As students in primary and secondary school, we sang the National Anthem and recited the National Pledge every morning. We gleefully sang and recited the two hymns, not bothering so much about the significance of the message. We were told the import of the constant singing and recitation was to make us digest the words of the two hymns in order to become patriots. Yes, patriots!
A patriot is one who loves his country and is ready to defend it even at the peril of his life. A patriot is one who will forgo his personal comfort for the good of the country, and not the other way round. A patriot wouldnât eat with both hands after his belly is full, while his compatriots are hungry.
I therefore ask this simple question; are we patriots? Do we love our country so much as to die for it? Are we ready to forgo our personal comfort for the good of the whole country?
Many may answer in the affirmative to the above questions. Some may even claim to be more patriotic than the word itself. But trust me when I say they are only telling themselves gargantuan lies. Only a few of them would pass the patriotic test. Even if they are patriotic, most of it is Ananse patriotism.
Ananse patriotism is telling people you care for them and even hoodwinking them into believing so; when in reality the reverse is the case. Ananse patriotism is making the downtrodden believe that you are making life better for them; when in reality it is your own life you are bettering.
They tell you they are building schools and are aggressively eliminating âschools under treesâ. Yeah, sure they are! But what they deliberately fail to tell you is that they are siphoning millions of cowries and lining their pockets in the process.
Just last week, it was in the news that a telecommunication company had built a thirty-bed hospital at the cost of 100,000 cowries. Yet a six-classroom block built by the government is said to cost over 300,000 cowries. Is it not puzzling that the cost of a six-classroom block is three times that of a thirty-bed hospital? If you do not smell anything, I sure do smell something; and that something is a stinking umbrella.
There is this joke I read on the ubiquitous DAILY GUIDEâs website,Â dailyguideghana.com, and would love to share it with you. The joke is titled âTaking advantage of debtsâ. Read on:
A man goes to his friendâs house, rings the bell, and the wife answers.
âHi, is Tony home?â
âNo, he has gone to the store,â she replies.
âWell, do you mind if I wait?â
âNo, come in.â
They sit in the hall and the friend says, âNora, you know you have the greatest breasts Iâve ever seen. Iâd give you $100 if I could just see one.â
Nora thinks about it for a second and obliges. She opens her robe and shows him one of her breasts. An elated Chris promptly thanks her and gives her a $100.
They sit there for a while longer and Chris says, âThey are so beautiful Iâve got to see both of them. Iâll give you another $100 if I could just see both of them.â
Nora thinks about the offer and obliges once again. She opens her robe and Chris savours the dish on display. An elated Chris thanks her, gives her another $100, and leaves.
A while later, Tony arrives home and his wife says, âYou know, your weird friend Chris came over.â Tony thinks about it for a second and says, âWell, did he drop off the $200 he owes me?â
Abusuapanin, what answer do you think Nora would give to her husband. Chris knew he owed her husband $200 and was definitely bound to part with the amount. But he dubiously used the money to trick his friendâs wife so he could give his eyes a feast.
Chris can be likened to Agya Ofuntuo and his charges. Like Chris, they are taking advantage of the judgement debt to line their pockets. No doubt, they do have some genuine judgement debts to pay. But it is becoming clearer that they are riding on the back of judgement debts to milk this country dry.
We are not convinced that the 51.2 million cowries splashed on the bespectacled bald-headed financier of the Zu-za party was an act of fraud by the chap. Neither are we fooled by the Kwaku Ananse antics they are shamelessly displaying in the courts in relation to the gargantuan dole out. I would be the next Pope, if they retrieved the gargantuan cowries.
There is this galloping tale about the 110 Hyundai Gallopers. The vehicles which were originally reported by the âpropagandaâ minister to cost $17million are now said to cost a little over $3million. We are being told the automobile company is demanding a whopping $1.5billion for damages, but the negotiation experts are frantically negotiating to keep the price down. Kweh, instead of defending the state, they are rather defending the automobile company. Surprising, isnât it?
Hmm! That line sounds very familiar. It was the same line used when the gargantuan payment debacle became public knowledge. It did not work then; so I wonder why they believe it will work this time.
They can shout their voices hoarse that they are patriots. They can even hold the Bible in one hand, the Qurâan in the other, carry the nationâs constitution on their heads, recite the National Pledge and sing the National Anthem everywhere they go. We shall not be fooled because we know theirs is nothing but Ananse patriotism.