Ferdinard Senyo Lawson: The Danger Of Corruption On Ghanaian Youth

Corruption is like a flu that affects us all. This has the potential to put threat on the economic development, weaken ethical values and put shame on our judicial system. This type of behavior goes a long way to  destabilise the peaceful society we have and lived in and possibly endangering the relationship among institutions, organisation and undermining the religious belief of our democracy as a nation – Ghana 

Sadly, the unemployed youth are the one who grievously suffer the effects of corruption most as they become targets for societal problems; depriving them of their constitutional and human rights as citizens of Ghana.

Recently, I was asked “Whether the country Ghana is losing the youth to corruption?
I think the answer is yes; however, let me elaborate further. One of the most difficult challenges facing most African countries and its people is corruption. It has the potential to cripple the socio-economic development of a nation and possibly derail the destiny of young people especially; if it is not properly and carefully dealt with at the national front.
Corruption is like a flu that affects us all. As said earlier, it severely puts threat on the economic growth, weakens the ethical values, shame our judicial system as a country especially when those found guilty of these crimes are within such organisation and institutions.
Shockingly, it appears, corruption exists in almost all countries in the world. However, it varies from country to country and people to people. Corruption to me is a crime and has negative impacts on the lives of people in society today especially Ghana.
During my recent visit to Ghana on mission work, I discovered that, majority of the young people hang around shopping malls, ShopRite, road side and even at the gates of some few churches begging for money.

Some confidently tell you to give them some few Cedis to connect you to the CEO or the manager of this and that company.
As mentioned earlier, corruption is the plague affecting Ghana as the country’s national growth increases. My understanding is that, our current government and its leaders are doing everything within their power to tackle and eradicate corruption in Ghana. I hope they really get to the root of this because; it seems as if the more Ghanaians cry out and make noise about this terrible crime, the higher the corruption rate increases.
Low standard of living and high level of greed among some political leaders have also contributed significantly in the rise of corruption in Ghana. This has also influenced some church leaders as well.

Ferdinard Senyo Lawson

No wonder these days some Ghanaian youth resort to committing pity crime such as bribery, embezzlement of other people goods, engaging in fraudulent activities just to get some money to feed themselves and live lavish lifestyle. Some also get involve in extortion, deceiving others just to make money in Ghana.
Due to the high level of corruption in Ghana, companies, businesses and privates sectors as well as public sectors managers only employ or give jobs to those who are able to give or pay some form of bribe. Some only employ their own family members, ethnic group or religious background; not that these people are qualified for the job but because they are able to pay their way in into such organisation.
Many of these youth are left without employment, jobs or vocational institutions for them to deploy their talents ant and skills learned or acquired from training and education. This addition put huge pressure on them to get involve in other serious criminal activities such as killing or involving in broad day robbery of homes, companies and factories.

Recently, I heard some youth have been apprehended by the police force of Ghana following a tip off. These youth we caught with guns, bullets and other deadly weapons with the intention to cause harm. One may be tempted to know why these youth are engaging in such wicked activities.
I wouldn’t be too surprise to find out that, corruption could be the major influence of these acts. It is interesting to know that most of these youth are possibly from a very poor background with low level of education and inspiration to better their lives through the right means.
In view of these, you can easily imagine a poor young man with nothing to do being offered a huge amount of money to carry our bank robbery, carry arms to cause havoc in a particular area; he will risk his life to carry such barbaric act because to him, he has nothing to lose. Do you think such a youth will or can resist such offer? The answer is NO…..
Failure to identify the causes of corruptions will continue to have pragmatic negative effects on the country as a whole and also frustrate the young people and make them weary of the current economic hardships possibly driving the youth into arm robbery and extremism creating constrains on development and economic growth of Ghana.

Sadly, the youth involved in corruption are invisible to the naked eyes of the public but are visible to their gang. This is how they are able to carry out their activities without being caught but make more money in short time.
Some of these people are influenced and motivated by better promotions and opportunities by their fellow corrupted leaders. Taking bribe to get work done quickly has become the order of the day in most companies in Ghana.

