Can’t Ghanaians Be Grateful To God For Small Mercies?

Feature Article Cant Ghanaians Be Grateful To God For Small Mercies?

“If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday” – Pearl Buck

Politically, Ghana is an island. The country is surrounded by three French-speaking countries which use only one currency and speak one lingua Franca. In case these three countries join to attack Ghana, the only option for Ghanaians is to run away to the sea which will be ready to devour us.

There is Burkina Faso up there. Even the illiterate can speak French, and they use the CFA. We are boarded on the west by Ivory Coast. They also speak French, irrespective of your educational background. They also use CFA. We are boarded on the east by Togo, and they too speak French and spend CFA.

Apart from the southern part of Ghana where the sea is in control, Ghana is the only country which speaks English Language and spends the Cedi. Hold your breath for a moment because this is just a prelude to my epistle to the Corinthians.

In all the countries we share boarders with, evil-minded Jihadists are literally in full control, killing people and maiming innocent men, women and children at random. Many people are internally displaced and the countries seem ungovernable. What is most serious on the part of Ghana is that, our boarders are very porous, so entering Ghana from these countries is as simple as ABC.

Go to Gonokrom, near Dormaa Ahenkro in the Bono Region and see for yourself. You don't need to pass through the recommended barrier to enter Ivory Coast. There are more than ten pathways to enter Ivory Coast in that small town. In fact, some Ivorians farm in Ghana while at the same time, some Ghanaians also farm in Ivory Coast.

The situation in Paga in the Upper East Region is more serious. Okada Motorbike riders operate twenty-four hours a day and they carry passengers to and from Burkina Faso as if there is no barrier. The main barrier at Paga is always quiet because people don't see the reason why they should pass through the barrier to be checked when there are more than twenty illegal routs to enter Burkina Faso.

Aflao is literately a suburb of Lome in Togo. You only need a 'goro boy', pay him a few Cedis and he will take you across the boarder with your goods. It is so when you want to enter Ghana from Lome.

If these sick brains called Jihadists who have been tormenting our neighboring countries want to cause havoc in Ghana, it will be simple. Muslims in Ghana are well known in the sub-region for their kindness and hospitality to their fellow Muslims, irrespective of wherever they may come from.

It is by the grace of Allah that we have not been attacked like they do in many countries in the sub-region. Thankfully Muslims in Ghana co-exist peacefully. We have the Allasunna, Tijaniyyah, and Ahmadiyya sects living peacefully together with their Christian counterparts in various communities. That is why we must be grateful to the All-Knowing Allah.

In the face of the current world economic recession, Ghana still has her head above water. In other countries in Africa and West Africa in particular, bread is as precious as gold because of the Russia/Ukraine war. And remember Ukraine and Russia are the world's largest producers of wheat; raw material for bread.

Ghanaians used to run to our neighbouring countries to seek greener pastures but today illegal immigrants from these hitherto prosperous countries are trooping to Ghana to eke a living. Today if you visit Accra and other big towns in Ghana, you may think you are in Lagos because Nigerians have literally taken over our retail business and their prostitutes have snatched the business from their Ghanaian counterparts, because they are experts in the oldest profession.

The truth is that despite the fact that Nigeria is the biggest oil producing country in Africa, life has become unbearable in that country. In Nigeria, we have hyper unstable prices of goods, spiraling every day. I am told even 'ogogro' (Apkashie) is an essential commodity in Nigeria. How time changes!!!

Have you taken notice of the food situation in Ghana for the past few years? The country has never experienced food shortages. New yam come to meet the old yam in the markets, and bunches of plantain rot away along the highways in faulty trucks by the roadside.

The problem we have is that the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has not been able to find a solution of storing plantain for the rainy day, and that is very serious. As for cassava, if they become abundant, we turn them to konkonte which could last longer.

Foreign and local rice are in abundance in our markets and traders are finding it difficult to get buyers. If you go to even our villagers, stores display foreign and local rice in small bags. Unlike what is happening in some West Africa countries, Ghanaians have no reason to complain of the shortage of rice at our markets.

In fact, the problem Ghanaians have is how to choose from the various types of rice on the shelves. The fact that we import some fresh tomatoes and onions from countries like Burkina Faso and Niger is no big deal because they also import maize from Ghana. That is one of the benefits of ECOWAS.

Today in Ghana, it is not the availability of food which is a problem but the type of food you chose to eat is a problem. Wives have problems with their husbands because they, the wives, have different varieties of food at the market and so they find it difficult to make the right choice for their husbands. The Lord of Host has continued to smile on Ghanaians and yet we are always quick to be ungrateful for what He has done for us. We complain of economic difficulties with our filled stomachs while others in the sub-region complain of hunger with empty stomachs and shortage of basic necessities. This world, my brother!

In 1983 when famine nearly brought the country on her knees, the forty-year-old man or woman who is married with children and in responsible positions were not born. These are the people who do not hesitate to disturb our ears anytime one particular type of food item is in short supply.

Forty-one years ago, they were not born so they did not experience the pain and anguish that we went through. It is not good to pray for similar calamity to befall the nation, but anytime I listen to people like these ungrateful souls, how I wish the same calamity will befall Ghana one more time for at least a year, so that those who were born too late to experience the famine we went through will realise how far we have come from.

They should ask their old fathers and mothers or grandfathers and grandmothers to tell them the meaning of 'Rawlings' Chain'. No wonder the Akans say “Ate yie ma awrefre” (The one who lives well, easily forgets). Full stop

By Eric Bawah