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Opinions of Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Columnist: Isaac Ato Mensah

Gabby, we are here to stay

Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, in a Facebook post published on 23 June, 2019, slammed critics of the government for their commentary.

“These influencers I refer to are usually highly educated, intelligent, eloquent and highly opinionated with a strong following to feed their egos. I’ve observed them keenly for a while. You go back and follow their posts. You know them too,” he posted. “In sum, they choose to mainly highlight things that make you feel sorry for yourself for being Ghanaian. They will share reports that are negative on Ghana, comment on how bad things are or show how others are doing things better than us.”

What or who is AN INFLUENCER? In our book, it is a pejorative term and we do not respond to name calling; neither shall we take the baits offered by, “highly opinionated” or “to feed their egos”.

It was Gabby who famously told Dr Charles Wereko-Brobbey, one of the boldest columnists, former media owner and government critic of all administrations to “Get a life”.

Well, Wereko-Brobbey has taken a back seat from frequent public debates now.

Where does that leave the rest of us?
Respectfully, the civil society groups and the knowledgeable social commentators, no matter their political affiliation, are simply exercising their civic and constitutional rights.

Indeed we all have a duty to combat ignorance with light.

Obviously some persons on both sides of the aisle think the country belongs to them and their party hacks.

The macabre dance and twisted antics of a four year ballot box democracy has emboldened them; sometimes to the point of issuing thinly veiled injudicious threats.

They are afraid of independent thinkers; people who will hold them to account and are not interested in the crumbs from their table or fleecing the public purse or rent seeking behavior; there is more to life than a V8, petrol coupons or a visa for foreign travel in a government delegation.

They expect us to give short shrift to consistently poor governance, poor protocol, atrocious etiquette and misinformed and unenlightened statements.

Nope, no siree, not on this watch!

Gabby ends his post thus: “Point us to better examples, for sure. But, cure yourself of the fear of good news made in Ghana.”

Are there not enough people on the public purse and party payroll already trumpeting whatever good news there is with a zealous all consuming fanaticism?

What we ALL need urgently is a cure for the ignorance, dishonesty and mediocrity that plagues a significant swathe of our elected and non-elected leadership; therein lies our unbridled optimism.

And the good news we have in Education, Health, Security, Sanitation, and other fronts are…….?

Just two examples for each of the above will lift our mood – after of course they have been meticulously fact checked by us and found to be accurate. The ideal is for our political leaders and public servants to improve the lot of the country without looking for any reward whatsoever. Is that not what they signed up for?

Gabby’s post contains yet another rehashing of the tired, discredited and intellectually bankrupt “If you are not with us you are against us” mantra……a la George W. Bush, garden variety fourth world tin pot banana republic dictators, and numerous other despots and autocrats the world over.

We reject it categorically; it has no place in enlightened and informed public discourse.

Here, at writersghana.com, we shall continue to speak truth to power and expose sub standard and abysmally poor examples of public conduct and governance from inept politicians, sycophants and apparatchiks engaged in a zero sum game of debased personal ambition that weakens our nation.

We shall continue to use facts, evidence and reason to point out the stark difference between the Ghana of our forebears which was on a positive trajectory versus ghana as we are witnessing and experiencing it now.

It is our country too; warts, dirty open gutters, mosquitoes, decimated forests, dead lagoons and all. We shall never shirk our responsibility to Freedom and Justice. We shall stay the course.

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