Due to the high level of unemployment among these youth, some have indulged in the selling of fake products, faulty electrical goods and harmful food products to the public just to make and maximize profits or create jobs for their relations and love ones causing more health problems among the population.
One could possibly ask whether the church has also failed its role in fighting corruption in our modern Ghana considering the rate at which some elders, deacons, deaconesses and pastors are being caught up with the virus.
In fact, this is another big question that demands honest and straight forward answer. I will again say that that yes. For Ghana to eradicate and bury corruption completely, the battle must first start from the church right from the pulpit. Churches these days are asked or requested to sow seeds before they are seen by their church leaders. They are made to believe that the only way to receive miracle and blessings from God is to give big offering to the pastor.
Ghana is worldwide known to be a Christian country but corruption has choked the voice of many leaders in the churches. Shamefully, most Pastors nowadays are only interested in prosperity, fame popularity hence compromising the truth.

For the church to remain the voice to be reckoned with in these last days, it is very important church leaders maintain high level of honesty and integrity in the face of corruption. Church leaders should be bold enough to expose corrupt members of their congregation without fear of losing the numeric growth.
We as leaders (fivefold minister) must begin to talk more on honesty in work places, diligence and value and use of one’s talents in creating genuine worth. We should not encourage laziness and shouting of I RECEIVE IT AND CALIM IT SYNDROMS in the church.
From where I stand, I will say that, the church has failed the youth big time. Life is about being useful not wasteful. It saddens my heart when I see some young people wasting their time and resources available to them on drugs and crime. Unfortunately, some young people think and assume that contribution to the society is not their responsibility but to those who are rich and wealthy. In view of this some think they have nothing else to do or offer.
To those who even assume responsibility think they have to get involved in crime, drugs and other guns to get money to provide for themselves or support their families. I personally think that is a wrong ideology. The youth need to know that they don’t have to rob the bank to add to society or be relevant. They need to understand that, every little thing they do can contribute greatly to their communities and society. They don’t have to have millions of pounds or cedis to make a difference. All they need is their little kindness, positive thinking, changes in their attitude to life, money and fame and to embrace diligence and responsibilities so as to become useful and not useless.

They should be discouraged from being envious about the wealth of those parading themselves as billionaires and prosperity preachers. I learnt a billionaire has been arrested in Nigeria.
This individual confessed that, “He graduated from being an arm robber to a billionaire kidnapper”. Evans as he is popularly known broke down in cell without his money, cars, whatever he used to boast about.
My advice to the young is this; this world has nothing to offer us than what we offer it. Our lifestyle and desires have the tendency to determine our destination in life.

Let’s not be hurry to be rich in a short time. Most often, things gained in haste, evaporate like a smoke or melt like snow freak.
Please, no matter how hard things get to you, learn to be patient with life. Each and every one of us has our time, moments and season to be what the destiny giver has destined us.
Don’t rush to be rich in the expense of others, church members, friends and vulnerable people in your life or around you. Today, Evans Chukwudemeje George Onmuamadike is spending his life in prison. These days many young people are rushing to be rich, popular and wealthy without paying the price of hardworking, discipline and diligence.

They want to become like some prosperity preachers they see on national televisions. They want to be popular in the eyes of the media and want to be famous like their favorite musicians thinking success and fame are like seasonal flu they can catch.
Some have become so lazy and indiscipline; comparing themselves with so called celebrities they don’t even know how they make their money and what they have even sacrificed to be what and who they are.
Life will only give you what you have invested in. Zero multiple by zero is equal to zero. If you are failing to invest in yourself by discovering your inbuilt talents, developing and deploying it to add value to society, you will automatically receive nothing.
We must arise to educate and teach the youth of today to be industrious with their talents or gift as leaders or youth workers. God only rewards the diligence not the lazy one.

Warren Buffett, Rick Warren, Bill Gates, Amancia Ortega, Jeff Bezos, Charles Koch, Mark Zuckerberg among others were people who were committed and sacrificial to their dreams.
The Bible says, “The earth will yield its increase to those who praise the Lord with their talents.

Here are some few ways in which the young people can do to be useful with their lives and make positive difference in life.
The youth must know that, to be rich and successful in this life, they need to…

1. Learn to wake early and invest time in developing themselves into what they want to become and by being proactive.
2. They need get into networking. Good networking helps to discover ones niche and interest. Some have Facebook to associate with the right people, not only showing their naked bodies to men and women out there who will eventually take advantage of their bodies and dump them useless.
3. They need your keep themselves busy doing something with their time. People who become successful in life were those who got busy pursuing their dreams and aspirations. No one become rich and wealthy by wasting time and being lazy with their talents and gifts. Get busy and the world will get busy looking for you.
4. Must learn to set goal and pursue it tirelessly. Amazing how many young people want to become successful and rich but don’t have goals or aims. Setting goal in life helps you to be organized and determined to achieve something great in life. Setting goals also help you to focus one thing and doing everything possible to attain it. You become very decisive and get your priorities in the right perspective. You don’t chase shadows, but success through enthusiasm.

