No matter how we define our current situation, it is a precipice that only requires the greatest of humility by all political actors; demanding consensus building to avert an economic meltdown of dire consequences, devoid of any tough-talking laced with insults; and accepting that no one political persuasion can play ‘KNOW-IT-ALL’.
SELF-DENIAL is synonymous to self-abnegation and has been defined as the abnegation of one-self, one’s interests, needs, and rights amongst others; and where abnegate, simply means to give up or deny oneself, a pleasure or right or opportunity or to renounce or reject a right or belief or doctrine or principle.
A renunciation is the act or an instance of silently or openly giving up or renouncing a right or privilege as possibly enshrined in a Constitution or as of a right as a citizen of a nation or community or society. It also means accepting to suffer in silence when you are being ‘abused’ by a system that has been setup to protect your interest or work to provide some amenities as of right and enshrined in a Constitution or any legal document that sets out one’s rights, interests, rewards and obligations in any enterprise, whether public or private; and including abstention or keeping away from a subject, where your input is required to pass into law.
You see, when you vote a person or people into office as Member (s) of Parliament or Assemblymen and women or a President of a Republic or a Prime Minister, giving up a certain right to empower them to act on your behalf or in your interest and you do not follow up to ensure or demand of them any ACCOUNTABILITY, what you end up creating is a MONSTER with such powers to abuse these rights and responsibilities, technically ‘enslave’ you to enrich himself or herself.
When you abstain or desist or self-deprive or keep away from public discourses or participation in lawfully planned demonstration or any activity to point out to these elected officers of state, what you create by your inactivity is SELF-DENIAL. Self-denial, for me, is a beast, fiend, ogre, a dragon, demon, troll, a brute or a bogeyman as featured in horror films that comes to deny you of your sleep as well as fill you with so much fear so that when you should have spoken up, you kept silent.
You know, these self-denials create ‘DICTATORS’ in democracies, ‘tin-gods’, who by your own silences come back to haunt you after you have willingly, upon several appeals of ‘test-me-and-see’, use your own thumb to vote them into office every four years.
Nobody can deny the fact that we are in very hard, perilous times through no fault of ours, the electorates. These definitely are the results of actions and inactions of the people we have voted into power.
Yes, they will plead the case of COVID-19 Pandemic, Russia - Ukraine War, a change in the climate, recession of the sea taking away all the fishes we normally catch in low tides, ‘infertilities of our animals in the forest’ as possible ‘spiritual’ causes for our economic woes, the forgetfulness of a particular pastor to pray a specific prayer before the beginning of the fishing season, or whatever else is their plea: the fact of the matter is that for us as citizens, we will always blame the government of the political party in power because they contest for power with all kinds of promises, some damn right ‘lies’ as any rational person should know that such ‘promises’ are unattainable.
But these introductions do not form the thrust of this write-up.
We all recall the campaign promises of 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020 for the two mainstream political parties of New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) with some of the statements by some presidential candidates (including a particular vice presidential candidate) being so outlandish that sometimes you wonder whether our political class take us for granted with no sense of appreciation of issues than accept by hook, line, and sinker all the outrageous campaign offers of ‘heaven-on-earth’.
However, what is fascinating about recent campaign promises of Presidential Candidates of the two political persuasions is the extent they now go produce a quality, colourful document, which could stand the test of time and give us the opportunity to verify and ascertain the number of promises, which could be ascertained as fulfilled and those, which could not be.
But you see all these will count for nothing, considering the state that we find ourselves currently as a nation and as a people, the socio-economic realities of the times, where we now redefine common phenomenon as ‘DUMSOR’ to be something else, escalating prices of fuel and market items, rents and transport fares, ever-changing costs of sanitation as well as water and electricity charges and medical fees (unfortunately now nobody tells anyone anything, you only just observe the changing rates on the receipts of pay-as-you-consume).
We are directed to stop the dollarization of consumer items, with the understanding that all items shall be in local currency but to circumvent this, prices change overnight with daily changes in dollar rates, even of almighty ‘fuel prices’ – they are in Ghana Cedis (Gh₵) yes, but subjected to exchange rates still by the day. The hotels, both local and international, are very good at this, complying with government directives.
A witch-doctor in a far, far, far-away village once insinuated that the issue with the increases in the dollar rate is not as a result of all the issues raised by economists and politicians but as a result of the dollar-flight by politicians, who opt to save what they have acquired in safe-havens, away from our prying eyes than to keep them close in local banks, which could be frozen with change in governments. The other rising phenomenon, as intimated by this witch-doctor, is the emergence of new ‘economic prophets of political nature’ who for an agreed fee, calculated as a percentage of the debt for which payment is being sought from a government institution.
