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Opinions of Saturday, 18 May 2013

Columnist: Tamakloe, Kojo

When the elephants fight , it is the grass that suffers

Kojo Tamakloe

The power struggle in Ghana , a negative symptom of what permeates most of Africa reminds me of the saying above. What amazes me is how our fore fathers sacrificed and fought in the hope that the next generation would walk with their heads held high feeling equal to all and being a master of their domain . Will it remain a pipe dream or can we make it a realty?
Thabo Mbeki a former president of South Africa in a speech titled “ I am an African”, had this to say
“I am born of the peoples of the continent of Africa. The pain of the violent conflict that the peoples of Liberia, Somalia, the Sudan, Burundi and Algeria is a pain I also bear. The dismal shame of poverty, suffering and human degradation of my continent is a blight that we share. The blight on our happiness that derives from this and from our drift to the periphery of the ordering of human affairs leaves us in a persistent shadow of despair. This is a savage road to which nobody should be condemned. This thing that we have done today, in this small corner of a great continent that has contributed so decisively to the evolution of humanity says that Africa reaffirms that she is continuing her rise from the ashes…
Whatever the difficulties, Africa shall be at peace!”
He goes on optimistically call for our energy input
“But it seems to have happened that we looked at ourselves and said the time had come that we make a super-human effort to be other than human, to respond to the call to create for ourselves a glorious future, to remind ourselves of the Latin saying: Gloria est consequenda – Glory must be sought after!
Today it feels good to be an African…
However improbable it may sound to the sceptics, Africa will prosper!”

As I watch the going on at the SC and read the posts that come after, the insults, the disparagement of the people, the vulgarity and the debasement of intellectuality I wonder. I wonder about our priorities . I wonder if it was worth it . The Mau mau wars , the death of Sgt Adjetey, cpl Attipoe, and Awhaitey. The bravery of Nii Ayi Bonte and the sacrifices in the boycotts . The Ben Bellas, the Lumbubas and many others who died that we may live . That we may live a better life

There was a man called Krobo Edusei, not very schooled but to me educated and full of wisdom , who told us what life is about . He put it simply “ Eat and let your brother eat” . Today we have the people who “eat and let their brother starve “ . Krobo as he was affectionately called ,coming out of jail looked up and said “I weep for Ghana. The vultures are taking over” .Krobo like his mentor Nkrumah may not have been perfect , but the cared , they had a heart.

So I ask what kind of people for the sake of power will derail the development process, will ensure the people suffer so they can come to power ?. What kind of people using the name of Christ to push for power?. How are they practicing Christianity? By judging others , through insults, burning markets, destroying what there is.? The spread of hate is every where . But what about us in Sodom & Gomorrah ? In the Zongos and villages . People living on a dollar a day?. But we have “big” people spending the whole day at the SC , when we starve, when we are homeless, short by 2 million homes, when we are in “ obroni wewu”, with an aged TOR cringing to satisfy an ever growing population . We have no shipping lines, nor airlines , gutters filled with filth, disease everywhere. But they ride , they ride in 4 wheelers with air conditions and the latest music all imported with proceeds of the sweat of the people who toil , and the people who suffer. And they mock them , kayayo, veranda boys, herd boys and then, they fill big . They even fear the development of other areas in case they catch up with them or pass them so they have coined terms like envy, jealousy,hatred, when they are the ones who are envious and jealous. Afraid others may usurp their privileged positions . So they spend the time using big words and jumping from station to station misinforming the people , working on their emotions , keeping them in bondage. The worst bondage of mentality .Mental bondage or slavery . That is what the Dr in front of our names is capable of doing. The rewards of the toiling masses for sweating to give enlightenment is being kept in the dark . Mental darkness .

Let us remember the Krobos , Botsios, Gbedemahs, Baakos , Gokahs , Abavanahs,had no doctorates but brought the dams, the bridges, the schools, the estate houses, airports, harbors, factories, farms and work . There was a purpose and there was unity. But above all dignity , as Ghanaians, we sang, “ work and happiness, all must give their best to beautiful Ghana’ . Yes that is why Dr Bawumia has property at Kanda , his middle class parents affording to get in . Many who were disadvantaged were able to become middle class. These disadvantaged should be our focus as when they succeed, all succeed. Let us always make them the focus as they are the reason for public service . I believe that is what will open the doors of heaven , That is what is being a follower of Christ , not by calling him, Lord, Lord, but by action. My grandpa used to tell me he will be with God because he never forgot the less fortunate . He never called them names, nor disparaged them. They were fellow humans and he treated them as such

I remember how Man United last year, was beaten at the post to the title . I was glad , it is not a team I support . But I watched . Sir Alex Ferguson , the maestro. He did not complain ,nor throw tantrums , but just sat quietly and analyzed. He quietly accepted the mistakes he made , corrected them . No insults, no excuses , no disparagements. Just a quiet determination and came roaring back , sweeping in his path , like a true champ. A true leader Now he has clinched it. May 16, 2013 was the night for one Candice Glover . A simpleton from humble beginnings. She hailed from a small city in South Carolina. She has a voice and tried to win only to be turned down twice. But that night after learning from her mistakes made it her night . Three years she said . Then we have JJ Rawlings , whose first coup failed but was saved by a miracle from death. Ex President Kufour tried three times and so was the journey of Asomdwehene . May his gentle soul rest in peace . Are there any lessons for our pseudo leaders ? We live to fight another day. But as we fight because we believe others are not equal to us either by birth, language, religion, sex, let the words of Thabo Mbeki resonate in our ears thus
“At times, and in fear, I have wondered whether I should concede equal citizenship of our country to the leopard and the lion, the elephant and the springbok, the hyena, the black mamba and the pestilential mosquito. A human presence among all these, a feature on the face of our native land thus defined, I know that none dare challenge me when I say – I am an African! “

The writer Kojo Tamakloe is an Nkrumaist who believes the solution to our under development is through African Unity