“Over the last few days, I have been amazed at the messages of love and I ask myself, is this Ghana? Are all these people in Ghana? Because the maligning, the lies, the treachery, the wickedness, the deliberately changing things so that you could look better than others, the mischievousness, I ask myself; is this Ghana? I ask myself is this the same people who have come to pay tribute to my husband and today I ask the question, did people really know my husband?” lamented Mrs. Amissah Arthur in a tribute to her husband.
While this tribute reflects the reality of the concrete Ghanaian situation, some people would also like to remind this grieving widow about the proverbial Ghanaian tradition of sympathy with the “enemy” even in the case of death. And thus blame her for going too far with her tribute.
But there is also another Ghanaian tradition that teaches that death is an occasion for reconciliation among family members before the deceased is buried. How then can reconciliation be achieved, if hurting individuals are not allowed to express their pain and anger?.
This write up is therefore not aimed at condemning, attacking, glorifying or adoring anyone for his or her position on what should constitute a perfect tribute to the dead but to call on genuine Ghanaians who love our dear country and want to see her develop to pause and meditate on how polarized our beautiful country has become in the name of politics.
And how we can work at achieving a true and genuine democracy aimed at delivering development and progress to the citizenry. This is to remind us that we need to draw lessons by reflecting on the tribute of the widow to ensure that as a country we don’t repeat those mistakes.
Is it not strange that the people we insult and malign in the name of politics become saints overnight at their death? Ghana which Dr. Kwame Nkrumah described as “beloved country” cannot develop if we don’t put an end to the politics of “insultocracy”(a political culture based on insulting political opponents.). The calling of people by derogatory names, all in the name of politics must stop.
Politics however, is referred to as a dirty game, If it is, then why the complaint ? Well, I find this strange and wonder why service to mankind can be described as “dirty”. Remember, politics is to enable you to serve your people. Is the service we render to God and humanity not a noble act?
Politics then should not be dirty, but it should be in the interest of the common good. This is what the freedom fighters and our fore-bearers did . They made themselves dirty so as to bring freedom and liberation to us and not because they insulted their opponents.
The time has come for us as a country to appreciate good people while they are alive. Let us not close our eyes to the good in others because they belong to the “other side” of the political divide. For Ghana’s development is the common interest we have; and it is this that occupies our mind and directs our political dialogue and not the peddling of falsehood and lies just to win political power. This discussion should be devoid of personal attacks and insult by focusing on how to deliver development to the people of Ghana.
Remember, the goal of politics is not only limited to winning of political power at all cost regardless of who gets hurt in the process , but using political power to deliver development to the citizenry. This then should be our collective responsibility and not an individual agenda. But if care is not taken, the “insultocracy” we are practicing as a country will drive away the good people who cannot contain the insults from politics and then evil will triumph because the good people will not be able to do anything.
Let us resolve as a country and use politics to develop our country and not use it to destroy people and their hard earned reputation by falsehood and lies. We have an obligation to build a new Ghana for the future generation where lies and dishonesty would be uprooted and seeds of truth, equity and respect sown in their place. Now is the time to use politics for development and not to insult one another.
Long Live Ghana
Long Live the New Ghanaian Democracy
CREDIT: REV. FR. EMMANUEL DOLPHYNE (padredolphyne.com)