Ordinary people from Great nations will be treated better than Upper class people from failed nations (Anonymous).
Well, the above is true in human lives. Even within the family units, individuals who have made great strides in life, people who are respected in their various communities and homes are treated very differently by their own kith and kin and those who are seen as failures in their endeavours and virtually do not contribute that much to the total growth and development of the larger family, are treated sometimes with disdain or as second class members of the same family.
In our communities, there are some children whose peers dare not touch even when they are wrong because of whom their parents are. It is either their parents are wealthy and influential in the society or tigress and lioness always available to protect their children. My mother belonged to the latter group of people. She was poor but would not allow anybody's child, not even the child of the chief, to mess up with any of her children. The speed with which she would move into your home to address you the parent whose child had touched her child in an unacceptable way, you will regret for bringing that child of yours into the world and she didn't care your status in the society.
Of course if any of us also treated another child unfairly and she got wind of it, she would spank you in a manner you would never forget, and after that go to the home of your victim to apologize to the child and his or her family. This made us feel safe and secured in our communities and among our peers.
Why all this long 'ntuatua'? Just a few days back, we were told that some two Canadian young women have been abducted by some unknown persons in Kumasi. They are said to be volunteers in this country. This unfortunate news came at a time when we are battling with the where about of three young girls from my beloved Sekondi –Takoradi who have been kidnapped for almost a year.
The news of the kidnap of these Canadian young women spread like harmattan fire and in less than no time, nations like the United Kingdom and Australia and Canada itself had put our country in the category of unsafe nations and admonishing their nationals to be very careful with Ghana. That is very sad from these otherwise friendly countries that have had excellent relations with us over the years.
I am very sure that all of us as a people should be very happy that our security agencies have worked so hard to arrest the culprits and rescued the Canadian ladies. We are told that Canadian Intelligence Officers are in the country or were in the country. We should be happy because the issue of abduction is a global issue. It does happen even in the very countries who are proclaiming Ghana as an unsafe country and in some cases the victims are never found or it takes a very long time for them to be found.
This feat by our security agencies do not show that we are out of the woods yet following from what is happening around us in the sub-region particularly in the Burkina Faso where terrorists are pounding that country at will on religious grounds considering the fact that this country is predominantly a Christian nation.
But come to think of it, why have our security agencies been so swift to employ all the professional skills and resources available to them to rescue these foreigners within a matter of days of their abduction when our children who were captured almost a year ago cannot be found and all the stories we are told by the same security agencies are trifles and not the substance of the expectations of the nation.
I must admit that sometimes the public's demand for certain information from the security agencies about where our children are can be needless demands since any information about the whereabouts of the children, when not properly managed, will alert the captives to change their positions and modus operandi and the security operatives would be going on a wild goose chase.
However, the question on the lips of Ghanaians is that if we are capable of arresting the criminals and rescuing these Canadian women within days, what efforts did the security agencies put in, in the case of the Ghanaian children? Some yearly figures of kidnapping have been put out there to indicate that the present cases of kidnapping are not new phenomenon and that they happened also during the previous regime. The politics as usual when fellow Ghanaians have been kidnapped and their whereabouts and state are not known to all of us.
Of course, those from the other political divide should not put up any angelic face as if it did not happen in their era. In other more civilized political environment, the kidnappings and the brazen daylight armed robbery would jolt all political actors into accepting that our nation is in danger and that there is the need to mobilise all our brains and brawns to work together to confront these men and women from the underworld who are threatening all of us and putting our national image into disrepute.
While the perpetrators of these deadly acts are from within and from without, removing the political veils from our eyes and confronting the menace with all our will and might, would give us the security and safety we require to build our nation, even if not forever more. One very sad reality of this country is our holier than thou attitudes. We portray ourselves as more Africans than being Ghanaians. We have the most porous of borders in the sub-region allowing all manner of people into our country without checking their backgrounds.
Today, one can easily see young Malians and Nigerians selling toffees and gums on our streets with brazen confidence and nobody cares about them. These people can easily be agents of terrorists, planted in our cities to identify potential target groups or areas for their masters to strike as and when they are ready. We don't seem to be security conscious as individual Ghanaians nor do some members of our security agencies.
The fact that Ghana has been a relatively peaceful and safer country within the sub-region does not insulate us from the blood thirsty instincts of people who relish in chaos and rejoice in seeing their victims in pain and agony.
If the reports about the Takoradi girls being in Nigeria is true, the question is how did the kidnappers cross our borders to transport these girls out of this country to Nigeria when it was known throughout this country that such event had occurred? We seem to have inferiority complex that makes us succumb to any stranger in our midst instead of questioning them in the name of Ghanaian hospitality.
These are very challenging times globally where evil men are taking all of us hostage. No country seems safe no matter how distant it might be from the traditional enemies of those who are bent on inflicting pain and suffering on their sworn enemies. We need a concerted effort and vigorous campaigning programmes to alert our citizenry to be more alert and observant of their environment. This is the time to see every stranger as a potential danger until one can convince himself or herself that that person poses no threat to this nation. But the reality again is that the Ghanaian is apathetic. That is REAL.
Daavi, some three tots, as I await the Taadi Girls.
From Kwesi Biney