When rulers are totally disconnected from the people they ruled

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When rulers are totally disconnected from the people they ruled


“Africa has not always been stagnant. In the 1960s and 1970s, when all the supposed structural impediments to growth were present and often more binding, it actually posted a decent growth performance. Moreover, all the structural handicaps that are supposed to hold back Africa have been present in most of today’s rich countries – poor climate (artic and tropic), landlockedness, abundant natural resources, ethnic divisions, poor institutions and bad culture. These structural conditions seem to act as impediments to development in Africa only because its countries do not yet have the necessary technologies, institutions and organizational skills to deal with their adverse consequences. The real cause of African stagnation in the last three decades is free-market policies that the continent has been compelled to implement during the period. Unlike history or geography, policies can be changed. Africa is not destined for underdevelopment.” – Professor Ha-Joon Chang, “23 Things they don’t tell you about Capitalism,” Chapter 11, Africa is not destined for underdevelopment.

“Yes, my father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!'” – 1 Kings 12:11

To a commentator on Africa, the most wearisome thing must be the fact that the more things appear to change, the more they remain the same. Equally frustrating is the fact that the rulers keep on pontificating to the ruled the same pontifications they have engaged in in almost sixty years of independence. Also, what cannot but exhaust the the mind is the fact that African rulers keep on confusing lofty speeches with solid achievements. They continue to mistake flighty rhetoric for giant momentums.

These men and women never seem able to get it into their heads that they are in power, and are not engage on some political platforms. They continue to preach, to promise and to orate like there is no tomorrow.

Were this not the case, we will no longer be treated to the spectacles of rulers forever telling us about their plans to extend electricity or water to us in this age.

Were we to have been lucky to have been blessed with leaders with their brain cells in the correct places, we will not be treated to situations whereby citizens are still deprived of basics like electricity.

Almost every day in Kasoa, the light goes off for hours. So, while our counterparts in other parts of the world are busy with creating their future, we are stuck with bemoaning our fates and praying for when the powers-that-be will give us the electricity that we need to do our work, earn our daily bread and contribute our quota to national development.

Ok, we can live those type of deprivations, and we can continue to pray that we overcome them, what is difficult to grasp is the apparent lackadaisical attitude of those that govern us. Their apparent lack of concern is a source of great torment.

Pain can be endure if we know that at the end of the day, there is hope that things will improve, get better.

Alas, we no longer harbor any such hope; we have lost all the illusions that our rulers care enough to do better.

It is precisely this state of hopelessness that is ultra-difficult to deal with.

How do we explain the total absence of articulation for us about what the government is doing to solve, say, the electricity problem once and for all?

Every modern life today is anchored on the provision of electricity – it is germane to everything we do today.

So, why do our rulers not see the lack of it as a national emergency and mobilise every available resources to solve the problem?

Alas, all we are treated to are plethora of stupid excuses. Who cares where the gas or the water to fire the turbines come from?

It is the job of the electricity managers to remove every obstacle and generate and distribute electricity and make sure that we get enough to earn our own living. Of course, no one ask them to be Father Christmas. I won’t complain if I get enough electricity to do my job and earn my living.

What I detest is to be saddled with huge electricity bills when I have not been provided the service.

Sadly for us, while we bemoan the sad state of affairs in our blessed republic, the rulers continue as though nothing is amiss or that our abnormal situation is the normal order of things.

As our economy degenerates into stupor, our president decided to gallivant around the world. His plentiful handlers told us that he was drumming up investment for the country.


I don’t know how many times I have stated what I termed Femi First Principle on Attracting Foreign Investors: Get the basics (electricity, good roads, and telecommunications) right and investors will flock in like no man’s business.

It is quite simple: all the countries Mr. President visited maintain Embassies or High Commissions in the country. All of them maintain Trade Attaches at their embassies. In additions, almost all of them have spies running our country. It goes, without saying, that they know all there is to know about the Republic of Ghana.

So, what exactly is the point in Mr. President junketing around with his retinue? Why inflict additional per diems on the already depleted national purse?

More to the point: which investor will come and invest in a country where the provision of electricity is still a major production? Which genuine investor will come and set up shop in an insanely corrupt country, where nothing gets done unless palms are greased? Who will come and put up a factory in a country where labour laws remain opaque, where productivity is low and one where workers have problems not to pilfer what is entrusted to them? Who wants to set factory in a country where workers are lazy, habitually late and go on strike at the drop of a hat? Who will invest in an economy with the most expensive port in the sub-region, one where goods take forever and a half to clear?

We have maintain in this column that the inability to ask ourselves questions and honestly answer them is a major part of our problem. It is enough for us to declare ourselves God’s greatest creations, pat ourselves on the back and continue with our wayward ways.

Sadly, it is not only the Executive branch that is disappointing us, lately, the legislative arm of our government also decided to get into news for all the wrong reasons.

First, in a major faux-pas, the legislators took delivery of some utter crappy Chinese furniture (http://alaye.biz/chinese-restaurant-pardon-ghana-parliament/ ) at great cost. Citizens bemoaned the utter lack of patriotism of those that govern us. Some suggested that we should return our independence instruments to the British if truly we cannot get enough Ghanaians to manufacture chairs for parliament.

What angered citizens was that it happened at a time of great economic crunch, gnashing of teeth and at a time when many workers were on strike.

