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Opinions of Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Columnist: Kwarteng, Francis

Bugri Naabu cries out for justice 2

“For education among all kinds of men always has had, and always will have, an element of danger and revolution, of dissatisfaction and discontent” (W.E.B. Du Bois).

AKUFO-ADDO AND THE MAKING OF HISTORY

Anyone can make promises but not everyone can honor such promises. It takes boldness of vision, conviction, and the sanctioning power and authority of consensus to make things happen for the public good.

For that matter, anyone who wants to be president for all and a unifier does not choose the grammatical person “I” over consensus building in the intellectual, emotional and philosophical equation of political socialization.

The grammatical person “I” in effect otherizes the moral voices of consensus building and popular sovereignty, banishing them to the dystopian island of dictatorial personship.

This is both antihistory and antihistoricism. This also deprives consensus-building and popular sovereignty of their corporate personhood, of their right to the instruments of coercive power in the strictest defense of the public good, social justice, anti-corruption practices, Afrocentric Pan-Africanism, and equality of purpose in effectively administering the state and the public purse.

Nation-building is fundamentally about the game theory of mutual trust, about the proper deployment of the power of language against subversive and unpatriotic and reactionary forces, about consciencism, about strategic consensus and the judicial, optimal policy effectuation of that consensus in the general pursuit of patriotic technocracy and the latter’s implications for development economics, political stability, the protection of the commonweal, industrial development, public health, and improved standards of living and quality of life for the vast majority of hardworking Ghanaians—no less.

Meanwhile Akufo-Addo and his incoming government had better concentrate on doing right by Ghanaians, Ghana, and Africa, by, among other things fulfilling all his campaign promises, rather than by devoting his intellectual and emotional resources to what he recently referred to as “I want to write history.”

Of course men do not write history; history writes men. History also makes and unmakes men, not the reverse. History is the best author of men, not the reverse. It is history that gives birth to men, not the reverse.

History is the best judge of men’s character, not the reverse. History predates and outlives men.

And, certainly, men are no wiser than the daw of history. History can see far into the future, yet men are blind to that future.

Men do not dictate to history. In fact men are merely stenographers for the exceedingly long reach of time, of history.

History is a storehouse of unlimited wisdom and intelligence, men childishly unwise and unintelligent and stupid. Simply put—history is next to God, to godliness.

As a matter of fact history is well into the future, far ahead of the lumbering perceptual gait of Akufo-Addo.

Thus Akufo-Addo will be wise and best advised to defer that unborn history of his future—the history he wants to write—to posterity, the true critics of history, of hindsight.

And that unborn history is not exclusively his. It is an embryonic history that is shrouded in the labyrinth of social aggregation.

As a discerning mortal he simply cannot outrun the long hands of time. Akufo-Addo should learn to wait on history.

As simple as that!

THE FUTURE OF THIS HISTORY

The future of this history implies a thorough yet impartial investigation of both Bugri Naabu and the Mahama investigations, or else we incur the painful wrath of posterity and the generational pinch of impunity, the absolute disregard for laws and institutions, the loss of a patriotic sense of duty among others.

The very survival of our nonfunctioning institutions which have only nominal existence, largely depend on effective resolution of cases of this nature most of which have gone cold for obvious reasons. Political commentators and social critics such as Kweku Baako, Jr. have punched holes in the allegations which somehow put a dent in Bugri Naabu’s credibility, but this does not, in and of itself, bring about the kind of teachable adjudicatory finality one seeks in a high-profile case such as the latter’s.

These Bugri Naabu allegations cannot be properly sorted out without sorting out the many scandalous controversies that dogged Akufo-Addo as a member of Kufuor’s cabinet, and even now as the primary occupant of the Flagstaff House. The same goes for President Mahama. Then again, any personality involved in this bribery scandal should be kept far away from any serious consideration for political appointment and contract-awarding arrangements with the state until they are cleared of the charges. These are the kinds of pressing issues that should engage the attention of a critical mass in the Ghanaian body politic. Unfortunately this is not always the case.

