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Opinions of Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Columnist: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka

Stop the Tribal Nonsense and show some decency

I am deeply disturbed by the level of tribal rubbish that is spewed on Ghanaweb day in day out. This is certainly not acceptable. We must not continue to sit idle while such blatant disregard for human decency continues. Let us not forget that the bloodshed that took place in Rwanda followed the same instigations and derogatory name calling. Often such tribal explosion starts with years of brainwashing and taunting. We’ve come a long way and must not allow the few amongst us who gleefully stew in tribalism to take over the pulpit. God forbid! We can and must do better now!

My friends, there are some who have made it their obsession to spew vitriol and hate at every given turn. They have no conscience and cannot be freed from their tribal slavery. They can’t see anything outside the tribal prism. So long as they keep their views to themselves, some of us won’t mind. However, if their intent is to foment trouble and bring tribes other than their own into disrepute, they must be confronted and told off. Ghana may be a collection of tribes but it is a nation as well. If you don’t want to be a Ghanaian you have a choice.

Woyome, if he is an Ewe, is just one person. Why should his actions be generalized to all Ewes? I just don’t get it. He has not been proven guilty of any crimes just as the people involved in the 77 parcels of missing cocaine. Why is it wrong for his people to rally around him if others can enjoy the support of their tribe when the cocaine episode exploded? We are better off trying to understand this rally instead of the hasty condemnation. He is certainly not the only one who stands accused but enjoys support from his followers. Perhaps they believe he is innocent. Are they free to believe so? You damn right they are! Are they right? I don’t know! Time will tell!! Patience could be a virtue here. I don’t think he asked for such support nor was it planned. Just give the man his day in court. If he is convicted, we will all wish him happy days in jail. Nobody was blaming an entire tribe when some is high positions were fingered and linked to the cocaine scandal. Why must a whole tribe be responsible for the act of one person? Why?

It takes a bigoted person to make such hasty generalization and gassy effusions. Stop it for Christ sake! If we have to blame and insult a whole tribe for alleged misdeeds of one, which tribe will we spare? The radioactive hate that reeks into the air is palpable. Yet for worse crimes, we’ve not seen such reaction. Keep in mind that in the face of hate, people become defiant and dig in their heels. It is going to take all of us to get mother Ghana well. If we choose hate as a weapon, where does it leave us? We lose many who will side with us once we employ hate and uncalled for insults. Stop it! You may think you are soiling the reputation of another tribe but what you end up with is disgracing the entire country. You also let in the enemy by showing such divisions amongst us. Tribal calculation is one reason why coups have been successful in Ghana. If there is anyone reason that I will never make be a fan of chieftaincy this is it. The accentuation of tribe is a dagger in the ribs of the nation. We are trending dangerously toward a tipping point that may well plunge our country into chaos. Such pent up steam is often hard to see and read but lethal when it erupts.

Corruption is not the proclivity of any one government. It is a national disease. We must focus on it as such and stop the tribal nonsense. I am not one to interfere with anyone’s freedom but if this continues, Ghanaweb must consider shutting down the comments opportunity attached to the news items and featured articles. If grown men and women cannot self regulate and behave like human beings instead of irresponsible tykes, then the opportunity should be withdrawn or heavily regulated. I find some of the comments very informative but some are absolutely misguided. I come to Ghanaweb to read, learn and share. I don’t come to listen to, frolic or stew in this tribal nonsense. Enough! If this continues, all well meaning folks should consider withdrawing their participation. What baffles me is that the very tribal mongers are those that talk about our cultural heritage and communal pride. Is this what you learnt about your heritage, traditions and customs? Did your parents teach you such hate? Where is this coming from? What hypocrites! How will you feel is a foreigner speaks disparagingly about a tribe in Ghana?

Indeed, there are some on Ghanaweb who add nothing to the discussion but always take the privilege to insult people even when there is no agitation or any meaningful reason to. If we want to make Ghanaweb a true forum for sharing ideas and information that will help our lift our nation, we must expunge or abjure this decadent culture of insults and vilification. Of course empty barrels make the most noise. Some who contribute very little or nothing, are the head honchos when it come to tribal insults and denigration of others. Criticize all you want and surely indulge in all the gesturing that you can. Just don’t do the tribal claptrap and uncalled for insults. These anarchist must be put in check. Maybe Ghanaweb ought put out a few ethical rules to guide conduct on the site. Those who fail to follow such rules must be banned from the place. This tool should not serve as an avenue for hate mongers to spew their bilge. I am calling on all to help use this wonderful tool to help Ghana! Stop the tribal stuff!! We don’t need it! Call your friends on it! Hold people you know responsible! Don’t dignify it! Be a champion against tribalism!

Nii Lantey Okunka Bannerman (Double Edge Sword)

I don’t give them hell, I just tell the truth and they think it is hell---Harry Truman