It disturbs greatly that those that rule us appear just not to care about our anguish. TV3 currently runs a series MISSION GHANA, which shows and highlights the level of poverty and under-development many of our citizens are forced to live. They have shown schools without roofs, children with Kwashiorkor bellies, villages and towns cut off due to lack of good roads. There have been scenes where abandoned citizens live in absolutely shocking poverty.

None of these appear to be of concern to our legislooters (Nigerian parlance for their MPs). They not only get paid handsomely, but they get loans to buy fanciful jeeps, and at the end of their four year dis-service, they award themselves ex-gratias like we have something to be grateful to them for.

Our heads still reel from the Chinese chair scandal when the Member of Parliament (MP) for Daboya/Mankarigu, Nelson Abudu Baani decided to open his mouth and stuck his foot firmly inside.

It is difficult to know what the man drank before he opened his mouth too widely and said that adulterous women should be stoned or hanged.

I like the saying that it is best to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove any doubt.

Before this hullabaloo, few have ever heard of Nelson Abudu Baani. He could have, like most of his colleagues, juts pass through parliament, attend meetings now and then, keep his mouth firmly close, vote as his party dictated, collect his pays, allowances and loans. Collect his per diem at the end of his term and retire to enjoy his loot, pardon, pension.

But no, the man decided to write his name into the history books in the most negative and inglorious manner possible. Whichever way we throw it around, the very act of stoning or hanging is deemed too primitive that the very thought suggest serious mental aberration.

So, why did Mr Abudu-Bani utter the abhorrent words? We cannot speak for him, but whatever his reasons, they are inexcusable, most especially when Islamic cut-throats, who claim to want to impose Sharia on the world, wreak havoc across many nations in Africa.

Mr Abudu-Baani cannot claim to be ignorant of Boko Haram, Al-Shabab and the other fundamentalists rampaging around our continent.

Even if we try to sympathise with the men whose wives have shocked them with bastard children, we cannot but condemn Mr. Abudu-Baani’s thoughtless statement.

As a law-maker, he should learn to be guarded, at all times, with what he says in public. I listened to him on the BBC this morning (November 19, 2014), and it was pathetic the way he blew a golden opportunity to redeem himself. It was not the time for him to equivocate. He should have simply apologise and leave it at that. Rather he tried and miserably failed to justify the clearly unjustifiable.

No tears for him!

PS: I just cannot believe that the issue of a lady caught with cocaine in Britain will degenerate into a fisticuffs between the supporters of the NDC and the NPP.

Should it really matter what party toga a criminal wears?

Sad, sad!



About the Author

Femi Akomolafe is a passionate Pan-Africanist. A columnist for the Accra-based Daily Dispatch newspaper and Correspondent for the New African magazine. Femi lives in both Europe and Africa, and writes regularly on Africa-related issues for various newspapers and magazines.

Femi was the producer of the FOCUS ON AFRICANS TV Interview programme for the MultiTV Station.

He is also the CEO of Alaye Dot Biz Limited Dot Biz, a Kasoa-based Multimedia organisation that specialises in Audio and Video Production. He loves to shoot and edit video documentaries.

His highly-acclaimed books (“Africa: Destroyed by the gods,” “Africa: It shall be well,” “18 African Fables & Moonlight Stories” and “Ghana: Basic Facts + More”) are now available for sales at the following bookshops/offices:

  1. Freedom Bookshop, near Apollo Theatre, Accra.
  2. The Daily Dispatch Office, Labone – Accra
  3. WEB Dubois Pan-African Centre, Accra
  4. Ghana Writers Association office, PAWA House, Roman Ridge, Accra.
  5. African Kitchen in Amsterdam Bijlmer

Where to buy them online:

On Lulu Books:

18 African Fables & Moonlight Stories https://goo.gl/Skohtn

Ghana: Basic Facts + More: https://goo.gl/73ni99

Africa: Destroyed by the gods: https://goo.gl/HHmFfr

Africa: It shall be well: https://goo.gl/KIMcIm


Africa: it shall be well

on Kindle books: https://www.createspace.com/4820404

on Amazon books: http://goo.gl/QeFxbl

on Lulu Books: https://goo.gl/SQeoKD


Africa: Destroyed by the gods

on Kindle books: https://www.createspace.com/4811974

on Amazon books: http://goo.gl/1z97ND

on Lulu Books: http://goo.gl/KIMcIm


My Lulu Books page: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/FemiAkomolafe


Get free promotional materials here:

  1. Africa: it shall be well: http://alaye.biz/africa-it-shall-be-well-introduction-in-pdf/

A FREE Chapter of ‘Africa: It shall be well’ could be downloaded here: http://alaye.biz/africa-it-shall-be-well-a-free-chapter/

  1. Africa: Destroyed by the gods (How religiosity destroyed Africa) http://alaye.biz/africa-destroyed-by-the-gods-introduction/

A FREE Chapter of ‘Africa: Destroyed by the gods’ could be downloaded here: http://alaye.biz/africa-destroyed-by-the-gods-free-chapter/

Read a review here

Contact Femi:

Femi’s Blog:
Website: www.alaye.biz
Femi on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/author/femiakomolafe
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ekitiparapo
Gmail+: https://plus.google.com/112798710915807967908;
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/femiakomolafe

Email: fakomolafe@gmail.com


Kindly help me share the books’ links with your friends and, grin, please purchase your copies.


Femi Akomolafe


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