What an unusual Sunday it was. The sermon was rich and all lowered their heads as if the priest had turned the risen Messiah Himself. Looking at the gorgeous faces and the radiating apparel that draped the worshipers, the priest pacing along the pews, looked the flock he tenders and mentioned deep in the recesses of his heart that if the outer beauty exuded by the congregants had been a true reflection of what permeates their very hearts, the country would not have been wobbling. The laconic minister summing up his sermon requested of the faithful to remember their Moslem brethren in their prayers especially during this period of Ramadan.
I have heard on countless occasions, priests asked their congregants to pray for their Moslem brethren. However, on this particular Sunday, the priest in his sermon spoke of sacrifice. So intriguing it was especially when he mentioned the name Kweku Baako and his ‘Progeny’; Anas. Kweku Baako as he mentioned is sacrificing a lot for the country even though not all of what he says would satisfy us at the same level, an observation that confirms his human fallibility. He strives to put his country first and this is made manifest in the training and making of Anas. The preacher man had stated it was not that hard to nose around for those whose true sacrifice for humanity has brought the country this far. Here in Ghana, he had observed, there were people denying themselves the pleasures of this world to accept forms of name calling, backlash, excoriation, curses and above all, a deprivation of ‘normal living’ to make the country better. The congregants were asked to offer a heart of supplication to God for the lives of the two and all whose crusade is against corruption. The reverend revealed that whatever good force there is to propel the nation forward, there is equally a bad one whose efforts are aimed at sucking dry the blood of the masses at any cost and that, the consequences of corruption knows no ethnic or religious barriers. He added, “irrespective of the religious cloak they have worn, we pray for renewed strength for Kweku Baako and Anas today because, they are among the few cats that catch the mice whose constant ploy is to empty the granaries that sustain the entire populace”.
When he concluded the sermon, I made my own reflection on the homily. Many are those who have made it their utmost agenda to amass wealth and rule. In their offices, they would sign any document or paper that will allow any foreigner in need of a permit to stay in Ghana without doing any diligent work of finding out their background so long as fat envelops drop on their tables. They will open our borders at will for the smuggling of any fashioned weapon so long as what is offered them at border post completes their mansions and send their wards abroad for further studies. At cocktails, especially with foreigners, they in their stupor, speak with naivety and arrogance offering what they never have or will ever have. The disheartening aspect is the common phrase, “We put them there. They must do what we say”. Looters of whom Baako, Anas and others fight, are the enemies of the state. The looter sometimes when leaving office, through guileful crafted plans, plants a fellow looter to keep the looting tradition and agenda well nourished. In this case, the once fatty cow is milked scrawny by the looter and left to the looter’s predecessor to ensure that the cow never gives any milk. Looters are never satisfied of looting unless they are checked. Some are smart and they cover their crab tracks to ensure the cycle of thievery and looting continue. Until a government whose hands are not tainted wages a crusade or rather the peeping’s of an Anas through the eaves, they remain in active business.
The exaltation of Baako in church was apt. In many disciplines when an individual exhibits profound and extraordinary skills, one would often hear their mentors publicly and with an air of authority, say, “I trained him”. So, a military major may stick out the chest and say, I trained this General when the said General exhibits some unsurpassed bravery and of course their kin would attempt to hog them from the national image. So can be said of teachers and their students, sports men and their coaches. As for crime, one rarely associate themselves it. When the culprit is yanked, their bosses-the master schemers will lurk in the dark and cover any track that traces back to them.
Things are taking a new twist and dimension every day. It is not wrong for a teacher to ask their wards to be teachers or an immigration officer to encourage their wards to tow their line. The hard truth is whereas some parents will challenge their wards to go out and compete fairly, some will have their wards jump the queue. These caliber of youth who jump the queue are often too difficult to control. As soon as they assume the offices, they tell the superiors which sector they want to work and be posted to. By their upbringing they know they whole sky can fall on their immediate bosses when their parents places a call or twirl their fingers. So, pampered at home, school and at work, they soon learn how to make money through the back door for their parents wields the law. Things happen and despicable things they are. Some superiors who know they happen cannot do much. You ask for the number of a junior accountant and the superior is afraid to give out the contact. The excuse is amusing. He is left with barley five years to retirement and does not want it muddied. Every day in the office is a nightmare. The very crime they see intimidate them. Some, they cannot prove and even if they can, they risk been transferred to a remote village or spending years in court.
Kweku Baako sure need the prayers and so is Anas. Those allegedly caught on tape may be asking, why me at all? Are there not some worse off than me? These are questions that they may find hard to ask publicly. What I sure know is, some will also be relieved. They have suffered in silence and their hearts have bled at how some untouchable demigods have ‘run things’ the way they like. In all this, even as we pray, and wait in anticipation to see the true length of the arm of the law let us try to retrain from premature ejaculation for there might be more to things than we know.
More power to Kweku Baako and Anas, you who will live the memory of your mentor and to all Moslem brethren, may the Holy season of Ramadan renew your strength!!!
University of Ghana.