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13.01.2011 Feature Article


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Oil revenue or oil production has never brought an enormous abject poverty to Western nations. But the desperation, apathy, migration, an economic system void of middle class among Africa or third world oil producing nations is alarming and disheartening. There are ample evidence that, oil can be a blessing to a nation determined to create the environment for creating wealth among its citizens.

For example, Libya, USA, Canada, Great Britain, and Russia are huge amount of oil producing nations, but they are hardly ever mentioned on the world stage when oil exploration is concern. And the most important take in our argument is these countries use sizable portion of their oil revenue in agriculture, every land, valley, and mountain tops are cultivated in producing FOOD and livestock with their petrol dollar. Libya is mentioned again because they were able to turn their desert into an arable land suitable for planting crops to feed her citizens.

The end result is citizens of these nations are well nourished, job are created, living conditions improve, life is worth living, and in short a secure environment for freedom, work, and happiness is created for inventions and ingenuity to take hold of improving existing wealth creation mechanisms. Migration from rural areas to urban centers greatly reduced, why? Because a medical doctor, lawyer and any individual with trade for example, finds their niche in their communities.

Therefore, we the Concern Citizens Democratic Alliance for Ghana accept the notion that Ghana's democracy cannot stand alone, it must conform to tenets of the western powers and the world market economy. We therefore, pledged to the people of Ghana especially, farmers, fishermen, workers, traders, teachers, civil servant and our men and women in uniform that we shall assist greatly in demonstrating how to emulate, expose and help implement the honest and truest ingredients in the western soup that makes it palatable in our cities and villages cannot live without a complete opposite of what is currently unleashed on us by past and current governments of Ghana. We shall unveil the true ingenuity of the Western oil producing nations, the enormous wealth and how middle class was created, elevating the poor to well compromise and meaningful economic ladder.

But what is our experience in Africa? Oil has brought misery, the worse out of our people, through nationalist and ethnic clashes over who control the greater portion of oil revenue and to top it all our elites who control helms of affairs in these oil producing African States have only succeeded in creating a vicious powerful class of millionaires while the masses are wallowing in extreme poverty.

Typical examples are our preceding oil producing sister nations like Gabon, Nigeria, Congo Brazzaville, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, just to mention few of them. Let us take a look at Gabon which produces 226,000 barrels of oil a day for many years as their main revenue source of 65% with their per capital GDP rising to $5,000 however, our research and travel revealed considerable amount of inequalities in income distribution and wealth creation living more than 60% of her citizen in a very bad economic situation. The same condition prevails in all the above mentioned countries, for example, our sister country Nigeria whose citizens migrating to Ghana in record numbers who could have thought this is possible in recent memories. The wealth derived and continues to flow or gain from Nigeria's oil revenue can improve the economic lots of many countries in Africa not to talk about her enormous brain power. Nigeria's economy has become very pathetic and worst off in reference to living condition among her citizens before the Biafra War. Finally, Equatorial Guinea a population of half a million produces 356,000 barrels of oil per day which could make every citizen a millionaire in Equatorial Guinea but majority of her population are malnourished and poor, and the shameless part of it all there are no adequate classrooms to accommodate children of such a small population with enormous oil wealth.

The CCDAG noted that, the common denominator that links these nations is oil, ethnic conflict, dictatorship, and confused unrealistic democratic system. There exist certain elements in power in these nations that fed on or misused unique ethnic compositions. They carefully interjected nuances of cultural superiority and dominance. How did they do it? It is our common sense street research and understanding the various situations in negotiations and the commencement of oil production in each of these countries that led us to conclude with the following. There were always citizen's perpetrators who gradually created ethnic superiority and inferiority nuances before the commencement of oil exploration in these countries. The popular awareness out there is probably to do the biding of some powerful economic conglomerate (economic hit-men), and also to nourish their own greed.

