This post came out of a discussion I had with a couple of friends on our way from a mentorship and career guidance event at the Apam Senior High School on 13th February, 2016. This was collaboration between the Rural Heights Foundation and the Junior Camp Ghana Program of which I am a member. Just as we were getting closer to Winneba junction, we observed that there was heavy traffic on that stretch of the road. Apparently, the Men in Black (policemen) were doing their usual thing, but fortunately for us, they just allowed our driver to move on. Then the discussion on corruption started. The part of the discussion that really got my attention was when a lady gave a very true nature of how corruption starts the moment a child is born till he/she grows up, goes through all the stages of life and continues even as he/she dies and is buried. Simply put, corruption is from birth to death. Let me explain further.
In my candid opinion, corruption even starts when the child is conceived and the mother and father did not plan for that child to come into the world. They try ways and means to get rid of the baby whiles it is in the mother’s womb. Thus, money is paid to someone to get rid of the baby knowing very well that what he or she is about to do is illegal and if caught could be jailed. Another thing happens when that baby is not aborted, the mother will have to attend antenatal care at the clinic or hospital. Over here, antenatal care is free but some health practitioners will take money from these pregnant women under the pretext of giving them some drugs or some injections. But all these have been paid for by the government. Some of these same health practitioners horde essential medical supplies that have been paid for by the government and sell them in their pharmacy shops to the pregnant women. The same thing happens during the post natal care. Nursing mothers who have experienced these corrupt practices will attest to this fact.
Once the child is born, it also experiences certain corrupt practices. Once a child is born, it has to be bathed, but it will surprise you to know that in some of our health facilities, personnel will demand money before they bath a new born baby. Some of them even go to the extent of selling badly needed materials that the new born baby needs for the first two days. Some mothers have no option but to kowtow to the whims and caprices of these corrupt health personnel. Thus they are made to part with huge sums of money before they eventually leave for their homes.
Once that child reaches the school going age, some parents are even forced to bribe their way through for their children to be admitted in some of the schools. This practice continues at the Senior High School level and then to the tertiary level till the child graduates. Some students also go further by paying for their grades and some of the ladies too are willing to offer themselves on a silver platter to some of the lecturers for better grades at the tertiary level.
Now it comes down to looking for a job after school if you don’t have the capital to start your own venture. You either have to know someone at where you have submitted your applications or you pay before you are given the job. Here again, some corrupt CEOs, HR Managers will just tell some of the ladies bluntly to allow them to sleep with them before they are employed.
After going through all these and a whole lot which for want of space and time I could not write here, when one dies and is sent to the morgue, apart from the official fee that your family pays to the morgue officials, they will also demand something extra to take “good care” of your dead body. Your family will have no choice than to pay so that the “good care” is given to your dead body. Even at the cemetery, your family will have to pay something extra to the sexton so that he sees to it that your grave is dug at a very good location. In all the instances that I have cited, the corrupt claim to be worshipers of the Supreme Being, Christians, Moslems, Traditionalists, Hindus, Buddhists, etc etc and they are paid their monthly wages but still remain corrupt. I sometimes wonder if they are truly worshiping the Supreme Being. What I have realized is that these people leave their “cloaks” of piousness, truthfulness, good neighborliness etc etc in their various places of worship and put on their “cloaks” of selfishness, greed, corruption, backbiting, and all the social vices you can think of the moment they leave those places of worship. But you all will agree with me that the cycle of corruption does not end there, it continues even after your burial, but dead men don’t talk.