23.01.2015 Feature Article

Down The Memory Lane, 2

Down The Memory Lane, 2
23.01.2015 LISTEN

If you (the blackman) cannot do for yourself what the whiteman is doing for himself, don't say you are equal to the whiteman

Malcolm X:

'This, in short, is a hyper 'colonial mentality' abundantly displayed by a classical house nigger, who, even in the midst of a mass of countervailing evidence, is seduced by the illogic of racial profiling and negative stereotyping underlying white supremacist ideology. I would wish that while in South Africa Kwame Gyasi took time off to visit Soweto or any of the former Bantustans, the alleys and backwoods of the shantytowns to witness the misery, squalor and indescribable levels of deprivation. I believe he would have come back understanding that after all colonialism is no blessing to the black population of South Africa and for that matter colonial clientelle in Africa or anywhere in the world. He would also have understood why, despite the glitter of Johannesburg, Black South Africans are still among the poorest in the human race.

'Coming back to our country Ghana and specifically the issue of Northern underdevelopment, it is patently clear that the legacies of colonial official policies are responsible for the early entrenchment of differential growth and development that laid the foundations for the yawning developmental gap that has existed between the north and the south of Ghana today. It was Lord Lugard who expounded the theory of the 'Dual-Mandate' as the mission of colonialism. By this theory he meant the exploitation of African resources by the colonial administration for African development but this clearly was flawed because the bulk of the resources that were exploited were all carted away to the metropolitan countries. The second segment of the theory was never realized as Prof Ali Mazrui has always poignantly pointed out. Indeed under colonialism the role officially assigned to the Northern Territories (the present three regions of the North and some parts of the present Brong Ahafo and Volta Regions) was the provision of cheap, unskilled labour to service the mines, cocoa farms, railways and ports in the south and the police and the military.

'For further edification I should like to quote Professor Songsore (Regional Development in Ghana - The Theory and The Reality) on page 67 thus: 'The application of the policy of induced labour out-migration in Northern Ghana, dating from its colonial incorporation by the British in 1902 had far reaching implications for the development of underdevelopment in the region. Out-migration from the Northern Protectorate to the mining and cocoa region of Ashanti and the Colony started as result of deliberate policies of the colonial administration. Soon after Britain occupied Northern Ghana, the area was designated by the colonial administration as a 'labour reserve' for the supply of cheap labour to the mines, cocoa farms, army and police. In that regard, the area was vital for the development of the more favourably endowed Southern Ghana as they were perceived from the point of view of metropolitan interests and needs. So important was this source of cheap labour supply that certain officers administering the region did not favour its economic development for fear of halting the migration of labour to the south (Bening, 1971b, p.222; Bening, 1975, pp.65-79).  Hence in Arrighi's words, it was political rather than market mechanisms which were to be the equilibrating factor in the labour market (Arrighi, 1970, p.207). The methods adopted involved some forms of coercion together with the systematic neglect of the developmental potential of the region (Thomas, 1973,pp.79-103; Berg 1964-65 pp394-411)'.

'It is noteworthy that Kwame Gyasi attended Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast. Incidentally I attended the then Government Secondary School (now Tamale Secondary School). Mfantsipim was founded 132 years ago as the first secondary school in Ghana while Tamale Secondary School was opened 75 years later as the first secondary school in the entire north. That roughly represents the present gap between the development of education in the North and the South.

People who are so seduced by bogus theories of white supremacy cannot readily appreciate the evils of colonialism nor the holocaust of 400 years of the slave trade in Africa which systematically drained from the continent's valuable human resource. Large areas of the north were laid bare and even today the scars of the plunder, devastation and mayhem by slave - raiders are still evident. Let Kwame Gyasi convince anyone that the slave-trade like colonialism is not the product of the 'white intellect brain' of which he is so enamoured.

'While admitting that the people of the three northern regions, especially their leadership, bear a significant burden for transforming and developing the north, it cannot be gainsaid that in a united Ghana the country as a whole owes it to itself as a duty to ensure the equal, equitable, balanced, integrated and inclusive development of all parts of the country. After all it is said that it is the weakest link in the chain that determines the strength of the chain. For as long as the North remains the weak link in the chain of development and democracy in our country for so long shall our development and democracy remain deficient. The effort by a myriad of Ghanaian citizens to address this challenge of lopsided development head-long is one that needs commendation and solidarity. The northern Ghanaian leadership elite stand in solidarity with millions of Ghanaians to invoke the spirit of unity in order to harness the benefits of a developed society, where seeds of discontent cannot be allowed to germinate.

