Beyond president Kufuor's accident
, an adversary called indiscipline. In the morning of Wednesday November 14, 2007, at about 8:00am , a frightening breaking news gushed through Ghana's atmosphere about president John Agyekum Kuffour ,that his Excellency had survived a road traffic accident which the minister of interior described as horrific and was labeled a terrifying spectacle by the president himself. At the hearing of the accident on my sick bed in the students hostel of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, my skin felt cold suddenly, my fever which had hijacked me and rendered me virtually boiling under my body?€'s raised temperature lost hold of its grip and the cold which had followed the news sent shivers down my spine. Momentarily the eyes of my mind started imagining the scene at the junction located in the Opeibea vicinity. The thought of the first gentleman of the land somersaulting unconsciously flooded my eyes with tears which couldn't contain themselves any longer in my eyes orbit and consequently let themselves down my cheeks into the cloth covering my shivering body. I cleaned the tears and asked myself a question; why the tears? It was then that I came to realize that my soul like many Ghanaians felt empathy for the president, an empathy whose birth transcended the borders of the soul into the body and later broke out via tears in my eyes to the outside environment. An even more worrying thought which struck me and clothed me with guilt was about my reluctance to respond to a cal from the voice of my conscience over the past few months to write an article about the unprecedented scale with which our beloved country had been painted with indiscipline everywhere so that we become privy to some of the most unthinkable and unimaginable atrocities that the seed of indiscipline could bear and not only that but also to become aware of some of the blessings that we can harness for this country should the right approach be taken vis a vis dealing with indiscipline. For how long would continue to tolerate indiscipline in this country disguising ourselves in the clothes of freedom of movement, of speech and association. The laws in this country were made not out of the excitement that comes with their existence in law books but rather out of a genuine concern to ensure that one mans freedom does not deliver to the other ordinary Ghanaian the slavery of death, let alone the king of the land. Indiscipline anywhere is a threat to discipline everywhere, we as a country are caught in an inescapable network of indiscipline that is tied in a single garment of impunity; a network that would continue to remain inescapable until we begin to handle acts of recklessness and flagrant abuse of the law in a very strict, uncompromising, impartial and proactive manner, dictated by the laws of the land without fear or favor to any human. It is about time we stopped appealing to the conscience of Ghanaians to be disciplined when there are laws as well as by laws that could and should be enforced not only to achieve an ambience of orderliness, security, safety and peace but more importantly to raise enough cash from fines meted out to citizens who break the law to satisfy their wills and ambitions at the peril of our lives. When on the streets of New York City, a driver who sees you a Ghanaian crossing the road at a zebra crossing would stop for you to cross even if you are about 1oo meters from the white strips not necessarily because the driver admires you, has read the law or is very disciplined but it is out of the knowledge and most probably experience that the driver stops knowing very well that knocking a pedestrian within the confines of the white strips attract a fine or a court appearance that would throw his ambitions as well as that of his family out of gear and land him in a wreckage of economically debilitating consequences. Honestly I appreciate the vice presidents campaign against indiscipline but you realize that to a larger extent, the desired results have not been achieved. I personally am not surprised that the campaign has been ignored by many. Appealing to the conscience of citizens to be disciplined can unfortunately make the citizens carry the misconception that it is at his or her discretion as a citizen to be lawful or otherwise. Nobody, I repeat nobody is above the law and I believe strongly that should we as a country begin to strengthen our judicial system and the police force, we would make a fortune through the administration of fines to any citizen irrespective of tribe, status in society, job, popularity or connections, who falls short of the law. What we must understand is that it is not necessarily the explanation of the law to every citizen both literate and illiterate that would make Ghanaians disciplined but a rather a conscious effort to ensure that any citizen who contravenes the law loses some or all of his property via fines meted out in the law courts in accordance to the law. It is out of the widespread indictment and fines delivered to citizens that we as a country can get to the place where even an illiterate would refuse to let go of his or her pure water sachet