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Opinions of Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Columnist: Akwaka, Sammy

Ghana's Road Carnage

A RESPONSE TO EKUA KWANSEMA

Just as I was about to send this article to press, I was hit by the sad, sad news of the loss of 6 lives belonging to Fountain Gate Chapel, 2 of them Rev. Eastwood’s children. My heart goes out to the families and especially to Rev. & Mrs. Anaba.

There is no doubt Ekua Kwansema is a seasoned and prolific writer. Ekua Kwansema’s article on the above subject, however, made interesting reading. The seeming attack on Gifty Afenyi-Dadzie and for that matter Aglow Ministries and by extension the Christian community for leading a prayer call to curb needless deaths on our roads, was unfortunate to say the least.

First and foremost, people are dying on our roads at alarming rates unacceptable in the 21st century. To interpret the problem only as human error is surely taking a narrow view of the situation. Although the religious persuasion of Ekua is unknown, for a Christian like Gifty Afenyi-Dadzie, all societal ills are inherent in one common plague of the human race, SIN. I do not have to take anybody back to Sunday School or Elementary School or Secondary School BK lessons to talk about Adam and Eve.

Talking about human error in this case shoddy construction works, bribery of enforcement officials, fraudulent licenses acquisition, and deliberate use of failed or non MOT tested vehicles, overloading, over speeding, just to make a few extra dough all boils down to GREED. There can be no justification for wrong doing. Some of these justifications we sometimes hear of are; the contractor was not paid so had no money for materials- justifying shoddy work, the police are under paid and living in poverty -justifying bribery, the people have no jobs and must survive, - justifying driving without licenses, etc., etc.

The Christian does not only see these as human errors but looks at what is behind all these things. As Christians we believe in the existence of God, satan and the multi- dimensional human being (body, soul and spirit). The human beings actions and inactions therefore are dependent on who (God or satan) is controlling the soul and spirit. I've had to go this far to explain the Christian theology/psychology on the problem of evil so that people like Ekua would be informed in their writing and or utterances. The fact is that this is what a true Christian should believe and clearly Gifty does. If Ekua has a problem with that, fair enough but do not attack Gifty for her beliefs and convictions.

The national development agenda runs partly on the fuel of the belief systems of the citizenry. Therefore looking for solutions without integrating the belief systems of the people is bound to fail. For example if the government decided that we needed to make up for lost productive time since independence and as a result declared Sundays normal working days, outlawed mosque going on Fridays for public/civil servants and demanded that Adventists report for duty on Saturdays, and require both farmers and fishermen t o workon Tuesdays, I am sure Ekua would be first to cry foul. What I am saying is that we cannot take out the spiritual dimension of the world we live in as we ourselves are multi-dimensional. Any attempt to arrest the appalling accidents on our roads must take on a multi-pronged approach. Ekua clearly does not believe in the dimension of the supernatural and seems to suggest that people of such persuasion are myopic and that’s why we are not developed. If only International Relations and Political Economy was that simple.

Today even in the so called advanced countries upon who am dead sure Ekua was hedging her bets are going back to the supernatural albeit in different forms. The most popular persons in UK today and indeed the world are Sir Terry Pratchet and JK Rowling. Why, they write novels and epics on magic and witchcraft. Again has Ekua ever bothered to find out why in the USA yes, America, the number 13 is considered to be bad luck? (www.chinatownconnection.com/world-luckiest-numbers). Is Ekua aware that Halloween is celebrated not in poor countries but in the developed countries with educated people? If only Ekua thinks it is normal through human error for these accidents to occur, I beg to differ. Maybe Ekua does not believe that there is ritual sacrifice which does not only occur in poor countries but advanced countries.

What Gifty and by extension Aglow Ministries did was not suggesting that only dark forces are responsible for accidents. They were tackling one dimension of the problem which governments don't tackle and that’s why we have the church. The prayer meeting also was not telling the government not to go ahead with its duties such as enforcement, regulation, and education, etc etc. Ekua and advocates like her should be defending the right of expression of the citizenry and not seek to silence them.

By the way can Ekua who wants us to believe that there is no spriritual dimension to societal ills, explain to us what the heck is going on in the Bermuda Triangle? This shameless personal attack on Gifty and Aglow Ministries is sickening. Notice Ekua’s expression ‘. . . Gifty and her Aglow ministries . . ..’ One mark of good reporting and journaling is to be accurately factual and factually accurate. Aglow is not Gifty’s. Aglow is international and has a long history. What baffles me is why Ekua is troubled by the meeting of an NGO that is promoting womanhood. Aglow mission statement is as follows;

1. To help restore and mobilize women around the world. 2. To promote gender reconciliation in the Body of Christ as God designed. 3. To amplify awareness of global concerns from a Biblical perspective."

Source: www.aglow.org.uk/mission

At least in the said prayer meeting they were not using state resources to proselytize as it were. They organized their private meeting for their members to express their conviction and that according to ‘Ekuapedia’ is a crime of ‘Hitleric’ proportions? Some educated ones indeed!

Link to Ekua’s article http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/features/artikel.php?ID=159653

Samuel Akwaka Dermco2@yahoo.com www.myspace.com/samakwaka