Feature Article of Monday, 25 February 2013
Columnist: Damoa, Adreba Kwaku Abrefa
Some people, certain communities, gangs and even nations pride themselves in negative attributes without shame. We often see people beating their chest, we hear them bragging about proudly as being killers. Such statements as ‘Look, do you know me? If you don’t, ask anybody and you will be told that I am a killer; I am really bad and I can show you where power lies! Sheegelege banza’! Some families pride themselves with being rude and abusive regardless of whoever falls victim to any of their family members. Such negative attributes encompassing lying, insolence, rudeness, haughtiness, indiscipline, bestiality, paedophilia, necrophilia and the most recent development of homophilia as incipient cultural desires do not augur well with well cultured people, societies, communities and nations. These cannot go without mentioning hipocrisy and indeed dishonesty which, including all of the above are gaining stronger buttress roots in Ghana.
Aside ranking high on the world’s corruption index, Ghana is persistently and alarmingly leaning towards a culture of dishonesty, a culture in which hypocrisy, prejudice and paranoia are given extra strength to militate against truth, sincerity and honesty. Negative cultural attributes of which we show pride as our caretaker President J***r Mahama proudly leads the way by praising a corrupt institution like the Electoral Commission that is before the Supreme Court, fighting to extricate itself of corruption at the highest level which is tantamount to high treason. Tax-payers’ money is spent on the education and further higher education of individuals who show the potential and capacity to learn and acquire knowledge and wisdom to serve Ghana beneficially yet these same emerge as public officials only to further exploit the already indigent Ghanaian society through a wide array of dishonesty whiles in their official capacity. Tax payers’ money from the public purse is used to fund political parties only for us to realise no sooner than later that politicians come out rather to display their prejudices and paranoia for personal gains. Religious leaders of the established churches shirk their responsibility to lead by example such as being honest, sincere, truthful and faithful and rather fancy and adore hypocrisy. Ghana’s cultural institutions are dramatically corrupted and adulterated such that culture is only given a lip service. Dishonesty describes any instance of lack of probity, cheating, lying or being deliberately deceptive or lack in integrity, knavishness, perfidiousness, corruption or treacherousness.
As stated above, countries like Russia and South Africa would unwittingly pride themselves with being the world’s highest murder-rated on the world’s crime index with about 50 murders a day yet no positive steps seem to have been taken to curb let alone abate it. Their institutional organisations have been so made that reversing the ntrend is virtually impossible so murder in these two countries is taken for a cultural and traditional status quo though punishable. In the same vein, honour-killing is traditional in especially Pakistan whiles suicide is a daily occurrence in Iceland and the Scandinavian countries. Homosexuality and prostitution are accepted norms in the Netherlands whiles eating frog legs is natural and normal in France. Dedicating one life to hard work to build a stronger national economy is a German virtue whiles North Korea is synonymous with propaganda. The English amongst the British on the other hand are the all time cunning and exploitative and that is a fact. When we mention Nigeria, it cannot go without the stigma of fraud of all kinds, high profile corruption and cheating. Where then would Ghana be on the virtue/stigma attribute index?
Ghana was once upon a time very respected country with people plenished with hospitality, honesty, sincerity, modesty; respectful, disciplined and brainy intellectuals with a rich culture; a country united for peace, tranquility, freedom and justice; yet Ghana today stands at the crossroads of collapsing under a yoke of dishonesty. Once dishonest, all other negative attributes flow in. One may ask why all the above virtues hither-to attributed to Ghanaian people have waned and disappeared? The answer lies in the breed of politicians and political beliefs and tactics Ghana has come to know over the last four decades. Delving further to find answers to Ghana’s and Ghanaians’ apparent growing unethical conduct and remonstrances against ethical conduct, let us ask ourselves what we see, hear, feel and smell in Ghana today. Some of the answers may be found in the creation of a state of fear by the ruling authorities and the feeling of insecurity, both physical and economic. Authorities get things woefully wrong in their approach to governance due to lack of any sense of knowledge and perspicacious direction, yet they continue to be cloaked in a continuum of obnubilation and wronging whiles feeling stronger and stronger through applying intimidation to subdue citizens of Ghana. To achieve this, they create cronyism whom they empower both physically and economically. Therefore, all who think selfish, sybritish and exploitative of State resources opt for sychophancy and join the bandwagon of pillaging Ghana. Professors, lecturers, doctors, the clergy, Kings and chiefs, institutions and people in the streets have all chosen to be sychophantic liars, cheats and rummaging scoundrels running down Ghana’s economy, society and its integrity.
Since December 1981, the birth of PNDC through 1992 to December 2000, Ghanaians have lived to swallow a pill of bitter governance that is not of the making of majority of us. From 1992 to 2000, one man has always had the audace and temerity to usurb voters’ rights to determine the state of affairs in Ghana therefore at his own whims, he selects who should rule Ghana out of spite for others and extreme paranoia. On the foundational basis of this malevolence for a country we claim to love, scoundrels have not only desecrated all the glories of Ghana, they have disected and removed the country’s benevolent heart, frenetically attempting to transplant a malevolent heart of malice and unfeeling cruelty, thinking less of the plight of the suffering masses. To allow one’s self to be thus cruel, one needs to embrace the glamour of dishonesty.
Down the path of dishonesty, ‘kalabule’ first came to be installed and worshipped from 1972. Military governors offered VW Golf cars to women for sexaul gratification. Many able-bodied Ghanaians left the shores of the country to struggle for financial empowerment in Western Europe and America from where cash and other forms of property were sent home only to fall into ‘kalabule’ hands, usually those of friends and unasuming family members. From 1981, another anti-social and unethical rude conduct assumed nascency and nurtured by the PNDC administration’s introduction of PDCs and WDCs that eroded respect from Ghanaian culture. In the same year saw the arrival of an extreme form of road indisciple imported from Nigeria. From 1992, political thuggery, otherwise known as ‘Action Troopers’ of the yesteryears resurfaced, riding side by side with it a culture of incisive insults aimed mercilessly at political opponents also came to be comfortably established. Even Chairman Rawlings, who championed a course of ‘grassroot-ism’ is today insulted and ridiculed by the self-same village pupil teacher/palmwine tapper whom he transformed overnight into a Mr Somebody. Anita the ‘Soho’ girl, Alotey Jacobs etc have the guts to insult Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo of all people because they are of the new breed of awkward political group without scruples and no sense of shame. Twenty first century 2013 Ghana has graduated from its already discredited widespread poverty, joblessness, maladministration, high cost of living, official endorsement of corruption, indiscipline, hypocrisy, kleptomania, sybritism and loss of all forms of social intervention, to yet another very negative attribute which names it all: DISHONESTY! So, where do we go from here? Fellow Ghanaians, think about it.
Adreba Kwaku Abrefa Damoa; (London, UK)