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Opinions of Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Columnist: Appiah, Kofi

Civilian revolution or positive defiance?

Are Ghanaians human beings? Yes, of course! Are all Ghanaians human beings? Generally, not all of them can be genuine human beings. Furthermore, are some Ghanaians normal human beings or just living as God’s creatures or what? If the answer to the first question is yes, then, what about the second one? Do we reason as humans? The actions and inactions of some people, in the clear mind of the author, illustrate emphatically that not all of us were normal human beings. On the third question, however, yes, but you will agree with the writer that some section of the Ghanaian citizenry could be normal human beings while the rest, presumably, a sizeable population, to a larger extent, were not humans, otherwise, Ghana should not be where we are now. The way and belligerent manner people act and behave awkwardly and abnormally; clearly indicates that, truly, not all of us were genuinely created human beings. The author dare say this because it seems that some section of the people may have been privileged by God’s grace to be patented with human skin. The behavioural instincts clearly suggest that but for the love of God for humanity; such persons should not have been gifted with the five senses of nature. When you observe Ghanaians thoroughly, then you begin to ask yourself series of questions as to whether, indeed, such people that you see, are the creatures from God. People act abnormally these days. Respect for the aged has completely eroded from the system. Truth does not really matter to our judges nor comes anywhere near the vocabulary of most of the very well respected dignitaries in society. As for moral discipline, its obituary posters for burial/funeral have been pasted all over the place. Indiscipline has become the national anthem, cup of tea and bread and butter for all. The attitudinal sickness is such that not even the late Dr. Moustapha, formerly of Korle Bu Hospital could cure it. The sense of dignity is non-existent; while conscience is nothing to write home about. Patriotism is in comatose condition and sense of belongingness has transcended our borders. Or is it because any ‘idiot’ can just mount the political platform within 3 months to become ‘somebody’? Fellow Ghanaians, are we a cursed country or what really is happening? Is Ghana gradually metamorphosing to the days of Sodom and Gomorrah or phasing out from the world? Is Ghana grinding to a halt? Why does the government allow nonentities and nincompoops like “toddler” ministers appearing on our television screens to infuriate the ears of discerning minds with lies and deceit and propaganda gimmicks as if they were rather in opposition? Do their annoying actions rather not provide nice recipe and juicy ingredients for national catastrophe? Is Mr. Nunoo Mensah day-dreaming or drunk with power? What kind of sacrifice if any has he made towards Ghana’s resuscitation of the economy? Where was he when all the mess about indiscipline was going on as well as the filth engulfing Ghana? Does he now want recognition when the economy is marrow-less bone? JUDICIARY

