I stand accused of loving my nation more than myself

BY: Magnus Naabe RexDanquah, the Ghanaian
Magnus Naabe RexDanquah, the writer
Magnus Naabe RexDanquah, the writer

ISAAC Hayes, the celebrated African - American musician sang a song, written by J. Butler and W. E. Butler: ‘I STAND ACCUSED’ and this is the lyrics –

I stand accused
Of loving you too much
And I hope, I hope it’s not a crime
‘Cause if it is (Guilty)
I’m guilty
Of lovin’ you, you, you
Oh yeah

I, I hope to God
That I never have, oh, to testify
‘Cause if I do
Everyone is gonna, they’re gonna cry
They’re gonna say

Oh, I just guilty
(Of lovin’ you)
Of lovin’ a sweet girl like you
I know, I know (You belong)
You belong to another (To another)

I, I may not stand a ghost of a chance
I’ll stand on top of Mount Everest (On top of Mount)
And proudly tell the world that I love ya
Oh yes, I will

Because I, I just can’t
I can’t help myself
I’m a victim of circumstances

And just one
Ooh, one touch of your hand
I don’t know how it happened
But just look at me
I find myself chillin’ on the witness stand
And I’m shoutin’ out
All over, all over the land

I’m guilty of lovin’ you, yeah (I stand accused)
I said, I’m guilty (Guilty)
But what can I do? (I stand accused)

I wanna hold ya
I wanna squeeze you tight
(I stand accused)

But my mind said
She belongs to another (I stand accused)
And that ain’t right

I didn’t ask to fall in love with you (Guilty)
I just can’t help myself (I stand accused)
I know that I’m strong (Guilty)
Don’t know what to love, love, love (I stand accused)

I’m not ashamed to say, I love you, I love you, I love you (Of lovin’ you)
Oh yes, I do
Stand accused of lovin’ you
(I stand accused)
Can’t you understand the situation that I am in?

This is a one-sided love, yeah (I stand accused)
Baby, I just, all I can say is (I stand accused)

You see, we all stand accused of loving this our nation, Ghana, for all sorts of reasons – maybe for what we will get out of her; maybe for what we are getting out of her for the positions we occupy; maybe for the full accommodation, free vehicle and fuel and driver to boot; maybe for the free traveling experiences and allowances; but sincerely have we stopped to ask ourselves what are we giving back to her, our nation, Ghana?

…so, we stand accused of pretense, pretending to love her, our nation, Ghana but in reality we are all pirates marooned here and taking our fair share of the booties of life that she offers but not that we truly love this nation, Ghana – whatever position we find ourselves, be it a teacher, a public servant, a chief, a Minister of State, a Parliamentarian, a student, medical officer, a police officer, a driver, a mate, a tax collector, a toll booth ticket seller, a carpenter, a customs officer, an immigration officer, a security officer or a corrupt person of any profession or creed…we all stand accused of hurting this nation in a way or the other…

You see, I never sought fame in all my life, I never sought to become the person that I have become, I was taught not to take credit for anything in my life and indeed, the first lesson an old man taught me was that, if you are working for any POLITICIAN, or for that matter anybody else, NEVER EVER take or position yourself to take the credit, especially as that is what they crave, their very life depends on that RECOGNITION.

If you try to take or attempt to position yourself to be seen as such, then prepare for your death literally; and that is why all my life, I have dressed and lived my life in the shadows of people, even when I am expected to be the main man. I have always lived by the DICTUM that it is the LORD GOD who rewards the labourer for his work, and not the labour to put his hand in the cash box and pay himself as he thinks fit or deems appropriate.

As of the old school generation, we are taught that the nation, our nation, GHANA comes first at all times, then your clan or abusua, then your own nuclear family before yourself; and that you should be the VERY LAST BENEFICIARY at all times. What do we see now? What is this norm we all have to contend with, that our pockets first before any other consideration?

The term ‘CONFLICT OF INTEREST’ means nothing in the present scheme of things as the official delegated to go and negotiate on before of the nation or national interest, would ask for his cut, which then serves as the basis of to what extent he will be prepared to sell his nation.

Indeed, this has become the norm that I WILL ALWAYS STAND ACCUSED of loving this nation first and foremost before anything else, especially my family because I grew up with the generation that regarded the other person’s children as his own and that they have to eat first before his own children do justice to what is left.

WHERE DID WE GO WRONG AS A NATION AND AS A PEOPLE?
I grew up in the generation that when the elderly are seated and chatting, YOU DO NOT HAVE AN OPINION to express, not even when they ask you ‘what do you think’? You are only there to listen to the wisdom of the arguments of their discussions, the dearth of their thoughts and show of mutual respect on show…I grew up in the generation that when you summoned before any elderly, particularly one you do not know, even from Adam, you are expected to place your arms behind your back and just listen, never to interject under any circumstances because that appearance is rather a DETERMINATION TEST of how well-home groomed you are and a measure on your parents or the house you come from. How then can you ever raise your voice, one decibel higher before your own parents?

Call that generation COLLO and you might be RIGHT but remember if we had been different, you wouldn’t have come into the world to even a nation like, Ghana with all the legacies of that generation that we continue to enjoy?

Yes, I stand accused of loving the nation more than myself because our generation understood that just as you do it for the children of others so shall it be done for your own…so we would give other people’s children jobs so that others will give our children jobs without asking for a bribe.

Simple and short, we have lost our VALUE SYSTEMS and we are so proud to say, don’t our children qualify for the positions we have given them, when you are privileged to occupy a public position of trust but then be the first to shout ‘WHAT A FAMILY & FRIENDS government.

You remember the SODOM & GOMORRAH story in the Bible: when some started talking about the pervasiveness of the lives the people were living and the consequences therefrom, most took it to be the same noises, turned their heads and walked back into their houses thinking they were safe in the comforts of their homes, away from the canker outside their doors, only to be consumed by the inferno of the destruction. If you keep silent when you see the wrongs being perpetuated by those in positions of public trust and you keep quiet because you are a beneficiary, or keep quiet because it’s in the next house and not yours, or you are only waiting for your party to come to power even if it takes 8, 12, 16 or 20 years for you to enjoy your booty too…please just remember this story.

I feel sad for all the sins being lived in our days, the impunity of actions of people who are supposed to know better and yet have others so quiet, whether because they have been compromised or beneficiaries, please don’t forget your descendants will pay the ultimate price. That, no matter what caches of money you store away for them, they will finish one day and then what?

I have laughed at the Bank of Ghana notice on dormant accounts because a lot are of such descriptions, owners of stolen largesse, kept in bank account under dubious names and then the person dies and the accounts haven’t been operated for donkey years. Sometimes those who know that the account owners are dead and no family member has come to ask for details and control, use the receipts for their own loans systems, what a world, what a people, what a nation?

I am not sure that aging has been giving me different new perspectives of life that I am appreciating now, but when one of my sons refers me to not giving them positions during the organization and hosting of the 26th Africa Cup of Nation tournament (CAN 2008) in Ghana for the principles I hold and cherish, then indeed, I STAND ACCUSED OF LOVING MY NATION MORE THAN MYSELF.

Whenever in doubt as to what action to take against being an innocent bystander, think of Sodom and Gomorrah so that you join others to help build a better Ghana for the future of our youth.