What A Minister!

Last week, the Central Regional Minister, Samuel Sarpong made negative headlines in the media because of an inappropriate conduct. It was such a nasty story that it remained the toast of social discussants for close to a week after its enactment. Many who heard it, including those of us at this newspaper, found it too weird to digest considering the role of the minister in the illegality. In some jurisdictions, he would have tendered his resignation, not so in Ghana where such actions do not even attract queries from the Chief of Staff or whoever is responsible for ensuring that the President�s appointees conduct themselves in a manner commensurate with the office they hold. For us however, the matter will live after him years after he exits the highly ephemeral political office he is holding. As for the tipper driver, his impression about public office holders will never be the same again. He would definitely consider them as bullies. The minister, according to credible reports, watched on as his bodyguard and driver pounced on the tipper driver because he had allegedly crossed his path or so and damaged his vehicle. The minister also assaulted the tipper driver until he required hospital treatment, which he was denied as it were. He was detained upon the instructions of the minister until much later after public outcry. It is now clear that ministers can order the police to detain people they do not like in breach of the law. So where is the rule of law? These are little but serious issues we must tackle if we sincerely claim to be growing a decent society in which civility and good governance are hallmarks. It is regrettable that a policeman at the Kasoa Police Station insulted the driver and likened him to a wee smoker. So when will some of our policemen grow and let best international policing practices be their attribute? Even after the maltreatment at the hands of the minister, his bodyguard and driver, the tipper driver had to be moved from one police station to another as a punitive measure. The bill for his hospital treatment was even footed by his relative. Under the foregone circumstances, can we see ourselves as exhibiting attributes of civilized societies where crude and bullish conducts are alien? We are disturbed that the man who chairs the Regional Security Council, a representative of the President in the region, would debase the office of a regional minister in such a fashion. Ghana, we once pointed out, has run short of role models. The likes of the Central Regional Minister and others sharing similar traits are dangerous models whose conduct should be on the blind side of our kids.