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Opinions of Thursday, 29 August 2019

Columnist: Maj. Kofi Baah-Bentum (Retd)

Do you love mother Ghana?

File Photo Ghana's Independence Square File Photo Ghana's Independence Square

At a recent forum, the above question was posed by the facilitator and I found it rather preposterous. Who in their right sense will not love their mother? After all, mother and child relations are hinged on mutual loyalty and love. Mothers provide us with nourishment and sustenance.

In the case of mother Ghana, she is supposed to provide us with even more. We get our mineral wealth from her belly and this is supposed to provide us with all the comfort in life. This includes decent accommodation, good education, health care, security and all the other things we need to harness our individual potential and blossom to become fruitful and responsible citizens.

In return, we are supposed to grow to reciprocate this gesture by becoming dedicated, loyal and patriotic sons and daughters ready to die for her in our own small ways. But to be candid, can we all say that we love her when as siblings we are not treated equally? Has she been a mother who gives us all equal and fair opportunities? You bet not all of us.

Take the case of Kinko, the renowned village “baila” (rat) hunter. He never saw the inside of a classroom. In his part of the country, the only thing referred to as a school is the big neem tree in the outskirts of the village. Considering his ability to use pebbles to count easily, looks like he is a potential government statistician or an internal auditor gone waste!

Tinkolo’s case is no better, if not worse. He was born on the cold bare floor of the village health centre due to the lack of beds. From infancy, he has drunk from the same pond in the village with cattle and it is obvious that the cows now see him as one of them and usually appear to him in his dreams. Even in his adult life, he has never seen a lit electric bulb.

Perhaps the case of Petro will sum it all up. He lives in the city and got some good education. One evening he was promenading with a friend when a drink-driver from nowhere attempted to dodge a pothole and drove into them. His friend perished on the spot and he had a leg amputated. Checks revealed that the driver was unlicensed and the son of an influencial man. Several years down the line, he is incapacitated and not compensated. The drink-driver, he was told, had been sent outside for further studies. How we expect the above group of people and many more like them to love their motherland is difficult to understand.

Without any shred of doubt, mother Ghana has already chosen those she loves. They are the chosen few who belong to the elite class. They are mostly chauffeured in vehicles the size of estate houses, enjoy fat salaries and allowances. They have access to the best accommodation, health care and excellent education for their wards. Ironically, even most of them have refused to return her love and rather dabble in corruption, greed and plain thievery. They have let our mother down; no wonder she is weeping and bleeding profusely as a large chunk of her children sell their expertise in foreign lands

Now I ask again; which loving mother will look on unconcerned as her children drink from the same pond with cows? Which loving mother will not make her roads safe so that her children will die through avoidable accidents? Which caring mother will fail to provide the health needs of her people and watch them die from minor ailments? Tell me which loving mother will fail to provide the security needs of her children so that they are kidnapped and murdered ‘by heart’.

In the light of the above, I regret to proffer an answer for the above question. And it is a very simple one. I was brought up to see love as a symbiotic way of life in which both give and take or in modern political parlance, boot for boot. In view of a blatant lack of love from mother Ghana, I regret to state here and now that I do not and cannot love her. Let her change her ways and show me love and she will also experience my love. Love begets love, I dare say.