5. Avoid procrastination and take advantage of opportunity. Procrastination is one of the greatest pitfalls to success. It prevents and hinders opportunity. To be successful in whatever you want, you must never make procrastination your associate. You must learn to do what you have to do at a given period of time and space. You must look for opportunity to use your talent to add value to people. You can volunteer yourself in school, churches, business, industries and institutions by offering to help with their filling. Not everything that money can get you. So, you must not lose opportunity by focusing on money alone.

6. They should see failing as a stepping stone, not a hindrance. In the journey of life, failing is part of it. Failing is not failure until you fail or stop to press on. Successful and wealthy people have failed many times, but they didn’t stop at the bus stop of failure. It is very important that young people learn to press on even if the failure is knocking or pulling them down. I will encourage them to use the energy they have to give up to press closer toward success.
7. They must learn to think outside the box. This helps them to develop an opened mind toward life’s lessons. Life has so many things to teach us all if only we are ready and prepared to learn. There are a lot of information out there to help shaped our thinking. So, they youth must try to think outside the box and the limitations to their personal growth and development. No one has more than 24 hours in this world. Both the poor and the billionaire have the same hours to become great in life, but what separate them are their thinking patterns to get outside the box.

8. Must be ready to take notes of successful people around them. People only take note of those who take note of successful people. Whatever you want to become in life, someone has become it. So, it is not wrong to take notes from such people. Spend time with them, get their materials such as books, cds, manuals, handouts. Every successful person has something to give you as a young person. Learn to humble yourself to learn from such individuals. Never take them for granted. Doing that will only limits you from achieving your desire success. Be ready to ask and take relevant notes from them. Don’t be afraid to ask them to be your mentors. Mentors are ladders mentees climb humbly into success.

9. Passion before money. Money is a by-product of one’s passion to solve a problem, not only prayer. What solutions are you providing in society? The youth must be taught to provide solution to societal problems not only camped in prayer room 24/7. Riches and wealth are not only results of prayer, but deployment of one’s gifts and talents to provide solution to issues people are faced. Yet, prayer is very good as a Christian, after you have prayed; you must eat, bath, clothes and brush your mouth. How are you going to do all these things if everyone is like you praying 24/7 without working on their talent and products? Money doesn’t come through tongues speaking alone. This is why we are supposed to empower the youth in our churches to be useful in their communities, not useless and indolent. They should be encouraged to use their talents to add value and provide solution to their community.
It is my desire to see every youth become their best in whatever they desire to be. Success is everyone’s birth right, but trust me, it will not be tangible is we lack the passion to attain it through the right means. Don’t be a useless youth, but useful one the society can be inspired by.
Corruption in general is human phenomena problem but I think Ghana suffers it most. There is high corruption in Ghana and this has affected the country in negative ways. It is vital we start discussing the problem of corruption in our schools, colleges and universities and how that affects the national developments, business and other institution across the world market.

Ghanaians must be encouraged to adhere to good governance making it impossible for corruption to flourish or breed. Managers and leaders of businesses both private and cooperate must be ready to provide sufficient evidence as to how recruitment are done and employee hired.
The government should be able to fine or demand accountability from such organisations; and failure to provide or anyone find not adhering to these practices must have their license to operate as business revoke to serve as deterrent to others.
I strongly know and believed that the level of corruption in Ghana will reduce drastically if these prescribed ideas are put into practice.

About Author Ferdinard Senyo Lawson

Ferdinard Senyo Lawson is a Creativity Award (CA-AWARD, 2015) Best Life Coach & Best Public Speaker Winner, True African Heritage Awards (BEST AUTHOR, 2015) and Beffta. Founder & C.E.O of Ferdinard Lawson Empowerment & Inspirational Agency C.I.C ( FLEiA.CIC) in UK, Public Health Professional, Author, Lifestyle Coach, Transformational & Public Speaker and Publication Consultant. Ferdinard Senyo Lawson is the Co-Chairman of Minority Ethnic Group for All; Kingston Hospital. UK; and a Patron for the Student Leaders Club; Ghana. He is an international speaker. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Public Health and Social Care and an influential Member of Royal Society for Public Health (MRSPH) in United Kingdom.

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