plastic bag until he finds a refuse bin not necessarily because he has read the law but as a result of knowledge of a friend or relative or who got punished in the form of imposition fines or charges or worst still imprisonment .Through a well built mechanism of law enforcement and revenue generation executed with the imposition of fines, we as a country would be in the position to bag billions of dollars from acts of indiscipline that end up in the congestion of our citizens instead of the country using our hard earned billions to fund the cost of decongesting our cities. Thousands of Ghanaians flood our clubs, restaurants drinking bars, and even chop bars and take varying amounts of alcohol and then enter their cars and drive home with impunity without caring about what would happen to pedestrians that come their way. They drive either half drunk or fully drunk trusting that destiny would make it possible for them to get home and not necessarily their skills and reflexes. Most Ghanaian workers who hang out late in the evenings drinking alcohol wake in the morning and drive to work under the influence of some degree of alcohol, and do so at the peril of other disciplined Ghanaians on our roads. The existence of all these acts of recklessness is money in disguise, money that can materialize for us to use in nation building should we have enough police personnel on our streets randomly measuring the breath of suspicious drivers and arresting them before they invoke disaster upon our land and the people we cherish. Indiscipline sited anywhere is money found provided the mechanisms that process indiscipline into money are in place. Mechanisms which include recruiting more policemen; providing the police with gadgets such as laptops and digital cameras that would record the details of offending drivers as well as capture events for evidence in court. We must invest in the police not only because their fine form should they be well resourced would ensure safety and security but more importantly because we can raise trillions of cedis through a thorough enforcement of the law. Countries like Holland, Panama, Croatia and Switzerland have neither Gold, Silver nor Timber yet such countries make a fortune through a strict and conscious enforcement of their laws via fines and confiscation of properties to the state from defaulting offenders. The goose that lays the golden eggs is always properly dressed and housed and being now armed with the knowledge that our police force with the cooperation of the judiciary can raise trillions of cedis for this country just like the Internal Revenue Service, the Customs Service or our Cocoa sector, I hope we as a country would seriously start working on projects that would see the police have tickets that would be given to indisciplined Ghanaians so they pay fines to the state. Information technology is everything and with the operations of the DVLA now computerized, any police man who enters the license number of an indisciplined driver should have the driver?€?s details revealed, arraigned before a fast track specially designed traffic and indisciplinary acts courts for fines and properties to culminate in capital for Ghana. By so doing we as a people can bring a halt to those that make refuse engulf us, kill our children on their way to school, hit our presidents convoy on his way to work, steal millions of dollars meant for all of us for their personal comfort and threaten the lives of those of us walking to our various destinations with their alcohol influenced erratic driving escapades. For heavens sake, we should remember that Ghanaians living abroad who are very disciplined are actually so not because they love those countries or are more disciplined than those at home; they do so because the slightest act of indiscipline takes a chunk of their earnings in the form of fines and puts them in the state's treasury. Our leaders in parliament, the police force ,the executive and all public offices as well as the ordinary Ghanaian with a role to play in fighting this terrorist called indiscipline should see the divinely orchestrated miracle that brought our president out of the accident in one piece as the single most vivid and palpable revelation that has been given to us as a nation to redeem us from a state of indifference to the law, negligence to regulations and an aura of impudence to the consequences of the law. In oneness of spirit with all Ghanaians , I say a big thank you to the almighty God for coming down to rescue the father of our nation from an event which his Excellency described as a terrifying spectacle ,and also for reminding us of the need to eschew indiscipline and treat it with the contempt that it deserves anywhere it is encountered; be it on the streets, in the metropolis, at the environs of the Weija Water treatment plant , In the ministries ,in the police service , in our homes ,at churches ,in our universities, in parliament, in the courts or even in our prisons. Okoe Boye Bernard firstname.lastname@example.org KNUST-SRC VICE PRESIDENT, 2005. VALCO HOSTEL, ROOM 10 SCHOOL OF MEDICAL SCIENCES, KATH KUMASI.
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