Memorializing June 3rd……Ghana’s black Wednesday……………………….
Two weeks ago I spent the AU day at home watching movies like Sarafina,Sometimes in April, Hotel Rwanda and the likes desperately trying to reconcile the lessons of our past with the present day Africa. After taking a critical look at our challenges as a people, and the realities of our so-called “Rising Africa”…..I think we have never taken any history lessons. Over the past years we have had some strides as a people but we have been reluctant to face the bare facts that expose the rot in the system. To be clearer, we have treated the lessons from our past so cautiously that we have locked it up in a box we only open when we want to idolize how far we have come as a people. Most of the happenings that cause our economies to wobble on one foot, that cause infants to die at birth, that deny us the basic need of peace and security in our communities were predictable happenings. Posterity will not forgive us for becoming so overtaken by hype and the need for self praise and the political capriciousness that prevent us from taking the decisions needed to keep us alive. If we do not intend to work hard to move forward:that’s a choice, but lets keep our people from dying in terrible ways as experienced a week ago. Floods in Ghana is not a novel phenomena, yet the way in which we treat our yearly preparation for it is very appalling. A number of houses, office buildings and markets burn in Ghana every year as a result of negligence and the ineptitude in our structural planning. This was not new at all. In fact the real tragedy was not the deaths that occurred, at least we all know we will die one day. The real tragedy was that the deaths was caused by a combination of dumsor,floods, our negligence and poor planning. The causes were known ailments we have defaulted in curing.The dumsor that night led to the use of the generator that stimulated the chaos, the inability of thunderstorm warnings to reach our homes due to dumsor didn’t help the situation at all. The single mother who lost her only son who had just graduated from the university with the prospects of improving the conditions of his family is without a relief and justice cannot fully compensate the woman who lost both husband and three children. If we had dealt with dumsor, if we had a workable flood response plan and if we were alert and making the right environmental decisions. This would not have happened. History could have taught us that this catastrophe was clearly preventable. Yet we never took notes from previous incidents. Or maybe we just dumped the notes after we took them. This was not the first in our history, but this was the deadliest. We experienced ripple damages caused by inaction. Anyway let me cut us some slack, maybe we were still looking for justice in our ashes to give to the victims of the May 9th 2001 mayhem and the Melcom catastrophe. But how can justice ever be done in our land if we don’t see the need for working to achieve cessation of injustice. It was gross injustice and a symptom of the failure to take history lessons in the political history of Ghana for acid to be used as a murder weapon; as a dispute resolution tool in the NPP. Adams Mahama needs justice and I fear for his soul, because Africa doesn’t seem to know how to provide justice to the injured. Africa is performing woefully in the history class. Because some buildings have been raised, because our elite youth are technology obsessed and ivy league informed, because of our “free and fair” elections Africa has become reluctant to learn from its shortfalls. June 3rd 2015 will soon be locked up in a box and the NPP and NDC politics will continue. I won’t blame any leader, because leadership is a reflection of the society. We often make a comparison between Africa and the west and complain that our leaders do not like us, but that hypocrisy must come to an end. Yeah….leadership is important, for when a blind man leads other blind people they will all fall in a ditch. But we Africans are too knowing, we know who stole this money and who bought this new range rover, yet we are blinded by our own lust for money during elections. We organize ourselves and complain every where, yet we still allow our ignoramus” leaders as we often label them to continue to sit on our interests. We pile ourselves at circle for business and while seriously gathering business profits we litter and choke our gutters. Yet we forget that it is among us that leaders emerge. With our heads in a hole we continue to dig, so that soon enough our whole body will be buried in sand, and that will be the right time for BBC, CNN, Al Jezera and the International community to come to our aid. Let me not even start with the spiritual excuses we give to our problems, because that’s just too much stress for me. Hmmmmm! It is not just Ghana, other African countries do not have any better stories. History repeats its self and all we do is memorialize it with many TV and radio table discussions, we don’t seem to ever change. It is with a heavy heart I end this blog post, but am still hopeful that in the midst of this excruciating pain, Ghanaians will reflect on these thoughts with the urge to do something about it. We all have good intentions but an intention is of no use in our efforts to salvage the situation. We need to make sure that the Fire and Flood incident never occurs again. The steps being taken to inspect the fuel stations should not end after a few months, lets continue to be cautious, people identify problems, not the other way round. Lets do our jobs in the best way possible and be liberated.” History despite its wrenching pain cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage need not be lived again” Maya Angelou