Yutong bus GH 1957's stuck in political mud

Sun, 10 Jul 2011 Source: Ablorh, Raymond

After reading ‘Monuments of waste’ from ‘his’ rooftop on page 7 of

the Daily Graphic of Tuesday, June 7, 2011, I couldn’t agree more with

Kofi Akordor when he concluded with the lamentation, “…, I know we have a

long way to go.” Yes, philosophically speaking, Ghana has a very long

way to go. Especially, so, when we haven’t yet found the way. The

gap between our ignorance and knowledge of ‘the way to go’ couldn’t be

measured in physical geographical distance; and, just as no amount of

mental energy we employ could enable us convert 54 years into kilometers

or miles, so we couldn’t tell how long in time distance we are left to

locate the ‘way’. But, what I know is that after 54 years of what we

call our independence, we are yet to find the way out of our confusion. I’m

sure my good friend, retired diplomat, K.B Asante (the man whose voice

comes from afar), would say we know the route out of our predicaments,

but, we are simply not ready to travel on that road for thousand and one

reasons. Nonetheless, that conviction only reduces the

distance to the shores of commitment, the least of which we haven’t

shown towards saving ourselves and future generations from our highly

solvable socio-economic problems. And, in any case, is the uselessness

inherent in knowing, and not pursuing, not tantamount to not knowing at

all? So, whether we know this idiomatic; proverbial; or,

philosophical way or not, the truth is that we haven’t nurtured enough

commitment to pursue that stretch; which is obviously the reason we are

unenviable possessors of the monuments of waste Kofi Akordor bemoaned in

his aforementioned heart-arresting article. Yes,

recently, some big shots from the ruling National Democratic Congress

(NDC) told us amusing stories laden with insinuating punctuations; call

them parables or allegories of Yutong Bus. Anyway, with my clear

understanding of our political times and seasons and the performances of

the characters therein, I couldn’t be a hoot amazed at both the stories

and their tellers. Initially, I concluded the stories

were about the NDC’s bus. However, it became clear they were telling

Ghana’s Yutong bus story, so I looked around to see if they’re on the

same bus on which I’m; and, interestingly, here they’re; one furiously

stood behind the driver and the other sat beside him (the driver). Paradoxically,

Ghana’s situation invites nostalgic memories of my childhood at Medie,

near Nsawam. In those days, my peers and I could sit on a bench; start

an imaginary engine with our mouths; and, vrooom! Vroooom! Vrooommmmm!

The driver sped us from Medie to Kumasi. I don’t know if

you ever sat on such buses in your childhood. If you didn’t, you could

even try it now; it doesn’t matter where you’re sitting, all you have to

do is to start ‘vrooommm!’ and imagine you’re driving somewhere. That

is the Yutong Bus Ghanaians are on board today. Yutong Bus GH1957

suffered a serious engine problem and has been in a heavy political mud

since Ghana attained her partial meaningless independence. Its movement

is held in back and forth restrictions without meaningful mobility

towards a well defined destination. This is because as a

people, we have not collectively decided on where we are going. The NDC

has a place in mind. Yes, the NPP too has another destination in mind,

and I can bet the CPP and other parties too have places in mind. We

can’t go to all these beautiful places at the same time. And, it's

unwise to start a journey to one destination and return towards another

destination when there is a change in leadership. But, that’s what we

seem to do with our immobile bus. Waste of resources! Now,

you see, since we lack that unity of purpose and national cohesion, we

would continue to have a situation where SSS, for instance, is changed

to SHS and the duration changed to 4 years under one government and

reversed under other administration; or, one party developing a youth

policy only to be thrown away or changed by another party; or, as usual,

one administration commencing a laudable project only to be abandoned

by another administration for reasons which obviously aren’t in the

interest of the taxpayers. Since we haven’t decided on the

destination, how do we determine which transportation system to employ?

If we know the destination, then we could tell whether we need to go by

air, land or water or a combination of some or all. Today, all the

political parties are offering various transportation alternatives to

NOWHERE, and the confused electorates who don’t know where they are been

taken to, go voting to be taken to ANYWHERE. In fact, we

have been here for a very long time. Instead of coming together to

decide on a concrete destination and work out the mode of getting there

in unison, all we’ve have done since independence is to fight ourselves

so hard, killing the very dreams and aspirations in pursuit of which

our forefathers fought for independence. Just after

independence, we started attempts to assassinate the first president and

overthrow his government. People without and within his party worked

very hard and threw the infant nation into political wilderness in 1966.

The Military took over and prepared the ground for another civilian

regime which suffered the same fate the first government suffered. Both

presidents lived and died in exile. We haven't left that

destructive path our fathers took. Today the Danquahs and Nkrumahs are

gone, but, the unhealthy rivalry and horrible political relationship

still exist. Our bus has been in this mud for a very long time that its

engine is corroded; its tyres are flat, and, occupants of the bus are so

confused they don’t know where they are been taking to. They shout from

morning to evening in the name of democracy; insulting one another in

blame game in the face of growing difficulties. Yes, like

my childhood peers and I on our Bus, all what the various drivers who

enter Yutong Bus GH1957 do is shout vroooooommmm, and the people

respond: “Yeehhhhh” But, we know we’re going nowhere. No

wonder, since independence every other government comes to clear a mess

and tighten the belts of the masses to build a foundation for progress.

Have we ever gone beyond these foundations for progress? When would we? In

a radio and television broadcast on the eve of the first anniversary

celebration of the Second Republic in Accra on Wednesday, September 30,

1970, Prime Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia reiterated the National

Liberation Council’s message, “We as a government inherited, as

everybody knows, a huge debt, rising costs, massive unemployment, and

poverty..”Is this not the same message that Kutu Acheampong,

Jerry Rawlings, John Kufour and Atta Mills delivered when they assumed

office? We are where we are because of our horrible

appreciation of politics and our attitude towards life in general. The

time has come for us all; old and young; men and women, etc, to identify

what has kept us in this mud for all these years; and, resolve to work

in unison to liberate ourselves from our humiliating circumstances. We

have no reason to wallow in this acidic poverty while very few people

share with foreigners all the riches nature gracefully gave us. We have

no reason to starve when we can boast of fertile land. And, do we have a

reason to be thirsty when rain water humiliatingly buries our brothers

and sisters and their properties in gutters?No single person, party or group of

people can save us from this mess. Anyway,

if you meet JJ the son of Rawlings somewhere, please, be bold to ask on

my behalf: where the Yutong Bus is going to; and where it has reached,

and you would find no reason to ask for the speed level.

Raymond Ablorh


Columnist: Ablorh, Raymond