The world has come to realize the caliber of Ghanaian judges; their competence or otherwise. After thorough reading of the entire 533-page document from the 9 judges, the world community who, hitherto, did not understand our judicial practice, has become awakened. The competence of some counsels has brought them to limelight to merit international appointments. Meanwhile, the author doffs his hat for the four justices whose moral uprightness lend credence to freedom and justice. Justices Dotse, Ansah, Anin-Yeboah and Owusu of the SC will forever be remembered by posterity. Bravo!!! Every peace-loving person should cherish their honest labour. The author suggests for consideration by HRM Queen Elizabeth of England and her British Government to arrange for knighthood and the highest Commonwealth medals for a job well done to save an imminent civil war. It is hoped the Guinness Book of Records will inscribe their names in GOLD and in “italics” for Ghanaians to know the priceless and invaluable services to peace, freedom, justice and humanity. May God richly bless them all! Does Ghana need the “Nehemiahs” and the “Jeremiahs”, the “Isaiahs” and the “Ezekiels” of old to come to our aid and plead for clemency from God? Time is fast running out for us to be overtaken by events. Will Ghana set record as first sub-regional country to taste the economic crunch after the almighty United States had crumbled? Something drastic should be done and must be soonest. Why the mad rush for money and wealth at the expense of the aged and vulnerable in society? Why the daylight robbery and thievery of the national cake by people in authority? Sadly, our traditional/opinion leaders, who should point accusing fingers at the presidency for the situation of creating, looting and sharing of everything in the system, have become deaf and dumb. Have they been dragged into the corruption net as well? Why is it that almost everybody; not excepting our most revered judges/chiefs, who should not be involved to save their dignity, are seriously scrambling madly for wealth and property as if the world was coming to an end tomorrow? The atheist and the heathen should be teasing all Ghanaians: “But where is your God/Allah that you profess to serve and worship like the days of Israel, until Elijah was divinely asked to go and call the bluff of the recalcitrant Ahab and incorrigible spouse, Jezebel”? But wait a minute! Our God truly reigns supreme. He has an appointed time-table for Ghanaians; so we should not despair and lose hope immediately! He lives. In order that all eyes and minds will see His might and majesty and understand his creation, hence the laxity as if he was asleep like Jesus on the sinking boat after Peter and all the disciples had exhausted their strength and overstretched themselves to their elastic limit. They forgot that the Master of the Waves, who knew about their feeble frames and minds, was on board; but decided to test their dwindled faith. He knew about their weaknesses before he went to sleep. And He later woke up from sleep to calm the storm. The battle, however, is the Lord’s. Certainly, Ghana’s version of Moses will emerge from the blues and from nowhere. Sooner than later, there will be green light at the end of the tunnel. It is only patience and perseverance that we need. Trust the writer and mark his word! Ghanaians, like the people of Israel, have truly confessed and had remissions of sins to be granted with mercy, otherwise, the Lord that Christians always serve and worship, was not alive.

SQUARE PEGS

In the Ghanaian parlance, when one least expects something like a gift from a friend or someone; promotion from one rank to the other or from an institution, or more so, an inheritance from the family or a group and does get it, we know how that beneficiary acts. There is vast difference between his mannerisms and behavioral instincts. The way that person behaves or fiddles with the toy or parcel makes him quite a different person altogether. The actual recipient who knows he should have gotten it and never got it, also behaves in a very abnormal way sometimes. And it is natural that these two scenarios run parallel like that in the world. That is exactly what has become the old adage by the ‘illiterate’ military instructors of old whenever they disciplined incorrigible soldiers at physical training sessions or at parade grounds with their pidgin English as thus – “Wanna, wanna, no get, and getta, getta, no want”. Literally, it means, the uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, i.e. those who should have been privileged to be at the training grounds never got the opportunity. To buttress the point, please turn with the author to the Holy Bible, Jeremiah 17:11 “As a partridge that broods but does not hatch, So is he who get riches (presidency), but not by right; It will leave him in the midst of his days, And at his end he will be a fool.” The Akan version of the current events are like the immediate quotation “akokohwedee a obutu nkosua a enye ono na otoee soo, obebu ne nna mu fa agya, na n’awieee mu obeye okwasea”. The whole world knows that the government’s ineptitude is nothing of their making but the Finger of God is at work according to the above text. Proverbs 15:1,2 “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word (like Mensah Nunoo’s, for recognition) stirs up anger. 2 The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.

POLITICAL APPOINTMENTS

Are we really serious as a country at all? Yes or no? The way and manner political appointments in Ghana have recently taken a nosedive, we should be very, very careful that nothing untoward happens; otherwise, the country can easily be plunged into something else. The humble author is not a soothsayer nor wants to be touted as a saboteur or a nation-wrecker. But the plain truth must be told and told in bold language. Unlike our “distinguished” compatriots who have carved a name for themselves and families, they should fear not and be bold to speak the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the gospel truth. From the look of things, because of recent events unveiling itself by the day, people must be careful! Certain names that have suddenly propped up and appeared in political circles do not augur well for a healthy and harmonious co-existence.

