Ghana: Goro-Goro Passport

15 September 2023

Praise is comely. I am hard at praising. But I don't hesitate to offer "well done" where it is due and when, particularly, the achievement is overdue. The Foreign Secretary has hopefully cleared up the Ministry she oversees recently. Generally, the applause may be rated between sweeping, shrugging and hmnnn...

In as much as the editorials, low-keyed it apart from strips of normal reportage, not in any depth. In summary remarks, it might either be regarded as an administrative consequence for nothing new in it, or too belated and the action is neither not gone far enough, nor a sadist's suspect nine-day-wonder. Whereas the paucity of applause nonetheless feels the fact is an achievement, cannot be overstated. The not easily discernible ordinarily, might be un-imaginable retributions, internal and external, being the most enigmatic of government-the Foreign Office everywhere. It tends to be elitist apart. Practically, a transfer to the Home Service could be deemed demotion and it is a fight which draws in high brows and or ruling party's Lords' interventions and petitions for rescindment command.

Any or all of these other phalanxes take fervent petitions to the Presidency or Prime Minister. And there is delicate seniority in-fights, commonest. Each though would have followed the authority cracking suspension without pay, dismissed on the job. And internal or home petitions for repeals may take long or short periods to be brought to reasonable resolution. However, the external backlash has two sides: extended delays in expediting and induced enmity within and without: the public affected and usually anti-political rumour mongers in this case, Passports in the current political environment--is the Minister's action politically correct.? Two levels of positive judgments: [i] the Minister is right as far as evidence backs cleansing. Level [ii], is conflict between political public rating expediency and demonstrable policy stance to stamp out corruption, the principal reason for the scatter.

Supposedly, an internal (could be interminable) rift ensues between those "moved out" and coming in plus the ire of "goro-goro" Agents, the target of the clean-up. And to note, these disengagements have provoked strong public opinions--described as either a diversion or hitting the least vulnerable among the "biggies" allegedly in light of what pertains, as always presumed, rumour-gullible, given that it has greater credulity than truth in our country. Besides, there is no assurances (a) that the illegal amounts paid to obtain a passport, an inalienable right of bona fide Ghanaians, has stopped or quickly morphed making life more stressful than previously; reports that aliens secured Ghanaian passports faster and easier than Ghanaians was rife from the 60s in London. (b) which steps are operative in simplifying the processing procedures, away from 'red tape' or block it altogether--delete "noko fio". If there is trust reportedly, the Postal Service as in many jurisdictions could eliminate some important holes as the minimum aide memoir. A whole new package of acquiring passport without paying or through "goro-goro" has become such urgent to shut it out.

As invidious as the earlier reference to the mail's insecurity for now, unintended to disparage but stated allegedly, a quick query might reveal the multi-involvement of a host of other services including the watchful alert of the secret branch--no "betee", neither cheap nor easy. However, shrewdness would have to be the icon to build, streamlining the acquisition by citizens as expeditiously fastest, comparatively for aliens, given rumour-common knowledge alleged racketing at home and the Missions outside during years. It sounds more than opening a Pandora's Box.

Overall, there are questions: profile of the "goro-goro boys". It is their chosen profession--go-between for a fee; but they have made themselves like a Guild who are a sine qua non. To interrogate are who they report to inside; Are they in their employment or the system operates ad hoc point- men/women. The Ministry said the numbers had been terminated. It is appropriate to be anonymous about specific identities; but foul interpretations deemed fair game in our polluted politics suggest it is diversionary ploy to tamper public bad press. The populist reference to explain for credence is that collusions at the passport offices are decades-old syndrome, or may be, or just that the Minister might recently learned about the rot and kicked out leaving the so-called big fishes allegedly.

Given the context of public knowledge though, the firing might be cited as narrow broom-sweep because also, the public info points to larger outside influence-peddling groups, reportedly, chiefs and members of parliament. These are said to be coupled with the overwhelming pressures from so-called ruling party "protocol lists" which upset-scuttle official recruitment criteria into the Foreign Office, from long back. That indicts the seated-infiltrations of politics by incumbency's taking advantage of power. It has been a circus corresponding to the "ins" and "outs". Statistics are irrelevant. Therefore, which party might gain popularity out of this is neither the purview nor, germane here.

I have previously stated the flux talk-shop interpretation. Of greater import is the international image. The history before and after independence, Ghanaian Diplomats were "second to none" globally. No matter the content of diplomatic franca explain-aways. It is because the Office is figuratively, the national flag and anthem, again taking the background of from its historical and even practical raison d'etre. Dr Kwame Nkrumah would not have gone "boo boo" with the US over treatment of our then young Diplomat H.V.H.Sakyi (later, Ambassador), an epitome of our FO's world-wide distinction. The US unreservedly publicly (globally) apologised, humiliated.

(Sakyi was the son of great Lawyer Kobina Sakyi, member of ARPS and in the feuding crisis of ARPS after the death John Kofi Mensah-Sarbah in 1930, concurred with Paa Grant founding the UGCC which defined and gave character to the independence movement. But regrettably-shamefully, Paa is unsung. That marks Ghana's national ignominious ingratitude to Paa and regime after another cares. Paa solely financed and organised the UGCC--setting straight the record of persistent and basic falsifications of our history. But the claws history curves back. An ignorant question in apparent defence of the Twister machinery is why Paa was not detained with Nkrumah. The answer is look at Saudi, and the Emirates which do not condone LGBTQs They are their naked stealing-gold pods for West striving with cajoles to impose their scum culture on Africa. It goes back to the Berlin conference upper-40s. Paa Grant's self-disciplined rich man's status (no THIEFO) would seem stood square with the Emirates today, in Governor Gerald Creasey's, indeed colonial Brits's calculation. Creasey arrested the "Six" instead. It would have made sense, empirically and historically tracing comparative causals with the Emirates-comparison]

Anyway, performance of every Foreign Office everywhere is required to be sterling like for instance, in an ancient Monastery. It is unfair initially. But that concludes the standards set. Whether it is true or not of the latest passport and middlemen [Goro] persons-scam, indicates lax supervision. And free-talk public suggests this is the tip of the iceberg, cruel indictment; but the sneerers must know what it is really, except that you cannot buckle them because [i] they could be suspect participants; and [ii] they could be the very inducers, directly and opposite. I have two things to wonder: (a) I should advise or leave it to the logic. And without mincing words, this is the society and country we have become. (b) Is it the ghost of a very destructive anonymous letter-writing habit of many years ago. Several young and old lost their jobs or positions. Fingers then, pointed usually at particular elderly men in Town. Now, the cause is reportedly, more rampant in politics of "you do me, I do you, God no dey vex.' Shame. The Old Man "dey vex, bad bad; inogo forgive you da."

Well, there must be flashes of fun. After the preceding paragraphs, the serious business pertains to questions about why the Office is close to 'near exclusive' for one part. It is because its nature--how it is meant to posture, its portfolio therefrom. The other part is recruitment criteria, politics polluted today, it is common knowledge dating 1966 approximately and effectively seems a norm, both most difficult to nail and restore, or give a semblance in principle. Anyone's best effort advisedly, would point to GBC which looks like rewarming back to its poise in the last few years. I might add explanatorily that the trouble with politics of interference is its inability to recognise harm which affects to boomerangs intents, once started; because they gather unintended mosses. Goro-goro Passport-job is or would be a stark face among several uglies.

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