You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2017 05 31Article 542887

Opinions of Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Columnist: Myk-El Sumaila

Ignorance breeds violence

File photo File photo

Violence is a confession of failure; the confession is finally expressed physically. Thought is said to be the mother of deeds and if violence finds physical expression, then the origin of violence can be found in the understanding of society.

It is said that, power is like a sweet intoxicating wine, the more you drink, the more you want. An eminent Ghanaian re-echoed same: it is better to be a messenger in a ruling government than to be general secretary of a political party in opposition. Perhaps when an open rebellion expressed in a courtroom is supported by the structures of a ruling Party, we ought not to expect a violation of their ‘protected right’ as suggested Party members?

These references hint at people’s mindset of governance, politics become an instrument of self-interest instead of the means to solve the problems of society. The irony in this mindset is obvious; it belies the truth and the dynamics of social laws of development. We make ignoble statements possible to fulfill during election campaign. We choose to tell people what they want to hear but not what we ought to tell them. Power is held out of being capable of delivering everything which people ask. Flowing from this, any problem people encounter is deemed to be weakness of people who have deliberately created misery, but no weakness on the part of leadership and societal structures.

Societal development is a continuum of actions and inactions, failures and successes, positives and negatives, throwing up new challenges as problems are solved and new ones emerges. There will always be problems for each generation to solve. Society can only be better understood this way.

The economic problem in this generation is eminent. In particular, we have scores of young men and women who are frustrated and cannot provide their ends meet from society and because of that they display their aggressions on their people. Some become criminals because of dictums of the society. And some by acts of decadence resolve to the martyrdom of people to secure their livelihood.

“All these are traceable to violence entailed in not organizing society in such a way to support their well-being. Unfortunately, lack of understanding of the victims does not permit to trace it to the structure. The young men and women are victims of violence but not violent. The violent is attached to the system.”

On each Independence Day we stereotypically light the “Perpetual Flame”. We often tell the youth that they are the future leaders. Now, this stereotype has misinformed and misled the youth: re-echoing in some of our minds sense entitlement without sense of effort. The contradictory clause, lighting the perpetual flame conceal the impossible application of the need for today tomorrow. We should be told that leadership emerges out of hard work for society. It is a not sweet intoxicating wine, neither is it a rich messenger in a ruling party.

Today, due to galamsey, our rivers are turning into gold, our forests are turning into gold, our waters are turning into gold, our plantains are turning into gold, but our bodies do not have the mechanisms to digest gold. Again, this can be attributed to the dearth of societal understand.

What moral right do the people of Diaso have to brutally take the life of Captain Maxwell Adam Mahama? Was he a criminal? Or the mob was the criminal?