Feature Article of Friday, 26 December 2014

Columnist: Antobam, Kobina

The Choice Of One

By: Kobina Antobam

Ghana has come a long way, but we still have quite a-ways to go. When we look around us, we can reflect sadly on the many bloody ethnic and religious hot spots in a few of the eastern, northern, central, and a couple of western countries on the continent, some of which have inflicted unforgivable atrocities on fellow African citizens. Consider also that quite a good number of those conflicts have been very close to home, like Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ivory Coast, and with a few lingering difficult ones still raging. All those bloody conflicts around us position Ghana as an envious island of refuge of orderliness, normalcy, and peace, not only for those of us who live in the country but for all other interested peoples around the world.

Those of us who live in the country know that perceptions of an overall tranquility may be superficial, fleeting and deceiving at times. Still, these times are our own. And whatever life churns out for us, we have to accept what has been dealt our way. All the same, some of our realities are sometimes heart wrenching. With just a quick sneak peek below the surface, it becomes obvious that Ghana has its own repressed bubbling and simmering undercurrent of turmoil.

But, of course, it is heartening to also realize that our differences are not in any danger of erupting anytime soon into a blown-out rampage and self-destruction. We are good because our going, meanwhile, has been good, even if not very, very good. Ethnocentrism, cultural and religious differences, and self-made disparities and income and social inequalities have their repressed but sharp distinctions in our never-ending battles for economic and political power.

Still, with poorly hidden or poorly repressed greedy intentions, there are Ghanaians who are known to have the unshakeable belief that they are the only ones who have the real solutions to our intractable problems and they are the only anointed and ordained Ghanaians to lead and manage the affairs of the country. Some believe strongly that they are the only ones who have been created by God to come solve all of our problems. Yet, in spite of our sharp differences, we have maintained an atmosphere of reasonable coexistence, compromise, and tolerance, and thus have survived a few tumultuous political eruptions and differences since we attained independence from British colonial rule.

A closer look will also reveal that basest instinctual fanaticism and parochial impulsiveness have overwhelmed some extremists who have occasionally but carelessly taken us to the precipice and near total destruction. Some still want to chauffer us dangerously in rickety ramshackle vehicles all the way to Kigali. But, being good-natured as we generally are, we have found a way to rein them in over time. We have always brought them back to the real world so that the country can move on, so also that we can live our lives in relative peace.

One of the major reasons for ensuring continued unruffled normalcy, despite the chaotic but loosely organized structures that fuel the people’s ongoing dissent and aggression sometimes, is that all of us have consistently, over the last fifty-plus years, risked and invested our individual cultural, financial, and spiritual devotion to the country, and we staunchly refuse to allow a few hotheaded trouble makers including extreme ethno-centrists and past coup plotters and coup makers to derail completely our resilience for peaceful coexistence.

In order to satisfy the disuniters among us, here is an excellent idea. To take us further up a higher level of coexistence, harmony, and permanent peace where ethnocentric differences, political clashes, clannish binges and overdoses are a thing of the past, a fantastic idea for a paradise, a Shangri-La, a nirvana, a utopia, or a kind of heaven-on-earth in Ghana is ripe for Ghanaians to consider now. We have only a couple of years to work on this paradise idea. It is imperative that we prepare well in advance for this exciting dramatic transformation, the implementation of which can take place on March 6, 2017, when Ghana celebrates its sixtieth birthday. March 6, 2017 will be a perfect time to usher in a new order for Ghanaians and everyone else who lives in Ghana.

With local and Africa-wide adoption and implementation in mind, this utopian idea should be a serious effort toward total homogeneity, harmony, and oneness that hasn’t yet been unattainable anywhere else on the continent of Africa. Since trailblazing Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African country to wrestle independence from the clutches of colonial rule, we will also be the first to eliminate social, political, religious, tribal, and all ethnocentric class strata identifiable in the Ghanaian society today that have so far slowed our progress everywhere on the continent. Ghana will be the first to become a nation of ONE.

If we work hard on this idea, we will wake up on March 6, 2017 to a new singular political management structure that all Ghanaians would have willingly chosen to accept and live with without the least consideration for all other types of multi-party multi-ethnic structures, that always come with attendant competing turmoil, which we have recently adopted and which seems to take us nowhere.

