I don’t get this government. Who does?

It’s getting beyond ridiculous. It’s plain weird now. As members of the human race, there are certain things we have come to expect of each other, no matter how different we may be. We expect that respectable people will do their best possible to maintain their reputation. In case of any mishap, we expect them to do their best to salvage the situation; if not for the sake of others, then for their own wellbeing.

From time to time, we expect to be lied to. However, when the truth is so clear for all to see, we expect other humans to come clean and admit to their fault. This government of Ghana is different. They act in a way that is foreign to everything we have come to learn about humanity. When we all say red and you say blue, we stop being angry at some point and begin to wonder what’s really wrong. We get worried. And at a point after that if you keep saying red, well, something has to be done.

Today, that something is #RedFriday. Because today, Ghanaians are worried.

The weirdest  part is that this government cannot, for the life of it, recognize the times and change to protect its own interest. Let me introduce this quote from the movie The Great Debaters:

St. Augustine said, “An unjust law in no law at all.’ Which means I have a right, even a duty to resist. With violence or civil disobedience. You should pray I choose the latter. – James Farmer Jr.

Could the same not be said of a government? That an unjust government is no government at all? I’m beginning to think so. This means that as good citizens we have a right and a duty to resist.

Nobody wants to plunge Ghana back into the era of coup d’états and uprisings. Those days are happily behind us, and every Ghanaian wants to look into the future with hope and the promise of a brighter day. But this government is making it harder for Ghanaians to see this. And that makes me see red. This is bad, real bad (Michael Jackson).

On the 4th of July I read an article in the Daily Graphic that made me so angry that I stopped reading halfway, punched out a 1500 word reaction to the article, and submitted it later to the Daily Graphic. You can click here to read what I wrote in that reaction. But basically, one uninformed guy was trying to make a mockery out of the whole Occupy Flagstaff movement. The writer of the column Abura Epistle tried to dismiss the whole movement as elitist and self-centred. And that just made me see red.

“Na mani aye se koto mogya.”

It’s really hard to support this government; believe me I’ve tried. I tried to defend them a little on the pad fiasco. But eventually I had to give up. Even when most Ghanaians were mad at the government and the Black Stars for settling on a $100 000 appearance fee, I tried to defend that, saying at the very least the players deserved that much. And then they had to airlift cash to Brazil and make the mockery of Ghana a global phenomenon. Yet still we cleaved to hope.

And then the news broke out that scholarship students in Cuba haven’t received their allowance for at 9 months. And as if that weren’t bad enough, in April it was reported that three of these students were in jail because they robbed a hotel to make ends meet.

Let’s just take a break here and analyze the sheer incredibility of this. You select a group of Ghanaians, send them to a foreign country with an assurance of an allowance, and for nine months totally refuse to send them money? And the best/worst part is, the tax you paid on the money you airlifted could have easily curbed this situation. Unbelievable.

It bears repeating that no Ghanaian wants disruption or violence in Ghana. But I find it shocking that in these times, any government can so comfortably cling to such an assurance, and do as it pleases. Who ever thought what happened to Gaddafi could happen? Personally I found out about his death the day after the fact, during a lecture in school. I was shocked. And I can honestly say that if I were a president, I would at the very least see if there was anything I was doing wrong. If there was, I would do one of the following:

  1. Fix the ones that are least difficult to fix.
  2. Acknowledge the ones that are pretty hard, assure my people I’m working on them, and actually proceed to work on them.
  3. Sleep safer knowing that even though the people may not be happy, they know fully well I’m trying.

In Ghana today, we don’t have a single one of the above. Why would you not pay the allowance of scholarship recipients for 9 good months?

Why?

Is it hard? Is there more to it than meets the eye? Does parliament need to approve a new bill before the money is paid? It’s the little stuff like this that really gets to me and makes me see red.

I never confirmed this, but I’ve heard it said that a member of the ruling party has stated that Ghanaians have a short memory. If that’s the case, then government officials have a shorter memory.

An unjust government is no government at all. Which means I have a right, even a duty to resist. With violence or civil disobedience. Yet this strange government mocks me when I choose the latter. The government mocks the citizens for a small turnout at their peaceful demonstration, and passes idle comments about their ability to afford polo shirts when they decide to wear red to protest their nefarious ways. Yeah, that too. Reportedly, Edward Omane Boamah posted on Facebook:

Thank God they can afford the beautiful polo shirt.

It would definitely be God that we would thank, for were it not His mercies, we would surely perish. I urge all Ghanaians to remember: Ghana is bigger than any government. Ghana is you and me. Let not the action of one man and his cohorts dim your passion for the nation. As Jesus said, ‘If you do it for your brother, you do it for me.’ Likewise, if you do it for your fellow Ghanaian, you do it for Ghana. So let’s go ahead and do what we can for each other. Even the guy who makes you so mad because he just won’t accept the government is messing up bad.

Our love of peace should not be seen as a weakness. I saw a shocking picture recently of a rebel in Syria. He was only eight. Who could love peace more than an eight year old, I wonder? Yet, there the child was, smoking and toting an AK-47. God forbid that Ghana ever gets there. But in the meantime, I’m seeing red, and it’s gotten so bad that I’m now wearing it.

#RedFriday

#OccupyFlagstaff

Occupy Responsibly

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