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Opinions of Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Columnist: Abugri, George Sydney

Election 2016: Let there be light

By George Sydney Abugri

Since our former British colonial rulers lowered the Union Jack for the very last time in 1957 and vamoosed to England, successive governments and political leaders have managed to stand our priorities on their poor heads and left us wringing our hands in despair and gnashing our teeth, gums and molars at the maddeningly slow pace of socio-economic progress.

Whew! Long sentence, that one!

For the average presidential aspirant in every election, the campaign trail must usually be a discomforting eye-open¬er to the realities of the peoples' circumstances. There are probably some would-be presi¬dents who have lived in Ghana without really knowing Ghanaians, who speak about the poverty and suffering of the masses without actually seeing both in their starkest manifes¬tation at close quarters, men whose only knowl¬edge of the common man in the street is a car-window view of him plodding along.

Now, an emerging corps of leaders appears determined to get us right back on track and shape things up, see? They have come with a development module based on a one-to-one ratio in the provision of infrastructure and public goods and services for demarcated populations within the mighty republic:

NPP presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo for example, has pledged a factory for every administrative district of the republic and a dam for every village. President Mahama has promised an electricity consumption meter for every house. ACP presidential candidate Hassan Ayariga whose sense of priorities appear to differ markedly, has pledged to build a psychiatric hospital in every region.

You cannot deny the propriety of the man’s priorities, because everyone in the country has gone crazy {apart from me.} Most of us, (about 40 per cent of Ghana’s population, according to our Chief Psychiatrist) are either psychologically unbalanced, very creaky upstairs, psychiatrically challenged or gone all the way round the far bend.

Oh yes, in varying degrees, Ghanaians have all gone cuckoo, loony, brainsick, demented, disordered, dotty, badly cracked, maniacal, moonstruck and all said and done, completely tuned off from sanity and bound for the nuthouse.

The evidence is there all around: If you mentally demarcate an area of some 100 meters square within the open spaces, you will find that nearly everyone is busy breaking the law or misbehaving in some dangerous, annoying or downright criminal way. It is like living in pitch spiritual darkness.

What in the con¬founding name of mystery do you reckon God meant when he said "Let there be light" in verse three of Genesis Chap¬ter One? When he spoke those words, light indeed appeared, but from where? Remember that the sources of the earth's light are the sun, the moon and the stars, but by the first day of creation which verse three recounts, God had not created the sun, the moon and the stars yet!

It was only on the fourth day of creation, which is recounted way, way down in verse 14 of chapter one, that God created the sun, the moon and the stars, saying "let lights appear in the sky to separate day from night." So what did God mean when on the first day of creation, He said "let there be light!" ?

He must have meant the light that gives light to the light. I probably would not have figured it all out, but for the way our peo¬ple are as usual, conducting themselves in the run-¬up to the elections in December. I have always hated every election year in Ghana, because it brings out the very worst in politicians and their followers, and the atmosphere typically pro¬gresses from the tense to the electrically charged and unpredictable.

The 1992 and1996 elections were probably tow of the most violent since independence: Some hotels and other property in Accra were bombed. A businessman who was a leading member of one political party was set alight and roasted alive in circumstances that are yet to be explained. A political activist of the same party was lynched in broad daylight in Kumasi city and his residence vandalized and burnt down.

Yes, acrimonious and violence-prone election campaigns, expressions of lack of confidence in the electoral system, claims of rigging and threats of war have characterized the 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 elections. There is no harm in hoping that all that notwithstanding we shall peacefully pull off December 7, for better or for worse!