Funny but we have been expecting the ‘Fathers of This Nation’ - be they traditional, religious, political-elders, business or otherwise, to engage all political players or implore the two main political parties to dialogue as to the way forward for our nation. Truth-be-told, we expect these fathers to be ‘NON-ALIGNED’, meaning they must be without any controversy of alignment of any sort by their preaching or social comment and obviously, not the ‘Council of State’ as constituted by this political dispensation because of the current tag they carry by their silences, when the obvious needed to be condemned or admonished in public.
The YOUTH OF THIS NATION should not also see themselves as just-waiting-their-turn-to profit-from-the-largesse-of-office or just outside the sphere of contributing to the dialogue.
Unfortunately, we have knowingly and unknowingly allowed our youth to play into the ‘political divide of no-neutrality’, especially at the NUGS level; when we could decide as a people and as a nation that once a youth leader decides for a political party openly or through the TEIN and TESCON, they are estopped from contesting for NUGS leadership.
I know this is only a utopian dream because I know the extent that the two main political persuasions will go to influence the voting patterns of these NUGS elections, sometimes using state institutions to create fear-and-panic and why there is always post-election litigations of all sorts.
Nobody can impress upon any youth from aligning with any political party of his choice because that is where all parties scout the future of their parties from and I have watched from my ‘non-aligned corner’ how some of these have blossomed into emerging national politicians of stature with ministerial appointments as well as elections into Parliament House as Honourable Members. They have made me proud in my heart, watching from afar and the nation is better for this.
The worst part of all these self-denial conundrum is the FOURTH ESTATE, the Media and I hurt because quite a number of the media institutions or persons have now been ‘compromised’ by fear, position or threat to the detriment of the State (including putting the fear of imprisonment into them), otherwise why on earth can’t they organize the national elections for the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) after the expired term of office of the current administration has lapsed for how long? Are there any outside forces benefitting from the current state of inertia?
And now tell me, who in the media has the right to write and admonish any political figure or party, when a simple process as ELECTIONS FOR NATIONAL EXECUTIVES has been put on ice because of a question of electoral roll for the simple mandate of who qualifies to vote, no wonder we find ourselves at this precipice?
The ‘Estate’ which should hold everybody or all of us to account seems to have lost its bite; or is it because its mouth is full, chewing on what it has taken already? I know, it isn’t everybody who has been compromised in a way but ‘the silence is deafening’ now for the media. And if it is FEAR, know that we will all die once and after that no politician can hold us to ransom, especially as it is POSTERITY that writes everybody’s tribute according to how much he or she ‘died’ for his or her people so that their lives would be much, much better.
I am only speaking the minds of many.
We should be mindful that we swim or sink together and no one political party can wish for itself that it is only those in opposition, who would suffer as those in government ride the pending or coming storm or is it a TSUNAMI? There is a wave of change blowing in our direction as a nation and as a people, if we do not care for ourselves even, what about our children and grandchildren or their own children?
I admire Honourable ‘Senior’ Albert Kan-Dapaah, the Minister for National Security for his honest and long-overdue plain talk with the Judiciary: it takes a ‘nationalist’ of unique character to be that bold and say what he said to the Judges, as for the 5 – 2 that was an icing on the cake of life.
Again, I admire the courage of the World Bank representative, who had the temerity to inform Ghanaians, without necessarily correcting Government, on how much the Bank gave the government for the COVID-19 Pandemic: for me, it only made some Ghanaians, who knew the truth without the wisdom of correcting us all, learn a simple lesson of humility. I know next time, more Ghanaians will not keep quiet on the truth but voice it, without a thought as to the consequences of such action.
This is the only country we have and some of us are determined to stand for it, no matter the consequences to ourselves because we do not fight for ourselves, considering our ages, but for our children and grandchildren, especially those coming after us. We should leave here a much better nation and country than how we came to meet it – watching the 6th March, 1957 Declaration as toddlers with so much hope.
Know that if you stay silent during this looming precipice, it is as good as denouncing your nationality and denying this great nation, Ghana.
A CHANGE IS GONNA COME, sooner than later but for sure it will…need I say more?
By Magnus Naabe RexDanquah, the Ghanaian - is a Land Economist & Appraiser, Events Architect & Planner, SportBusiness Consultant, Social Commentator and an Author. He secured the rights for Ghana to prepare to host and organize the 13th African Games in Accra in 2023.