'It is categorically imperative that all patriotic and well-meaning Ghanaians must stand together and work together in the supreme interest of national integration and our burgeoning democracy to push the all-important agenda of bridging the yawning developmental gap between Ghana.'

The writer of the aforesaid letter that was quoted verbatim is a long-standing member of the Savanna elite, which has been part of the failed PNDC/NDC.

The PNDC/NDC administration, which has ruled this country for over 25 years, has driven this county to the brink of bankruptcy.

It is ironical that this elite group from the Savanna Region conspired with others to illegally overthrow a democratically elected civilian administration headed by another elite from the Savanna Region barely two years into that administration's four-year term only to install a draconian, dictatorial blood-thirsty military regime which in reality consisted of economic vampires under the clock of political emancipation.

This illegal regime which lasted 19 years showed its true colours by extending its political power for another eight years under a dubious political transition to a civilian rule   during which the actors of the regime were the players, referees, assistant referees and match commissioners as well.

The writer is blaming everybody from Kwame Gyasi, Dr K.A Busia of the Progress Party right to the colonial government and ironically the superior intelligence adopted by the whiteman (which the writer refuses to acknowledge) to outwit the blackman for the woes of the Savanna Region except the Savanna elite of which he is a proud member.

Despite all claims of abject poverty in the Savanna Region, which the elite from the Savanna Region proudly portray (as if poverty was jewel in the King's Crown) as an excuse for establishing a feudal system, the Savanna Region has produced enough men and women of high caliber.

They have established the feudal system to enslave their poor fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, cousins and nieces.

The Savanna Region has produced presidents, vice-presidents, army generals, inspector generals of police, vice-chancellors, eminent religious leaders with ecclesiastical honesty, powerful traditional rulers.

Indeed the ruler of the Dagbon State is arguably the most powerful traditional ruler in this country after the Asantihene.

However the Savanna Region has also produced outright criminals with the best education the nation can offer her citizens, who see the enormous power of political positions and entrusted public office as a means of raping their own poor cousins and nieces from the Savanna Region.  Indeed, if the Savanna elites  had allowed patriotism, dedication and devotion to duty to guide them and planned and executed development projects rather than acting like slave masters, the Savanna Region would long ago had been turned into the food basket for the whole sub-African region. The landscape of the region is suitable for mechanical commercial framing. Go round the region and one will be terribly depressed by the number of abandoned expensive mechanical farm machinery rotting in the wild providing tourist and honeymoon destinations for reptiles and rodents.

Were the colonial masters directly put in charge of those agricultural initiatives? Which people destroyed SADA and GYEEDA?  Who are some of the people involved in the infamous judgment debts and the criminal acts of creating, looting and sharing resources allocated for the development and growth of the Savanna Region through diabolic schemes of providing laptops.

After the blackman voluntarily threw away the whiteman on the ecclesiastical euphoria that he is capable of managing his own affairs 60 years ago, the black man still depends on the whiteman for economic sustenance and political direction as a result of inferior brains, greed, corruption and mismanagement of his own affairs.

Yes the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
Unless we accept that God in His wisdom must have developed superior brains alongside inferior brains and that independence came too early to African for the blackman to understand and appreciate the real meaning of freedom and the necessities of nation building, growth and development and seek solutions to self-inflicted problems, we shall continue to blame the whiteman and other unidentified enemies and lament as captured in the cries of Bambulu in James Ene Henshaw's classic book 'THIS IS OUR CHANCE:

'Though the world outside is active, moving and progressing, people are questioning and debating, here in this place, this prison called a village, where silence is the most golden and the most abundant of virtues, we move like sheep from day to day, from year to year, doing nothing but worshipping tradition and spitting hate against our so-called enemies. Give to our children the love for education. Give us all more sympathy and understanding of one another, and even of our enemies. Free our hearts, benevolent spirits, from enmity, disunity, iniquity, and calamity.'

E-mail: [email protected]
By Kwame Gyasi 

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