Perspectives with Francis Kokutse
It is not for nothing that the Swahili say, “Binadamu ni waongo, hata mwizi hawezi kukubali ni mwizi”, literally meaning, human beings are liars, even a thief denies being a thief. Who will doubt this, except those who have never been to the courts. The prosecutors present clear cases of theft against people and you expect the accused to just admit it in their plea but, they insist they are not guilty. Just imagine the case of someone arrested for selling Embassy Cigarettes above control price in those heady days of the Provisional National Defence Council, and the accused enters the dock only to say she sells only 555 and not 55 as the prosecutor had presented before the court.
555 was indeed the brand name for Embassy Cigarettes. You listen to this and ask yourself, how come people are not real. All it means is that we do not like to face the truth and so have become hypocrites.
Therefore, l am not surprised at all that some Ghanaians do not see what others see and have become sceptical about life. Some of us are not blind and will not lie. We see development all around us. Those who do not see what is happening will label those who have seen how far we have come as a nation, political activists who have been blinded by what they stand to gain by showering praises on any government in power. Like a Swahili, l am aware that, “Habari ya uwongo ina ncha saba” which means, a false story has seven endings. My story about development in Ghana is not a story that has various endings. As far as l am concerned, it is the truth and nothing but the truth. That is however, my truth.
Let me add that, l am also aware of the Swahili saying that, “hakuna akweaye mbuyu na viatu miguuni,” literally translated as nobody can climb a baobab tree with shoes on his feet, but means the liar will fall. So do not be surprised if l fall flat on my face.
Personally, l want to declare that l have seen a lot of development in Ghana; our inflation has dropped to single digit, GDP is the best in the West African region and everything is just fine, not the “Shithole” that U.S. President Donald Trump would want us to believe. You must believe that our growth has been the best since 1962. The government put in good measures to achieve the quantum growth rate that we have experienced in the past year. Thanks to my friend, Ashwin Kumar, in Kolkata who taught me the magic to see what others do not see. It is a simple act, just close your eyes, ears and nose then, lie supine in a dark room. If you do this, you will be transported into a world that others do not see and with this, you are able to appreciate all the good things you imagine.
For what Kumar has taught me, l am able to know that it is not true that the economy is not doing well as many people want to believe. The last time l checked from my hallucinatory mode, the Cedi was equal to the dollar. It was also clear to me that prices of goods were lower in Accra than any European capital that you can think of. Everything is just perfect.
The Police Service is the best in the country. In fact, there are some Policemen who, while on road duties, give out loans to motorists who may need money to buy petrol. This is different from days past when it was the motorists who were giving money to Police to avoid being charged for road offences. The Inspector General of Police and his administration are on top of their game. It is for this reason that there is no need to worry, because armed robbery is down to the point that at the Airport Residential Area, you can sleep with the door to your home open. As for those living at Trasacco, they no longer live in a gated community with security men who will interrogate those entering the place before granting them access.
It is only those who do not know how very good countries operate who will berate the Executive Director of the Economic and Organised Crime Organisation (EOCO) for the way officers of the unit descended on the Deputy Chairperson of the Electoral Commission last week. For those of us who have been around a long time, we know of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s song “Zombie”. The lyrics, “Zombie no go go, unless you tell am to go; Zombie no go stop, unless you tell am to stop; Zombie no go turn, unless you tell am to turn; Zombie no go think, unless you tell am to think” comes to mind to show that it is only a real organisation that will behave the way they did. We all watched on television the show of force that produced nothing. All that one could see from what happened was that, those who run EOCO wanted to show that they have power and this comes to prove that Ghana is really working.
There are many who will disagree with me. For these people, facing the realities and seeing things like l do, may be difficult for them and they remind me of the Afghan proverb that talks about reading the scripture in front of a donkey, which in other words means, casting pearl before swine. These people must know that a river is not contaminated by having a dog drink from it. Simply put, it means one of good character is pure despite criticism. Therefore, anyone who disagrees with my thoughts can go-ahead and criticise me.
Another issue that has been dealt with properly is the menace of the Fulani herdsmen. Anyone who destroys your farm must be killed. Anyone who kills one of your own must be given instant justice. After all, is that not what was said long ago in the Bible? – An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. There are those who will talk about due process and cry for human rights. Did the Fulani think about due process when they were destroying farms, and did they think of the fact that it is not proper to shed human blood when they were killing others? Well, when you close your eyes you see things differently but once they are opened, you come to appreciate that the Fulanis are not all foreigners. There are many of them who are Ghanaians and one issue we should not forget when we are wide awake, is that the Fulani belong to a tribe which is present all over the West African region. If they decide to retaliate, God save us.
One thing about reality is that, you cannot pretend forever and so, l know even after closing my eyes for a long time, l will open them to realise that Ashwin Kumar’s magic may not be giving me the truth of all that is happening around me. May be, l am the hypocrite after all for refusing to accept that things are not the way they appear in my ‘dark room moments’ and my mind is simply playing games with me.