One could not have had a better understanding of the Nigerian proverb which says that ‘stupidity is the lover of ignorance’ than the crass foolhardiness exhibited by a group in Banda Ahenkro in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The group, Concerned Members of Banda Ahenkro, had pasted on the walls of schools and other buildings demanding that non-indigenes leave their district with immediate effect. Failure to leave would mean anything atrocious could happen to such stubborn non-indigenes.
The aggrieved, unknown, and coward Banda Ahenkro thugs claim the non-indigenes have taken over their jobs. Hence, their call for them to leave their area. Subsequently, the ‘strangers’ escaping for safety left the schools and the hospitals among others for the embittered residents to take over.
Indeed, this can only happen in Ghana. Here, we see all the good things out there but we end up copying only the wrong. “If you do not leave this district [Banda Ahenkro] then we cannot guarantee your safety here. What is happening to strangers in South Africa will happen to you,” reads a portion of the aggrieved members’ letter.
You live in Banda Ahenkro and by God’s grace, you have access to electricity and internet and you watch and read happenings in South Africa. That’s fine. So, you did not see the beauty of South Africa? You did not see why many people across Africa troop to make a living in South Africa but saw the stupidity of some few people terrorising innocent persons?
This is the plain truth we must tell those cowards threating lives in Banda Ahenkro. They had access to a computer to type their warning letter but they could not reason enough to similarly write letters to apply for jobs.
When I completed the then Junior Secondary School in 2003, my Father told me I could go to his village and teach. That, he would speak to the headmaster of a government basic school there to give me the opportunity. The village by name Daadom in the Brong Ahafo region had its school lacking teachers.
In the morning, I would say goodbye to my parents as I headed to the classroom while they also prepared for the farm. As well, in 2006, after I completed Sunyani Secondary School, I wrote a basket full of application letters to basic schools in the Sunyani municipality seeking a humble position as a teacher.
God being so good, I had the chance to teach at the Wesley Preparatory and Junior High School. These two pupil-teaching aside, I have once sold chewing sticks and worked as a cobbler [shoemaker] together with my childhood friend, Lawrence Duah, who has now sought academic asylum in the United States. This is how we have struggled our path through where we find ourselves now. Not long ago, a lady friend asked whether I had been to the farm before. I laughed.
Solomon has extensively worked tilling the soil with his parents and sisters in planting cocoa and foodstuffs. In all these, no one hatched the idea of threatening the lives of non-indigenes of Sunyani for ‘taking over our jobs.’ Whether it was pupil-teaching, farming, selling of chewing sticks or roving up and down as a cobbler, it was a way of life. A way to survive the demands of life and push forward for a better tomorrow.
Are the Concerned Members of Banda Ahenkro saying they cannot farm in their district because non-indigenes have taken over their lands? Is it the case that none of these people cannot be cobblers? They cannot be electricians, plumbers, tailors, hairdressers and barbers? They cannot be shopkeepers or sales persons? Indeed, what they have exhibited to the whole of Ghana affirms that common sense is the most expensive commodity to some Ghanaians.
If the people of the Greater Accra Region are to launch a similar threats of attack on non-indigenes here because we have taken over their jobs, not even our president would be spared. Certainly, we would have to relocate the Flagstaff House to the Eastern Region.
The chiefs of Banda Ahenkro have distanced themselves from being part of the aggrieved members. They are, therefore, calling on the police and other security operatives to hunt these nefarious people from their hideouts and make them face the law. Impressive!
However, I am more thrilled with a section of the Banda Ahenkro youth who came out not to only distance themselves of the threats but gave ultimatum for the thugs to come out and confess. Failure of it, they say they will cause the wrath of their gods on these lawbreakers.
If our securities services are unable to arrest anyone in connection with the Banda Ahenkro threats, then I will support the call for the gods’ intervention. Ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas was not far from the truth when he opined that extreme diseases call for extreme remedies.
By Solomon Mensah
The writer is a broadcast journalist with 3FM 92.7. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect 3FM’s editorial policy.
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