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Opinions of Thursday, 25 July 2013

Columnist: Sakzeesi, Camillus Maalneriba-Tia

In the matter of democracy and 'dirtiness'

In the matter of democracy and 'dirtiness' in our society

"Democracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if you can stop people talking." Clement Attlee

Agreeably the above quote sounds very-very controversial. The reason is - how do we discuss and at the same time stopping people from talking? But it appears the author of the quote foresaw what havoc DEMOCRACY was to cost us as we developed it. For - hiding behind this word, spews 'filth' which comes out through the human upper opening known as the MOUTH.

And when the CRAZINESS that goes with the DIRT it carries infects the human's mind and mouth - nothing good comes out of them. Our reasoning capacities narrow up, allowing our bucal cavities opening to their elastic ends. When it reaches that level, intellectual/academic correctness give way to parochial rendishing of the stupidity that takes control over us. The moment human-beings in a democracy conjure this malaise into our systems - DEMOCRACY is bound to suffer. And how does it suffer? Democracy is the carving of the human's mindset. It is the same mindset that makes it beautiful. But when the element that produced it decides to go the NEGATIVE way, the word democracy emasculates it. And in the context of Ghanaian democracy - this is where we are threading, and may be dangerously to the PIT. In the 1980s to the early 1990s, a minority few saw Ghanaians as living in what they said was a 'CULTURE OF SILENCE'. Without any violent agitation against the status quo at the time, the government of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), after a survey on which direction Ghanaians wanted this country to take - chose to go CONSTITUTIONAL, culminating to the ushering-in of the 1992 CONSTITUTION in 1993.

Since then Ghana has travelled far in this direction. But the question is whether we have moved progressively forawrd - or 'RETROGRESSIVELY' forward? Am I confusing you here? Don't get mixed-up! Move on with me because you must PINK and 'SHIT' with me on the face-value of what is in the shit. Do you know why the PNDC looked too ugly in the sight of the 'protagonists' of the so-called rule of law? It was, because in those days when one stole government money, the then Public Tribunals dealt with one appropriately. No technicalities of the law were allowed to be used in letting the criminals out of the FANGS of the Law. In those days, one George Agyekum was a house-hold name when on almost daily basis he jailed bursars of schools who stole money that was meant for feeding students. Before criminal convictions, they were made to make refunds. Ritual murder convicts were sentenced to death by firing squared. Generally - criminals were appropriately dealt with – especially PEN and PAPER criminals. Law and order indeed prevailed and Ghana was a beautiful country to behold. Environmental cleanness was a collective concern of all when at week-ends, led by the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDRs), communities embarked on clean-up campaigns/exercises. However, in the environment of 'RULE OF LAW', we have virtually lost all these values. In short what we have sought to do to ourselves in the name of DEMOCRACY is that we allow 'DEMOCRATIC LAWLESSNESS to be the pervasive order of the day. That is why when one sees another citizen dumping an unwanted mattress into a drain, one cannot talk because one would be seen to be abusing the 'DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS' of such social misfits.

It is these same 'RIGHTS' that permit a chairman and his accomplices of a country's 50th Anniversary who allegedly misappropriated funds meant for the celebration, use legal technicalities to become freemen in the comfort of their plush villas.

DEMOCRACY thus mean governments of ‘UNACOUNTABILITY’ to the populace. That is why since the second coming of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in spite of the rot that took place in the reign of her predecessor government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), nothing has happened to the alleged ‘CRIMINAL VULTURES’ of our time. They are not alone in this regard – for we have such ‘voulvous’ in the NDC as well.

The fact, however, is that when the NPP gained power, they dealt with them – some of them, though, unjustifiably.

Democracy means the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority could allegedly contract a foreign loan of 60,000,000 USD without parliamentary approval – and no parliamentarian opening his mouth when a then crusading journalist of “The Chronicle” newspaper crusaded on it. At that time he was left a ‘lone bird’ to fight without any Civil Society Organisation (CSO) lending support. This is what DEMOCRACY is all about. It is more about our partisan understanding of what is CRIME and INJUSTICE. When the finger points at someone within my party of having committed a crime against the state – I must go to the fellow’s defense because he is a ‘saint’ – and therein is the ‘DIRTINESS’ in DEMOCRACY. It stands for ‘intentional’ institutional failures in order to leave unmanned gates for institutional ROBBERIES christened CORRUPTION.

But the saddest of it all is when DEMOCRACY allows criminals to grow not only horns – but wicked ones that are capable of clawing out the eyes of the very people they rob. However, the pain they can inflict on us the suffering masses before the former – is when they are allowed to insult our intelligence ‘by-heart’ – yet all in the name of the subset of democracy known as MEDIA FREEEEE-DOM.

