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Provocative Conscience: The hypocrisy of native wisdom

The NDCcandidate’s residence, where the violence occurred

The truth they say hurts, and it does so because the world’s superstructure is built on hypocrisy. For us in Ghana, even the 1992 constitution makes our case worse. Last Thursday’s violent incident at Ayawaso West Wuogon (AWW) was an unfortunate incident that should not be countenanced again in future elections.

It is worth recalling, however, that pockets of violence have featured in all elections and both parties have contributed to the build up to the bloodshed seen at AWW last Thursday. The by-election which saw B.T. Baba elected is fresh on our minds.

Coincidentally, I met Mark Woyongo at a funeral on Saturday. During the funeral, he requested “Adu’a” (Muslim prayer) for peace in Ghana following the bloodshed at AWW. In his request, he said if Allah doesn’t intervene, peace would elude the nation as the government does not consider security a priority. I shook my head in utter disbelief and almost yielded to temptations to protest to Allah not to accept the “Adu’a” of a hypocrite. Wasn’t this same man the one who justified the Talensi violence with his “violence begets violence” comment as the then minister for interior?

The NPP which was then at receiving end of violent treatments cried hoarse for attention, but today, power has changed hands and the NPP is destroying its own sacrifices by compromising state security. Ghana has become more insecure than we have seen in recent history but the party’s rank and file would not admit their failures.

Fact is, politicians continue to take us for granted. After all, it is a binary democracy that allows them a smooth shuffle between NPP and NDC. But what are we doing as ordinary citizens? We look on unconcerned and the worst of us cheer them on in the name of party loyalty and cronyism.

For opinion leaders, serious issues that deserve outright condemnation are opportunities for showcasing intellectual rigour and by the time they are through with their submissions, they leave the ordinary citizens more hopeless if not helpless. They have primetime television and radio for their hackneyed chatters like a mobile phone.

Perhaps, ‘nice John Mahama’ may just be tired of being too nice to the hypocritical moral and analyst community. The last time, it was the media he took on and described them as a cabal. This sentiment is not expressed by the former president alone. The NDC as the largest opposition party feels so too and many of its members hold this view on social media. A few years ago, one of the most powerful and admirable female politicians, Hannah Tetteh would not speak to Multimedia’s Joy FM because of an alleged bias.

In my personal encounter, I was listening to radio with a CEO of an insurance firm last year and when it was time for news, he asked me to change the dial to Citi FM. He continued that journalists of the other media house ‘are not objective in their work, they are unable to hold government accountable despite the inefficiencies’. What is striking is that this man is a sympathizer of the ruling party.

The issue of bias is so replete such that media panelists are heavily dominated by cowards who become louder when political sins are committed by members of the opposition, NDC.

Apart from Kwesi Pratt who speaks mostly for the NDC, the likes of Kweku Baako and Sydney Casely Hayford are often featured as neutrals when even the devil is worried about the partisan views of these commentators.  These influential journalists have become experts in solving political systems of equations. They tell us similar ills have occurred before. That is the end of their submission and the arrogance that runs through such routine analysis is poignant.

I did not believe my eyes when I saw one journalist’s response to a corruption scandal last year. The guy, who was accused by a Facebook follower for changing his style of advocacy since the NDC was booted, responded that he was waiting until further degeneration of the government before he would speak. I couldn’t for the life of me fathom what that means. Maybe he has also been practising NATIVE WISDOM.

We are told native wisdom is the best approach to sustaining the peace we have enjoyed all these years. This reminds me of what my aunt refers to as 24hour truth. She says my siblings are economical with simple truths. She has noticed that when they misbehave and are asked to give accounts of events, they delay as long as a cane is not pulled out such that before one makes full sense of the account, a full 24 hours would have passed.

This to me is similar to prof Asante’s peace brokering strategy. We don’t have to be proactive nor preventive in safeguarding peace; the blood should flow so long as it happens within 24 hours. Isn’t it interesting, however that while the Peace Council was applying its native wisdom, the UNDP issued a statement the very day of the election?

To paraphrase, John Mahama, the reason governance keeps deteriorating in this country is that those who are expected to be arbiters of the last resorts seem to be misapplying their influence.

Just four years ago, some of our priests responded to national issues with real time sermons. Themes like WISDOM, POWER, CORRIDORS OF POWER made timely sermons aimed at correcting ills in society. But now, they are busy praying for economic growth in multiple digits. We are now believing in miracles for government and no longer interested in solving economic problems with common sense. They, at the same time, have become building contractors whose building blocks for holy cathedrals are lies. They cheer on even as everything including church prophesies become worse.

Imagine that the Peace Council has never condemned Kennedy Agyapong upon all the public nuisance he has become. Imagine that Sam Okujeto did not rebuke the interior minister for allowing too much room for the hoodlums to operate but found his screeching voice to condemn John Mahama for wearing his boots with his mouth.

Imagine that Prof Adei, who condemned John Mahama for nepotism on every media channel, forgot his morals and has been serving in the most nepotistic government since 2017. Just Imagine!!

The danger of this hypocrisy is that politicians continue their reign in impunity.  Otherwise, what was the motivation behind the NPP’s press conference that was organized to blame the NDC for staging the violence at AWW?

By Frederick K Kofi Tse

Email: kelikofi@gmail.com

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