The writer will like to ask whether JDM was, once, an apostle of the champion tribal crusader who was the schemer and strategist for the Ewe hegemony. During his lifetime, he did same and may be, John’s tribal instincts are the prototype. If ever there was any man with two balls in-between his thighs now in Ghana; who, could possibly beat him to that, then, that person was yet to be born. But where is he now? Dead and gone! As someone puts it, “Ghana rejected his blood” because of his tribal inclinations/instincts to propel him to travel far away to meet his death in Kenya rather than for a Ghanaian to be the cause of his death.

The author should be permitted for raking the wounds of family members, but that is a fact. That is what everybody should think about. Following the political appointments lately by the Jubilee House; if you’re not christened Braimah, Mohammed, Nanfuri, Gariba, Fuseini, Yakubu, Atengane, Ibrahim, Atenga, Adongo, Atentanwe, Alhaji This, Alhaji That, Hajia This, Hajia That, Andani, Agambila, Agambire, Ayamba, Ayariga, Ayalingo, Mumuni, Alhassan or Woyongo; then, forget it. You will never catch the eyes of the powers that be to secure any lucrative job. That is an unhealthy situation and a very serious and dangerous precedent and can be suicidal for us as a country. Police officers from particular tribes due for retirement were still in service; while those from the other side of the coin, were not spared even a week to look for alternative accommodation let alone considered for re-engagement. They are forced to retire on attaining 60 years.

The desirables, who are on pension/ retirement, have been recalled from home for contract with fat, fat salaries/fringe benefits because Ghanaians, will always say, “Fa ma Nyame” or let the sleeping dog lie and forget. When the ‘lazy’ radio panelists talk for time on end, they will stop. And then the hypnotized or paid clergy will jump in and re-echo; “We need peace”. Silly, isn’t it? Will Ghanaians always not be regarded as silly and block-headed dehydrated brats if we continued to allow ourselves to be fooled and cheated by the never-do-well persons if there was never any hue and cry? Why the arrogant display of opulence, nepotism and tribalism to such an alarming proportion? Were there no better alternatives, replacements nor fresh limbs to take over?

The Ghanaian’s temporary or perennial silence must not be taken for granted and misconstrued as being a mere walkover or pushover. Fear him because if he strikes, then, you must be firm on the ground otherwise, one day, there can be an Indonesian type tsunami. Ghana has thousands of very respected and distinguished/ dignified chiefs, yet, none would talk, because they have become gaping sycophants. How? How? Why? Why? Nobody is prepared to raise an accusing finger to say hey you, what’s up? To date, not a single one has mustered courage to caution the presidency to dismiss any wrong-doing minister/appointee let alone the beneficiaries of the stolen judgment debt that the Supreme Court has categorically instructed for refund.

To date, the presidency has done nothing about that. If he fails to caution or sanction wrong-doers from his backyard, he will go down in history as the worst ‘youthful’ president Ghana has ever had. The Council of State is as impotent as the toothless bulldog. To date, the debt regime stands at Gh¢43.5bn without any recourse to physical proof of infrastructure development except, may be, the La Trade Fair-37 Giffard Circle road otherwise known as the Akuafo Circle. Within a spate of 5 years, the Mills-Mahama government has contracted a whopping Gh¢34.5bn while that of the Kufuor’s 8 years Administration, stood at Gh¢9bn, including the debt burden from Nkrumah’s era.

One really wonders whether the 4-kilometer Madina Social Welfare road linking the Obodjo Apostles Revelation Society (ARS) Church-America House, East Legon, that has just been recently asphalted, is of more significant importance/priority than the Tetteh Quarshie-Adenta road that has now become a white elephant. This stretch can cost almost the same as this yawning road begging for breast-taping.

How soon will the government reconsider her sense of urgency? There are equally countless number of heavenly ordained clergy, yet, because of good-running 4 x 4 vehicles that have been dished out to most of them, have instantantly become deaf and dumb with blurred vision as well. They fear reprisals and bashing by the infantile appointees and possibly, loss of these earthly properties.

