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By Kwesi Atta Sakyi
5th June 2013
When it comes to stereotyping and being tribally prejudiced, perhaps Ghanaians could rank number one in the world. Why is there this parochialism and narrowness of mentality? It is because of illiteracy, or perhaps due to half -baked education. It is sad that in this day and age, in the 21st century, still some tribes and well-heeled people look down on other tribes. Our Ghanaian Society today seems more polarised, dichotomised and partisan than at any other time in our post- independence history.
Why is it so? We can blame some greedy politicians who are hungry for power at any cost, serial callers who have no serious business to do, other than calling radio stations and peddling lies upon lies on air. We can also blame some of our irresponsible journalists and media people who have sold their consciences to the devil, and are prepared to concoct and fabricate lies upon lies to feed the gullible Ghanaian public with garbage.
Why has moral decency in Ghana descended so low into the doldrums? Is poverty directly related to ability to spin lies? Partly blame our current weak educational system, which is like an albatross hanging on our necks. Paradoxically, there is an explosion of churches and Christianity in Ghana. Are these many people who are flocking to the churches genuine, or they are pseudo-Christians? Some of the politicians are fooling us, some pastors are leading us astray, and some journalists and media people do not help matters as they add fuel to the already blazing inferno.
On the cankerworm of tribalism, some power-hungry politicians play the tribal card in order to win sympathy from their people. These are the nation-wreckers, treasonable and unreasonable mispatriots. I think every Ghanaian should avoid tribal sentiments and be proud first as a Ghanaian, and secondly as an African. We need genuine and patriotic leaders in Ghana who will drive a united Ghana agenda.
It is sad that some mad politicians who are desperate for power at all costs, and for filthy lucre, are threatening the peace of our beloved country, by peddling lies at every turn, to mislead citizens. Team Ghana is the loser. Those irresponsible detractors want to negate all the gains Ghana has made over the years through the sweat and toil of our forefathers and pioneers. A team is a tightly- knit group of individuals who die a little for the success of their team. Each member brings his strengths to the team, little or big, in a spirit of give and take.
Members gloss over the weaknesses of others, and they concentrate on the task at hand. If 26 million chickens synchronise their energies and efforts, and they bury their differences, they can defeat 1000 disunited horses at a game of tug-of-war.
That is the power of synergy. Manchester United has been dominating the English Premier League for some time now, because the team members are highly inspired by their leadership, and also by their collective and individual efforts to win matches. Team Ghana can be like them if we refocus our negative energies in the right direction of development. We have to ditch our PhD mentality of pull him down.
We have to eschew our pettiness, our wicked humour, our short-termism mentality, and our inordinate crave for fleeting material things. Let us go for superordinate goals and apply our God- endowed talents and faculties to solving our myriad national problems. What is killing Ghana now is tribalism, and we need dynamic leaders to arrest the bane of tribalism which is currently plaguing our country. Let us avoid loose and vain talk, and effusive vituperations in the media.
Let us not split hairs or politicize the good intentions of our leaders. It is high time we wisened up, and did the right thing for posterity, by making some sacrifices and compromises. We have to adopt a win-win attitude. We have to adopt a can-do attitude to lift us to a high altitude. The following acronym is my interpretation of the word TRIBE:
- T- stands for trouble and treason. The word tribe is found in the Bible, with reference to the 12 tribes of Israel who were sons of Jacob, but they never saw eye to eye with each other. In ancient Rome, there were the 3 tribes made up of the literate Latin, and the illiterate Etruscans and Sabine (Wikipedia). Only nation- wreckers are fomenting trouble in Ghana, which is treason.
- R- stands for rift, ridicule, raw nerves, rage, rudeness and recklessness. Those who play the tribal card in Ghana, are all of this ilk.
- I- stands for insults, inward-looking, insolence and indiscipline. Those who are tribalistic are all these.
- B- stands for base, bribery, belligerent, bestial. Tribalists are people of low quality as they lack high moral standards.
- E- stands for envy, enmity, evil. Thus, the word TRIBE is full of evil and immorality.
- What does the word UNITY stand for?
- U- stands for understanding, utility or usefulness, unassuming, unruffled.
- N- stands for natural, nice, nascent
- I- integrity, intelligence, industry, innovative
- T- tolerance, truth, tactful, temperate,time- tested and tried.
- Y- yielding (surrendering ego for the greater good, for the greater number)
L- stands for listening
E- for enterprising
A -for ambitious
D- for dedicated
E- for enlightened
R- for responsible and respectful
S- for service and surefooted.
H- for helpful and hardworking
I -for integrity and
P- for prudence and proactivity
If our leaders in Ghana are reading this, I entreat them to eschew the negative side -effects of tribalism, such as nepotism, cronyism, mediocrity, corruption, bribery, discrimination and extreme insularity. Rather, I call upon them to harness the positive impact of tribal identity in healthy and constructive nation-building activities, such as establishment of rural industries, and the canalization of local festivals into the tourism circuit. Let each of our MPs explore business niches in their localities which can create jobs for the teeming youth. I end this write-up with the song of Dr Ephraim Amu of blessed memory, who wrote:
Ghanaman, Ghanaman, Ghanaman, Ghanaman
Moma y3nsua biako yo o o o D.C
Biakoy3 y3 ahoaden, biakoy3 y3 nhyira,
Biakoy3 y3 oooo D.C
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