“Who do we blame for the mess and shame – Gov’t.; Council of State; MPs – Majority & Minority; Political Parties; Youth; Traditional Rulers; Religious Leaders; Diplomatic Corps; Development Partners; Politicians; Bystanders; Academia And Or Business Community?”
“The Emperor’s New Clothes” (1837) by Hans Christian Anderson is a fairy tale in which a vain emperor cares only for the clothing he wears. The Emperor hires two tailors or weavers who promise to make him a set of remarkable new clothes that will be invisible to anyone who is either incompetent or stupid.
The two swindlers arrive at the capital city of the emperor, who spends lavishly on clothing and personal pleasures at the expense of state matters or projects that inure to the well-being of his people or citizenry. The emperor hires them, and they set up looms and go to work.
Everyone who looks upon the new clothes is troubled by what they cannot see, and whether they are inadequate or not. Everyone lies and says they can see the clothes. A child breaks everyone’s delusion by shouting out, “the Emperor is not wearing anything at all! The Emperor is naked!!”
This powerful lie sets in motion the ridiculous conclusion of Hans Christian Anderson’s book as the Emperor parades through the town in his undergarments after the weavers dress him in the ‘invisible’ clothes, which in fact do not exist.
The moral underlying this fairy tale story is HONESTY, that we should always endeavour to speak up for the truth and what is right, irrespective of the consequences, as the resulting shame that unfolds will end up exposing everybody for the hypocrites we all are.
As an idiom, the ‘Emperor’s new clothes’ refers also to something widely accepted as true or professed as being praiseworthy, due to an unwillingness of the general population to criticize it or be seen as going against popular opinion, and thus about logical fallacies.
The major problem we face, as a people and as a nation, is the absence of courage and deafening silences of all manner of people, including Members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government itself; Council of State; Members of Parliament (MPs) of both the Majority and Minority; Political Parties; Traditional Rulers; Religious Leaders; Diplomatic Corps; Development Partners; Politicians; Bystanders; Academia and or the Business Community to tell ‘truth’ to the Presidency as to what really is the state of his new clothes?
Over the past five (5) plus years, the whole nation and people have sat by and watched the Emperor boast of his ‘new clothes’, including the “we have the men” mantra – the same men, who have performed as abysmally as the ‘Economic Management Team’ meant to deliver a ‘property-owning economy’ for us.
What was evenmore sickening to the voting millions of Ghanaians, who braced whatever weather during every election day to queue and vote, have been how reckless the ‘family and friends’ team have mismanaged Ghana’s economy just as their fathers did during the Second Republican Dispensation.
The greatest dilemma we face as a people and as a nation is our lack of courage or our unwillingness to criticize people in power, when they obviously get their policies, programmes and plans wrong or to be seen to be going against the cacophony of praise-singers, who have had their bellies or stomachs filled with the largesse of office or appointments to offices that offer the highest propensities for milking state coffers drier by the month.
These are the people, who whilst seeing the real nakedness of the ‘Emperor’ will swear to the highest heavens about how great these policies have been, like one village, one dam; one constituency, one million United States Dollars ($); one district, one hospital; one region, one airport; one region, one university; one regional capital, one flyover; one street, one police station; one district capital, shopping mall; and one district capital, one inland port.
I have stretched the joke to the extreme because of how absurd we have turned our politics under the current dispensation, where nobody accepts responsibility for anything wrong except the cacophonic submissions that have led us into the ditch, in which we find ourselves.
Otherwise, how on earth and where in this whole world will a Minister of Finance state boldly in an interview that: “Ghana will never go to the IMF (International Monetary Fund)”, only for him to declare the following day that ‘where the economy has reached, Ghana is bankrupt, requiring us to go back to the same institution, where a few years back, the same Minister organized a ‘KENKEY PARTY’ to rejoice and celebrate our exit from the clutches of the same institution?
Any country worth its salt, any people worth their heritage and any nation worth its nationality and place in history, if I was the Minister of Finance in such a state, who finds himself in such a situation, I would have resigned without any hesitation, the following day, when it became public that we were going back to the same IMF.
If I was the same Minister of Finance, I would not have facilitated the near wholesome recruitment of many of the staff of institutions that I have interests in or worse, initiated the appointment of many of the top senior staff or partners into prominent positions of governance and or state.
If I was the same Minister of Finance, I would have found it abominable to use institutions or companies that I have fiduciary interests in to earn commissions on transactions facilitated for the state because I have been brought up to appreciate the differences in such matters.
AND YET: he isn’t as guilty as all those who should known better and yet singing to the highest heavens about the ‘President’s New Clothes’, when in actual fact, he is as ‘naked’ as even how a blind man can imagine.
I am sad because we have allowed all the political gymnastics, we are currently witnessing in all facets of our national life to becloud our better judgement, whilst others are only counting the days when the ‘naked’ President will leave for another to come so that they could continue to occupy the same places, privileges, conditions, amenities (like ‘even the little amenities, we were enjoying under Kwame Nkrumah’) and positions after 2024.
SO I ASK: “Who Do We Blame For The Mess & Shame” that face us as a nation and as a people; who do we blame for the ‘nakedness of the President?’ – Ministers and Appointees of Government, Council of State, Members of Parliament (MPs), Majority and Minority, Political Parties (whether small or big), the Youth, Traditional Rulers, Religious Leaders, Diplomatic Corps, Development Partners, Politicians of all shades and colours, Bystanders, Academia and or Business Communities – who are refusing to tell the ‘President’ that his supposed ‘new dress’ is no dress at all as he had been swindled by the two tailors or the ‘friends and family’?
And sincerely, do we need an innocent child, including a diplomat, to break everyone’s delusion by shouting out, ‘the Emperor is not wearing anything at all! The Emperor of President is naked!!’
Truth be told, we should not accept any of the assurances we are given by the same mouth that has taken us into such a quagmire that any extrication is more than difficult, a most embarrassing situation for such a proud people as ‘Ghanaians’. Where did we get it so wrong as a people and as a nation? Why couldn’t we see any hints before the 2020 elections or how could we allow ourselves to be hoodwinked by the smooth-talking, prayerful, saint-like appearances?
No matter where you stand, know that CHANGE IS GONNA COME, sooner than later. Need I say more?
Piece written by MAGNUS NAABE RexDanquah, the Ghanaian, and photo credit: Linked-In
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