Because the average Ghanaian—including the likes of Bugri Naabu—is a captive of the conspiracy of silence, religious naivety, arrogance of power, wanton abuse of incumbency and political equalization, he has not been able to contribute his quota to his own storehouse of moral agency and to that critical mass required for the effectuation of sustainable change in his cognitive psychology and that of the national conscience, both of which have been hijacked by a duopolistic boobocracy.

This captive status of the ordinary Ghanaian is also accounted for by the fact that he is a slave to a system of political superstition built around an unproductive, or still-born, establishment duopoly. In this endarkened state of mental disequilibrium he fails to see a fulfilling future beyond this bloodsucking establishment duopoly which he is so desperately hooked on for lack of a better alternative (s).

He is not bothered in the least that when he looks intensely at the battered destiny of his country in the fractured duopolistic mirror, all he sees is a receding cul-de-sac. He takes great pride in his elective franchise because, to him, exercising it surely ends the tortuous journey of democracy.

In Ghana, of course, the genesis of his problems and the state starts with the very moment he exercises his franchise, not otherwise. It is a tricky question though, in that exercising the elective franchise in a collective sense often tends to dampen the uniquely placed characterology of individual preferences in a political democracy. That is, this uniquely placed characterology of individual preferences get swept up and buried in a swamped majoritarian forest.

Thus exercising the elective franchise in a general collective sense becomes a dictatorship of sorts, a convoluted dictatorship not borne out of the majority who voted but of the select few at the receiving end of the majoritarian endorsement. This is partly because the ensuing trade-off, broadly speaking, inures to the benefit of a select group of political players who tends to enjoy the reins of power to the absolute exclusion of the elector.

For instance, in a duopoly such as Ghana’s the dividends of popular sovereignty and the elective franchise tend to gravitate towards a leadership of questionable moral and ethical characterology. It is why the scandalous gravity of Bugri Naabu’s allegations flew into a fever pitch, an earsplitting crescendo—only to die a quiet natural death. This natural death could as well last forever.

It is also why our leaders are quick to dismiss the Ibrahim Index and the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, and the attractive monetary package that accompanies them, because the latter makes what they manage to steal from the public purse while in office pale in significance.

Time will tell if the Ibrahim Index and the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Governance will pique Akufo-Addo’s political and moral interest and curiosity to, among other things, do right by Ghanaians and the country.

We shall keep our fingers crossed and wait for this momentous day to arrival!

CONCLUDING REMARKS FOR PART 1

A closer look at the ruling elites and managers of the state clearly demonstrates a grinding paucity of refined, patriotic thinkers meant for and deserving of an advanced political economy.

Rather than questioning the toxic status quo and overthrowing it in the best interest of national development, they celebrate it, idolize it, cherish it, and entrench it because that is the only way they can maintain their kleptomaniacal lifestyles.

The political illiteracy, poverty and ignorance of the masses contribute to this messy state of affairs. The evidence for this is there for all to see.

What Du Bois therefore described as “an element of danger and revolution, of dissatisfaction and discontent” in the educated class is not there to produce the kind of critical mass to negate the status quo and thereby usher in positive change via the paradigms of social revolution and patriotic consciousness.

Our understanding is that education is supposed to bring about a measure of positive change in the Ghanaian society, but this positive relief has never materialized in the Fourth Republic for want of prudent application of education to the living conditions of the masses.

All we see in the educated class is comic relief.

In other words, Ghanaian politics has made a fool out of the educated bourgeois, or simply that the average educated Ghanaian politician is a wasteful resource trapped in a hollow pipe. Bob Marley appears to capture this sentiment for us without mincing words:

“I have no education; I have inspiration. If I was educated, I would be a damn fool.”

In this regard notwithstanding the above, Madam Akua Donkor is just as good President Mahama or President-elect Akufo-Addo—for instance.