In this particular type of freedom that is given Ghanaians by the 1992 constitution, emerged long, short, ‘oblong’ et all the cetera mouths – spitting poisonous substances into the air of ‘environmental politics’ in Mother-Ghana. This is where we have pit-fallen.

Freedom of the media has – and is still being used to polarize this country, unstopping it in an avoidable, but potential VIOLENCE. A sitting President is being called a criminal when he said his presidency was ordained by God. This recently came from the General Secretary of the NPP. His party saw it as an angelic effusion and for that matter faultless. Recently an NDC activist confirmed before the LAW LORDS when he said that if the ruling on the electoral case before the Supreme Court of the land does not go in favour of his party – civil war will erupt in Ghana. Before then the wildest of all sensational loose-talkers insinuated the massacre of certain tribes in this country. These and others not mentioned here were all said under the cover of FREEDOM OF SPEECH. This is the stage I seem to have a problem with Clement Attlee on his attribution to democracy a la the preceding quote to this write-up. For it is said one major aspect of democratic governance is the prevalence of free speech. So – his assertion that “Democracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if you can STOP people talking” – is as confusing as it is self explanatory. As posited earlier, how do we discuss as well as stopping people from talking?

I will attempt to define a discussion as an act of more than one engaged in a conversation in a luxuriated atmosphere where respect is accorded every participants opinion. The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, however, defines the negative understanding of TALK partly as “SENCE/NONSENCE: to say things that are NOT SENSIBLE”.

In the context of that definition, Attlee is right asking that people should be made to STOP TALKING when they espouse nothing but NON-SENCE – in order to secure our democracy. People who attempt inciting ethnic violence must be made to stop talking in a democracy. The citizen who says if the NDC does not win the electoral case in court will lead to civil war ought to be stopped from talking. And the mouth that says if the NPP does not win the case in court they will cut the heads of NDC members must be terminated permanently from talking in that manner. Indeed, democracy thrives where DIRT is not thrown at it when institutions work by arresting public officials who rob the people of their money and are brought before the law to refund them as well as ‘enjoying’ criminal convictions. When this happens, politics would no longer be attractive to the ‘GREEDY OPPORTUNISTS’ who are always ready to bribe their way into public ‘SERVICE’. However, if we allow the current status quo to keep journeying in the path of POLITICAL ROBBRIES, we could be heading towards a POLITICO/SOCIAL DISLOCATION in this country.

I am afraid, but must state that what happened in Ashaiman recently is the ‘politico/social dislocation’ signal that stares the political authority of this land. Acceptably they went beyond the bounds of laid down procedures to vent their displeasure at the poor nature of roads in the municipality. But how else can people restrain themselves when in the after-mouth of their ‘criminal’ engagements, the Auditor-General’s Department comes out with this startling revelation that over 10,000,000 Ghana Cedis of road tolls could not be accounted for the physical year of 2011.

Goodness-Graciousness! Don’t let me collapse! 2011 through to 2012 – flowing into the first half of 2013, and it is only after the Ashaiman episode that we are now being told of this alleged horrendous development. Why have we so sharpened our axes to chop off the limbs of BEAUTIFUL MOTHER-GHANA and maybe tackle her entire torso – for it will be of no use leaving it at that near useless state.

I weep for Ghana – am indeed very-very emotional about this particular one and other developments. How do we, therefore, criminalize the Ashaiman action when the mutineers took over the toll-booths and allowed motorists to drive past free of charge? Was their act of ‘GENEROUSITY’ not ‘praiseable’ as compared to the ‘greedy criminals’ who have squandered the colossal sum and are living ostentatious life-stiles to the displeasure of the Ashaiman people and others elsewhere who are smoking dust on a daily basis due to delays in the completion of such road constructions/rehabilitations? And this robbery took place when ministers and other public servants who supervise the Ministry and Department in charge of roads are still at post? Where is Ghana threading. We ought to know that the Ashaiman demonstrators mostly have not been to school. Why should education, which should liberate our minds – keep us captive as GREEDY EDUCATED OPPORTUNISTS?

Well – unfortunately I cannot keep on like this but have to conclude with a quote from Gilbert Keith Chesterton who once said “…Democracy means government by the uneducated, while Aristocracy means government by the BADLY educated”. And indeed, it is only a BADLY educated person who will use his education to ROB the poor he/she considers uneducated.

To this category of the educated THIEVES l have no cure for your malaise – but have the singular power to ‘PINK-SHIT’ you because you have no value on the ‘FACE of the SHEET. But remember that “Man’s capacity for JUSTICE makes democracy POSSIBLE; but man’s inclination to INJUSTICE makes democracy NECESSARY…” as Reinhold Niebuhr would have it. I hope we all understand the literature here. I am out of here to SHIT – the pressure is unbearable!

Camillus Maalneriba-Tia Sakzeesi .