“Famine and thirst sigh like a scythe across the field of statistics and the desert is a moving mouth” – Derek Walcott (The Fortunate Traveler)
Anyone who will tell you that everything in this country is going on well is a pathological liar. The truth is that all is not well and the country is sitting on a time bomb. The dream of our forefathers to make this country a model one in Africa has hit the rocks. Our forefathers told us forward ever but backwards never. Sadly the whole thing has changed to forward never, backwards ever. The clock of state started ticking anticlockwise for the past four years when the NDC came to power and it has continuously been ticking backwards. We are living in dangerous times and it’s only a matter of time before things go haywire. If we continue to play the ostrich, by burying our heads in the sand and refusing to see the storm coming, we will surely be overtaken by events. Call me a prophet of doom if you like but the reality is that this country is sick. This is a country in distress while her citizens are in pain. (Eh! Me and my prophesy)
Take the issue of water for example. It is an undeniable fact that water, not oil is the most precious fluid in our lives, the substance from which all life on the earth has sprung and continuous to depend on. If we run short of oil and other fossil fuels, we can use alternative energy. If we have no clean, drinkable water, we are doomed. Hunger and thirst are linked to political instability and in other jurisdictions; access to adequate and unpolluted water is increasingly being viewed as a basic human right. We are gradually trudging towards that angle and if care is not taken, the issue of access to water could trigger a coup d’état. Any hot-headed soldier who will stage a coup and use access to water as basis for his coup will receive an overwhelming support. When people struggle to get water on daily basis and they hear how the government is dashing out money and luxurious cars to some people in this country, they cry to the high heavens to come to their aid. That is why Ghanaians hail coup makers as ‘redeemers’, ‘liberators’, ‘defenders’, ‘revolutionaries’ etc
One looming catastrophe is the drug menace. Today in Ghana, cocaine and heroin are very common among the youth not only in the big towns but in our small villages as well. As for marijuana, both girls and boys use the hard drug like the way Fidel Castro smokes his Havana cigar. Come to my holy village and see. Instead of targeting the barons who import the drugs from South American countries to our shores we politicize everything, thereby leaving the barons to continue to laugh their ways to the banks. What we need to know is that these drug barons can easily sponsor a coup d’état and indeed they have been able to sponsor several military takeovers in many countries around the world. They also destroy the economy through money laundering. Instead of tackling the issue holistically, we pretend everything is alright while Rome burns.
Whether you agree with me or not, it is a fact that armed robbery is in the ascendency in this country and our security agencies are overwhelmed. These guys use sophisticated weapons and operate with professional touch. The seriousness of this particular problem is that no investor will put his or her money into any business in a country armed robbers operate with impunity like they do in Ghana. In the early seventies when Nigeria did strike oil and the money started to flow, armed robbers increased in their numbers. They terrorized businessmen so much so that investors packed bag and baggage and left the shores of Nigeria. That scenario seems to be repeating itself in Ghana now that we have joined the oil producing countries. What happened in Kumasi the other day when these hoodlums stormed Ayigya was just a dress rehearsal. In that encounter, these drugged guys openly brandished their sophisticated weapons with absolute impunity and dared the police to catch them if they could. Their daring action forced the President to call an emergency meeting of his security capos and instructed them to DEAL with the miscreants as if it is easy to deal with these hardened criminals. That too was a wrong step taken because the instruction was in another way an advice for the guys to go into hiding and come out later when the storm calms down. It is like telling the thief that tonight you will not sleep and so he should not try to steal from your house. Infant, the instruction given by the President for the security men to DEAL with the armed robbers was too infantile. That is why military strategists insist that battle plans are often the first casualties of battle.
To me, it was a useless kneel-jerk reaction to a serious problem. The President did not impress me at all. President Barak Obama did not call his security capos before the cameras and told them to go to Abbottabad in Pakistan and kill Osama bin Laden. Even when the Army SEAL were in the thick of that operation, the President locked himself up in the Situation Room to watch the whole operation with his top aides, live. It was when the operation was over that he came out to broadcast to Americans that Osama has been killed. Learn the rudiments of security operations and stop the mess, Mr. President! And do you blame the President? The likes of Larry Gwavlo Lartey, who are supposed to know better, are living in the sixteenth century. They are playing smart but not being clever enough. These are yesterday’s men who continue to ill-advise the president on national security.
One of the contending dooms is the issue of “contract killings”. This term was the brainchild of the late president Mills who used it to castigate the Kufuor administration when a few people were killed by unidentified persons. The late professor made so much noise about the issue that people were made to believe that it was Kufuor’s government that engaged people to kill. Today, “contract killings” have reached an unacceptable level. In John Mahama’s Ghana, no one is safe as far as “contract killings” are concerned. Should we therefore say John Mahama’s government is behind the “contract killings” going on in God’s own country? So you now understand why the sages say when you throw a ball against a wall it comes back to you?
The murder and carnage on our roads continue unabated. Statistics indicate that road accident is the number two killer in this country. In fact, it comes second to HIV/AIDS. We have established a Road Safety Commission which operates only during Christmas and Easter holidays. Here in Ghana where we are always proud to say God has pitched his camp, a day never passes without one fatal road accident or the other which leads to the death and maiming of innocent souls. Instead of checking faulty vehicles, the MTTU are only interested in extorting monies from drivers. You sit in a vehicle and wonder how the owner was able to acquire Roadworthy Certification from the DVLA. Corruption here, corruption there, corruption everywhere! The sad aspect of the case is that many vehicles ply our roads without any insurance covering them. Prayers have been offered by our religious clergies for God to deliver us from such deaths but so far God has not listened to us. It looks as if the country is possessed by an evil spirit.
Among the contending dooms that this country is seriously facing is the strike syndrome. These days it is gradually becoming fashionable for labour unions to urge their members to embark on strike for the inability of the government to pay either their salaries or allowances. And so Ghana has become a country of striking workers. If you quantify the man/hour lost in terms of money you will realize that the country is rather going backwards as far as our development is concerned. One cannot blame these striking workers because a soldier marches on his belly.
As they stand in the queue waiting for trotro to go to their various places of work and see government officials in their flashy cars driving by, any call to strike by their leadership is quickly swallowed, bait, line and sinker. In the run-up to elections, the NDC apparatchiks promised to build bridges where there are no rivers and when they were “voted to power” (Or they stole power?) they turned to treat the electorate like second class human beings. They live ostentatious and profligate lifestyles to the annoyance of the poor man on the street who cannot make ends meet. That is why anytime there is a coup d’état, the poor and common men are always the first to hit the streets to support the soldiers.
Have you observed the recent increase in spousal killings in the country, my cherished reader? That is a very serious issue because God hates it. And when a nation does what God hates, that nation is cursed. It happened during the days of Moses and the other prophets. The sad aspect of this case is that you never know when and where it will happen and you never know the reason since many of such killers turn the weapons against themselves, thereby, burying the reasons with their souls.
So you see, my brothers and sisters, (apology to late President Mills) all is not well and the only way out is to go on our knees and pray for forgiveness. God might be angry with us because of the electoral fraud!!! But Lord God Almighty, He who delivered Israel, should the sins of the father visit the children? Lead kindly light, amidst the encircling gloom. The night is dark and I am far from home. Lead thou me on!!!