Thank you, President Mahama

Posted by By at 29 March, at 21 : 03 PM Print

Thank you, President Mahama

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President Mahama drinking pineapple

President Mahama drinking pineapple

Thank you, President Mahama


The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility, to the challenge of personal example which are the hallmarks of true leadership” – Chinua Achebe.

It is not every day we have something positive to say about our leaders in Africa.

The pedestrian achievements that make them giddy with excitement will embarrass more serious people.

Their lack of vision, ideas and purpose continue to make us the world’s laughing stock.

The lack of seriousness we see them exhibit makes one want to cry in anguish.

Their inability to guarantee even their own personal safety (as happened in Mali and recently in the CAR) is simply distressing

Most of those that govern us in Africa today are said to be new generation leaders who have been thoroughly exposed to lives outside the continent and are expected to bring new thinking into governance.

They have lived and studied in the most of advanced countries. They have lived in societies that are disciplined and adhere strictly to laid-down rules and regulations. They have lived in societies where men and women (sometimes children, too) use their brains to transform their nation’s within a generation. They have lived in societies where the supply of water, gas and electricity are considered routine. They have lived in societies where food security is guaranteed and people are adequately sheltered. They have lived among people who have solved most of life’s basic that they can spend their time in quality thinking, about how to pry more secrets from nature to improve their lives. They have lived among people who dream big – like about how to reach into the heavens or snatch minerals from asteroids. Our leaders have lived among people who do not believe that gods sit in someplace waiting for prayers in order to wrought miracles. African leaders have lived in societies where people no longer believe that diseases are caused by devils and could be banished by adjurations to heavenly fathers. They have lived in societies where people are concerned with living their legacies in the sand of times. They have lived in societies where leaders called upon scientists to solve worldly problems, rather than parlay with totally useless charlatans in priestly garbs.

Sadly, although our so-called new-generational leaders in Africa have been exposed to all that Man has achieved using his native intelligence, but it appears that they are unwilling or unable to think beyond the box.

They are failing to introduce the necessary paradigm shift that is necessary to transform the continent.

Despite all the much-touted economic miracles happening on the continent, no single leader on the continent is attempting to provide the coherent vision to carry his/her people along to achieve greatness.

The least said about that festering wound of Africa (apologies to Woe Soyinka), Nigeria, the better.

And the Rainbow nation, South Africa, who many have looked up to provide guidance and leadership continue to disappoint.

Not much has changed in that unhappy land of apartheid save for the replacement of white faces with black ones in the corridors of power. The SA security forces still use the same methods perfected by the apartheid troops, as vividly testified by the mowing down of protesting miners and the horrendous killing of the Mozambican immigrant.

And sadly, the leaders of SA also continue to demonstrate the same lack of strategic thinking that is the hallmark of leaders across the continent. From his strategic faux pas in supporting the imperialists in their war against Libya, Mr. Zuma walked straight into another debacle in the CAR where he sent his army in an ill-defined and ill-fated expedition.

Although he won great kudos on his land reform programme, President Mugabe appear more and more like a dormant volcano – with power only to occasional rave and rant against his ogre, the imperialist forces.

I have written somewhere that Africa will be unbeatable were our leaders be able to provide the necessary impetus.

We see so much dormant creative energy all around the continent, yearning for release outlets.

For example, a twelve year old Sierra Leonean boy dazzled the world with his inventive genius that he got snatched up by MIT, one of the most prestigious technical universities in the world.

How many Kelvin Doe are out there on the continent waiting to be discovered?

If only our leaders will shift our gaze from looking into the sky for never-to-come miracles and make our people, especially our youth, embrace science wholly and fully.

Nigeria would be transformed overnight were the shameless, rampaging otiose elite mis-ruling that unfortunate country to provide just two things: electricity and security.

When one sees what young Ghanaians, even in the remotest villages, do with the little they have, one can only imagine what these youth would achieve were the government to provide them with basic infrastructures.

If only our leaders will shift resources into the provision of basic infrastructures for our people rather waste them on parasitical priest and effete politicians, who contribute very little to our national development.

No, I am not pessimistic; I actually remain very optimistic about the future of our blessed continent.

I tell whoever will listen that Africa does not have a problem that Africans cannot solve.

Things are bound to click once we get it right.

But I doubt if we will get it right unless we have a paradigm shift in our attitudes. We sorely need a mental revolution.

There is absolutely no reason to believe that we can continue to do things the wrong way and expect to get it right.

We know that people were in the same situations we find ourselves today and they overcame.

A lot of nature’s secrets have been unearthed by men and women using their brains, they have very generously bequeathed the results of their achievements to humanity through science.

If we have been blessed with abundant results of what people who were in similar situations to ours did to overcome, why then don’t we simply copy and use the same ideas and techniques they used to overcome their situations?

Some centuries ago, almost all the world’s societies are governed by ignorance and superstitions. Most of the world lived in fear of witches, wizards and other unknown forces.

In almost every part of the world, charlatans in the forms of priests, jujumen and other tricksters fooled people into believing that every affliction is caused by evil spirits and they, for some fees, could cast them out.

