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Opinions of Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Columnist: Damoa, Adreba Kwaku Abrefa

Are These Foul-mouthed Liars and Propagandists ....

Are These Foul-mouthed Liars and Propagandists that we Have for our Honourables?


The Fourth Republican Ghana has brought not enough civility but atimy and loss of decorum into our world of politics both at home and in the eyes of the international world. Whatever our honourable men and women in Parliament and all the various political appointees do and say in our political discourse cannot be fancied for a frolicking drama meant only for local consumption in Ghana; if such is the thinking of some of these honourables whose job it is to insult, propagandise and tell lies, they are grossly mistaken so they must wake up to realities. Even on the local front, many are those who find the political discourse of today by our supposed honourables not just unpalatable but extremely nocuous.
In the current political climate, all well-meaning and discerning Ghanaians argue that if such is the nature of democracy, then it is not good for Ghana. As in my article on corruption in which I advanced my argument referring to Montesquieu’s view on why it abounds in non-White societies, the same applies to civilised governance which continues to remain alien in our societies. I dread to rather reluctantly confirm that regarding the conduct of some of our supposed honourables I couldn’t agree with Montesquieu more because the conduct of some of our supposed honourables suggests that we are not cut-out for civility. Accordingly Montesquieu’s race theory in which he suggests that Asiatics and the infuscate-hued race have dwelt in or have only just emerged from some system of dictatorial autocratic governance accounts for the reason why they struggle in civilised democratic governance. He couldn’t be more right because democracy is as equally alien to Communist Russia and it’s just disintegrated countries of Eastern European communist fraternity as it is to Ghana and the entire Black race. Where therefore are these amort and epinosic communist ideologies taking Ghanaians to such that we acquiesce to being referred to as a savage society quite unprepared for civility?
Honour and honourableness is not what a man has in himself but what he receives from others hence a true evaluation of the honourable is totally independent of the honourables’ self-evaluation of themselves irrespective of the fact that the title has been automatically conferred on them by virtue of their office. We call them honourables and deal with them as honourables yet above all we lose sight of the nasty things they may have done, can do and continue to do. They themselves know that they do not deserve the title honourable because they lack the attributive excellence expected of them. Let us therefore go down memory lane to dredge up the ancestral genesis of lies and propaganda in Ghanaian politics.
Incident to the first Republic, the Barnes Constitution ushered the Gold Coast into a democratic nomothetic Assembly consisting of honourables. Though it was our first taste of civilised Western democracy, the honourables who sat in the Assembly were real honourables and behaved like honourables. The most probable could be that it was the era of Whiteman’s supervision of our political discourse and activities. Lies and propaganda had however in the earlier days set in to create disaffection for people with opposing views to the CPP doctrines that had pervaded the plebiscite populace. In order to claim entire and total glory for himself in the decades old struggle for self-governance and subsequent independence, having out-staged the five other members who composed the “Big Six”, Nkrumah used an active and potent propaganda tool to denigrate his UP opponents. Nkrumah shed tears at Abbey’s Park in Kumasi on the pretext that Danquah, Busia, Dombo, Amponsah etc of the “Domofo” Party had gone to stop the British from reaching the Gold Coast. According to Nkrumah and Krobo Edusei, the British had travelled all the way from London to as far as Sierra Leone. Explaining his tear-wiping drama, Nkrumah told the huge gathering of CPP faithful that the British were coming down to protend the Independence to the people of Gold Coast but these mischievous Domofo have convinced the Colonialists that Gold Coast was not yet prepared to receive the Independence so they had gone back. By reason of these wicked and unpatriotic steps taken by these UP miscreants, the Osagyefo had to start the entire negotiation process again before the British would reconsider bringing back the Independence to Gold Coast. Nkrumah knew he was lying. He knew he was pushing at an already open door because all the nitty-gritty of the negotiations had been completed decades ago by J B Danquah & co, yet his usual demagoguery he shed tears to prove and justify not just a lie but several lies told earlier against his colleagues through the use of propaganda to generate disaffection for power. Having done so, how far did his lies and propaganda take him?
By dragging Ghana into communism which the populace had little or no knowledge of what the system implied, could Nkrumah have provided houses for all Ghanaians as it is in communist Russia where the people have little or no freedom of choice? Could the government’s proposed dirigiste system have provided jobs let alone job satisfaction for all Ghanaians? Were all of us going to be engaged in the Workers Brigade camps to chant “Work and Happiness” and earn pittance? Wild, fantastic and purely imaginative concepts and proposals have always been made by propagandists only to hit rocks afterwards and when it so inevitably happens they blame opponents with insults.
After the British had left completely, in came the first Republic in mid-1960 when a wind of change started blowing across Ghana. Western cultured democracy was chased out in came the jungle-style Soviet communist system. During that period of our political culture, insults on the silenced and confined to home, the politically imprisoned and exiled opponents were nulli secundus.
The second Republic under Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia and the third Republic under Dr Hilla Limann were much better in political decency as decent and politically mature people with better ethical political culture of tolerance held the high offices of the land though it wasn’t the expected pristine best, it was much better than it is today. Over three decades advancement in our political age, Ghana is seems to have been gripped with neoteinia and relapsing into regretful nostomania.
As we all know, the fourth republic came to exist in the form of a pseudo-civil democratic Party weaned from a continuation of eleven years of a military dictatorship regime. Reasoning from the view of Montesquieu as above, these upstart so-called honourables have enjoyed stratocracy for eleven years and have not yet shed their dictatorial tendencies so they know little or no civility let alone nomocracy. The founder of their Party John Rawlings who used public funds to found their NDC and became Ghana’s President by default has the most impudent moral conduct and behaviour towards all his opponents that is very unbecoming of any decent father, neighbour, friend and a supposed henotic politician.
Liars and propagandists in politics as we have known them in our political culture since time immemorial hold the doxy that history can be made either way hence they believe that if they cannot gain honour through virtuous achievements, they can make it through the other way round. Therefore in their desire to be known by others and for them to establish a kind of immortality through living on the memory of later generations, they believe that evil will serve as well as repute. It is therefore no wonder that according as they belief, both Hitler and Joseph Stalin have the names in history. Generally, honourables are people who have successfully ventured beyond the pale of ordinary men and have created a symbol of great deeds to become a monument in human memory. Beyond what pale of ordinary men have these pseudo-honourables ventured? Even if they have in any way those who through politics have become honourables must acknowledge the grain in the saying that there is honour among thieves, suggesting that even among bad men there is a desire to hold the approbation of those who share a common life. Enough is enough and a word to the wise is enough.
Adreba Kwaku Abrefa Damoa (London UK)
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