I always remember my Zambian friend Henry for his judgment on Ghanaians and football. He teased saying, “You Ghanaians, you like football too much! You even cry when you lose!”
This was based on his personal experience after watching Zambia’s Mufulira Wanderers beat Accra Hearts-of-Oak in Lusaka by 5-2 in the first leg of the African-Clubs-Championship in 1977. Two weeks later, Hearts won by the away goals rule, after sensationally beating the Zambians 3-0 at the El Wak Stadium, Accra.
Unsurprising, feedback from my February 2022 second-week article “Sadio Mane consoles Mo Sallah” drew interesting and positive comments, even though it involved Senegalese and Egyptian, and not Ghanaians footballers.
A comment read:
“Oh General. This is a great story told brilliantly using two recent events (Morocco’s 5-year-old boy’s tragedy and AFCON) that touched millions. Underneath the noise and rush of a greedy world is a good soul yearning to break free!”
A second read
“Wow, General. Your words carry peaceful “swords!”
However, my joy was short-lived as events almost immediately, raised the same old questions about the wicked and evil nature of the human being mentioned in Genesis, Chapter 6.
On 16 February 2022, barely 48-hours after my article had been well-received as showing the positive part of human nature, a Joy-News/Corruption-Watch Expose aired the alleged illegal sale of blood by a syndicate in the National Blood Service at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. Blood donated free-of-charge is sold for between 250-700 cedis per pint to desperate relatives of patients!
Most shocking was the story a lady phoned in to narrate about her personal experience. In 2017, her mother needed ten pints of blood for surgery. She managed to procure six at tremendous cost to her. Unbelievably, a doctor said he could get her the remaining four only if she agreed to sleep with him. She refused.
However, pushed to the wall in desperation as she watched life ebb out of her mother, she succumbed and against her conscience, had sex with the doctor on a Thursday. Three days later on Sunday, her mother died.
She stated she has not stopped cursing the doctor! Indeed, she curses him every day!
In many cases of this nature, sometimes officialdom is quick to issue a statement either denying the story or watering it down by attacking the credibility of the source, usually to safeguard the image of the institution. Indeed, in this case, someone who was said to be the ringleader has officially been said not to be an employee of the National Blood Service.
The situation is compounded by the reluctance of victims to openly give evidence, partly because of stigmatization and society’s negative attitude to victims.
Providing evidence by victims is therefore difficult, and eventually perpetrators get away with murder!
During the early part of my stay in Uganda in 2008, I was struck by the daily headlines of murder in the newspapers. When I asked a colleague why that situation, his answer was
“General, if human beings know they can get away with murder because nothing will happen to them, they will murder with impunity! But, if they know they will be killed for killing, they will not kill! Nobody wants to die!”
In South Africa, a driver driving me from Pretoria to Johannesburg on a Staff College visit a decade ago, took-off like a jet from my hotel. Just when I was about to tell him to slow down, he did so himself. Asked why he had suddenly slowed down, he stated “we have entered a camera-zone!” He said cameras took pictures of over-speeding vehicles which resulted in hefty fines.
So, he knew what was right!
I have said a few times that, while we pride ourselves with having beautiful laws in Ghana which others come to learn from, lack of enforcement makes such laws ineffective paper-tigers!
It appears many human-beings only recognize being human as an enforcement-based activity. Otherwise, how can a human being sell free blood donated by well-meaning Ghanaians to desperate Ghanaians for 700 cedis?
How can a doctor stoop so low as to demand sex before giving blood to a desperate woman trying to save her mother’s life?
Have we lost all our humanity, being human/humane only when forced to?
Why should a driver who knows the right thing over-speed because there are no cameras to capture him, slowing down only in a “Camera Zone?”
The blood sale episode must be further investigated, and not be allowed to attenuate into oblivion like many such cases do.
Can whistle-blowing not be encouraged to protect victims?
For as my Ugandan colleague said, so long as wrong is not punished, impunity will reign even in the face of good laws!
Fellow Ghanaians, WAKE UP!
Brig Gen Dan Frimpong (Rtd)
Former CEO, African Peace Support Trainers Association
Family Health University College
Source: Brig Gen Dan Frimpong (Rtd), Former CEO, African Peace Support Trainers Association, Nairobi, Kenya
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