Feature Article of Sunday, 29 April 2012
Columnist: Appiah, Papa
The tide is turning. The inferno is ablaze. The writing is on the wall for all who have eyes, to see. We are drowning in an abyss of political immaturity. And in the midst of all that, politicians who once posed as beacons of democratic change and human rights in Africa are either silent or are coming up with the most abject and disgraceful defence of the indefensible.
The stakes are rather high. Both major political parties have had a taste of what it means to be in power in Ghana – untold opulence at the expense of our people. Oil has been discovered. Opportunities for self-enrichment abound. So people have lost all sense of proportionality and balance, and wisdom has been thrown to the dogs.
Have our moral standards deteriorated to such an extent that the law of the jungle now reigns in Ghana? Where being rich and owning a radio station arrogates to one the power to “declare war in Ghana”? Our country has come a long way. Cherish the peace we enjoy, for people have had to shed their blood for it.
In July 2005, a group of Moslem men packed with explosives boarded trains in the UK and detonated their bombs, killing 51 innocent passengers. No individual dared go on radio to declare war on Moslems. Why would a few misguided incidents of violence during a democratic process, so infuriate one to the extent of declaring war? There is a difference. The latter involves issues of power and wealth.
Have we not learnt from incidents of history? Does the genocide in Rwanda seem so far off? Did it not start with incendiary, tribalistic utterances on radio and where did it lead to? We should not take our peace for granted for it is not too long ago that the Oguaa Akoto were thrashing the thousands of Ashanti warriors. It is in the DNA.
So where are our leaders when we need them? Where is our president? Where was he when his men were fomenting trouble? Our president does not have to wear a police uniform to exert authority. A president should exude authority so we obey them merely out of respect. Not everybody has the qualities of a president, and if Atta Mills cannot do the job, then he should quit.
Not a single member of the NPP has condemned the utterances, and the party has not dissociated itself from the comments. But the most disgraceful of all was the comment by Kuffuor regarding using a sledge hammer to kill a fly. The least said about that the better. Kuffuor has obviously not visited Ghanaweb.
In the end, we are all one people, one nation and with one destiny. We rise together and fall together. So let freedom reign, for our very existence depends on it. Let peace reign, for we have come too far to turn around. Let free speech reign, but with a sense of responsibility of the borders of acceptability, but above all, fellow Ghanaians, let wisdom reign!