Feature Article of Thursday, 30 August 2012

Columnist: Prempeh Forson

For Lack Of Wisdom My People Perish

There is no empty space in this world. Our naked eyes may suggest so, but common sense will beg to differ. When a place appears to be empty, natural science tells us that it is at least filled with air. Therefore, emptiness should be defined in term of what one expects to see which appears to be absent to him or her. We must know what we look for and look in the right places because everything we desire in life is all around us.

In the absence of wisdom ignorance takes over. When ignorance prevails our collective mentality and attitudes are seriously impaired and weakened to the point where we can no longer act right. We think wrongly, speak wrong words, take wrong actions and receive wrong results which destroy us in the end. And for lack of wisdom we don’t even make that connection.

For lack of wisdom our cities and towns are rapidly becoming slummy and filthy, our gutters are chocked breeding mosquitoes that feed on our blood and leave us to perish with malaria. For lack of wisdom we don’t even make that connection.

We are born Ghanaians and the land is our BIRTH RIGHT - Gold, Timber, farm lands, rivers, the sea and the fishes, the birds in the skies and everything else belongs to us. But for lack of wisdom we don’t even enjoy the blessings.

For lack of wisdom we sell our BIRTH RIGHTS to few individuals at a value of Elephant and Umbrella T-shirt and GHc10. They then turn to pass it on to foreign powers for their selfish peanut gains. And for lack of wisdom we don’t even make that connection.

“You are sitting on a pot of gold” It remains but only an expression in most part of the world. In Ghana it is not a mere expression as we indeed sit on gold mines. And for lack of wisdom we don’t even make that connection.

Few Ghanaians have managed to mismanage Ashanti gold mines, sold it to foreigners and walk away millionaires. Obuase, the golden town has been reduced to a dusty town. Prostitution becomes the trade of the Black Queens in the town whiles most perish with AIDS. And for lack of wisdom we don’t even make that connection.

As the chemicals blast underneath the earth, the fertility and richness of the land is lost with the gold that is fetched away, and the sweet “Obuasi ankaa” turns sour, the river is poisoned, the food crops refuse to grow, the children refuse to grow and the people perish with malnutrition. For lack of wisdom we don’t even make that connection.

For lack of wisdom we worship trees, stones, rivers, dead people and living beings when we only have to live in harmony with nature. Our speeches are filled with the vision and so called 7 year development plan of a dead man. Do we want to achieve a dead man’s vision at the expense of our own or we simply don’t have our own vision? For lack of wisdom we are stuck in the past and don’t even ask this question.

The rulers of the land house their children in mansions paid for by or stolen from the poor people, teach them to fly the tax payers’ plane - for fun - and feed them with the best of the land. They enslave the rest of us mentally, turn us into zombies and use us as foot soldiers. And for lack of wisdom we don’t even make that connection.

We stupidly steal the ballot box and run with it, we clash and brutalise our own brothers and sisters, all in the interest of the evil politician. And for lack of wisdom we don’t even ask why their children are not taking part in this madness.

Tribalism and corruption are the tools of the evil politician, they use it to divide us and set us against one another. You ever wonder why we pay information service but they don’t put out a single poster or nationwide campaign against tribalism and corruption? They don’t wage a war against tribalism and corruption like we did against HIV/AIDS years back? To do so will be the end of their evil deeds as the people unite under one Ghanaian Identity to fight them. But for lack of wisdom we don’t even make that connection.

Dubai was a dessert with no concrete structure but tents. A magnificent nation is built upon the land within 30 years. The people of Dubai have built enough homes on the land and jump into the sea to build more. Within the same period our rulers were busy killing and looting the nation. And for lack of wisdom we don’t even make that connection.

A nation rich in resource was declared bankrupt and fell at the mercy of the world to wave our debts. We turned around to spend millions to throw “a golden jubilee party” rather than building “a golden jubilee Hospital” And for lack of wisdom we don’t even make that connection.

Our policy makers are the sole beneficiary of the policies they make. And for lack of wisdom we don’t even make that connection.

With few millions to be made by few individuals our nation is subjected to 3 billion dollars debt. Sooner or later we will be at the mercy of the Chinese who will be more ruthless than the Western powers. And for lack of wisdom we don’t even care about the consequences for our future generation.

For lack of wisdom our parliamentarians are deceived with goody bags to sign off 10 billion dollar worth of contract to Korea to build ‘affordable’ houses which only they can afford. And for lack of wisdom we don’t even make that connection.

200 thousand houses for 10 billion dollars can only house 1 million Ghanaian people if the average family size is 5 persons. The same amount can send water to every home and farm land in Ghana, tackle sanitation and generate more employment which will benefit the entire population tremendously. For lack of wisdom, we don’t even consider that.

Our roads are poorly constructed at over bloated costs - they are washed off by just a drizzle. The commercial cars are in appalling conditions whiles the driver are extremely indiscipline. The result is carnage on our roads and for lack of wisdom we dump all in a pot of superstition. FOR LACK OF WISDOM MY NATION PERISHES.

Call this anything, even a ranting of an angry and frustrated Ghanaian, it still does not change my belief that we as people must collectively seek wisdom to apply and change our lives for better. We need to ask God in our prayers to send us LEADERS with wisdom. And we need wisdom at the same time to identify good leaders when they finally arrive. So far we have had RULERS who only rule us and exploit us. We don’t need Rulers anymore, we need Leaders and visionary ones for that matter.

The rivers are rapidly drying and those that still have water refuse to flow due to our environmental abuse. I enjoy a long walk along the strand from London Bridge to the West Minster often pausing at the Tate Modern Museum. The Thames river does not only beautifies the city of London but also quenches the thirst of Londoners.

I sit by the Rhein river in Basel and although I cannot swim, I soak my feet in the river with a glass of wine and a bar of chocolate next to me, admiring the boat taking people across both sides of the river, and people, young and old, swimming in the river as it flows gently through the calm city of Basel.

Suddenly I think of the Odow river in my city of Accra. I remember how I have to cover my nose each time I take the Odokor / Kaneshie tro-tro from circle gazing into the dirty river - the filth and the smell – I wonder if we should not just simply call it “odour River” instead of “Odow River”.

We can develop Ghana and we must develop Ghana, we have everything it takes to develop our country. I refuse to accept anything else. The only reason why other races look down on the black race is because of poverty. China was equally disrespected and looked down upon but today they are gaining much respect. The Arabs are being considerably respected especially those in the Emirates all because they are rich. If they can make it we can also make it. We have more resources than they do. It is a competitive world and if I had the power I will take from other countries to support Ghana. I am therefore not in the least bit surprise that other powers come to take from us. What we need is a LEADERSHIP that will protect us, guide our resources with iron hands and manage them properly for our development.


Prempeh Forson prempeh.forson@gmail.com