- Her answer was revealing: Ghana is the headquarters of the gullible in the entire sub region and it is the best place to try new scams!
Written By Doreen Hammond - I met a Nigerian at the salon recently and as is usual with women at such places, we had a chat. We spoke about the economies of both countries, football rivalry and then security in both countries.
Before she left, I asked if she knew why many of her compatriots were now seeing Ghana as a safe haven.
Her answer was revealing: Ghana is the headquarters of the gullible in the entire sub region and it is the best place to try new scams!
She said Ghana is the laboratory for testing scams before they were unleashed on the rest of the continent because the people believed in almost anything and the institutions were not proactive so in most cases, one was likely to have their way.
In any case, in the event that the project fails, the Ghanaian legal system is not straightforward. Where are Aisha Huang and the Rosewood queen?, she asked sarcastically as she exited the salon.
As I retired to bed that night, I could not help but kept reflecting on her exposition.
Names such as chief Medicina, Pyram, DKM, Menzgold and several others came to mind and I could not help but to agree with her.
It looks like Ghana is one of the safest places to make illegal money and dance to the bank.
They come in all manner of guises, fake religious leaders, fake spiritualists, fake herbalists or Ponzi scammers.
Just start something and leave the rest to gullible Ghanaians and they would patronise.
From fake visa contractors to fake job recruiters to the Middle East, to fake doctors and even fake chiefs.
To think that somebody started something without any substantial seed money and barely five years later was flying a private jet is incredible!
The arrest last week of Mama Gee, a woman who sold unlicensed herbal preparations by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), was welcome news.
She claimed her herbal preparations, which contained charms could cause men to involuntarily part with huge sums of money and properties after it was used for sexual enhancement.
It is important to note that before her arrest, a popular gospel musician, Bro Sammy, who decided to cash in on the gullible by selling a product he claimed could cure AIDS had also been arrested.
Shockingly, his product was made from DDT, a poisonous agro chemical!
The FDA needs a pat on the shoulder for the good job but then, certain critical questions come up. The sale of such illegal herbal preparations has been going on for years.
It is very common to find men and women hawking these preparations in our communities, especially in the markets.
What happens to the others or because they are not advertising on social media they are free to do whatever they like?
Also, could the FDA and related agencies be more proactive and nib such activities in the bud and not wait until when the harm had already been done?
At the rate we are proceeding, it won’t be long to see the sale of ordinary water claiming to give eternal life and there will be clamour for same!
And does the Mama Gee expose mean that we are failing at empowering girls to learn vocations and jobs they can make genuine money from?
Is it that we do not have enough female role models telling their stories to motivate them? Is the high unemployment rate the cause of this state of affairs?
It is true that we live in a difficult world, therefore, it is not strange that people are doing all manner of things to survive.
Our youth are experiencing extreme poverty and extreme riches and seeing how the rich are singled out for better treatment is likely to influence their motivation to get rich quick, no matter how.
Are our social intervention policies to cushion the poor working? Am afraid no.
There is the need to do more, especially in the area of public education to protect our people from all manner of con artists; that is what real proactive and holistic national security is about.
This branding as a gullible people, though unofficial, is unfortunate but am afraid it fits us now and we must work concertedly to eradicate it.
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