Ghana has seen many past governments and Heads of State come and go, yet at the end of every tenure, the citizens complain and bemoan the lack of quality of life all the time.
The uproar about price hikes, intermittent power supply, lack of proper roads and schools, coupled with ‘no-beds’ syndrome at hospitals, as well as corruption appears not to be going away any time soon.
The standards of living of the people have barely changed with their toils increasing as most government officials cruise around in super-charged four-wheel drives.
During election years, the opposition parties make juicy promises with their manifestos, all in the attempt to sway power to their side but it is ironic how they easily forget those manifestos when the power finally switches to their camp.
‘Vox Populi, Vox Dei’, to wit, ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God’ but in Ghana, the voice of the people is meaningless to politicians, yet they lay claim to being servants of the people and by extension, God.
Sadly, parliamentarians who have been elected to speak for their constituents barely speak on issues that are of concern to constituents but will gracefully take their salaries and enjoy their allowances.
While doing that they wait for the next election year in order to campaign, and this is after they have taken the almighty ex-gratia.
The truth about all these is that during their swearing-in sessions, they are made to swear by the symbols of their religion.
They swear to tell the truth and be honest on all occasions while performing their duties in favour of Ghana.
Even the President and his Vice swear by either the Bible or the Quran and have both pledged to defend the constitution of the land and protect the public purse and serve in the interest of Ghana.
But, at the end of every tenure, it is either party ‘A’ blaming party ‘B’ or vice versa.
I recently chanced on a video of late former President Jerry John Rawlings, in which he spoke about the significance of traditional methods and the value systems of Africans.
He spoke about three friends who had sworn an oath in court to tell the truth but at the climax of the case, one of the parties felt he was being wrongly accused hence he opted for the judge to allow them to settle the matter in their hometown shrine.
Highlighting the significance of shrines, Rawlings added that no matter how religious (Christian or Muslim) an African is, they know that they cannot lie when they visit a shrine for whatever case it is.
The video in reference
In the said video, Mr Rawlings said he was surprised at the fact that the people who ‘invented’ the Bible and Quran are the same people who invented the lie detection and chemical interrogation test machines.
They know that we don’t fear the Bible or Quran but when it comes to our shrines, we tell the truth. The white man who brought the Bible into the country or your continent, the Muslim who brought the Quran, he is the same person who has invented the lie detection test and the chemical interrogation test.
Rawlings was praised and equally slammed for how he ruled Ghana, but to put all the rumours to bed, he asked to be interrogated in both ways to prove that he had nothing to hide.
I would dare you to go and line up some of your finest policemen, heads of state and judges, make any allegations against me; you included, whatever questions you want to ask, take me through chemical interrogation and I will be the one to pass.
The question is: How many politicians presently will opt for a lie detection test or say they would like to swear at a shrine to prove that the truth shall always prevail when they serve in the interest of Ghana?
If we can learn to be bold enough to restore the value of truth, then we will have justice. Without truth, we cannot get justice and that is why we are suffering. Truth is so important. Gandhi said he was looking for truth in God, only to discover God was the truth, Rawlings said.
If Ghanaians believe so well in the traditional practices and will give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, will it be allowed for politicians and heads of public institutions to swear by schnapps and eggs before they take up appointments due them?
Should we adopt the Rawlings style to save the country? Is it time for politicians to swear by ‘eggs and schnapps’ instead of the ‘Quran and Bible’ in Ghana?