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Opinions of Thursday, 5 January 2017

Columnist: Osei, Nana Yaw

Nana Akufu-Addo’s inauguration and Ghanaian frame of mind

President-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo President-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo

By Nana Yaw Osei

The swearing in of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufu-Addo as the fifth President of Ghana’s fourth republic on Saturday January 7, 2017 presents a cornucopia of euphoria especially for members of his New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Conversely, members of John Dramani Mahama’s led National Democratic Congress (NDC) are expected to recognize heightened levels of emotional misgivings as Saturday’s inaugural ceremony marks the end of NDC administration II since adopting the 1992 constitution.

The humiliating defeat of NDC in the last year’s presidential and parliamentary elections signaled a basic hunch. The NDC government failed to provide the citizens of Ghana the benefits of good governance. After January 7, 2017, expectations will be high as many citizens are hoping fervently that Akufu-Addo’s government undertakes stringent measures to ameliorate their economic conditions.

Looking at Mr. Akufu-Addo’s personality type, I am convinced that he will definitely deliver. However, one delicate issue that is a major setback to Ghana’s development could somewhat limit plans of the incoming government.

Ghanaians over the last two decades have adopted a philosophy of life based on metaphysics and spirituality rather than science. This writer believes in the power of God and his miracles. He believes that except the lord builds the house, the laborers build in vain (Psalm 127:1). Besides, all knowledge comes from the Lord (Proverbs 2:6). Allah taught man that which he knew not (Quran 96:5).

Nevertheless, Ghanaians have remorselessly and insufferably become overly spiritual than my ability will allow me to articulate. I think absence of scientific knowledge and critical thinking which also belong to God hamper national development. The incoming government must focus on science and technology education for national development. Superstition, which has become increasingly fashionable on the media landscape must be discouraged.

In 1859, Charles R. Darwin (1809-1882) published his famous book “origin of Species”. This book changed the perception of man. Until Darwin, man was separated from the rest of animal kingdom by virtue of his soul (Hall, 1999). Darwin’s theory of evolution made man a part of nature, an animal among other animals.

The acceptance of this radical view motivated the study of man from naturalistic stance. Man like other animals was subjected to scientific study (Hall, 1999). The German philosopher and scientist, Gustav Fechner discovered the science of psychology. Fechner asserted in 1860 that mind could be studied scientifically and that could be measured quantitatively (Hall, 1999).

Interest in psychological and biological science gathered momentum in the 19th century. Louis Pasteur and Robert Kock through their work on the germ theory of disease founded the science of bacteriology (Hall, 1999).

Gregor Mendel through his research on the garden pea, founded the modern science of genetics. In the field of physics, the famous German physicist, Hermann von Helmholtz, formulated the principle of the conservation of energy. This principle stated that energy is a quantity just as mass is a quantity. It can be transformed but not be destroyed (Hall, 1999).

When energy disappears from one part of a system, it has to appear elsewhere in the system. For example, as one object becomes the cooler an adjacent object becomes warmer (Hall, 1999). Albert Einstein also discovered the theory of relativity.

Calvin Hall is my main source of information for the above brief historiography of science. Hall was discussing how scientific knowledge during the time of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) became profoundly on creative rampage. In Ghana today, media is supporting some self-acclaimed prophets of God to pollute the minds of their poor followers with their metaphysical gibberish and cacophony. Graduates come out of school and chase prophesies.

Which part of the bible states that at the end of every year men of God must give prophesies? If the religious miseducation, superstition and prophesies continue, scientific knowledge and critical thinking will be buried in Ghana in the next two decades.

Mark Zuckerberg (founder of Facebook), Evan Williams, Noah Glass, Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone (Founders of Twitter), Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Founders of google), Bill Gates and Paul Allen (Founders of Microsoft) and founders of many other wonders of the modern world did not go for any prophecy. Prayers are definitely needed to support everything we do.

Nonetheless, research and discovery are necessary for national development.

Apostle Kwadwo Safo Kantanka is a good example of how religion could be utilized to benefit a nation. The government must be concerned about the rebirth of ignorance in Ghana. Who interprets scripture to the venerable citizens?

The government must critically look into who preaches to the citizens. The nation invests heavily in education. For example, “total expenditure on education in 2014 was GH¢6.6billion, which represents an almost-100 percent increase from GH?3.6 billion in 2013. The education portion of the GoG budget expenditure showed an average 22.2 percent for the period under review” (Source: Business and Financial Times online, November 6, 2015). The source stated further that

“The expenditure on education as a percentage of total GDP was increased by 5.3percent in 2009, 5.5 percent in 2010, 6.3 percent in 2011, 7.9 percent in 2012, 6.1 percent in 2013 and 5.85 percent in 2014”. Why must we invest heavily in education while fake pastors pollute the minds of the kids? What is particularly lamentable is that the educated ones are becoming victims of religious miseducation. “I saw the angel of the lord” is a practical symptom of schizophrenia.

I will not be shocked if a prophet tells some citizens that the witches from the family will kill them if they work in one of Nana Addo’s factory. President Akufu Addo can only do well if we as citizens change our attitudes and mind frames. We need a total religious re-orientation in Ghana. “The belief that God will do everything for man is as untenable as the belief that man can do everything for himself.

It, too, is based on a lack of faith. We must learn that to expect God to do everything while we do nothing is not faith but superstition” (Martin Luther King Jnr). The government must take mental health issues seriously. God bless Our Homeland Ghana. Feedback must be directed to n_yawosei@hatmail.com

Reference

Hall., C.S. (1999). A Primer of Freudian Psychology, a meridian book

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