I AM not part of those who see everything wrong with the other ethnic groupings in the country, particularly the Akans; and I do not believe a dime in hate politics and ethnicity. Nuumo Sisabi believes that there is something good in every ethnic grouping.
If there are some among us who hate other tribes and blame them for our woes, they should turn that hatred inwards at those who have traded our lands for women and mobile phones; rickety cars and jalopy four-wheel drives. When we pick the machete, it should slash them first and not those people in other communities who contribute levies to build schools and sink wells, construct markets and engage in cooperative farming to boost incomes.
When Nuumo Sisabi was a young man having fun in attending nearly every GaDangme festival, I noticed a weakness in our Ada brothers and sisters, which we need to work at. As a seasoned journalist and social worker, who have travelled extensively in this country, I realized that whilst they have a catalogue of names (like the Tetteh’s and Nartey’s and McCarthy’s) when it comes to wealth and resources, development was almost zero in their communities. Like the rest of the GaDangme citizens, who do not hail from Accra central, they lived and worked in Accra central, and went home for festivals and funerals – without investing back home. They retire, and that is the end of them.
I know several business people and teachers from Shai-Osudoku, Ada, Asutsuare and Ningo, who died in La and Teshie, going back home only in their coffins. Without sounding wicked, I can cite smugglers, who made quite some money ‘spiting’ the white people and built large houses in the big cities without settling down in their own communities in terms of investments that their own people would remember them for.
Family houses back home, which were built by well-meaning elderly folks now dead, are crumbling, family tress are disintegrating and cousins do not know each other – because every one is out in Accra or Tema eking out a living. The story, however, is different when we go to Nkawkaw, Atibie, Mpraeso or Bekwai, Suhum and Koforidua.
In such communities, funerals do not serve only as platforms for saying good-bye to beloved relatives, but also leverages for initiating small projects or evaluating existing ones. They not only say good-bye to the dead; but offer a welcome hallo to incoming generations through investments in the future – construction of schools and markets; and health and sanitary facilities.
I have watched Accra lands dissipate without allowance for markets for our own indigenous people to trade on or for rentals to others who are Ghanaians having come down to live with us. Along the Sowutuom, Awoshie, Anyaa stretch, for instance, there is no land a private developer can access to provide sanitary facilities when the new Kumasi Road through Ablekuma is completed.
It is sad when I consider the fact that the only African to go onto the moon on USA National Aeronautics and Space Administration project is a Ga, yes, a Ga called Ollenu – who is under 30.
Griping, nagging, whimpering, finding fault, complaining and engaging in hate politics is not the long term solution. We may have been ignored, cheated, used, abused, dumped and despised, but there is hope for us if we muster the courage to come clean on our weaknesses and inadequacies first.
Then, united in the spirit to move forward, we can fight any other human and institutional obstacles militating against our mutual development and well being as a people with dignity.
When the Jews said NERVER AGAIN to their political enemies worldwide, they had already removed the few traitors in their midst first.
Thankfully, in the next few decades, lands that we have sold foolishly will need to be renegotiated – this time not for 99 years – but 35 or even 20, so that we can re-plan and re-programme the future having the interests of our children and generations to come in mind.