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Opinions of Friday, 25 March 2011

Columnist: Baiden, Robert Viliam

Ghana´s Contentious Politicians Breeding......


Ghana´s Contentious Politicians Breeding Citizens of Petty Conflicts & Pretence

by Robert Viliam Baiden

Travelling from the Australian continent through Asia to Europe all the way around north & south America and back to the African continent, you will encounter Ghanaian communities disunited and beset by petty quarrels, gossiping, backbiting, ungrateful & envious behaviour and unwilling to help and support each other. You will also notice most Ghanaians are very selfish, unforgiving and jealous of one another and are constantly engaged in undesirable competition among themselves. Few enlightened Ghanaians are turning their eyes back towards Ghana to analyse the root causes of this detrimental culture of petty conflicts and pretence. Back home in Ghana, one discovers that Politicians, policy makers, opinion leaders and town chiefs in Ghana are in the “business” of quarrelling and training other disciples to spread their gospel of petty conflicts and pretence among its Ghanaian citizens.

Ghana has become a big “factory” of well trained extremely oversensitive, quarrelsome & pretentious “workers” churning out bountiful offspring of litigants and petty minded children. Petty conflicts and pretence permeates the whole society and culture in Ghana - between friends, husband and wife, children and their parents, employer and employee. Fights exist between communities and hatred could be found between different tribes. Instead of focusing on building and improving Ghana’s infrastructures in the health, educational, economic and social sectors our politicians & leaders are engaged in petty controversy and confrontation with one another and encourage others to do likewise whiles holding its citizens in ignorance and disunity to enable them exploit and plunder the nation’s resources.

Honest and loyal Ghanaians who are compassionate, understanding and benevolent are regarded as weak and taken advantaged of or abused by ruthless, juju-believing and reckless compatriots. Most of them are ridiculed because they refuse to follow their countrymen who thrive in the popular negative culture described above. Many of these good Ghanaians if found abroad are reluctant and even scared to link up with any Ghanaian organisation found in their area. Naturally, what good can we expect from half brain-dead morons in decision making who set the trend and determine the country’s Gross Domestic Product? So we come back to the same issue – why have Ghanaians become so superficial and petty in their attitudes? Obviously, the problem is extremely complex and has a multi-dimensional nature.

Clearly, one can detect a social, economic and political dimension to the creation of this contentious and narrow mindedness culture of the Ghanaian. Certainly the gap between the rich and poor, failure of our leaders to streamline our values and goals as well as strengthen common social institutions for the whole country contributed to the current state of affairs. One more aspect of this problem which I believe is even more important is the spiritual (motivation) side of this subject. What is the motivation behind the people who set the ball of this culture of contention and pretence rolling?!! Finding the motive behind the creation of this cantankerous culture of disputation and hypocrisy provides us with the key to understanding the issue at hand. Let us remember that it is people who create culture and not the other way round. Once culture is created by man, it produces these individuals and characters who set trends for others to follow.

Thus, the spirit or the motive that drove these characters or individuals to create this destructive popular culture and set the trend for others is what needs to be examined. I firmly believe that Pride is the spirit and the driving force behind all this contentious and pretentious culture of the Ghanaian. Pride is a very misunderstood vice and many people around the world practice this depravity in disguise but it has become so endemic in our Ghanaian culture that we need redemption. We all know that because of pride “the Ghanaian always answers questions with a question”. Self-centeredness, boastfulness, arrogance, selfishness and conceits displayed by most Ghanaians are just elements of pride but the heart or core of this vice is still unknown to many.

There is no doubt in my mind that Enmity is the core ingredient of pride. Enmity means hatred- hatred toward, hostility to or a state of opposition. Ghanaians cleverly conceal their hatred of one another but are generally engaged in harmful competition with their fellow countrymen. Pride is competitive in nature and it can easily be seen in others but rarely admitted in ourselves. Practically all Ghanaians consider pride to be the character of only those at the top such as the rich and the learned looking down at the rest of us. As soon as most poverty-stricken Ghanaians are helped and then turn around to demonise those who assisted them, manifests a far common “disease” in our Ghanaian way of thinking and that is pride from the bottom looking up. Visit Ghana today and you will observe how prideful Ghanaians eagerly find faults with everybody & everything, gossiping, envying each other, living beyond their means and being unforgiving and jealous of one another. People always attempt to elevate themselves above others and diminish them. Consider some prideful Ghanaians who are not so much concerned or troubled about whether their wages meet their needs as they are that their wages are more than someone else’s. This affirms the heart of pride - enmity.

The prevailing culture in Ghana presently is people make everyone their adversary by comparing their opinions, works, beauty, wealth, talents or any other worldly measuring device against others. Ghanaians feel worthwhile as individuals if the numbers of compatriots beneath them in achievement, talent, beauty or intellect are large enough. Their self-esteem is determined by where they are judged to be on the ladders of worldly success. Let us observe our politicians, chiefs, opinion leaders, community leaders, parents, teachers and children and we will find all the elements of pride including the fights, abuse, pretence and the quarrelsome attitudes all attesting to how our shady culture has extended its influence.

Pride is ugly. It says “if you succeed I am a failure” – a typical Ghanaian attitude. Decades after independence, Ghana is still lagging behind our north African neighbouring countries in terms of basic infrastructural and social development. Rather, our leaders are busy defending contentious issues which demonstrates that pride is a damning vice in a true sense of that word. It limits or stops progression. Ghanaians are too proud to be easily taught. They would not change their minds to accept facts & truths because it would imply they have been wrong.

The presence of tribal hatreds, distrust and disputes in Ghana albeit non-violent (Akans distrust of the Northerners, Ga-Adangbes and Ewes), the increasing gap between the rich and the poor, the separation between the learned and the uninformed only confirms that pride separates and divides us by ranks, clan and tribe. Unity is impossible for a proud people and unless Ghanaians unite and become one they cannot make Ghana a better place for all to live in. Pride affects all of us at various times and at various degrees and a high dose of it is feeding the prevalent evil culture of contention and pretence in Ghana today.

The scripture tells us that “only by pride cometh contention”. Oh yes, abundance testimonies exist in every Ghanaian community across the whole wide-world that Ghanaians are proud, they easily get offended and hold grudges. A proud person does not receive counselling or correction easily. Contentious Ghanaians would use defensiveness to justify and rationalise their weaknesses and failures. Contentions and pretence drives away family members and friends and it ranges from a hostile spoken word to world-wide conflicts. It is therefore extremely dangerous and treacherous to allow these contentious and pretentious leaders who are the trendsetters to continue to influence the direction the country should go. If we continue to travel the path of contention and pretence driven by pride, it would imply we are doomed and our fate is sealed as the Creator Himself would order the demise of the nation. Study other countries surrounding Ghana and across the world that allowed themselves to be led by this prehistoric & primitive human trait and observe where they ended. Some of these countries are hanging in limbo, others are struggling to rise again as a nation while other states are wondering if they still have a soul.

All patriotic, honest, fearless and genuine Ghanaians are invited to join in the fight against these elements of pride and evil cultures of contention and pretence. Pettiness in our attitudes towards one another must be shunned. We must find the antidote to this poison which is eating slowly at our soul as a nation and destroying our families, communities and ultimately our very existence as human beings.

Robert Viliam Baiden, NDC Netherlands

Source: NDC Europe News