Since it has also been suggested by other Ghanaians, we will select a single Ghanaian language and make it the lingua-franca of the whole country, in place of English. Beginning on March 6, 2017, all Ghanaians will voluntarily and gladly abandon their various tribal languages and replace them with that one dominant tribal language. We will embrace, submit to, and be so universally enthralled with this transformation that there will be no need for laws or regulations to enforce the use of that singular native lingua-franca.

We will also all agree to select from one tribe and one tribe only, with the highest number of educated members, to be our political leaders. All successive candidates going forward will come from that single Ghanaian tribe, simply because that tribe will always have the highest number of the best educated and presumably the smartest Ghanaians. Emphasis will be placed on the number of PhD’s in that tribe. Bear in mind that it is this same ethnic group whose language we will adopt to replace all other local languages.

It’s simple. The tribe with the highest number of PhD holders stands an excellent chance of, from 2017 forward, becoming our chosen excellent and super performing leaders and office holders, with no questions asked and zero dissent. The rest of us will look up to this single tribe for our national, regional, and local leadership and guidance, and, of course, this elite tribe will make all national decisions for all of us. Because of the fact that we have all agreed, by the time March 6, 2017 comes around, that that one tribe constitutes the smartest Ghanaians, we will not entertain any debates, now or in the future, about looking outside that tribe for alternative leaders. Never again!

In the case of our native customs, we will discard the many different overlapping tribal and cultural practices and celebrations and, for the sake of national unity and simplicity, adopt the rites, mores, and practices of the tribe that we have gladly selected to rule the country. We will dress as the elected tribe does. We will eat as they do. And we will marry whom they tell us to. All of this will be in furtherance of our move towards clear cut homogeneity. One of the major advantages of adopting a single unique diet of the elite tribe is that, we will all be subject to a unique line of health benefits and similar manageable disease strain. Whatever ails this elite ethnic group ails the whole country. This will help the country tailor its health care system to a known line of national health problems. Consider the enormous savings in our health care costs.

Just imagine a Ghana where tribal insults, threats, and combative attacks are needless and non-existent. Just imagine a world where there is no need for anyone to issue threats of, or want to commit, genocide against any selected tribes outside one’s group. We would actually be in a world of ONE! When that time comes, we would have created our own man-made paradise where we will live happily thereafter. Other Africans will once again look to us for inspiration, and for our unique guidance on peace and coexistence.

Let’s prepare for that day because the transformation day is upon us. March 6, 2017 is fast approaching.

OF COURSE, THIS SHORT TREATISE IS INSPIRED BY THE EXPRESSED DESIRES OF THOSE GHANAIANS WHO HAVE SOMETIMES ADVOCATED SECCESSION, TRIBAL GENOCIDE, DISPLAYED ETHNOCENTRIC AND ACADEMIC SUPERIORITY COMPLEXES, AND HAVE CONVINCED THEMSELVES THAT THE ETHNIC GROUP IN WHICH THEY WERE BORN IS THE EMINENT GROUP THAT SURPASSES EVERYONE ELSE’S IN THE COUNTRY.

THIS IS ALSO MEANT FOR THOSE WHO CHOSE TO READILY DISMISS THE RECENT WISE REMINDER BY PRESIDENT JOHN MAHAMA THAT “No ethnic group is superior to another…” AND WHEN HE SUCCINTLY AND WITH THE CLARITY OF EXACTITUDE ADDED THAT, “Ethnicity is subtly misrepresented in our socio-political environment to create disaffection, divisiveness and rivalry amongst us. It is wrong. It diminishes our rich cultural heritage, and emphasizes our differences instead of reinforcing the positives of our cultural diversity.” No sooner had President Mahama spoken, than there appeared out of the woodworks the unrepentant ethno-centrists, spewing tribal insults and epithets, at the President and his birthright.

SO, IF YOU BELIEVE THE CRAP OF A PARADISE THAT I HAVE JUST SOLD YOU, THEN YOU ARE AT LIBERTY TO BEGIN YOUR PREPARATION TOWARDS THAT GOAL. AND WHAT A BORING LIFE THAT CHOICE OF ONE WOULD BE FOR YOU AND YOU ALONE. GOOD LUCK!

GOOD DAY and HAPPY HOLIDAYS.