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Opinions of Saturday, 13 April 2013

Columnist: Abaare, Cletus

My Secret Letter To Bernard Avle

And The Citifm Morning Show Team

…on why the Ghanaian ‘murderer’ won’t go away

and how our Memories Are Weak

By Cletus Abaare

Dear BernardKoku Avle And Your Morning Show Team,

I listened very carefully to your discussion yesterday, Wednesday, April 10, 2013
with the greatest passion of my life and will like to share my worries about
the mind-murdering subject with you.
But before I go on with whatever I’m
going to share with you, knowing very well the brand of country we have been living
in for the past many years, I will involuntarily caution you and your team to
keep this letter as secret to yourselves.
Why, you asked? Simple, we have been and
are living in a country where everything is watched with and measured by big political
eyes. We live in a country where expressing your mind (whether professionally
or objectively) on an issue can simply define your political family.
And since am not really ready to be
looked at with those wicked man-made eyes, I will want this letter to forever
remain a secrecy between me and citifm morning show team led by your good
yourself, Bernard Avle. You can also involuntarily disregard my caution especially
if doing so will serve our common purpose; our campaign of ‘putting Ghana first
and chasing for Mr. Right Thing Be Done In Ghana’.
Lest I forget, are you and your team
somehow close to that mysterious man, ‘Mr. Right Thing Be Done in Ghana’? For
me, the more I travel, the farther he becomes from me and the warriors on the
way to him are simply brilliant and fantastic fighters. Don’t talk about their
cruelty, heartlessness and their swift manner of launching the attack on you. I
hope you and your guys have had your portion from them.
Now here is to what am going to share
with you in respect to discussion yesterday; an old feature article I wrote
three months back about the subject of flooding in the country, the
recklessness of our leaders, the stubbornness of the citizens and why it will
comfortably continue to murder us.
I have not published it till now even in the newspaper I write for is not your
problem. Is it? All I know is that you and your team have physiologically
forced me to do what I’ve been trying hard to dodge. This is the unedited
feature article:
The Ghanaian ‘Murderer’ Is Here Again
When an
issue about human life is continuously kept under the carpet to only attract
some so-called wailing and pretended sympathetic looks from unwatchful eyes, my
mouth finds it too shameful to shut and simply say—“let that damn go, it is not
on your door steps, why border your hungry thinking brains?”
I am talking about an issue
as grave as what I am about to tackle that has suddenly disappeared from the
minds of everybody, as if its occurrence was a way to entertain the public into
a weeping show.
One is not only tempted but will not be wrong to simply call it
“the gross attitude of the Ghanaian”; both the leader and the ordinary citizen.
There is no really much difference. Yes. It doesn’t really matter who you are,
where you stand and the position you hold in the society. No. Not at all.
The totality of our mindset is easily comparable to that of the
frog—we make noise when there is a problem at hand, but when it is gone beyond
our sight, we simply dash it off and wait for its revisit for us to start
weeping all over again as if it was a new cinema. Just think about our
childhood days and the jubilant noise of frogs after heavy rain and juxtapose
that with the dead silence that we used to experience when the rains were far
gone. This is the exactitude of the Ghanaian mind; the Ghanaian leaders and the
Ghanaian citizens. Don’t ask me whether I’m a Ghanaian. Yes, I am and am not
exempting myself from this.
You can also relate our attitude to the old wisdom “when the fool’s
sore stops paining, he thinks it has healed”. Call it Abaare’s first principle of
the Ghanaian approach to solving
problems; by simply talking and seriously formulating theories that will never
be implemented to serve the purpose intended.
Is it true that only a madman goes to sleep with his roof on fire
as suppose by Ola Rotimi in his book “the gods are not to blame”? This question
urges me to slap my forehead with my palm and proclaim loudly, perhaps a
shameless laughter “oh, hahaa” we are if it is as it is. Then we need President
John (IV) Mahama to yet form a special mental committee to seriously probe the
pretended sound minds of our politician and the rest of us of a seemingly
disorderness in our thinking caps, comrades. Think about it as you do think
about issues and you will see the sense I am proposing.
Remember the terrible floods in the capital city, Accra and across
the country in the past few months? Remember how cars, properties and more
importantly some beloved friends and relatives were being carried around the
streets like pieces of unwanted papers?
These are still milling through my conscious mind, they have
refused to leave my thinking veins alone like every politician has comfortably
done as if it never did happen in this country.
It’s as if no human life was taken by this unfortunate disaster;
don’t even talk about the countless collapsed houses and not even the lost
properties. It is wiped clean off our here yesterday’s minds. The northern
plight is a difficult subject on its own right. Let’s not dare there for now.
Imagine, after all that horrifying, sickening and ghastly
scenes, the so-called efforts of the
politicians to rescue victims and the too much empty noise of the National
Disaster Management Organization(NADMO) that was drumming so loud to our ears
and now all is a distant memory. The only National Disaster Management
Organization in the world that does think about prevention. That does not see
education of the public on issues relating to disasters even nearly important.
An organization simply waiting for in silence for disasters to occur before you
smell its voice.
All that remain about those terrible floods is a forgotten history
waiting for another season to repeat itself for yet another talk show in a well
polished different language.
And our television stations have also simply dumped those video
clips far away from their reach so they can’t remind the authorities
responsible of what happened in the just ended rainy season. At least to tell
them that the rains will surely set in again this year and the same
frustrations and weeping will register in the faces of most Ghanaians who say
no illegal structure on waterways must go down by the teeth of the wicked
This was a hugely unfortunate episode, and looking at it from the
prospective of history, we can see that it really put a lot people on the
thunderbolt. But yet, it's an episode that most of us and the politicians don't
even know had happened. As I was writing this article, I had the sense that I
was dredging up an incident that had been largely forgotten.
So during my work, I realized these were not the first floods in
the country neither could it be the last, the floods started before I was born,
they have been our seasonal and murderous visitors and had always been welcome
with the usual attitude; ‘we will take the necessary steps attitude’.
I went through some trouble
and I finally located some copies of newspapers including the newspaper I write
for on these floods and the lives and properties they (floods) happily gutted
nicely arranged on these papers.
And it gave me the feeling that, not only am I digging up this
episode again, but I'm bringing back to life this murderous incident that is
always washed off our minds after its destructions and short disappearance. And
that the floods have produced effects which we're still living with today.
One of the reasons I wanted to write this article was because I've
always been curious about exactly how we always implement the talk shows during
these disasters, year in and year out. I have been furious on how the leaders
responsible always become so reluctant, indisposed, and hesitant after these
unfortunate disasters in the country where lives are the central issues.
What do they do after spending a lot of money to assist victims?
Waiting to spend and beg from donors? Exactly how do they go about their
policies to safeguard lives during floods? I really think the wonderful way to
answer to these questions is, what if our memories are weak?
What happens is this: we all simply
forget and dash clean our minds, so when the same thing repeat itself, we treat
it like it was the first ever occurrence in the country. We spend time talking
without actually putting the talking in practice.
We spend huge sums of money setting committees to investigate into
the reasons of our misfortunes but what we do with these findings is what
nobody can tell. I will urge the authorities responsible for disasters to wake
up from their long sleep and do what the taxpayers’ money is wasted on them
I think the President Mahama’s government will put politics aside
for just a moment and make sure all structures found on water ways are
relocated to prevent floods disasters in years to come. I don’t think this will
make somebody look so ugly to scare people away from him. And I don’t think
this my pleading advices will earn me the title “serpent in the garden of
Ghana”. If it will, so be it. May God safe us. The only country waiting for
disasters to find preventive measures.
I will be back