[This is the concluding part of the article published in the November 12, 2022 issue of the paper.]
Here has been a country in which public opinion was very really polarized. That shaped state policy parallel with color and or indeed the ideology of the incumbent– ‘’Yentie obiara’’ at all sorts of levels including state and private institutions, communities, education, societies, homes, families, clans and religion–the church with a cloistered pass-on into seeming perpetuity to date.
With or without team up, as and when opportune, the discomfiture really does in quite un-recognized ways, that our crisis today provides so much space for making most than much out of the new opportunities whose essences are to engage in new and reasonable conversations acceptable as beyond hitherto. We forget that OFY [Operation Feed Yourself] ref imports substitution brought out the ‘’magicians’’ Nigerians once labelled us.
Conversely though, an alter bitter truth is that our palliates for foreign goods somehow ditched or considerably tampered with the progress of the endeavor via smuggling and profiteering [Kalabule] stopped dead by the onset of the AFRC (1979) and buried under the PNDC (1981).
Yet, the enthusiasm levels of the Youth for creating a fresh cordon sanitaire was overwhelming. Never mind something might probably had led it elsewhere, my point the proper harnessing of its ghost may self-include if the dimensions from ante to present could be made with or from right impulses, despite to state the scenarios are dissimilar in spite of the causes being similar difficulties. I submit these then test this country’s often down-played resilience within an increasingly angry and confused mood.
Briefly stated, the countrywide anticipation of the address was uneven, understandably given the existing nervousness and acute partisanship.
For instance, no one expected the JDM entries’ preceding. The discourses appeared to have lowered tensions and raised reconciliatory (expectation(s), fading off some of the apparent sting from earlier remarks by reportedly, the Okyenhene’s against the regime’s critics.
To conclude the historical brief ancient profile, all in all, we are a badly fractured country with its history, can’t be ignored and omitted in the narrative—contemporary and later told.
I have learned that a key among three principals to determine ‘’circumstantial’’ conclusive judgment is how one’ avails’ oneself to and in given situation.
I can now turn to unpick to align the opportunity with how avails: the president’s address with reference submits that: the condition of the economy is grim but ‘’we are all in this together and I am asking for your support to rescue Ghana from the throes of this economic crisis’’.
I stay on that–—how the address reacted to the mixed backdrops, prevalent. The next, is the President said he could not find comparable(s) in this country’s annals; and the third substantially has a twin: determined to turn the gloom and with all on board, ostensibly right direction for restoration and in extenso logic-wise, crawl it back from ‘’me [we]alone’’. But nearly everything was to be reviewed.
No time lines were and are set since there was no indicator. Our difficulties carry two most urgent action tags: speed which is immediate; and calculated as in calculus in hopeful term.
Appropriately, the status quo ante in terse form: common knowledge, a kind of aide memoire: hardships trended before mid-March 2020.
Covid was pointed as the bogey which some did not share; just as Ukraine. Magnanimity of donors with assistances poured supports including medications and cash. The country was already becoming noted for excess borrowing and mortgaging with busy collateralized precious national endowments and or assets. The currency went Usain Bolt mid-year 2022 until worth next to nil.
Public statements put complaints in red herring –jacket.’ Yet, it’s a sellers’ market all over— households and industrial plus medications and free education on top of going to the IMF had to be, contrarily and negotiations continuing, capped with cabinet retreat—an emergency build-up, signifying earnestness.
The outcome’s most talked about ‘’SIKA MPE DEDE’.I shall let the temptation lead me explain defensively and raise a critique. This is from our Elders dealing with the like situation.
I believe they invoke for application a caveat in that quote advising a fresh attitude to handle expenditure. That could be saying an implicit admission of misspending. So, it means ‘get it right.’
The converse which derives the censoring, is the mis-application and would err turning the person making it as uncaring. That has raked the anger, aware that knowing we are far from fixing it, added.
That might suggest a huge loss opportunity to put a nation on edge at ease at its very minimum for calm down, tampering the deep and wide-spreading unhappiness in the country.
Much as could be left at that, its worth sharing also for emphasis only, that ‘money provokes noise’ as long as there is both a lack.and modicum of abundance. Besides, plainlythe country was expecting a presentation less brusque than a dig from our mores whose meaning is multi and in application, is tricky complex, requiring juggling to be apt on every occasion. The lest is the application often has the slippery tendency to leap off the mind-page.
We get it wrong and make a mistake. But here is the less exotic: the bottom line is: IS THAT ALL? Rawlings put a similar to the botched Kufuor ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The hype on Rawlings mounting the witness stand was just as extraordinary.
Zero back in the contentious palaver which seethes ire, you see, lack of money conjures instant displeasure for any of us at one time or another.
It grows into furious reticence in every person who reacts differently. The hanker leads to hunger of sorts and a ‘hungry man is an angry man’, the dictum confirms it. Wherefore a nation confronts such mangled tapestry there is today, it is or shall be understandable.
Happily, the president said the fact of gasoline queues in France do not make Tro-tro journey hikes tolerable. It is implicit, au contraire that he sees the score and appreciates the groans except exactly what to do.
That is the evidence—nothing enigmatic about that but that very much is which questions whether there is light at the end of the tunnel and when. ‘’Sika mpe dede’’is a double -edged sword.
No one else is privy to the IMF talks. But the gossips are: it doesn’t seem going pretty good; and the duo-lead negotiator, the Vice President, is on proving tough hustings for the NPP’s 2024-Ticket.
Here also, connoisseurs are foreboding about the tribal card which could crack the NPP at the close. There are plenty of question marks mulling over.
The danger with ethnicity enveloped in politics is it abjures friendly good-natured banter and makes for belligerent hegemonies — Russia in the Crimea and now chunk of Ukraine, the Walloons and Flemings in Belgium, the UK –Welsh, Irish, Scottish and Englanders, Hutu versus Tutsi, Anglophile and Francophile Gambia, Ibo-Yoruba, Ashanti and Akyem and whole multiples all over.
Achieving harmony is protracted and never complete absolutely. Thank goodness that ours is a lame duck centuries since the bellicose yesteryears. Yet, national leaderships have the onus, clear-headedly to do and say nothing that made politics the victim of inappropriate behaviour any more than it had been during recent decades.
The reason is that would be the last nail in the coffin of politics here about which this country is fed up to the gum of its back tooth, Tres vraiment, c’est a dire— true to say.
In no obstructed view, the country has been at this precipice before Col I.K.Acheampong’s entry [13 Jan. 1972] and incidentally under-foot shot out himself similarly as Rawlings [4 June 1979/ 31 Dec.1981] nursed a renaissance back to the rule of the law, democracy of the ballot box which the country chose.
These in succession made trek back to Bataan four times in 65 years post-independence. Provenly, our preference is overwhelmingly for democracy. But it has been digressive, making it.to stick, in spite of not being a totally failed nation. Something is obviously wrong seriously. I think the bogey culprit is politicking know-how and how we have handled it.
By Prof. Nana Essilfie-Conduah