Sunday, May 11, 2014
As he graced the grand durbar today in celebrations climaxing the 15th anniversary of his installation as Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II made some very important observations that came across to me as illuminating in import and substance.
He said pointedly that "Politics has substantially eroded the innate creative mind and enterprising spirit of modern day Ghanaian as many resort to it as the surest way of making it in life".
He added: “We have become addicted to a new phenomenon of a talking craft called politics that has drained our people of all creativity and enterprise, and replaced the taskmasters who produce food and timber with the talk masters who are feeding us on air.
“The consequence of this shift is the mood of depression and pessimism; unending argument of non-performing assets; and the desperation of abandoning hard work in favour of the search for instant miracles.”
Publicly decrying the over politicization of the society, the Asantehene underscored that this attitude has become a bane of the Asante Kingdom’s, and by extension Ghana’s, economic empowerment. He was speaking at a grand durbar to climax his 15th anniversary celebrations in Kumasi on Sunday themed: "Rekindling the Spirit of Creativity, Innovation and Enterprise through Traditional Leadership.” He was installed on 26th April 1999.
Although the Otumfuo also focused on the negative impact of politics on Asanteman or Asante Kingdom as he called it, I am not interested in that aspect for whatever it may be. The big picture regarding Ghana is what matters to me.
Even before he complained about politics deadening Ghanaians' minds, followers of the rival NDC and NPP had gathered at the Kumasi Airport in a belligerent mood. Whatever might be their motivation for wanting to be at each other's throat, they confirmed Otumfuo's cutting comment on how politics has turned the Ghanaian into a problem-maker and not solver.
I want to add my voice to that of the Otumfuo to say that politics has not only made Ghanaians lazy, but it has also turned them into nation wreckers and unpatriotic people who will be more interested in counting the hour, not what they have done in the hour.
And the pack of politicians manipulating their sentiments and political persuasion know very well how to use them to do their hatchet job for them.
Considering how those in power cannot use the people's mandate to solve problems so living conditions can improve, one can agree again with the Asantehene that politics has turned them too into lazy people who are more wont to take advantage of the loopholes in the system for personal gains than to use the political power to move the country forward.
Those in the opposition making the loudest, foulest, and ugliest noise to be in power aren't any better. They are equally lazy upstairs and fall under axe of condemnation.
For Ghana to move forward, serious attention has to be paid to how national and local politics is done. For now, the rough-house tactics dominate and turn away the better quality material who—for the sake of their hard-earned meritorious personal image—won't want to be involved in partisan politics.
They fear that their reputation will be torn to shreds with the persistent mudslinging going on. Unfortunately, it s all to the detriment of the country and its people.
The Otumfuo couldn't have said it at any other time than now. There is too much happening to demoralize the citizens, or to turn the desperate ones into willing tools to be used by the unscrupulous politicians.
Lazy people can't build a country. Dirty politics won't help them do so either.
The Asantehene's bold claim should place in perspective anything that our politicians utter or do. That is why I take cognizance of President Mahama's eulogy of the Otumfuo as reported: "President John Mahama has been so profuse with adoration for the King of Ashantis branding him a wise man who has turned the relic of chieftaincy into relevant institution of development. The ceaseless deluge of adoration dominated his 15 minute speech until smiles broke loose on the plain-faced King."
President Mahama was the special guest of honour at the 15th anniversary of the enthronement of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. (Source: http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2014/May-11th/.php).
This eulogy and the headline given the report on it ("Otumfuo has made relic of chieftaincy relevant for development") immediately come up for comment. What is it that President Mahama wants to use his political career to accomplish so he could also be eulogized as he has done the Otumfuo? What has been able to do or will do to turn politics around to mark him out as an achiever worth commending now or even after his tenure has expired?
The ceremony was attended by former President Kufuor and Rawlings along with Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings; and the former Nigerian President Olusegun Matthew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo, a freind of the Asantehene.
How are we remembering all these past leaders? Or, what did they do in office that marks them out as accomplished politicians? If the Otumfuo's singular accomplishment in turning chieftaincy around for use in moving society forward, what can't all these leaders use their political clout to accomplish for their countries?
Too many nagging questions, my good friends!!
I shall return…
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