The nuances were always vicious they are promoted over the years through ethnic and cultural superiority and imposition of one dialect on the other. This was done effectively and harmlessly for a long period of time through radio stations and other media outlets. But sooner than they thought, the chicken came home to roost, uprising from other oppressed ethnic groups erupted; defense is mounted by government in power to protect oil fields and the assets of elites and the powerful. There and then the petrol dollar takes her stage supplying both sides with arms. We all witness, heard, or read the Biafra, Congo, Luanda, Chad civil wars, coup d'états, and dictatorship in all these oil producing nations.

Therefore, history tells us and continuous to echo into our ears that during ethnic conflict in oil African nations OIL production becomes honey pie and sweet deals for the perpetrators assuring continuous flow of oil from these countries into the world market.

Therefore, Ghana should not see herself immune to the above dangerous precedence but be learn and avert any such calamities on our new democratic system.

The medium often used to inflict such anguish and devastation is to allow one ethnic dialect to dominate the airwaves of other ethnic regions, states or lands. Ghana airwaves after independence experienced potential equal opportunity among diverse and unique cultures, protecting and defending Ghanaian dialects especially in their respective regions was paramount to the government in power. For example, every dialect associated with a region or cultures were all well represented on national news, TV broadcast, and performance. This was the founding fathers unique way to hold Ghana's center piece of freedom, work and happiness towards development and prosperity. This attitude was visited on all the regions in Ghana where Ga was freely spoken everywhere in the Greater Accra region with same standard applied and visible in respective regions. This is not to say other dialects were not welcome rather it encourages interest and enthusiasm in learning every other culture and dialect in the country.

But look inside Ghana today, a well orchestrated plan to have one domineering ethnic culture and dialect over the rest of Ghana has come to fruition. And before we know it someone will start advocating for such culture and dialect becoming our national culture and dialect. If that happens we should know a time bomb has been set to ignite when our oil field reaches its full operational capacity. CCDAG ponder over all these sensitive actions and issues of dominance, resistance, revolution and civil strife, and WE ask why should someone established a business for that matter a radio station in the midst of a unique culture without taking into account the language or the dialect of that cultural heritage? But chose rather to impose their dialect on that extremely important and dynamic culture, invading every walks of their lives and expect a long lasting amicable relationship. Therefore in our democratic dispensation amidst future oil wealth those powerful individual should be investigated or better advice themselves on their current and future business decisions when it comes to Ghanaian ethnic composition to avert future ethnic experiences of preceding oil African nations. A conflict that will destroy beautiful, developed and peaceful Ghana we all dream of when the perpetrators are long gone into their graves.

The culture and ethnic peace that Ghana has enjoy since independence was a soul searching quest that acknowledges individual culture, dialect, identity and within that same breadth gave respect and reverence to other ethnicity and dialects. There was an environment in which individuals and groups of individual stand tall in proclaiming and enhancing their cultural, ethnic, and dialect potentials irrespective of where they found themselves in the Ghanaian society without any iota of ethnic superiority. My fellow Ghanaians, what do we see and experienced in our beloved country today? We have an environment stifling with the entire above, where individuals are ashamed to identify themselves, or speak their dialect or language amidst people with different ethnic background and in certain areas within the Ghanaian society. We have our children intimidated in the presence of other ethnic groups quickly adopting themselves to please and be accepted by others.

Fellow distinguished citizens of our beloved Ghana is this the Ghana we want for our children? How long do we think this can go own? Is this not a time bomb which will explode in the future among our new found wealth? Wake-up our people and address this issue head-on for a peaceful, developed, and prosperous Ghana where our children can co-exist without fear or favor because of the dialect they speak or their ethnicity.

Long live Democratic Ghana! Long live the Good people of Ghana! And long live our CHILDREN!!!

P.O.Box 222
Jonesboro, Ga. 30237
Atito-via Anloga, the Gateway to Kome. [email protected]

[email protected], [email protected]

Yao Fiagbeto
Yao Fiagbeto, © 2011

The author has 26 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: YaoFiagbeto

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