29.03.2020 Feature Article

On The Greed And High Handedness Of The Ordinary Ghanaian

On The Greed And High Handedness Of The Ordinary Ghanaian
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At a time when the human race is faced with one of its worst catastrophies in history, many individuals and indeed leaders of thought have emphasized the need to stick together especially for people in my country Ghana, if we hope to find a lasting solution to the Corona Virus pandemic in the shortest time possible. However, while one may want to hold on to this statement in all sincerity and commitment, the truth is that human beings would always take advantage of each other's vulnerabilities to enrich themselves; a worrying trend which I must confess to be heartbreaking. For people who supposedly pride ourselves as being religious and highly spiritual, it would have been expected that we would all look out for each other especially in times of distress such as we are experiencing now. But apparently we place more value on the lip-service aspect of religiosity than on its practicality.

Over the years, it has continually beaten my thought as to how we have continued to remain a highly impoverished country in spite of the many prayers and supplications we offer to the maker in this country across all religions. This thought has gotten me to introspect quite recently and by that, I have come to realize that perhaps Ghanaian leaders who are often criticized for corruption and greed are but a direct reflection of us who they lead. We are an inherently corrupt, exploitative and greedy people raised in a culture that allows these negative inclinations to thrive. Considering that we face as a people, a crisis that has taken even the largest economies in the world by storm, the Ghanaian people should unite in support for each other as we meander through these troubled waters together. But what do we have instead? Market women and traders have taken advantage of our current predicament to hoard goods for the ultimate intent of unjustified profiteering. Are we not ashamed of ourselves? Indeed one major fibre of the African culture that has helped us maintain our identity wherever we find ourselves in the world is the spirit of togetherness, love and compassion for each other. Why then are we ripping off our own brothers and sisters in their most trying period? Why are we not considering the extremely poor and needy in pricing our items? If the fact that we have continually been cheated and robbed by corrupt leaders is anything to go by, then this would have been the time for the ordinary citizens to look out for each other and do the right things.

Fellow Ghanaians, what we are doing to ourselves would be felt most by the least among us and not the political bourgeoisie nor then rich and affluent in society. Have we thought of the consequence of hoarding and overpricing on the poor, the disabled, the orphans, the destitute, the street children, the kayayoo, the truck pusher, our vibrant but unemployed youth? Have we thought about how difficult their lives would become? In the churches, the mosques and the shrines we have always preached peace and love and there is no time more opportune than this to put our talk into practise. We need to understand that nobody is coming to save us from this pandemic and if we do not make conscious efforts to help each other as brothers and sisters of one nation, more of us would end up dead as a result of hunger and starvation rather than Corona Virus. How do you sell one garden egg to a fellow human being at 1cedi and then go back home to sleep with a sound conscience? As a people, it is important at this point to retrace our steps. What do you stand to gain if you cheat to get rich and lose to hunger, the very people you claim to love? Let us bear in mind that we are in this situation together due to no fault of ours and it is only by unified efforts that we would stand a chance. We understand that you’re a great businessman but this is not the time to exhibit your knowledge in economics. It is a time for you to show your humanity. The next time you point accusing fingers at politicians, just remember the other four are pointing back at you. I hope we all come out of this alive. God bless the motherland.

Nat Tetteh
Political activist

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