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Opinions of Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Columnist: writersghana.com

Bla! Bla!! Blab!!!, lawyers in Ghana struggle to communicate

We are a blabbing nation; much ado and much a-say about nothing: rattle prattle it is called in America.

Our leaders are ‘full of sound and fury signifying nothing’.

Now for some evidence…

On Monday morning, Eezy FM, 107.5MHz, a radio station based here in Accra granted Nii Armah Addy, a lawyer, an interview on his book titled The Crucifixion of LI 1296. The host was Larry Benson.

Let us paraphrase what Nii Armah Addy said…

About 3,000 lawyers academically qualified and also qualified by all the requirements of LI 1296 are not able to practise in Ghana.

[An LI is a Legislative Instrument by which an arm of government which seeks to introduce some regulations enforceable in law places a draft document before parliament for a period of time. When there is no objection, it becomes law after the maturity date].

There are problems with their recognition…the courts have not been able to give them justice.

[When Larry quizzed whether there weren’t too many lawyers in Ghana, Nii Armah Addy responded with facts, evidence and reason thus….]

The ratio of lawyers to citizens in Ghana is one is to 80,000.

Our lawyers are all concentrated in Accra. Many of our rural areas are not served by lawyers.

Lawyers need to specialize but they don’t have those opportunities in Ghana.

Unlike doctors [who specialize], lawyers in Ghana handle almost any and every case.

There’s a feeling that there’re too many lawyers in the system hence, the strategy to slow down law school admissions. It appears the legal system is using frustration and delay tactics to prevent the case from being resolved.

[He was apparently referring to some case filed by a US based Ghanaian lawyer Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare and other interested persons against the attorney-general and the General Legal Council].

END OF PARAPHRASE

Meanwhile, recently, a law school exam marking scheme went viral on social media so the paper is to be rewritten.

Some say the marking scheme appeared just moments after the paper was written, others say it had been available to some students all along.

Is our country not in an abyss, with new lows being hit every day?

Hence the need for us to communicate passionately to Ghana and the world.

What is clear from the Eezy FM morning show is that as a nation, we’re not able to use Truth, Logic and Rhetoric to communicate. Look at the lawyers and judges, and their students! Frustrating and embarrassing themselves!

We’re either ignorant of knowledge and available evidence or when exposed to the knowledge and evidence, we’re too dishonest and or stubborn to utilise it. Obviously all of these options are bad for development and progress.

Records have it that when the celebrated Dr Kwegir Aggrey was on a ship back to Ghana, with other new Achimota staff expats, after completing his doctoral studies he was invited to dinner on the ship.

A British colonialist quizzed why a Black man had been invited to dinner on the ship with white folks (Of course he was well dressed)!

The ship’s captain responded in the presence of Dr Kwegyir Aggrey that, ‘This is the most educated and accomplished person on this ship’.

Facts, evidence and reason prevailed, and they sat down to dine comfortably in excellent fellowship.

The result was Achimota School, a colonial project based on promoting the liberal arts and sciences.

In this sense, the principles upon which Achimota School was founded present the model of education for all of us, both in and out of school, and no matter our level of education nor status in life.

No matter whether we’re Achimota alumni or not.

The liberal arts and sciences include Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric; all of which are required to accurately present your case and convince your audience.

The tragedy in Ghana today is that even those who had further studies in ‘elite institutions’ such as Yale and Cambridge, come back to Ghana and behave like everyone else – and occasionally even worse and expect a free pass on account of their school credentials.

But there must be a way out.

At Writers and Shakespeares Ghana Limited we are determined and passionate about becoming the model integrated strategic communications consultancy.

We shall use sound knowledge and the highest standards of practice to become a moral and intellectual guide to excellent public relations practice and integrated communications around the world, beginning with Ghana.

The evidence is that logic and rhetoric, among other disciplines, were most cherished in all the great ancient civilisations – Egypt, China, Greece and Rome.

Modern advanced societies try to live by these timeless principles.

And if they make mistakes, they go back to the drawing board still using the liberal arts and sciences as a guide.

Anyone ever wondered why both Kwame Nkrumah and J.B. Danquah, political adversaries, agreed on the need to establish the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, and why that organization celebrates both of them with lectures?

Anyone ever wondered why the British, for example, have maintained their Ordinary and Advanced Level, and why the Ghanaian middle class spend about US$15,000.00 per child per year in tuition fees to get O-Level and A-Level education right here in Ghana even when there is Free Senior High School leading to the West Africa Senior School Certificate?

For sure, there are standards; too bad for you if you do not know that.