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Samson’s Take: Integrity is not a default value in Ghana

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Today, I return to my subject integrity. Integrity, the quality of being honest, ought to be a habit, a default conduct.

It ought to be a human, not Black or White, not Christian and not Moslem character or virtue. Don’t offer a bribe and don’t accept a bribe. Don’t tell a lie, don’t mislead, cheat and don’t encourage wrong and unlawful conduct. These ought to come to us naturally.

There is everything wrong with the very fibre of our society if a natural virtue becomes rare and celebrated because only a few demonstrate it.

But this perverse generation needs teaching and encouragement towards building the character of integrity like Joseph will do to honour his God and his master Potiphar.

The name police may have long been associated with corruption. True is, not all police officers or even politicians are corrupt. Detective Lance Corporal Confidence Fiagadzi shared the coveted Integrity Personality of the Year Award 2021 with Manasseh Azure Awuni.

He rejected bribe in two separate cases including one involving his colleagues whom he was prosecuting for extorting GHS 20,000 from an individual.

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Confidence was surprised he won because he competed with four public figures – two journalists of the year prize winners and two famed politicians.

If you never read or heard me say a word about my nomination until after the awards night, it was because I felt Manasseh had risked just too much to expose corruption, the lack of integrity among top public officers, and he was far deserving. He had been previously nominated with Auditor-General Daniel Domelevo who won it.

So, when family and friends called to tell me about campaigning for votes (voting was free of charge), I discouraged them and told them Manasseh and Confidence deserved it.

I don’t recall exactly what, but Manasseh had something really inspiring to say about the police officer at the awards night. I was therefore not surprised but rather overjoyed they won.

I have same joy that we are celebrating Taxi Driver, Isaac Ackon for returning a fishmonger’s GHC 8,400.00 she left in his taxi. In the viral video, the woman and her family cry while thanking him profusely for the rare act.

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On the popular EKOSIISEN on Asempa Fm, Philip Osei Bonsu – OB, as he often does for good causes, did not only make a personal donation, but raised over GHC 25,000.00 for Isaac. The owner of Peduase Valley Resort gave OB GH 10,000.00 for Isaac.

The cabbie had already received GHC 20,000.00 from Vice President Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia on being alerted by Manasseh on social media.

Many people are giving Isaac money and gifts in the hope that others will be encouraged to be honest. He says he has returned passengers’ phones and other items on five occasions in his seven years of being a cabbie.

He actually showed the money to his wife before returning it. “I don’t take what’s not mine”. He declares. A kind of the legal principle nemo dat quod non habet – you can’t give what you don’t have or own. May this be your word and default conduct. That’s My Take.

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