Ignorance and superstitions reigned supreme in the world and the priests were the only authority on every aspect of life. By deceitfully claiming to stand between men and their creator, the lying priests were able to hold terrible sway over people who were as ignorant as the animals they keep.

To maintain their stranglehold, the priests forbade, at the pain of death, the acquisition of any form of knowledge. Reading was dissuaded and writing was banned. The priests committed unspeakable atrocities against men who tried to break out of the imposed collective ignorance.

But that didn’t altogether stop the very brave souls to continue to attempt to pry into what the ignoble priests declared to be taboos and forbidden territories. It was a ferocious battle as the priests, who felt their livelihood of selling indulgencies and fakeries threatened, fought back with all the ferociousness of cornered animals.

Many of the pioneering scientists were horribly hacked to death by ignorant priests. Rather than succumb and accept things that were contrary to what their brains and their scientific experiments told them, many of the early scientists gallantly chose death.

The depraved priests gave no quarter and they showed no mercy. It was not until recently that the Catholic Pontiff deemed it fit to render an apology to Galileo who was ferociously attacked by priests, who ignorantly believed the stupid Biblical tale of a rectangular world with Jerusalem at its center.

That is why it is almost hilarious to see the same priests today shamelessly use the products produced by science. That is why it was so comical to watch those ancient sexual perverts at their Conclave at the Vatican, surround themselves with every modern apparatus engineered by the very science they so assiduously tried to extinguish.

Let us make no mistake about it and let us stop beating around the bush – there is no future for us in Africa unless and until we embrace science the same way other people did to transform their lives.

We can dance in our churches all we want, we shall continue to under-perform and under-achieve until we learn to apply scientific methods to solve purely temporal problem.

We can graduate as many priests as we like; we can build as many churches as we want, but unless we embrace science wholeheartedly, we shall continue to be the world’s laughing stock.

It is not as hard as some of us would like to think.

It only require that we interrogate our brains now and then and examine the answers we come up with.

We only need to take good look at what we consider the problems bedeviling us and see how other people have solved them.

If we take water and electricity as example, we shall come up with the simple idea that the provisions of these two lives’ basic require absolutely no celestial intervention.

Since the principle of electricity was discovered, the knowledge on how to generate and distribute electrical energy has become common place.

From thermal, to hydro, to bio (the use of bacteria) to solar to nuclear, there is sufficient literature and information about how any serious people can harness electrical power as source of energy.

We also need to change our attitudes on how much time we expend on sheer frivolities.

Sadly, I’m forced to admit that my radio is permanently tuned to the BBC.

It is simply I find the level of journalism in Ghana abysmally poor.

I do not have the brain that can relish the type of ‘discussion’ one hears on the numerous radio stations in the land.

I don’t own a television, but the little I see when I visit friends make me realize that I don’t not miss much by giving that media a wide berth.

The print media is no better.

I don’t know whether or not to laugh or cry when I see university professors trooping to television stations to go and ‘review’ what we call newspapers in our part of the world.


This explains why I exploded into a joyous laughter when I heard President Mahama called our media presenters lazy and asked them to buckle up.

Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, so much.

It gladdens my heart that a leader somehow summoned the courage to tell us some bitter and painful truth.

Despite all our religious pretensions, we are among the most hypocritical people on earth.

We hated few things more than being told some plain home truth.

We love to wear our toga of hypocrisy like badges of honour.

In our personal and national life, we feel at our elements when we tell utterly ridiculous and patently horrible lies to ourselves and also to others.

Is it not hypocritical of us to troop to churches on Sundays, listen to all the sanctimonious sermons the lying priests tell us without raising eye-brows?

What is it if not high hypocrisy when we sit quietly and allow someone to befuddle our brains with demonstrable lies?

I do not know if President Mahama read the letter I wrote to him on his inauguration, but for those that missed it, here is what I wrote, inter alia: “Sir, I also think that you should be bold and courageous enough to tell us some bitter truths. Principal among this is that we are not a very productive people. Many of us are lax and lazy. Many of our compatriots still go through life expecting manna to fall from heaven. They still expect to sleep for twenty hours a day, pray for the rest four hours and expect everything to be provided for them on a platter.

You must have the courage to tell us the simple truth that no nation of indolent gadabouts has ever prosper.

We cannot go about boozing up, refuse to read and expect our nation to prosper.

We cannot spend our days and night praying and sleeping and expect miracles to transform us and our land.

Your Excellency, as the first president of our blessed republic who appears to be hip and technologically-savvy, I sincerely hope that you will spend more time with our Engineers and our Scientists rather than parlaying with useless Priests.

I wish also that Your Excellency will be bold enough to tell our people that religion is strictly a personal matter between a person and his god, and should not be part of national affairs.

Your Excellency, the choice before us is stark and it is, put simply, this: do we want to continue with our hit-and-miss approach to development or do we make a clean, decisive break, jettison old prejudices, become bold and make bold, if painful, decisions about our future?

Sir, I wish you great successes.”

Sadly, Mr. President took only a portion of my advice; he still continue to parlay with shameless, lying and thieving parasitical priests.

But that is a story for another day.


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.
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  5. African Kitchen in Amsterdam Bijlmer

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Femi Akomolafe



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