Persistence of campaign against nepotism and ‘protocols’ in public institutions: am I wasting my time?

Saturday, July 8, 2023.


For two decades, I have campaigned against a common practice in Ghana – nepotism in public institutions, even at my own workplaces. Many people (including top people in public institutions) say I am wasting my time. I cannot change the country.

It was heartwarming when recently, one of my patients ‘confessed’ to me. My WhatsApp messages have changed her. In the past, when she came to the hospital she was treated as ‘protocol’ because before she arrived in the hospital, she would have called some staff in the hospital who would make sure she had preferential treatment (including jumping the queue) when she arrived. Of course, she would also ‘make them happy’. This is where ‘improper gifts’ come in.

Now she has decided to follow procedures in (public) institutions and make systems work. She agreed to record a voice message which I can share (attached).

I am not entirely against ‘protocols’ but we must be clear who should be treated as ‘protocol’ and what that person should have. Is it only the family and friends of those in public institutions where they work who should be treated as ‘protocol’ and made to jump queues?

How many Ghanaians have changed how they do things because of what I write? I cannot tell. Am I wasting my time? Time will tell.

We need a critical mass of people to make our society better. Hopefully, gradually, we shall get this critical mass and our systems will work without having to know somebody before you get what you deserve.

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