We can all pretend that Ghanaians are one people under one God but it is no longer fashionable to say that the Ghanaian can be trusted to undertake an independent assessment of happenings in the country. Never!
Truth is, we can but we won’t because it’s not fashionable to be independently minded in Ghana where the best meal is 'pretense.'
I have told some colleague journalists and it bears repeating that our hypocrisy as a people and our failure to admit it will continue to rob us of the development and leaders our nation requires. We will always have what we deserve and ask for.
Last Friday, former Second Lady, Mrs Matilda Amissah-Arthur roused our drunken nation in a most unusual but unique way when she expressed shock at the outpouring of tributes over the demise of her husband and former Vice-president Kwesi Amissah-Arthur.
She refused to trudge the path of silence travelled on by former First Lady, Mrs Naadu Mills after the earth shook, trembled and shuddered at the death of her husband and president Professor John Evans Atta Mills in 2012.
Prior to becoming president in 2009, Prof Mills was mischaracterized, maligned and described in unprintable words. Things were said against him in the name of politics and some members of his party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) also attacked their opponents in a similar fashion.
As sanctions by our tradition, one is not allowed to say anything evil about the dead. So, the late Prof had many accolades heaped on him by both friends and foes alike. He was described as “peace-loving, God-fearing, truthful, and untarnished.”
And Mrs Mills and the late Prof’s only son enjoyed the praise yet we all know these words would not have been lavished on him by especially his political opponents if he had been alive. That’s the hypocrisy of the Ghanaian.
But Mrs Amissah-Arthur is no pretender. She would not feign love and friendship in the name of politics as is the business of the members of both NDC and ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
“…did people really know my husband? Did people take time to know him? The false accusations, the lies, the maligning. Did they know him?” she lashed out at the hypocrites in Ghana at the funeral of her husband.
Surprisingly, many took to both traditional and social media to register their discontent at her words when they could have praised her for the good show. What these people didn’t know is that their action rather exposed them as hypocrites.
The hypocrisy of some Ghanaians is epic that wherever they go it leads them.
Who doesn’t know late Amissah-Arthur was called so many names by both political opponents and some members of his party who were not enthused about his appointment as Vice-president by the then president, John Dramani Mahama.
So just because the very people who mischaracterized him when he was alive have changed their stance after his demise, Mrs Amissah-Arthur should open wide her arms to welcome them? This is the reason systems are not working in Ghana.
Pretense...pretense…and more of it.
A social media user wrote, “[the] woman is in pain. Her heart has been broken, a partner for so many years is no longer there…she is privy to his sentiments and reactions to the [naming calling]. So seeing the same people…sing his praises is too much to bear.”
Well, I think Mrs Amissah-Arthur’s initial shock of losing a partner of many years has worn out, so she didn’t speak out of pain. She knew the husband that well and she is convinced he is with his Maker.
But she spoke to a politically perverse nation that is padding its way to destruction. Her words were groans only uttered out of love for a lover. I realized she loves Ghana and would not have the sort of hypocrisy that’s being shared among the population.
If you have concerns about what she said, go and speak to hypocrites in our country to put an end to their machinations. It is a fact that there’s no longer honest debate in our society and everywhere one turns he is met by people with prejudiced minds. How can we expect the best from our leaders with this attitude?
A writer once said that if a man must strike, he must strike through the mask and I think Mrs Amissah-Arthur did just that. My only worry is that she did it so well to get the hypocrites talking.