A Lumumba Dumsor

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Wed, 2 Sep 2015 Source: Sydney Casely-Hayford

If you haven’t heard it all from us in Ghana and if it has not sunk in yet that we are in pain from lying leaders and directionless followers, then hear it now.

The Paul Ansah Foundation in memory of one of our best ever writers PAV Ansah, whose crusade against JJ Rawlings and his misdirected Marxist PNDC followers was legendary in our time, invited Professor P.L.O. Lumumba from Kenya to come talk some sense into the leaders in Africa and make it plain to both them and us that we have failed woefully in our quest to deliver Africa to its people and the world.

That Africa by itself has failed to look in the mirror and see a face so distorted it is only recognizable for its failure of its policies and people.

Obama came and said his piece to the African Union and all we heard was a foreign President talking down to the people of Africa. This was the politician’s spin on his advice to treat all as equal and not castigate people on account of sexual preference. I might be homosexual, but I still make the human race.

But that message distorted the views of an Africa that has so underperformed. It is still a concern for the rest of the world that the poor will starve, child mortality will keep rising and discrimination against women will still continue in our Trokosis and our witchcraft camps.

Someone hung a dead chicken and tied some green cloth to the dead necks in the premises of the Electoral Commission and they all ran for safety, in fear of surreal trauma.

Somewhere up in the mountains of Tutu, past Aburi at the apex of a hill, Lighthouse Chapel International have built a fortress with ten foot metal pylons and walls, as a sanctuary, temple or hermitage, to house servants of God to come pray, that without lifting a finger to do any meaningful work, they will be blessed and rewarded for their faith and be given that which they do not deserve.

All this because we have come to accept the white man’s faith, which colonised us and took away our greatest human resource, leaving us crippled for centuries.

Yet, with all the knowledge and sense we have acquired, we still do not see beyond the decibels of political rhetoric and still we continue to follow the political dream that we believe will lead us out of a never-ending cycle of down-spiraling poverty.

Prof. Lumumba hit it right on the nail where it should be painful enough to make us cringe and reflect on what we have achieved.

What really has Ghana done in the fifty-plus years of independence? What do we boast of as our best and most successful foot forward in solving the challenge of black evolution?

I need two politicians from any side to come out boldly and explain to us what their pride of achievement is? Anything that, in their minds has come about as a result of any strategy they have adopted to make this country a better place to be.

“Telemo mi” beyond the mundane everyday life that Ghanaians have been handed as a benevolent gift, what has been achieved? Cogently!

We the citizens have created the peaceful environment in Ghana. It is we, the people who have gathered, voted and calmed waters so there will be peace in Ghana. For our own sakes, despite the calls to fight we hear from politicians everyday, we hang in there and make the country a peaceful place; and we sell peace.

Look at what our compatriots and competitors have achieved. Can we say by any stretch of the imagination that we have anything to write home about?

Ghana’s position as the first black nation south of the Sahara to become independent is a legacy we will have forever. Since then what? Akosombo Dam? Nearly everyone has a dam now?

Prof. Lumumba spoke much about other “dumsorization” in Africa. We need to make the slogan clear. Until the dumsor is over, until water flows unceasingly, we will not relent in protesting and calling the politicians to book.

This man gave one of the most inspiring speeches I have heard in a long time. I was in the USA when President Obama was campaigning for the democratic nomination. Shivers down my spine were echoed on Friday night, and all thanks to a fearless, outspoken African, whose life has been threatened many times already.

We will figure a new way, a Ghanaian way, a more representative way of making things work again in this society. It is a pledge we should make for ourselves.

I was touched immensely by a part of his speech when he described how Africans are fleeing their own country in search of better life; dying on the oceans, same as our ancestors, captured and neglected to die in the slave ships to the Americas.

This time, it is of our own choice, our own flight from depression and oppression, our own suicide and a lack of hope for the future, leading us away from home to the colonial masters’ habitat, suicidal though it is, to glimpse what civilization can be like.

There is milk in Kenya and Uganda and yet next-door African countries cannot find the gumption to liberalise trade and make it easier for us to lean on each other to drink the milk of African effort for success and survival. We import all the fresh milk we can’t afford.

The foolishness of unnecessary border controls has inhibited growth and economic activity in Africa. The foolishness of developing structures incompatible with our way of life, the foolishness of not reflecting on what we do everyday to correct and improve us, is an indictment on all our leaders; and the learned professor made it easy to understand in clear, simple logic.

We need water to ensure our health and life is guarded. We need electricity to be productive and economically self-sufficient. I am not interested in this government largesse to create poverty nets for the rural poor. That is how they steal the money; under the guise of GYEEDA, SUBAH, SADA and many other underhand programs given to cronies and party sycophants.

There are only two goals a government must set for itself and deliver to its people; employment and price stability. We don’t need to hear anything else. Everyone deserves to work for survival and security and a purposeful life. Everyone deserves to predict their future in the short term and leave the long-term uncertainty to their belief and deity and their chosen lifestyle.

We all need to be in productive employment and we all don’t need a cedi that cannot make its mind whether it is doing kpanlogo, adowa, kete, kundum, agbadza or takai.

Nothing else is important, whether it be a developing nation or a fully developed one. The human need is the same. I want a job and I want water, and I want electricity. Nothing else will satisfy my basic needs.

I heard an argument over the weekend from an NDC communication team member, saying the four-year term to transition government is a problem inhibiting development. I said BS. If you do what has to be done in four years, I will vote you back to do the next four.

So for now what I suggest we do, is not to listen to any minister of state or member of the executive. Until we have electricity 24/7 and water is flowing through the taps continuously so you don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to fetch a bucket and partially wash yourself before you head out to work they should stay mute and keep out of the limelight.

They have disgraced themselves and all of us with this nonsense of politics and have made life a misery for Ghanaians. In four months it will have been seven years since the NDC party came to govern us. In seven years, we have an impossible situation of a never ending power shortage and ever decreasing water supply.

They don’t deserve to run this country.

And Prof. Lumumba’s final message to you and me? Stop the unnecessary dancing. It is not getting us anywhere. Let’s think.

Ghana, Aha a y? din papa. Alius atrox week advenio. Another terrible week to come!

Columnist: Sydney Casely-Hayford