From the beginning of this year, there have been a pervading anger among a section of the Ghanaian society that has manifested itself in social and labour unrest. The problem is, the issues engendering this anger is not new and in previous situations, had been confronted with different attitude. So what is different now? I suspect only one reason:
The political savvy class who dominate both the tribal and higher socio-economic echelon of life in Ghana represent all the angry anti-government people who cannot accept what they’ve lost forever—namely the exclusive right to take all the best jobs, receive the highest remunerations, run everything, make all the decisions and, oh yes, keep everybody who doesn’t look, act and talk the way they do out of the good old boys club and from the castle (Oh sorry, from the Golden Stool House).
What is happening in Ghana now is a “politics of anger”that is more deadly than corruption and coup d’tats. In fact, it’s probably more central as a motivating force behind the dysfunctional sociopoliticqallife than either. Our politicians and some partisans are angry. This is especially true of the new breed of NPP honourables in parliament and supporters in the country. Don’t get me wrong, members and supporters of NPP have always been partisan, but then so have those of NDC, CPP, PPP, etc. It’s only natural. But something has changed. Partisanship is now a synonym for anger, insult, and disrespect channeled through intimidation and paralysis oflife in the country.
A cursory look into life in Ghana shows a country that has won international respect for her democratic culture; seen no war before; high in the ranks of developing countries with high economic growth rate and an extraordinary peaceful people, on the verge of both social and economic collapse, uncertainty in her political life because of unreasonable court challenges of the electoral process based on issues beyond the capabilities of the electoral systems in most countries, developed and developing, and crippling labour unrests. All these are happening less than three months after a new president has been sworn in. A president who happened to be an opponent of most of this angry crowd.
The question any fair minded observer will ask is why are they so damn mad? What is the source of this seemingly inexhaustible wellspring of anger?
Hypothesis: There is a class of intellectuals and tribal leaders who are very unhappy with the socioeconomic and political changes going on in Ghana. They are aggrieved with the process (SSSS) that places them on the same rate of income levels as the “low class professions or job”. They are aggrieved with the systems that ensures that political candidates with low educational levels; don’t have any relations with the aristocratic ruling classes of the “superior” tribes and members of the inferior parties, push them out of power and social levels where “they belong”.
What makes the situation potentially dangerous is that this class of people are highly educated and have control over the media and, therefore, are not the only voices heard often at national level on debates about conditions affecting the ordinary person, they are most of the time, the voices of reason because of the cogent arguments they put across on air and on the screen. They are the idols and nobility the ordinary person aspires to be. Therefore, they have a very potent influence on the people others call “masses”.
This is why they are so dangerous when they become reactionary. This is because they are highly skillful and capable of interpreting any situation to their advantage with half-truths, misinformation and down-right intellectual intimidations.This group has developed a sense of entitlement and desire to demand respect and, therefore, the right to control everything in Ghana. This sense of entitlement has forced them to be highly partisan in the politics of the country. They have aligned with the aristocrats of the biggest tribal groups to form the New Patriotic Party. They have used this party alliance to channel the anger and frustration of the ordinary party members into a fight for the political and economic power of this reactionary intellectuals.
Don’t get me wrong. I have great admiration for the accomplishments of people at the local level who are plainspoken, deeply committed, sincere, and unstinting in their efforts to move society in the direction they desire, particularly, in a country where lights-offs, strikes, employment, hunger and disease is a way of life. But it is said in the Akan language that if one pokes deeply under the eyes of a dead body, one will find maggots. This powerful intellectuals take advantage of the hardships associated with transitional periods and uncompleted development programs to fan disaffections and uprisings against their political opponents.It is like, how dare the electoral commissioner conduct the normally imperfect electoral process associated with elections everywhere and particularly when the party and presidential candidate favoured by ‘’our lordships” and “their holinesses” lost?
For the past many years, we have moved from military dictatorship to constitutional democracy and Ghana has experienced unprecedented peace and stability. All the two major parties have experienced political power with peaceful handover from one party to its opposition party. We have unparalleled freedom of speech and press. We are on the path of development, with more mobile phones than people. We have oil and improving our infrastructure;we have become the gateway to the WestAfrican subregion; our football team reached the quarter finals of the world cup; our country man was the leader of the United Nations for two terms, and one of our brothers just missed being the Pope by a whisker; and suburbs of the major cities are full of developing projects including modern houses. In comparison to some of our brothers on the continent, we are not bad at all.
Most importantly, all these are not the efforts of any one individual, political party, or tribe. This is through collective effort and from one party to the other. No one single party has monopoly of power and the truth in the country and no government has been perfect. In fact political stability and peace have been very useful to us as a country.
That is why I find it very difficult to understand why those who have lost temporary power will want the country to be ungovernable. What kind of dangerous precedent do they want to set knowing very well that they will come to power themselves one day? Or is it the case that some individuals feel their political life is almost over? Is it wise to set a bad political precedent for the sake of the political ambition of one person?
Or can the raging disrespect for the soft-spoken former president or the new gentle and conciliatory guy who is the first occupant of the “our Golden Stool House” possibly explain the depth and breadth of the anger and extreme partisanship this group defiantly display despite the electoral fortunes and the privilege treatment they have been receiving throughout the history of the country?
So why is there so much unreasonableness in the negotiations in the labour front? Why are there so much manipulation of the legal system? Why are some people going their way to cause instability in the country? Is it because some people cannot stand being out of power?
Ask yourself who stands to gain the most when the country fails? Answer: the very people who in the past had benefited most from political power and who are world acclaimed bad losers. And their allies who have the means to make life somewhere else.
And who stand to lose the most? The very people who will never have gratuity, still board tro-tro and live without light.
“Beware Mr. Wiseman. When the fool becomes wise, the game will be over”.