of problems. Pastors blame politicians; politicians blame pastors; heads of institutions blame politicians and vice versa always creating a wave of blame game. Nobody wants to accept responsibility for what goes wrong meanwhile everyone is the first to embrace credit.

Government goes government comes. Interestingly no government is purged of corruption, at least as far as my limited age and experience are concerned. NPP blames NDC of corruption and vice versa. Who then is corrupt? People can smell rot everywhere but nobody accepts responsibility. What is going on in the house of God leaves much to be desired. Today corruption is so pervasive in the system such that almost nobody can claim infallibility.

This situation has created so much mistrust in the system creating needless suspicion and stereotyping. No matter how one struggles to live above reproach one is always smeared with corruption and wrongdoing. As a public service holder I know of certain individuals who have worked sincerely to uphold integrity yet, after leaving office, every attempt is made to smear them.

People hail leaders, be they politicians, pastors, business executives, who stand on the platform to announce their willingness to bring meaningful change to the system. You let the leader begin the housecleaning exercise with any of them and you’ll hear name calling and character assassination. Fact is, individually and collectively, we are all culpable. It seems to me that we are in a total mess. I keep asking myself if there’s any hope. I get more confused where we should begin from. I thought the Bible says, ” we should teach the child the way he should go so that when he grows he wouldn’t depart from it.” As I started a critical mental search something important flashed my mind. How are we bringing up our children??

When I was in office as a Municipal Chief Executive I boldly implemented a policy that nearly set me on collision course with my people. Consecutively and consistently for six years my municipality had topped Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) in my region and we undeservedly took great pride in the cosmetic achievement. I decided to test the system so we declared our municipality an examination malpractice free zone. We went to all the schools under my watch and created awareness about the policy well in advance. When the time came we set a taskforce to go round to make sure invigilation was tight, in the right sense of the word. To my surprise, that year we performed poorly with many schools recording zero percent for the first time, probably in many years. When it happened, as you can guess, I received a fair amount of bashing from the people. Surprisingly, people whom I thought should know better were ones who disparaged me the more.

” so is it true that examination malpractice is almost becoming a norm in our academic system in Ghana?” I asked myself. So how does it connect with our crusade to fight rot and corruption? Are we not corrupting our future leaders right from the word go?? Don’t worry this subject of examination malpractice in our schools will be given a special treat in my subsequent write-ups.

My friends we should do the little that we can to inculcate virtues in the systems otherwise posterity will not spare us. Let’s walk the talk.

Hon. Gordon Nana Asubonteng
Former Municipal Chief Executive Dormaa