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Opinions of Saturday, 11 June 2005

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Rawlings Was Right Suggesting "Nana Antoa Nyamaa" Shrine

The only living former President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency J.J. Rawlings, has severally been referred to as a nutter, a murderer, a tyrant, Junior Jesus, Junior Judas, and a host of other derogatory and complimentary names by his foes and sympathisers.Though his tantrums and erratic behaviours might well justify the name callings, his one time suggested means of asserting his innocence is what interests me as a subject matter calling for attention and scrutiny.

We all recollect at the National Reconciliation Committee (NRC) sittings; he once suggested being taken before "Nana Antoa Nyamaa" at Kumasi Antoa, to ascertain the truth of his claim to innocence, regarding his accusation of having a hand in the murder of the three Accra High Court judges and the Army major. Many were those that jumped into hasty conclusions, heaping insults on him, invoking his inherent inward-looking, genetically inherited from his tribal inclination, as believed in the warped minds of his die-hard enemies or opponents, hence, strongly asserted that he had really committed the crime, but was using fetishism as an escape route, knowing the Panel would not budge to such a demand.

The ascendancy of his quilt on the lips of many emanated from the fact that they are too Christian to stoop so low to the propositions of Rawlings which they abhorred with all vim and zeal, characterizing it satanic, so Rawlings the devil's advocate. The people in their outward white-washed show of Christian religiousness would not succumb to any devil incarnate proposals. By their blind hypocrisy they let go the golden opportunity to officially testify the capabilities of our traditions to ensuring sanity in our society, crime prevention.

Among the other suggested means-testing procedures put forward by the apparently frustrated and desperate Rawlings, from hindsight, that of "Nana Antoa Nyamaa" was credible; should the shrine be as powerful as it is or was alleged to be.

I have personally come to appreciate the credence given to fetishism by Rawlings in an effort to exonerate him from blame, crime he was sure not to have committed, but put squarely on his door mat, at his door and on his head. I am religious and a Christian of course, but our attitudes do not in anyway merit any interactive fellowship with Christ, therefore this strong desire to support Rawlings in seeking remedial assistance in our precious but abandoned Ghanaian traditional values, to change us for the better to be able to worship God properly in future.

My argument comes from the fact that Ghana is overflowing with carnal-minded Christians, hypocrites that hide behind Christianity and Islam to commit heinous acts not worthy of their acclaimed religions. Some people take advantage of God's quality of slow to anger to commit crimes with impunity. This is especially exhibited in the very people we trust through elections to rule the nation. They appear docile, chaste and very Christian but are wolves in lamb skins; they are greedy thieves without comparison.

Unlike God, the gods would exact punishment there and then, if you commit acts repugnant to expectation, as you might have sworn otherwise on their name. Christianity has lost its value to become a fashion show piece where every Tom, Dick and Harry, can frequent with relative ease, score easy marks and fool about, knowing God is patient, slow to anger and hesitant to punish until end time, but forgiving when one repents of their sins.

If people were dragged before these fetish shrines to take oaths of being of good behaviour when entrusted with any public office, not stealing from the coffers or using their positions for illegal gains of whatever, there will surely be serenity and positive results in our current futile fight to weather the storm. If our politicians by swearing on the name of a powerful fetish can be deterred, from misappropriating public funds, awarding contracts to unqualified persons in the hope of receiving bigger underhand payments or commissions, thereby forcibly executing their duties in fairness to their offices and the good of the governed, will that not be terribly great?

It is about time we faced facts, realities and call spade by its name. It is time to hit the nail squarely in the head of the drum, not sideways. If the truth could have come out of Rawlings by arraigning him before "Nana Antoa Nyamaa", would that not have been more marvellous than when we insisted otherwise without or with the truth which now baffles us, leaving us in doubt to scratch our heads in total disbelief, with toothpicks stuck-broken in-between our teeth? Do we still not doubt him though; he might be innocent as he has always claimed? This is all because we failed to seize an opportunity offered us on a silver platter, considering it archaic, detestable, without credibility and any place in the present day Ghana of Christian and Muslim dominance.

What are Ghanaians waiting for to make use of our traditions to our advantage? Ghana is among the many African countries where religions and churches of any descent and form spring up like mushrooms to the end disadvantage of the people. We have neglected our own values to take to and after foreign cultures in which we find ourselves misfits wobbling on our feet yet, we are happily stuck in them as inhibited persons, like electric meters stuck onto walls.

Modern day Christianity has lost its vibrancy and values almost the world over. Christian values are being trampled upon. Christian principles are broken every now and then. In Ghana, the very architects and overseers of Christianity have turned it into viable profit maximizing enterprise, more lucrative than the cultivation of cocoa, thereby not only exploiting but also encouraging the masses to become lazy, sitting on their laps gazing into the sky as stars gazers expecting alms to emerge from Heaven or nowhere. Surely, they will descend upon me as the Lucifer himself comes to reside among worldly beings. But I don't give a hoot once my message sinks into people's head and yield the anticipated results.

None of the great nations in the world ever did away with the entirety of their cultures and traditions in the course of, and after, their development except Ghana and Africa. Ghanaians and black people who claim at times to be even more intelligent and religious than the white men make me laugh loud unable to restrain myself. Is it intelligence to abandon your values to take after someone?s where we become wobbling round poles in square holes spinning round until dazed and fall over?

Mr. Rawlings was directly emphasizing the potency of our shunned and downgraded Ghanaian traditions, in not only extracting the truth but discouraging the urge to commit crime. But overwhelmed with prejudice, animosity and insane desire to pay him in his own tyrannical coin, ready to exact a pound of his flesh reminiscent of Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice" incident, we could not grasp his philosophy.

Japan, China and many such great developed and developing countries still maintain their precious traditions side by side modern technologies. Their strides in advancement speak for themselves though, combining both traditional values and scientific technology.

What are Ghanaians waiting for? Come on. Stop daydreaming in fallacies. Embrace the realities in case the surmountable problems facing us will diminish if not eradicated completely. We are sick and tired of corruptions, abuses, in high places of power and the concomitant hardships to the entire population. If our traditions which we look on with scorn can help arrest the savagery, would we not love to welcome their incorporation into our statutory laws?

Rockson Adofo (London)

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.