Is this lackadaisical and unconcerned attitude not idiocy at the highest order? Why not seek ye first the heavenly kingdom so that all earthly things shall be added onto it? Where are those who would want to be branded as the modern-day ‘Tweneboa Koduas’ of Ghana? Stand up, and be counted amongst the Greats and Pillars of the Gold Coast. The bells are ringing and yelling for such people. The minutes are ticking! Now is the hour!! Now is the time or never!!!

REMOTE CAUSE

If Ghanaians knew what brought about the civil war in Rwanda and Burundi, that claimed about 600,000 lives or so, then, we better be careful. If the author’s memory serves him well, it will be recalled that the political leader of Burundi, from the majority side, was assassinated circa 1994 by someone from the minority side that had so many elites, senior military officers, high-ranking government officials and technocrats that did not go well with them.

To cut a long story short, that was the history of the remote cause that devastated the country. Their leaders have since been frequenting the ICC. If we cast our minds back to take a cue from Libya, then your guess could be as good as the author’s. Almost every vital appointment went to either a family member or a relation or a tribesman. Despite freebies and goodies instituted and/or established for the Libyan people from childhood to the grave, did not satisfy them as no human was ever satiable.

Gaddafi’s military warfare with thousands of tanks, artillery, jet fighters, aircraft carriers, ground-to-air missiles, about half a million helicopters, all kinds of modern sophisticated weaponry, billions of U.S. Dollars stashed in foreign banks and immovable properties littered all over Europe and holiday resort centres in Africa; when the appointed time came, the Lord fought for the Libyans. Brother Muamar Gaddafi is dead and gone.

Incidentally, Friday, October 11, 2013, was the second anniversary that he passed on. Ghanaians don’t want to recall the bitter past experiences of our sister states La Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Liberia to befall this dear Nation, but if the situation persisted as is gradually and clandestinely being pushed forward as a hidden agenda, then the inevitable shall be the ultimate option. Obviously, positive defiance should be the only antidote and defensive mechanism.

Christians and Muslims co-existed as brothers and sisters in those countries. Each faction admired its sect, but when cheating in society and mismanagement of the economy became the order of the day such as Ghana’s Scenario, even though they belonged to different political persuasions; they buried their differences together to fight the common enemy to bring sanity and civility to their respective countries. As you read this piece now and today, certainly, nobody will advocate a civil war as a means to settling political scores.

And nobody should be thinking in a fool’s paradise also that Ghanaians were the only Christians in the world who abhorred bloodshed. God loves us all as his creatures, but when the cheating reaches its apex there is virtually nothing you can do to tame the catastrophic effect. It can become uncontrollable like the multitude at the Tahir Square in Cairo. Mind you, everything has a limit.

FIRE SERVICE

When, oh when, Ghana? When will the so-called intellectuals and people in authority wizen up? Do they think all of us were just kindergarten (KG) kids or some primary one pupils learning to write with the chalk that the government has till date, that schools have re-opened, been unable to provide? Why does the whole Board of Directors and Management of the Ghana Fire Service stoop so low to disgrace and belittle themselves? Why this crab-like behaviour? No explanation will be countenanced. Period! You don’t act and when it backfires, then, suddenly; a board member/service personnel jumps to simulate and behave like a “kakalika” (cockroach) that has been stumbled upon as if nothing was at stake.

How can you order new uniforms and used clothes are rather shipped to you in return? Why lie between your teeth to deceive the tax-payer always? If governance was just like winning an election by fair or foul means like the recent past one that was disputed in court to be in government, then, a group of day-nursery toddlers or kindergarten pupils can be groomed to JHS level to be at the helm of affairs, because there was no difference whatsoever.

Newly imported camouflage uniforms for the Fire Service were said to contain some pieces of smoked cigarettes, dozens of condoms and other undesirables; some with the surnames of those who wore them, sewn on them. Common blackboard chalks and attendance registers for the nurseries and lower primary classes have become hot cakes; not a single school in Ghana has a piece of chalk nor registers for teachers to teach the children even though schools have re-opened for six weeks or so now. Is Nunoo Mensah aware of that?

