A leading member of pressure group, Occupy Ghana, Ace Anan Ankomah has spoken about the failure of the country’s middle-class to effectively bridge the gap between the rich and poor in ensuring that devevopment is equally spread across the country.
The private legal practitioner was the Guest Speaker at the Third Annual Public Lecture of the Rotary Club of Accra-West.
Below are excerpts of his address
Précis: the missing link in Ghana is the middle class that has solved all of Ghana’s problems for themselves, remain here physically but have effectively checked out of Ghana.
This is the era of fake neutrality by a middle class that doesn’t want to get involved.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” Desmond Tutu.
Reminder of closing line in the Eagles’ song Hotel California: “You can check out anytime, but you can never leave.” If the Middle Class doesn’t rise up, get involved and fix Ghana, “one day the poor would have nothing to eat but the rich.” That’s the trigger.
13-point Frank Chat about Ghana from #Rants. Let’s chat forthrightly and bluntly about this country.
• MYOPIA? (shortsightedness)? If so, how come the first High School in this land bears the motto is Dwin Hwe Kan?
• IGNORANCE? But we can learn. Or maybe we suffer from what I call “the arrogance of ignorance”?
• COMPLACENCY? RETICENCE? Chronic lack of punctuality. Apparently the more late you are to an event, the more important you are or feel.
• LACK OF RESPECT FOR LAW & ORDER? Maybe; if you observe how we break speeding rules, how our motorbikes ride through red lights even in the presence of the police. Jay-walking is definitely not an offence here.
• EDUCATION? Really? Are we educated to solve our problems or simply to earn a living? Why are we staying and sleeping in darkness when we have trained thousands of electrical and mechanical engineers? Why are our roads and bridges bad? Where are the Ghana-made cars? Did we go to school just to learn the ‘Whiteman’s language’ and to become like him? It is possible that all the colonial education system did was to show us which side of the ‘Whiteman’ he chose to show to us in the colony as a colonial master – a democrat in his home country, but a raving bully and oppressor in the colony. Having had the opportunity to unravel his mysteries through the same education system, we appear incapable of solving our problems with it.
• LACK OF BASIC RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER? Do doctors explain what is wrong and what they are doing, or do they ‘bite your head’ if you asked questions? Churches make noise. They only stop under the threat of attacks.
• ENTITLEMENT MENTALITY (beggar and patron mentality) & ZERO INTEGRITY? I suggest that these are at the root of the bribery and corruption canker. They steal your money and then give you the crumbs from off their tables. Wake up, buddy! No one owes you a living!
• MEDIOCRITY? Do we glorify the average, ordinary, run of the mill or pedestrian? Are we are so used to mediocrity that we let out a loud cheer when the lights come on after being off for a while?
• SUPERSTITION? Let us get this right. God still answers prayer and is still in the miracle business; not the magic business. He says “He who will not work, let him not eat.” He says He will “bless the work of our hands.” He says “I will bless your bread and your water.” He says “everything that he does shall prosper.” Sophocles wrote, “No good e’er comes of leisure purposeless; And heaven ne’er helps the men who will not act.” Calling a prayer meeting over a failing national airline was a joke if there was no serious plan to rescue that airline from imminent collapse. In fact, that airline collapsed and so did its successor airline. We didn’t learn a thing!!
• LOVE FOR HOLIDAYS? I have written elsewhere about Ghana and holidays.
• Do we need SNOW? Would the ‘Switzerland situation’ where our land would be buried under ice for more than half the year lead us to think some more and plan better?
• TIMIDITY, disguised as “fama Nyame” (leave it to God) or “gyae monka” (let it slide)? Between timorous souls and bold spirits, what, which and where are we?
• POLITICS? Are our votes on “auto-pilot” on the basis of tribal affiliations, friendship or family connections?
CONCLUDING THOUGHTS: But the Middle Class isn’t entirely quiet. Instead getting involved, it has become a bunch of visceral critics, spending more time hitting out at those who dare to care enough to do something.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
-“The Man In The Arena”
CITIZENSHIP IN A REPUBLIC Theodore Roosevelt
Speech delivered at the Sorbonne, Paris, France
April 23, 1910
“When a country is well governed, poverty and a mean condition are things to be ashamed of. When a country is ill governed, riches and honor are things to be ashamed of.”
From the Analects of Confucius, Book 8, Chapter 13
By: Ace Ankomah