Politics

‘Silence is not an option’ – Sam Jonah urges PSG, other associations to speak up against corruption

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Astute businessman, Sam Esson Jonah, has called on the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSG) and all other professional associations to make their voices heard on issues surrounding the welfare of the state.

According to him, the deafening silence of professional associations in Ghana particularly concerning issues of corruption and the dangers of illegal mining must be brought to an end as collective action is needed to save the country from destruction.

“Most associations will only be heard when it concerns their salaries or businesses. Teachers’ associations, journalists, nurses, doctors, surveyors, lawyers, accountants, architects, planners, social workers, psychologists etc. are all present in this country. What is lacking is the ability of these bodies to assert themselves with the requisite patriotic zeal in matters of national concern,” he said.

Speaking at the 2023 Annual General Conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana in Takoradi, Wednesday, September 6, he noted that the pervasive nature of corruption in Ghana must be brought under scrutiny by all sectors of the Ghanaian society, particularly professional associations whose immense contribution to national development cannot be understated.

“We are where we are but the health of our nation is not what we want it to be. Like in a patient, the systems that must work together to ensure wellness are not functioning as expected and, as a result, our values are under siege. Confidence in key institutions are on the decline. Checks and balances which are desperately needed for the progress of any nation are seriously compromised.

“Corruption and greed have eaten deep into the fabric of our nation. Young people are fast losing hope and the dignity of labour. Public services, which are already paid for by taxpayers’ money are subject to bribes solicited by public officials in order to speed up processes or to exempt people from necessary procedures. It is here too.”

He said the compounding issues of corruption in the country are a shared concern and thus must be fought collectively to uproot it.

“Clearly, this is a shared concern, and it is important that the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana is heard on these issues of national importance if pharmacists are to play your part in rebuilding our nation,” he said.

He averred that corruption deters much needed domestic and foreign investment, undermines trust in public institutions, reduces economic growth, and makes the lives of the poor even more unbearable.

“Specifically for your sector, corruption endangers lives through fake and sub-standard medication, unqualified personnel and woefully inadequate infrastructure. I recognise that each of you as individuals, for one reason or another, may not be able to speak up.

“If you wonder why I speak my mind, it is because those of us who have benefitted from the kindness of this nation and the long life God has granted us owe a duty to God and country to speak up not only for what benefits us personally but for what safeguards the entire society.

“I don’t know about you but I have no other country but Ghana. And I do not want any country but Ghana. Every capable citizen blessed with some ability and a voice must speak against the wrongs and help get our motherland Ghana on its right footing.

“I am not saying you should be me, however you have something powerful. You have a respected professional body, and you need to recognize the power of your voice as a collective. If you see things going on in any sector of this country that you don’t think is right, you have to speak up for the sake of the country, for the sake of the future, for the sake of our children and grandchildren. In troubling times like these, silence is not an option,” he charged.

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