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Opinions of Wednesday, 21 December 2005

Columnist: Akosah-Sarpong, Kofi

The Case Against The Osu Castle

The row over whether to build a new seat of government or move the seat to another building, once again, reveals the emerging Ghanaian Renaissance as reflected not only in the Members of Parliament debates about this issue but also as the public ponders the metaphysical implications of managing Ghana?s business in a building ridden with slavery and agony, bloodshed, massive juju-marabou destructive forces, unGhanaian behaviour, military coups, stupidity, and generally evil deeds. No doubt, the ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP), via its MPs, who are scheming to move the seat of Ghanaian governments away from this grim building, bicker that ?the president should not be based in Osu Castle - where slaves used to be kept.?
Opposition MPs storming out of a ?parliamentary debate on whether to take out a US$30 million loan to build a new presidential palace,? is not as serious as the spiritual implications of seating a national government in a building ridden with long-running evil deeds and deformed thoughts. The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is right in saying that ?the money would be better spent elsewhere? ? poverty alleviation, healthcare, sanitation, education, roads, food, water, and so on. But while NPP MPs might have voted commonly in favour of taking the loan from India, the issue here is deeper than partisan politics, the issue here is much more metaphysical than physical, much more spiritual than US$30 million.
The Ghanaian legislature, reflecting the emerging new thinking informed by Ghana?s history and culture, demonstrates that the work of parliaments are not only to enact legislations to solve physical problems ? food, water, domestic violence, gender inequality, human rights. That the work of a legislative body, at certain odd times, such as the debate about putting up a new presidential structure in order to move the government from the former slave trade post, where unimaginable evil activities took place against Ghanaians and other West Africans, is also to look at the sacred wellbeing of its citizens. Depending upon the spiritual problems of the state, such as the agonizing slave trade with its shame and pains and deaths and dying and bloodshed and betrayals and brutalities and treacheries and agonies and cries, the vocation of national parliaments is also to oversee the spiritual health of its citizens. By mentioning the slave trade, a massive evil activity, and by extension its spiritual implications, as one of the reasons for thinking of building a new presidential palace for current and future Ghanaian governments, the Ghanaian NPP MPs are revealing the dawn of not only enlightenment in Ghana?s progress but also the dawn of her renaissance; the legislatures thinking from within the culture and history of Ghana to right historical, spiritual, moral and development wrongs.
Attempts to heal the moral and spiritual wrongs at the Castle and appease the spirits of those killed and hurt there is in line with Ghanaian/African cosmology. African thinkers and spiritualists such as Zambia?s Roman Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo have consistently argued that some of Africa predicaments may be as a result of imbalances in her cosmology ? that?s imbalances between the physical and the metaphysical. African spirituality calls for a balance between the physical and the metaphysical in order for progress to take place. So the NPP MPs attempting to put up a new state house to run Ghana?s affairs, for largely spiritually reasons, is reflecting Milingo?s suggestion to donor agencies and other international development organizations working in Africa to look at the balance between the physical and the metaphysical aspect of Africa?s tradition when planning development strategies.
So six years into his presidency, President John Kufuor, through his MPs, is indirectly telling Ghanaians why he has resisted living at the depressive Castle, because of not what only what slave trade and colonialism did inside the Castle but also what some post-independent Ghanaian Heads of State did there ? human sacrifice, fearful juju-marabou rituals, brutalities, killings there, gross inhumanity. Ghanaians say the basement of the Castle is reported to be splashed with human blood, apparently in a human sacrifice ritual. Almost six years in office, President Kufuor resides in his own private house in Accra and drives to his offices at the Castle for state business.
Having moved Ghanaian governments to a new presidential building, freed from the evil deeds of centuries past, the Castle, a grim ?black gash of shame,? could be used as a national museum, a national memorial, as a civilizing place that would deepen the ideas of not only inhumanity but also massive evil deeds. It would bring peace and human rights to the soul of Ghana. Ghanaians need a comprehensive moral and spiritual cleansing, the traditional idea of Ghana herself as balanced in her cosmology as the last best hope in her development process. The Castle is spiritually unbalanced place to run state affairs.

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