The Brong-Ahafo Region has been thrown into state of shock, following the discovery that 3,712 bags of fertilisers, valued at over GH¢600,000 and meant for the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme, have been stolen from a warehouse in Sunyani.
The Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr. Kwaku Asomah Cheremeh, has announced that seven officers of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Sunyani have been questioned by the police in connection with the theft.
The Regional Minister has further given the assurance that in spite of the theft, there are enough fertilisers for farmers under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme in the region.
But The Chronicle is disturbed at the development, and the seemingly lukewarm attitude of the police towards unraveling the culprits in the matter. Again, The Chronicle finds it a bit intriguing that a theft case of such magnitude seems to have been kept under low profile.
The Chronicle has independently picked up information that the theft at the warehouse was detected over two months ago, and, yet, it took the authorities in the region all this while before gathering enough courage to bring the matter into the public domain.
We are not the least suggesting that the authorities were acting to push the incident under the carpet, but we are very baffled that with all the talk of protecting the public purse, fighting against corruption, and the setting up Mr. Martin Amidu’s Special Prosecution Office, public officers can still find enough motivation and ways to rob the state of its scarce resources.
We believe that state actors, including the police, Bureau of National Investigation (BNI), and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), should move all resources at their disposal to expose the ‘network of thieves’ who have fashioned out a scheme to thwart the government’s laudable efforts at improving our agriculture, while creating jobs for our teeming unemployed youth.
To us, at The Chronicle, if information in the public domain that the pilfering occurred between October 2017 and June, 2018 is confirmed, then that must be a stark reminder that, indeed, as former Prime Minister Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia said in March, 1971, corruption is our main problem as a country.
Our late Prime Minister said at the time that “bribery and corruption have eaten deep into the very fabric of the society, and when you put anybody in a position of trust, he or she uses that position to amass wealth.”
Dr Busia added that the most difficult task facing him at that time was how to eradicate bribery and corruption from the Ghanaian society.
47 years down the line, The Chronicle would like to re-echo the observation of Dr K.A. Busia that, indeed, corruption is taking over our country, and the earlier we declare the strongest position against the practice, the better for us today, and our future generations.
The Chronicle would also be glad if crime and other investigative officers in the Brong-Ahafo Region are able to fish out the culprits in this unfortunate incident, while our courts deal with them swiftly to restore confidence in our democratic dispensation.