There are two most obnoxious characteristics which identify our polity: secretly thinking something different but none will say it until…….; and appearing consequently, the other identikit erupts showing a fatigued and visibly upset people. We get carried away. Soonest, the ensuing testaments are profuse. All including or led this time by the Ediifuos speak in tongues prophesying.
Curiously, there are two upshots in the phenomenon, eerie or quite: We do a pretty job to imitate independence of mind; and it is only briefly. Then the rivalry of thoughts become drowned in mediocrity because we have overly tried to be disproportionate—outsmart another and or dribble out others. Look at the “Bediatuo-Memo” truth or lie-saga-dispute. It shows how each can be horribly fallible. Yet like the Hillsborough disaster’s trial, a disappointed relative widely reported, remarked: ‘someone is responsible.’[Hillsborough (Sheffield England) occurred 15 April 1989 in a football fans’ crashed to death  and 766 injured FA CUP between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, brought to final resolution short while ago with the acquittal and discharge of the Police Chief in charge of the match. The tragedy bears similar hallmarks as our own Accra sports stadium. [It refers to the Asante Kotoko-Accra Hearts of Oak 9 May 2001. Deaths: 126 and —ten from trauma and the rest from compressive asphyxia, quoted Coroner’s report said. But an additional one though put accidentally in the morgue ‘resurrected’.]
A second cell in the latter half of the pair which makes us out, is a duet, schadenfreude [joy over another’s misfortune] and resort to shenanigans [mischief or trickery]. All things put together so far in this write up, is where we are as a nation relative to the status of the political gendarmerie among us today as the nation poises for a crucial referendum, already badly polluted in politics. The question to have been decided was ‘which way’?—appointed or elected MMDCEs, mid-December, suddenly frozen but actually de-coupled from legally partisan celibate Town Hall elections, the contrary nonetheless, to proceed as scheduled.
Two permanent questions don’t escape raised: cost incurred to the exchequer
and the necessary shifts in logistics. I can imagine the Electoral Commission saying the bill will be a saving, bearing possible rises ad interim and advisedly from trends; and “we have taken care of those upshots” or its regular verbal fingerprint variation “we are ready—plans are well advanced.”
The first is hackneyed and the second is meaningless as both have, from our experience down the years of ballots, over-shot the boundaries of allowed flexible budget-expenditures and excess pressure—the mere human exhaustion-toll. That lists the electorate and confidence in the whole system. It runs through to the politics of triumphs and disheartened, post-elections into the next biggie: “Ballot 2020.” At the end there is what next about the MMDCEs placed in limbo.
However, the major outcome of the first contour in our ID’s two main national traits, chiefly political perfidy, delivers its power and subtlety with compelling evidence in the stalemate on the precise situation of the armed Bullies of the political parties here. They are illegal; but the law simply represents the “pro” in the ‘quid pro quo’ urgent to settle nerves with solid certainty. Many may vote with their feet as a preference after Ayawaso-Wugon—its scare is still potent. The only cover up on the reality is our consummate “obeye yie”—‘it will be well.’
What’s to be taken seriously is calming the anxieties whether a script is ready to prompt Radio-Talk show and TV discourse to defend low voter turn-out, political claims and counter. I don’t look back on the Wugon-raucous with all gloom. Its rewards are the Enquiry, the legislation and the Government’s White Paper, including the controversies about some findings rejected. I like to introduce a reference that ignites two opposite evaluations of the objections in respect of cause and blame at the centre of the difference in between government, political parties and the public.
And I shall leave them for pondering. That lets me off into some snippets of history. I guess they would add enlightenment to the political parties especially the ruling NPP and largest Opposition NDC helped unburden the shaking off their organised “Tokio Joes”-hunch-backs. Both are said to have them. Neither is known to have demobbed those hirelings though both agree that it is imperative. Thus, we have the shenanigans.
The narrative as I intimated: The record of all variety in the past points the same end.’ The same though cannot be said of their legacies, best not to enumerate. After the fury of the CPP/NLM debacle with corresponding “Action-Troopers” mayhem in Ashanti and ripples in Akyim Abuakwa, 1954-56, the next terror that struck the country was when in 1964 the Workers Brigades received para-military training and assigned security duties with carte blanche to swell CPP rally-crowds, other functions including private institutions and public. They were divested of the security operations in September 1968.
Fourteen years elapsed. Then on the second Rawlings’ coup 31 Dec. 1981, the new Junta PNDC announced and activated a kind of the same called Workers, Defence Councils (WDC). Those were multiplied through Subs—WDCs, CVCs, RDCs and NDCs (National Defence Committees). The WDCs took over Board Rooms of local and foreign. For approximate job-description, they took their mandate actively combining the Action Troopers and the Workers Brigades under new dispensation titled “Power belongs to the People,” where individual members were reported to have orders or gave themselves authority to spy to expose corruption and inappropriate conduct. Degrees of violence were exerted.
In all of the three examples, deaths, injuries—permanent inclusive, self-exiles and despoiled of possessions and families made destitute were common features—some enduring; others faded out of memories. Whether there was damage repair, costs and who paid is unknown because they are not documented—officially or private. Certainly it could not have been personal-borne since no court established where culpability laid.
For the same reason, though from a different set of rationale the alter ego of the duet regularly segregates by as much as loudest hype between advocacy for victims and the dead hireling together with the innocent who suffered from strayed shot. Our guilt for the separation is collective nationally. It stems from naivety or bloody-mindedness—shadenfreude. The easiest defence is the macho chap would have been paid ahead of operation. Professional knowledge is it does not occur in rough-house politics.
In most cases it is characterised as “work and pay.” Striking that difference when the compensation demand arrives, despite as rarely, explains the long tussle at litigation post-tragedy. Yet, ‘somebody is responsible.‘ So the whodun’it remains at large.
There is vacuum but there is not. Both the messenger of terror and the sender live among us. The messenger is visible; but pay-master is invisible, so to speak. Here the political parties own up having the groups. It is more than appropriate to apply carrot and stick for them to either surrender or forfeit our votes, whichever.
I remember High Court Judge J. Quaido-Amponsem comments ruling a politically tensed profiled trial saying: “the security of the state is at stake.” I would rather think the toying and experimentation with personal safety has over-run its comfort and discomfort electorally for us to consider personal and human safety first, advisedly. It takes humanity to vote—win or lose.
© Prof. nana essilfie-conduah.