INFRASTRUCTURE

The author is not an expert in estate development nor has any expertise in housing population or deficit; but basing his little experience as someone resident in this country for four decades now, one could deduce that the number of housing projects or individual houses that have sprung up in this country from say, 1993 to date, that is, a period of 20 years by far, outnumber the houses that have been in existence from 1952 to 1992, also, a period of 40 years.

What could actually be the significant up-shoot? Could it be that the increase in over-population has forced many people (the sensible ones) to secure their own places of abode or were themselves targets of eviction by their landladies/lords? Could it also be that such persons decided themselves to secure houses to avoid vindictiveness from the Shylock masters/mistresses? From the above analysis however, it should not surprise anyone that of the number of houses, as much as 40% of the house owners were thieves and/or fleas who, have, by fair or foul means, stolen ill-gotten monies from successive governments; be it kick-backs or the talk-in-town, judgment debt packages that have found its way to such beneficiaries.

At any rate, whatever be the case, 48% of the houses that one sees around nationwide (both old and new) has been built with genuine sweat money; while the remaining 12% represents the ones built by the estate developers that have, in effect, transformed Ghana’s housing population to such an appreciable point of commendation.

AHAB AND JEZEBEL VS. ELIJAH

In Israel was King Ahab who had a very wicked wife called Jezebel. Jezebel was such a wicked woman that anything she commanded Ahab to do was never rejected nor upturned. There was no way that King Ahab could upturn any suggestions put forward by his wife no matter how nauseating and bloody they were. Jezebel, however, was the origin of idol worshipping in the land of Israel and that infuriated the Lord Almighty to such an alarming proportion that he had to command his prophet Elijah to tell Ahab that enough was really enough.

This biblical story is known by both Christians and Muslims alike so there is no need to refresh their minds. Most people should be aware of how, in the event of Ahab and his spouse, trying to eliminate completely all the good prophets of Israel who stood between their idol worshipping and to stultify same, the word of God came upon Elijah to stand up to the task to surreptitiously call his bluff no matter the circumstance. Sooner than later, Elijah was surreptitiously dispatched and a challenge was thrown to meet Ahab’s 450 false prophets who had thrived on falsehood, i.e. the modern-day propaganda and misinformation technology. This infuriated God to the point that He had to use Elijah to bring about sanity. Prior to that, Elijah had, upon God’s command, prophesied that there would be no rains no dew for 3½ years.

So when the time came for action, he instructed prophet Elijah to stand up to the task to go and shake him like some beaten cereal ready for winnowing. Ahab and his wife Jezebel had been so over-drunk with power, pride, and impregnated with arrogance and idolatry that nobody could raise an eyebrow. The situation at that time was akin to what pertains in Ghana today. Ghana can pride herself of tens of thousands ordained men and women of God, former world leaders, decent-minded chiefs, respectable queen-mothers et cetera, but incidentally, only a couple of them can stand up to the occasion to call the bluff of governments in power.

Ghana has been endowed with almost everything – abundant natural and enormous human resources including oil - good doctors, lawyers, engineers, judges, nurses, teachers and technocrats to what have you, not forgetting good vegetation and sufficient rainfall; but our governments have always gone a begging with a bowl in hand like beggars on the road-side. The Lord’s favour has eluded us because of selfishness, greediness, tribalism, nepotism, jealousy, pettiness, misplaced priorities et al. With the exception of a few who will not allow their conscience to be bought with monetary gains, everybody has become gaping sycophant to sing one man’s praises to the detriment of the entire population.

The vulnerable always go hopping from office to office and from place to place like the butterfly for alms. Why? Traditional chiefs, who, otherwise, were the repository of our culture and traditions and well respected in society, have rather reduced themselves to such a low ebb that the least talked about their pedigree, the better. Ghana’s corruption ladder from the police, judiciary and politicians is woeful! The self-respect has been eroded or dwindled.

