The "Jungle Gold" documentary episode is another “pink sheet” of several “exhibits” that amply demonstrates that the line “Yεn Ara Asase Ni” in our national anthem is a lyric fit for Ghana’s museum of the good old days.
The reality documentary was aired on the Discovery Channel on DSTV. It depicts severe brutalities meted out to farmers in the remote community by the illegal miners from the US state of Utah.
Watch the series. It’s brazen, lawlessness with an American smile. Watch how a team of Americans run down a cocoa farm - with a chilling confidence of hard-hearted mid-eastern terrorists.
In one of the scenes, a local Ghanaian farmer who protested the destruction of his cocoa farm, is seen being strangled till he passed out by one of the Americans.
We all thought cocoa beans was an priceless raw commodity to buy, how come destroying the tree that produces the beans is so easily with impunity.
Chiefs gave out lands and power in the signing of the bond of 1884. But this is the bond of 2013. It’s tighter and it is happening under the nose of ministers,communication experts and 275 MPs.
These days it is old fashioned to be patriotic. But it is also old-fashioned to be backward. We do not yet know the formula for curing AIDS, but the formula for securing our development has long been known, tried, tested by those we admire – Malaysia, China, Brazil.
Unfortunately for those looking for a new formula –it’s old. It is patriotism -a dose as strong as the scent of garlic.
Patriotism? Doesn’t it sound like those enigmatic phrases in the King James Version of the Bible?
But make no mistake. This is one stone the builders cannot reject, it will have to be the capstone -always. This is an index finger you just cannot snub if you want to tie a knot called progress.
I can assure you there is no need for any new policy or policy analyst in solving many of our basic development challenges - illegal mining, education, water,electricity and health.
Over-elaborate policies obstruct simple solutions. Too much policy talk is similar to thinking with the help of banned substances. You get high but go no where.
Every father responsibly taking care of kids, paying bills, and building a future for his family has a policy analyst in him. It is called common sense.
Every mother with that relentless empathy, instinctive devotion for her family has a national quality in her. It is called patriotism.
And when these two - father and mother - manage a home together they got a PhD wielding economist in them.
Morale of the analogy: we really don’t need policies and analysts to do basic things as much as no father needs an M.A in economics to raise a family.
It appears we have become less patriotic and more democratic.
Yet silently, conveniently, we are ignoring that democracy is just like a football game.
It simply defines the rules - the offside rule, the 18 yard box, the center circle, corners and fouls. Nothing more.
Rules don’t play the game, players do; and development is scoring a goal.
To get that trophy called progress, you would need to take charge of the game, a tackle here a tackle there, passion here, a splitting through pass there. Close down your opponents (Everybody else but us).
It is when we, the players play with a chanting beat in our hearts just like the vigour and patriotism the winneba mass choir would sing “yen ara ye sa se ni”.
No country changed dramatically because they voted on a “Dec 7th”. Before the motion of destiny was moved in parliament in 1957, a motion of anger dominated the streets in 1950.
It was a campaign which involved a boycott of foreign businesses, non co-operation with the colonial government and a general workers’ strike.
Ask Martin Luther too. Ask him how his efforts ended segregation. Then check the 1992 Constitution: it has every single right we want, except the anger we need. The choice is ours.
There is a reason why the Americans engaged in illegal small scale mining in Romaso, in the Ashanti Region. Deep down in their thought processes, they know our leaders can't do anything.
To blame leadership is as lame as blaming the devil for murder in court.
There is also a reason why our leaders would give this story a lifespan of a week to die off.
Yes, they know this 'Jungle Gold' incident is an embarrassment. Yes, they know they are part the problem, but deep down in their thought process, they know more.
They know that the 'ordinary we' can’t do anything about it or about them.