I have a question
There used to be a time when one lost an item in a taxi, it would be taken to the nearest police station to be kept for the owner to come for it. There used to be a time that people did not lock their doors when going to sleep.
There used to be a time when it was unthinkable to expect that armed robbers would attack travellers on our highways. There used to be a time when people did not find it strange to leave their items with the person sitting by them on a bus to look after them while they buy something at the market close to the lorry station. They knew that the stranger on the bus would look after the items well for them until they returned. I ,therefore, have a question as to why this is not so in our time?
Our grandparents told us of how it was unthinkable for people to steal foodstuffs from other people’s farms. There was something called “Tegare” a spirit which they used to worship and had fetishes through whom the spirit manifested itself and which revealed things and punished offenders, usually with instant death.
This kept people in line and prevented them from going wayward and conducting themselves in an ungodly manner like stealing, sleeping with their neighbours wives, cheating on their spouses etc.
Then comes the religion of the Whiteman, (who in my view is a confused person since the colour of his skin is more pink than white) who says There is a God who will punish evil doers at a later date when His son, Jesus Christ, would sit in Judgement.
The religion preached forgiveness and that we should turn the right cheek for another slap after the left one has been slapped. Is the current situation good for us as a people when stealing has become rampant and the chances of ever finding your item left in a taxi is zero on the average? I have a question:
The man who claims he knows God more than the African, starts the slave trade by enslaving a fellow human and trading people off like goods. Of course you cannot put the entire blame on the European because our own Kings and Chiefs were complicit in this inhuman and despicable enterprise.
But I have a question: Which of the two groups of people should demonstrate a godly character? The Africans who according to the Europeans were idol worshippers or the Europeans who worshiped the true God?
The selfish greed that characterised the behaviour of the African leaders in those days that influenced their decision to promote the evil agenda of the Europeans is still in display in most African countries. Otherwise why should a country like DR Congo with such a huge variety of resources both natural and human wallow in poverty?
I have a question: I really do. Are the history books lying to us that civilisation started in Africa, in Egypt to be precise? So what happened that we have suddenly become a continent of dependent people that do not seem to have a solution to our challenges? Did our leaders’ minds decide to go on holiday?
When the Caucasians decided to help one another so they can establish a united front to achieve prosperity for themselves, our leaders were more interested in going it alone. Look at how long it has taken us to create a common currency for the ECOWAS region. The less we talk about the AU project the better such that it took a country from another continent to build our headquarters of our African Union for us, how shameful.
When Nkrumah had this wonderful idea of African Unity, some selfish leaders felt that it was a threat to their egotistic parochial interest and for that matter teamed up with those in the Western world who dreaded the very idea of losing cheap raw materials to feed their industry.
Is something wrong with us? Why can’t we make the right choices? Why can’t we have empathy for our own brothers and sisters? Most of our leaders engage in corrupt practices, steal government resources meant for developmental projects and take them to the banks of the very advanced nations which loaned us the money in the first place.
They use the money to generate more wealth and keep on loaning money to us at rates that ensure that we are kept in perpetual poverty. They then come with all sorts of prescription as to how we can get out of our economic challenges. We implement them yet we never seem to get out of our challenges and it becomes a vicious cycle, year after year.
Do you recall a certain, Mobutu of then Zaire now DR Congo, Idi Amin of Uganda, Siad Barre of Somalia, Sanni Abacha of Nigeria, Gadhafi of Libya, and Mugabe of Zimbabwe? These were people who repressed their people and ruled like their various countries belonged to them.
We must not forget a certain J.J. Rawlings of Ghana who later metamorphosed into a democrat. When everyone was criticising Sanni Abacha, J.J. Rawlings was praising him. Years later, J. J. Rawlings confessed that he took 2.5 million dollars from Abacha, although the man who handed over the money to Rawlings claimed it was five million dollars. Now we have Museveni of Uganda, Al Sisi of Egypt, Conde of Guinea, and Ouatara of Cote D’Ivoire using all manner of tricks to stay in power.
People go and bring in foreigners to destroy our land through illegal mining and they get away with it. Things that would not be allowed to happen in their countries, we allow them to do here. Our water bodies are now polluted. Our arable land is being destroyed and is shrinking in size, year after year.
Until I see real leadership being demonstrated, where corruption is made a very expensive and dangerous activity, where there is a willingness to enforce the law no matter the status of the person or persons involved, where I see parliamentarians behaving as honourable people, until I see people in leadership positions putting the nation first, I will still have a question:
By Laud Kissi-Mensah
The writer is a social commentator