People, who should be role models, have lost focus and credibility. Sad, isn’t it? Most of them have cheapened themselves because of poverty and stomach politics; and this has corrupted them. Can anybody stand up to say enough is enough? How can over-voting be defined and classified by an intellectual of international repute as over-stuffing of ballot papers? Is this definition tangible and tenable? Does this definition sound sensible? What a riddle! It is only the Ghanaian judicial encyclopaedia that this terminology can be found and sustained. It is alleged that soon after a leading judge had secured his entry visa for the US, they raised a red flag to caution citizens in Ghana to be circumspect and law abiding and to distance themselves from Ghanaian politics.

He who the cap fits, should wear it. Why subject yourselves to public ridicule; reduce your dignity to this low ebb for public debate and belittle your status quo in society to such an unappreciable level? As stated earlier, Elijah, the man of God, was asked to point the wrongs in society at the time. However, prior to that moment of stand-off, he had been divinely instructed to prophesy that for three-and-a-half years, there would be no rains in the land of Israel and truly not even a drop of dew fell anywhere during that period.

There was great famine because nobody could till the land for food, nor raise cattle and livestock. The Lord ensured that during that time, the people of Israel were pushed to the tight corner that they needed a saviour. In order not to bore readers with any mind-boggling essay, Elijah threw a difficult challenge to show Ahab whether his gods and numerous prophets were stronger than the Almighty who could sustain, protect and guide them from all perils. Ahab lost his 450 prophets and God won for Israel. That is the situation in Ghana; bootlicker professors, clergy and military sycophants have joined the fray as praise-singers for their daily bread.

ADMONITION

Fellow Ghanaians, countrymen and women, Ghana finds herself at the crossroads. The country has been richly endowed with abundant human/natural resources that are unequalled, unprecedented and unmatched by any African country. But rather, poor leadership, greed, avarice, nepotism, tribalism, lack of morality, honesty, integrity, patriotism, truthfulness, senseless dissipation, misplaced priorities, unprecedented corruption, square pegs in round holes and/or mismanagement of the economy have rendered the Nation thus far.

Why not fix the economy and stop - “Ghana is the Shining Star and Gateway to Africa in speeches?” Will readers subscribe with the author to endorse the civilian revolution or decide to be participants of the positive defiance crusade that is being propounded? This will curtail the otherwise, unprecedented, unequalled, unparalleled, mis-managed and deplorable state of our devastated economy and mal-administration of the governance of this dear nation of ours. If you cannot beat this campaign, then, join this laudable crusade. Ghanaian chiefs should not be partisan, but be bold to caution reckless politicians. Those who have aligned themselves with the crooks should give us a break.

We are tired of them! To draw the curtains down, Ghanaians should be consoled with the following sagacious biblical texts from the Books of Isaiah 14:24, 27 and Job 38:17, 18 – that read as thus: “The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, And as I have purposed, so it shall stand; 27 For the Lord of hosts has purposed, And who will annul it? His hand is stretched out. And who will turn it back?” (CAN ANY GHANAIAN SUPREME COURT JURIST OR ANY “KANGAROO COURT” JUDGE IN AFRICA VENTURE TO MISJUDGE ABOVE TO TRIVILIAZE AND SET THE MILLIONS OF HEARTS ACHEING?) JOB – “Have the gates of death been revealed to you? Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death? 18 Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this, says the Lord.”

Does any Ghanaian mortal judge have the guts to annul the above sayings, the writer shudders to pose this simple question? While Maldives judges have become international celebrities, some of their Ghanaian counterparts have immortalized their names with disgrace and taboos. The evil that men do certainly lives after them. CIVILIAN REVOLUTION OR POSITIVE DEFIANCE? What is the way forward? A word to the wise, they say, is enough.

HUMOUR

In the 21st Century post-independence Ghana, after 56 years of self-rule, do spectators have to travel to Accra or Kumasi before one can purchase ordinary ticket to watch international soccer matches? Haaba! This is very disgraceful and disgusting, Sports Council!!! No lessons learnt yet from the Ghana-Zambia match?

By:amaningkwarteng1@gmail.com