Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive hate, only love can do that. - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
We are living in the shadow but I will be the light to cover or write about the dark times embedded within the system. I believe that it takes greatness to climb to the mountains top and I consider myself as such. My fellow Ghanaians, on this day I ask you to write down your experiences and what you have endured. Write down your values, dreams for the future and your hopes for your next generation. Take a little time off to write about who you are, how your ancestors suffered and how the tough times they underwent shaped the person you have become.
I dare you to write down your biography, because if you fail to do so now, you may forget and regret forever. Could you write down a list of things you would never do in life because it is likely that in this dark times, you will actually do them. Also write down a list of things you would never believe because it is likely that some few years to come, you will either believe or be forced to say you believe them.
Seriously I am writing this for those who are totally killing mother Ghana, because few years to come its consequences will hurt your generations too. GHANA, the darkest place I have ever known lacks electricity; entangled in corruption scandals, everything is dark and the great light is given to the corrupt and greedy politicians. These politicians are considered as the light which that light exudes no warmth for the people. The country Ghana is so entirely devoid of light, darkness of slumber and death forever sinking and sinking. My biggest fear is to be cast under the dark. I rarely dream and even now I cannot turn the light off at night. My fear of darkness is over pouring. I would rather forsake good sleep if it means keeping the darkness at bay. This dark nation I am writing about is Ghana. I live in Ghana, now an independent state incapable of managing her own affairs. I face the same economic desolation as the people of this country do same. I have the same anxiety over crime and corrupt leadership as you. I am independent - not a member of NPP or NDC - because I am as disappointed in political parties just as you are. Today I write down my good memories and some of them are with you also. I have probably walked beside you in our beautiful decorated Jubilee parks, along our flowing water falls and in our small deprived towns. No one deserves the current state of the country because there is absolutely no one in this country who deserves what may be coming. Leaders of this country over the years’ have abandoned good education, good roads and; good healthy lifestyle because they fear a culture of solidarity. The future is ours. Down with the darkness, here comes light. Down with the present, long live the future. Down with the corruption, long live honesty.
A culture of incompetence, endemic corruption, and greedy plays a major rule in this country. Sadly, same can be said for most other African nations. So if we Ghanaians do not exert real changes we will continue to be seen as a dark nation. Times are hard; soo hard that sometimes some people express desire to return to colonial rule. This shows how things have gotten. Others blame Nkrumah for making the colonizers leave way too early. All these doesn’t constitute to the darkness of the nation. I would like to tell you a story. It was through darkness that made Rwanda see the light. There is historical periodization of dark times in many countries but the story of Rwanda will leave you in a pensive mood.
Rwanda is a small country situated at Eastern Africa. Before colonization the people were made of different clans like Abanyiginya, Abatsobe, Abega, Ababanda, Abasita, Abongera and Abahondogo. Besides that, there is social-economic dispute between the Tutsis (rich), Ifutus (indigenous people) and Twa (land workers). The rich and the indigenous people as well as the land workers of Rwanda abandoned the power of love and allowed hate to lead their way. After Rwanda gained independence in 1962, the Ifutus (the rich) took over, and in very chaotic conflicts, the people of Tutsis were killed and others were chased out of the country. Dr. Martin Luther King was right when he said and I quote Returning hate for hate, multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate only love can do that. Between April and July 1994, million Tutsi lives perished in tragedy. Many were killed and burned alive. By the end of this tragedy, Rwanda had no choice rather than starting from zero to one to recover from the past to build a country where new generations are going to live happily. It is through the dark that we can embrace the light. Today Rwanda is a beautiful land of a thousand hills, ranked as the 9th safest country in the world, as per Telegraph. In 2017, Kigali the capital of Rwanda was ranked the cleanest city in Africa and possibly the friendliest country you will ever be.
Ephesians 5:8 says- “for at once you were darkness but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light Amen”. The people dwelling in darkness see nothing good. Dropping of the bomb in 1945 at Hiroshima is the first deployment of the atomic bomb. This was a decision made by the U. S government to drop atomic bombs on the Japanese civilians at Hiroshima. Almost 200,000 people were killed to put an end to the war. Statistics indicate that approximately 69% of the buildings collapsed and 7% severely damaged. According to other statistics, the death toll from the atomic bombing totaled 72,884, as well as 74,909 were injured with several hundred thousand diseased and dying due to fallout and other illness caused by radiation. This event serves as a reminder for the reality of dark times. Since then, no country has deployed the bomb as a weapon, and several procedures have been taken to reduce the possibility of its future use. As a lesson to the world, Americans use this as reminder that war often escalates far beyond expectations.
