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Opinions of Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Columnist: The National Forum

My Charge: From basic lies to mendaciousness

I shall begin this Charge with two quotes from two great sources. The first from William Shakespeare’s Othello and the second, from the late Snr. Yaw Amponsah Agyei of Jema near Kintampo and KNUST who was trained in citizenship at the greatest of all colleges, PREMPEH.

Shakespeare: Othello: Act 3, Scene 3:

“He who steals my purse, steals trash, but he that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him, and makes me poor indeed.” I must note that this is more of a rewrite of the original text: Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing; 'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands; But he that filches from me my good name Robs me of that which not enriches him, And makes me poor indeed.

Snr. Yaw Amponsah Agyei:

“It is in the diligent, competent and honest performance of his daily task that the person of virtue lives most of his life thereby manifesting his noble and admirable character.”

I decided to quote these two great men because of the common theme that runs through their different thoughts – the image of a man. How is a man seen in society? Your name and image counts! What is in a name that so much tell of a man? Our cultural and traditional societies have a direct link between names and character traits or build-up.

We live in a country where it does appear that slander, defamation have become a part of us and we judge people based on falsehood, then invite them to respond or defend themselves. At the launch of the CPP’s 2016 Manifesto, my brother Ivor Kobina Greenstreet who led my party into battle described the two dominant parties who have occupied the political office since 1993 as Mendacious. He meant that their lies and reneging of promises have gone beyond the mark of lies. He advanced his argument with examples and concluded; “we can longer call them lairs, the word that perfectly describes them is Mendacity. M-E-N-D-A-C-I-T-Y, mendacity!”

Many are those whose careers, public life, private pursuit, academic advancement and religious rise have been shot to ashes all on the altar of MENDACITY. Outright lies and fabrication, nothing less. The interesting thing about such heavy duty lies is that they often are packaged in such ways that they are easy and very convenient to believe. It takes only the probing minds and doubting heads to interrogate further to see the complexities used in tying the knot of that lie. I have quite a number of personal instances of my own and I sure believe the reader may have his or her own.

There was this day on my way home at Dome that my wife’s Mitsubishi Gallant I drove had a temperature rise. I had just taken it from the garage at Kokomlemle. As I approached the Abeka Junction traffic lights, I decided to park, check and call my mechanic. I parked at a yard where some faces I knew not came and asked where my ‘V8’ was that I was driving a gallant. They were shocked to hear that I didn’t have a car by that name. The car was left there for 4days as I struggled to replace the part that was causing the problem. My point? I have no V8 but I have been given a V8 in the minds of many not only in Ghana but around the globe. It get worse when one reads the reasons ascribed to the source they came the said vehicle came from. But that is Ghana. As I wrote this Charge I remembered two books; ECODEE – Anatomy of Rumour Mongering by Dr. M.N Tetteh and Bogus Informants – Nation Wreckers by K.B Quantson. How people can say what they have never seen as though it happened in their very presence all aimed just one thing – the destruction of a fellow man.

I also remembered the works of a living legend, Magnus Rex Danquah. He wrote in one of his posts I am privileged to get copied on WhatsApp; EZRA'S SONNET FOR GHANA (PART SEVEN)

“Furthermore, the king should know that if this city is built and its walls are restored, no more taxes, tribute or duty will be paid, and eventually the royal revenues will suffer. Now since we are under obligation to the palace and it is not proper for us to see the king dishonoured, we are sending this message to inform the king, so that a search may be made in the archives of your predecessors. In these records, you will find that this city is a rebellious city, troublesome to kings and provinces, a place with a long history of sedition. That is why this city was destroyed.” Ezra 4:13-15 NIV-

If you haven't had the misfortune of living through the hatred and petty jealousies and envies of others especially those supposedly seen as your friends, you won't appreciate the essence of the Book of Ezra....and the lessons they hold for our nation, GHANA. If you haven't ever been at the end of such depth of DENIGRATION, SLANDER, PERSECUTION, PERVERSION, you might think my worries are misplaced. But you see if you could live through such periods of a person's life if you have Christ Jesus and understand that that's a NECESSARY CROSS each and every one of us have to bear; if you don't know or if you haven't been a victim ever, then you have no sense of what real life is. Trust me, if you have never been MISUNDERSTOOD in life and insulted for no reason, nor even your shadow and your dog insulted alongside the hatred people harbour for you; then you really don't know what LIFE is nor realise the purpose for which you were sent here on earth – YOUR DESTINY.

