The stubborn demon of Ghana

I only hope that the young men and women would take over and demonstrate to us what they would do differently.

We have come a long way. Before independence, we saw the white man as the problem.

Maybe we were right, because we were promised that our economic redemption rested on political independence.

Who does not want economic prosperity? We all want it. So, most, if not all Gold Coasters, expended enough energy, and great, we made it. Uhuru!!!

We drummed, sang, and danced away the Brutish white man.

We then started scheming the political philosophical approach to nation building.

But because colonialism was verged on capitalism, most of our post-independence first generation leaders went for the other competitive ideology – socialism.

They gave it different names: scientific socialism in the case of Ghana, Ujamaa in Tanzania etc.

But this socialism was not also a distinctively African, even though efforts were made by its advocates to equate it to African communalism.

But because socialism mortgages individual liberties, some people started complaining.

Before long, some internal cracks that existed at the time of the struggle against independence started emerging.

Alas, the alleged and illusive unity against the white man started loosening.

Some individuals started highlighting the real or putative errors of Nkrumah.

Some were said to be throwing bombs.

Nkrumah got frustrated and for the sake of national unity, so we are told, and his own safety, as Africa’s messiah, laws were passed that muzzled people’s liberties, so we are told.

All this while, the economic prosperity appeared to be yielding some reality.

We appeared to be making real progress. More schools were built. Factories started spreading across the nation. Things were getting better.

But, before long, a certain demon struck the wrong cord, and things started falling apart.

Corruption became rife. Farmers agitated etc.

Ayi Kwei Armah wrote a satirical novel, The beautiful ones are not yet born.

The white man appeared to have gone, but things were not getting better.

Given that the white man could no longer steal with ease, he found a way of promising the agitators a source liberation.

To succeed, the reason for poverty and everything bad were shifted from the white man to Nkrumah.

Nkrumah was/became the persona non grata of some of his people.

The white man had gathered enough resentment among Ghanaians against Nkrumah.

Just as Nkrumah used the same strategy against the white man, the demon inspired the white man to use the same strategy as a counter-hegemony.

After all, the demon had read Antonio Gramsci.

What was left was to execute the coup.

Nkrumah, Nkrumah, Africa’s Showboy, of all people was tricked to leave Ghana that was burning, under the instigation of the demon, to go and induce peace far away in the East. Not even Congo that also had political tension.

Nkrumah left, but never returned alive!

Now, the Oxbridge bookish people took over. They made promises upon promises and did something. But duka deya, the demon said. The problem remained.

A disgruntled soldier man felt the pen had been more pernicious in adding to Ghana’s woes.

So, the gun must take over. Indeed, the gun, an object of violence took, over.

The soldiers appeared to be doing well, but the demon struck again la.

This time, members of the same soldier people group rebelled against the big man soldier.

But that did not last.

This time another young soldier set a record in West Africa. He overturned the military regimental hierarchy, bypassed his superiors and, bam, the sound of the gun was everywhere.

The extent of corruption the demon had inspired was all over the place.

So, just as Nkrumah was called Africa’s messiah, this young man soldier got the real name.

He was called Junior Jesus. He called what he did a revolution. But was it really a revolution?

Well, he executed the human manifestation of the demon, whom he charged with corruption.

He was generous. He handed over power, but warned to come back if his brief good works were reversed.

He left. But it appears his brief taste and stint with power was stronger than his patience to wait.

Once again, the demon blew a bad air into the air against Papa Limann.

As the demon kept sending bad signals and beckoning, Junior Jesus came again.

This time, he really came. Amore fire against corruption la. Soldier discipline be what!

But the demon managed to cause a bad stir. The economy stated failing koraaa.

Junior Jesus was in a transfix. He went to the white man he had always hated.

The white man told him what to do. Junior Jesus was not convinced, but he had no alternative.

The dilemma of Junior Jesus was being celebrated by the demon, who kept blowing the wind of confusion.

The speaking in tongues people identified the demon.

They started praying. But the demon appeared to be fortified.

Before long Junior Jesus did what he hated.

He sold state-owned properties to people, including his friends and wife, so we are told.

He removed subsidies on all the key sectors of the economy.

The result was tension. The demon was dancing heartily. He intensified the wind of confusion he was blowing.

Before long, Junior Jesus lost his name. The demon instigated a new name, which was the abominable name, Junior Judas.

Hmmmm. The demon was having a field day.

Then there was what we thought was better than everything else called democracy – or demoncracy – because it was said to have been inspired by the demon.

Indeed, democracy became demoncracy. No security of tenure. It increased tension and division among all. It had the facade of a good promise, but it only kept us talking.

We enjoyed the promise of talking that the Twi people called the demoncracy, “ka bi ma mi nka bi” – “talk and let me also talk”.

We became satisfied that once the demon was tired with gun and blood, talking was/is a better option.

So, every now and the, we talk. We never run out of topics, as the demon has specialised in increasing topics like the waves of the sea.

We hardly finish one topic, only for another one to come.

In fact, we are still talking.

So, wey tin Ghana no hear or see before?

But in all this, the demon knows the real source of our problem, which is everyone else but ourselves.

So, since the problem is the other person and not me, l am not responsible for any change.

Thus, the demon gives me more energy to talk. I talk well and offer all solutions while in opposition.

But once the demon helps me come to power by talking loud, he leaves me to my fate.

Others take over the talking.

The demon still says once we talk by allowing the gun to continue to rest, he is okay.

But in the few weeks, maybe because of the psychological impact of the current coronavirus pandemic, we are losing our patience in talking.

We are losing our common language. The topics on religion and all such things that the demon is introducing could be explosive.

Otherwise, let us see what angel is inspiring the #Fixthecountry movement.

Satyagraha

Prempeh Charles

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