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Opinions of Sunday, 28 February 2016

Columnist: Baidoo, Philip Kobina

We have to be serious as a nation

A couple of days ago, I wrote a piece about Pastor Otabil’s ‘national security threat’ saga. As usual, I expected those who in a million years will never share my sentiments to go berserk. Of course, they did not disappoint me, and I was not in the least surprised. The fact is I don’t really mind about that, because I know it is the hazard of the trade. In reality, I welcome and celebrate dissent, because it makes me think harder.

No one is infallible; however, our existence is all about reaching a state of perfection, though Nirvana is practically impossible. I have engaged in debates all my life. It is very rich and rewarding debating smart people, and I love slugging it out with excellent minds blessed with a sense of integrity. But the serious snag is locking horns with those who think they know, yet, lack critical thinking methodology and a tinge of honesty. When you debate a smart person and you make a rigorous and intellectually watertight point he is able to follow and appreciate. On the other hand, when you debate those who celebrate mediocrity it’s just like throwing your pearls before a swine.

In the piece, I made a point referring to the record of President Kufuor, and one commentator who thought he is smart made a pitch that Kufuor’s regime was also corrupt. Implying, I do not have a moral case against the government for stealing and raping the country with its pants on.

It is insane to make the case that, because Kufuor’s administration was corrupt we should also give the current government the pass to steal. It beggars the imagination for anybody who can read and write with a bit of ethics behind his thought processes to seriously sit behind his keyboard to make such a pitch. My question is do we want the best for the country?

I started writing for ghanaweb in September 2009, but prior to that I used to write for the Ghanaian Evening News, which is now defunct. I believe their archives can be found somewhere. I was more than a thorn in the flesh of the Kufour administration. And I have to state here loud and clear. Though, I subscribe to the economic philosophy of the NPP party, I am not a sycophant that sings their praise even when they err, like some people I know who will even defend mass murderers simply, because they share the same political and economic philosophy.

Good news does not sell; bad news excels and drives the media industry. There are millions of successful journeys that are made in the country every day. Who sits down to write about them? You will be sectioned and confined to an insane asylum if you embark on such irrelevant indulgence. Yet, a tragic one at Kintampo that claimed 61 lives got its own news cycle. Therefore, I wouldn’t waste my time if the ruling party does a good thing. I can only write about the awful things they do. They have those who get paid to write about the remarkable work of providing sanitary towels for girls, and I am not one of them.

All that this serial commentator, Abeeku Mensah, wrote can be summed up as: we have to keep quiet and shuffle on the way to the slaughter, because President Kufuor was also corrupt. This is childish of all childishness, and breaks my spirit to continue engaging in what I do. However, when Ghana succeeds I always have indescribable goose bumps and tears of joy. Therefore, irrespective of the tragic statements that our fellow travellers make, it is worth my while battling on to wrestle a bit of sanity into the life of our leaders. I will not be deterred by this toddler’s talk, which anybody with a bit of sense will not hesitate to condemn.

Philip Kobina Baidoo Jnr