FROM COLONIZATION TO CORRUPTION
Jomo Kenyatta said and I quote, “when the missionaries arrived, the Africans had the land and they had bible. They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them they had the land and we had the bible”. Colonization interrupted the good history of Africa: almost all Africa countries were colonized of which Ghana is inclusive. Africa was destroyed by imperialist Europe and is still being destroyed by Europe. Up to the 14th century, we have been told that Africa was ahead of Europe. Not forgetting that earlier educated Greeks received their education in Africa, to be precise Egypt. The people of Europe totally destroyed Africa. In Jeremiah 2:7 the Bible says, “I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable” Every African need to read this mentally decolonizing book “How Europe Destroyed Africa” Ghana has suffered the worst genocide at the hands of the architects of slavery and colonialism. Gold Coast at the time lost 5000 to 6000 of its people to slavery every year for four hundred years. Slavery has done enough damage to the people of Ghana. Colonialism and slavery was the worst darkness for the people of Africa. The 1844 Bond signed between the Fantes and the British was the start of an awakening devil. By 1901, the British totally became a crown colony of Gold Coast. Some years later, Gold Coast had become a major in the Atlantic slave trade. The stigma of slave pedigrees has its impact on present times. Behold, it appears that we have forgotten and we the living are failing to uphold a noble promise made in the shadow of our dark history. After the end of colonialism and slavery, here comes another devil “CORRUPTION”. Aung San Suu Kyi said “It is not power that corrupts but fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it”. The independent Ghana of which our forefathers fought for is on the rise of government related corruptions. Dr. Nkrumah declared that the New Africa is ready to fight out its own battle and show that after all, the black man is capable of managing its own affairs. Sooner than later after independence, government officials were enveloped in bribe taking. The president, Dr. Nkrumah himself was allegedly found to have about $5 million in hidden accounts. It was this selfish and wicked mindset of the people that enable the West to use Kotoka and Ankrah to overthrow Nkrumah. Today, there are such greedy and selfish Ghanaians in our midst, who have sold out our birthrights to the Chinese. This is evident in facets of the lives of the people, with Ghana MP’s allegedly accepting $5000 bribe to allow Vodafone acquire Ghana Telecom cheaply, greedy politicians that allowed western oil firms to take huge shares of our oil behind the dark shadowing deals. The latest corruption scandal is the Number 12 video by ace journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas. I dare not to talk much about it in this paper since the general public is already aware and can judge for themselves. Corruption is a cancer that steals the poor, eats away governance and moral fiber while destroying trust among the people and its supposed leaders. Ghana scored 40 points out of 100 on the 2017 Corruption Index reported by Transparency International. Corruption Index at all-time high in Ghana was 48 points in 2014 and a record low of 33 points in 1999. On a scale from 100 (very clean) to 0 (highly corrupt). Currently Ghana is ranked as the 81st Country in 2017 Corruption Index. Corruption has grabbed us and dragged the nation away from its predestined heritage.
THE DEVIL IN THE DARK – DEMOCRACY
Democracy defined by US president Abraham Lincoln is government of the people, by the people and for the people. But as far as we know, democracy is the most challenging form of governance for politicians and for the people. No wonder the Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates was highly suspicious about democratic system of governance. Socrates point was that voting in an election is a skill not a random intuition so therefore, it needs to be taught to the people. Allowing citizens to vote without education is irresponsible. Democracy in Ghana has gone through dark times and forever it may be. Millions of people have lost their lives because of democracy. Countless of separatism have occurred in the name of democracy. Democracy voted people like John Jerry Rawlings into power during the 1992 election. Moreover, Ghana’s democracy is based on a “silly” document called “The 1992 Constitution” formulated by this same person John Jerry Rawlings and his friends. Although the whole power of government lies in the 1992 constitution, the very people practicing democracy cannot adhere to it. The democratic government proceed to force the people into giving up large chunks of their hard earned cash through taxes, but the worst is that the poor people in the country are fooled into believing that if they dutifully go to the polls to vote, they will definitely get a representative in government who will attend to their needs. We have given the votes to all without connecting to wisdom. But these elected politicians abandon the needs of the same people who voted them into power. Democracy in Ghana has raised more corrupt leaders than we can imagine. African countries like Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania are seen to be growing more rapidly ahead because our politicians are depressing the state of the country to their advantage.
Dumsor is a popular Ghanaian term to describe persistent electric power outages. Ghana’s power supply became erratic in the early stages of Kufuor led government due to a significant drop in water level at Akosombo Dam. The term became popularly used in 2012 due to a minor fault on the West African Gas Pipeline. Since then, the country has plunged into major power crisis. Mr. Dumsor attributed to the former President John Mahama due to the power crisis also failed the people of Ghana by refusing to fix the power issue. Many political leaders have promised to make dumsor a thing of the past yet the intensity of power outages become erratic and unstable. Further on my case, major cities in Ghana have been plunged into darkness due to the absence of street lights. For some of us who like to travel at night, always journey in the dark to our destination. When I visited Benin, I was shocked by how they have beautified the city with street lights. This same country, Benin receives low cost electric power from the Akosombo Dam so why then is Ghana struggling to fix street light in the country. Ghana my motherland boast of three hydro-electric dam but still the country is as dark as a black hole.
In fact, Ghana as a nation needs to sit up and recite and hold on to her national anthem.
“ God Bless our Homeland Ghana
And make our nation great and strong
Bold to defend forever
The cause of freedom and of right
Fill our hearts with true humility
Make us cherish, fearless honesty
And help us to resist oppressors’ rule
With all our will and might for evermore”
In conclusion, all Ghanaians must promise on their honor and to be faithful and loyal to Ghana our motherland. We must pledge ourselves to the service of Ghana, with all our strength and all our hearts. We must promise to hold in high esteem our heritage won for us through the blood and toil of our fathers; And we must pledge ourselves in all things to uphold and defend the good name of Ghana. So help we God.
Compiled by DAVID ADJEI, NATIONAL SERVICE PERSONNEL – KNUST
Edited by TWUMASI KOFI ASANTE, UG JOURNALS.
GOD IS MY HELPER
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