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Opinions of Thursday, 19 July 2012

Columnist: Badu, K.

Slothfulness and prevarications won’t bring development

Following the publications of my last two articles-“Africans are not intelligent”-impolitic driver (part 1&2); I travelled to Ghana to acquaint myself with national development. For those of you who are not privy to the gist of my last two articles posted on Ghanaweb, the articles discussed a perceived billingsgate put forward by a Turkish driver. The driver injudiciously averred that Africans are not intelligent. To be honest, in part one, I rebuked the driver, however, upon reflection, I agreed to some extent with the driver’s moot phrase. Though, I strongly believe that the positive averment should be: “Africans are unwise”.

In our anfractuous society, for example, we tend to believe that a highly educated individual also possesses wisdom. I beg to differ in this instance. Intelligence differs from wisdom. Someone may be highly educated, but may lack the wisdom similitude to that of “biblical King Solomon”. Biblically, King Solomon did not possess top academic qualifications, albeit, King Solomon had an unbelievable discernment. In essence, King Solomon was a true leader; a paradigmatic leader who did not need a doctorate degree in order to differentiate between right and wrong.

Interestingly, Oxford English dictionary defines intelligence as “the faculty of thought and reason” or “the capacity to acquire knowledge”. On the other hand, knowledge is defined as “familiarity, awareness or understanding gain through experience or study”. Conversely, wisdom is “the ability to discern or judge what is true, right or lasting”. Based on the preceding dichotomies within intelligence, knowledge and wisdom, we can aver that an intelligent person does not necessarily possess wisdom. We can also postulate that an intelligent person can acquire knowledge, but may also lack the requisite wisdom, which would guide the individual to apply such knowledge effectively in his/her day-to-day living activities.

In Ghana today, we have the elitists who claim perquisite to leadership, albeit, national development is slacked. Of course, we have abundant knowledgeable men and women, needless to say, many of whom do not apply wisdom in their endeavours. Let us take a look at the Ghanaian political landscape today, and you would agree with me that some of our politicians, many of whom are highly educated are not applying wisdom in their day-to-day living activities.

Undoubtedly, we have highly educated individuals, but I am not sure whether we have enough critical thinkers. I mean individuals who can think reflectively and help move the nation forward. Just look at what is happening in Ghanaian political scene today, and you would agree with me that our intellectuals are not ready to apply wisdom to help move the nation forward.

How can highly educated men and women put pen to paper without due diligence? You see, my mother who had had no education whatsoever, would not even put pen to paper without applying a little bit of critical thinking. In other words, my mother would ask someone to read thoroughly the details of the contract before making any decision. So, if our intellectuals who are supposed to know better persistently put pen to paper without due diligence, then we have a long way to go as a nation.

Why should Ghanaians pay a high price for a few individuals persistent slothfulness? Currently, we are witnessing gigantesque judgment debt payments as a result of a few individuals lackadaisical approach. Some of us are also in a state of puzzled countenance to see some politicians shamefully siding with the claimants. Someone ought to inform those betrayers that they were elected to defend the nation, but not to side with foreigners who want to squeeze every penny out of our national coffers. We even hear that one of our intellectuals has vowed to testify against Ghana, if the government fails to settle a judgment debt. How bizarre?

“Africans are unwise”; otherwise how can we command copious resources and still remain the poorest in the world”. “We have leaders who are unwise, greedy and fraudulent, have no vision, only thinking of themselves and their cronies”. How can we move forward as a nation when our leaders are shamefully squandering our resources? Their venalities are unbelievable!

In ending, I would like to state categorically that we do not necessarily need intellectuals to lead the country, but we rather require limpidity- critical thinkers who may think reflectively and help move the nation forward. In other words, we need massive leadership-a lot of individuals who possess wisdom similar to that of “King Solomon”. . May God bless Ghana!

K. Badu, UK.