Furthermore though unlettered in the formal sense, Madam Donkor speaks well, behaves well, and acts more professionally and diplomatically and humanely and respectfully in the public space than the Member of Parliament for Assin North (Central Region), Kennedy Agyapong, a well-known moral and public and diplomatic nuisance.

Ken’s suit of dramatic diplomatic gaffes and elevated scale of rhetorical pollution needs no belaboring here.

Rather, his untoward behavior makes him look more like a sympathetic victim of the pathophysiology of spasmodic perseveration than of a civilized thoughtful robot.

Public figures like these constitute themselves into dangerous paradoxes and antitheses of what it means to have or pursue progressive education.

Their brash carriage in the public sphere for that matter undermines the instrumental value of education thereby putting the whole enterprise of value theory in jeopardy.

In other words education in Ghana numbs the critical faculties instead.

Thus Du Bois’ idea of “danger” and “revolution” connotes a rather hopeful designation of rational positivity, for the social good—that is.

Unfortunately education rather than conscientizing us and positively elevating us to a well-deserved stratosphere of social and moral refinement, has made us unthinking prisoners of superstition and religious showmanship, pathological liars and thieves, nation wreckers, unneighborly, wicked, worshipers of mediocrity, and vindictive enemies of progress.

Education has also made it relatively easier to circumvent the intricate inner workings of our bureaucracies, a situation that easily makes the enabling capacity for institutional corruption more than possible in the Ghanaian body politic.

Perchance—this blatant admission represents one of the saddest story arcs of our organic existence as a people. But all is not lost yet as some may think.

The ideas of ethical imperative, social justice, practical idealism, ubuntu, Afrocentric Pan-Africanism, industry, critical pedagogy, Afrocentric enlightenment, humanism, scientific and technological knowledge, Afro-optimism, and victorious consciousness are central to realizing the sort of critical mass commensurate with the rebirth of Ghana and Africa.

Enforcing the law and setting deterring precedents of teachable examples may go a long way to reduce incidents of public corruption.

As well, we should make policy de-emphasis on ethnocentrism in one sense and in another, institute a vigorous moral crusade against institutional corruption and crony capitalism and nepotism and gross mismanagement of our natural resources and the public purse as top policy priorities.

Strategic pursuit of comparative advantage and pragmatic nationalism are equally of great consequence.

More significantly, perhaps, Eurocentric education has turned the ruling class into an insane asylum of comic zombies—political animals only fit for what Mark Twain may have subtly described as “blackface minstrelsy” (see his novels “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”).

These Eurocentric zombies are at war with the masses in that they have tactically deployed the weapons of social engineering, politainment, manufacturing consent, crowd manipulation, agitprop serial callers and useful idiots against independent thought.

The average Ghanaian therefore finds himself in a state of debilitating confusion and a gridlock of derealization—thanks to the diabolical machinations of his dated cabal of political animals in charge of his destiny and all the arsenals of his mental faculty.

Alas, unbeknownst to him these undead political animals in charge of national affairs and the public purse are also bloodsucking ambassadorial clones of murderous criminality—idealistic proponents of the politics of the belly, kleptomaniacal democracy, prebendalism, cronyism and nepotism, political and regionalism ethnocentrism, bovarism and double consciousness, ethnic chauvinism, and the like.

We should inveigh against artificially induced scarcities, budget padding, inflating project costs, crony capitalism, sole-source or no-bid contracts, institutional corruption, and open display of questionable acquired opulence by politicians, all of which must cease with immediate effect, while at the same time making declaration of assets and liabilities by public office holders a top priority.

We need to get these political criminals from behind the frosted glass of political theology, to account for their litany of misdeeds and malfeasances!

As they say, the left hand is closer to the anus than we think. Dare we ask more? We don’t think we are asking for too much! Are we?

“Are some flowers more beautiful than others? The garden is beautiful. Do I prefer brother over brother? Comparisons are part of this political world. Where there is one, there is no conflict. Where there is two or more, there is conflict. Two is the devil. Conflict begins with the devil. We count 0 to 1, then back to 0. It is a circle” (Peter Tosh).

We shall return with Part 3.