It goes with your CROSS – the one that at a certain point in your life, you are faced with a most bitter pill to swallow. A PILL that ONLY YOU can and will have to swallow. That moment that you ask our Heavenly FATHER; Father, if it is possible let this cup pass me by, but not as I willeth.... And please such manifestations are not only for the politicians as espoused in part six of the EZRA'S SONNET FOR GHANA....

But they are found in every sphere of our human life where your enemies plot your every move to ensure that you never reach your destiny nor accomplish your mission here on earth. Nor attain the ultimate purpose of your life. This isn't about your wealth and or riches you acquire here on earth. Otherwise the rich, powerful, famous, celebrities and handsome will always be happy and content trust me. You would find petty jealousies and hatred and envies in the house of the Lord. Don't forget the devil also quotes the Bible. You find same scenarios within the Chieftaincy institutions, in fact in all human institutions because MAN is primarily EVIL & WICKED. From the very beginning of humanity itself. Otherwise food poisonings would not be the bane at palaces of kingdoms. Asking ordinary people too and they have their own stories to tell. And why in our days, when you go out with your parents to any function and you were offered anything you were expected to look at the face of your father to read his facial expressions of whether to accept a drink or cookie because the evil doesn't play fair.

A man who is power drunk will go to all and any extent to remove all (I repeat) ALL IMPEDIMENTS in his way to achieve his goal. I recall a contest for the Presidency of one of the major orthodox churches in this country years and decades ago when the national dailies were inundated with such stories as the burying of animals at the main cathedral of this church in Accra.

If these actions have gone on in the past, guess that's why we aren't surprised by some of the stories of modern-day pastors of Pentecostal and charismatic churches and their seeking powers from fetishists and occultists to perform miracles and fill their churches. After all even in the days of the apostles, a man sought to buy part of their power to enable him also perform similar or same miracles...?

When a person hates your guts, there is no bucket he won't carry, no stone he won't turn, no river he won't cross, no cemetery he won't go to spend a night on someone's grave. No falsehood he won't perpetuate to ensure you suffer equally. Such extreme hatred is also harboured through generations till everything planned against a particular family, to wipe out all descendants are possible.

You deceive yourself to ever think the death of one of the protagonists is the end of the matter. It's in the bloodline or what the medics now term DNA. So opposing grandchildren become embroiled in matters that they don't even know the genesis and yet they hate each other to hell because of the depth of the hatred and petty jealousies and envies and that's why the enemies of Judah and Benjamin wrote to the king, reminding him: "FURTHERMORE, THE KING SHOULD KNOW THAT IF THIS CITY IS BUILT AND ITS WALLS ARE RESTORED, NO MORE TAXES, TRIBUTE OR DUTY WILL BE PAID, AND EVENTUALLY THE ROYAL REVENUES WILL SUFFER.

Preposterous you might say but know that the king who granted the concessions, Cyrus was no more whilst that was the third or fourth king after. So "NOW SINCE WE ARE UNDER OBLIGATION TO THE PALACE AND IT IS NOT PROPER FOR US TO SEE THE KING DISHONORED, WE ARE SENDING THIS MESSAGE TO INFORM THE KING, SO THAT A SEARCH MAY BE MADE IN THE ARCHIVES OF YOUR PREDECESSORS.

How many years after the fact and you think you are free because nobody remembers your crime of many years. "IN THESE RECORDS YOU WILL FIND THAT THIS CITY IS A REBELLIOUS CITY, TROUBLESOME TO KINGS AND PROVINCES, A PLACE WITH A LONG HISTORY OF SEDITION.

And you can understand the roots of some of the problems we face now as a nation. We are answering for the actions of commissions and omissions of our fathers and forebears. Sometimes and most times we presently get punished for things we have no idea about because "THAT IS WHY THIS CITY WAS DESTROYED.”

And why we are suffering now for acts of the past as a people and as a nation? You will ask: are there no prophets in our nation now to teach us and inform our present leadership of all persuasions and fields and disciplines and endeavours on such matters of our past? Or they are informed but refuse to pursue the actions that might buy us the space and time for ABSOLUTION? We need to get it right otherwise we will only succeed to pass on to future generations all our sins – the SINS OF OUR FATHERS which we haven't cured. So we end up going round in circles and getting everything wrong.” ...FOOD FOR THOUGHT....