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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

‘WHOSE TRUTH’ IS THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

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…In Our Politics & Way Of Life

www.ghanareaders.com

By Magnus Naabe Rex Danquah

(Land Economist & Appraiser, SportBusiness Consultant, Events Architect & Planner and Author)

OVER the last six decades, one word that has stood out, in moments of admonishments, at the family, society and national levels, has been that five letter word – TRUTH.

This word, ‘TRUTH’ has been defined severally as the valid or real or true or actual state of matter; conformity with fact or reality or verity; a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like such as mathematical truths, for example one plus one equals two; the state or character of being true; actuality or actual existence; an obvious or acceptable fact as truism or platitude; ideal or fundamental reality, apart from and transcending perceived experience as the basic truths of life; agreement with a standard or original; accuracy, as of position or adjustment; honesty, sincerity and truthfulness; as well as fidelity or constancy.

Thus, in dealing with the whole matter of TRUTH, we should always be mindful of its accuracy, authenticity, certainty, fact, legitimacy, truthfulness, veracity, exactitude, exactness, factuality, genuineness, correctness, infallibility, unvarnished truth, naked truth, factualism, honest truth, gospel truth, verity, trueness, truism, verisimilitude, rectitude, rightness and precision.

It stands to reason that in our normal, daily dealings with each other as Ghanaians, we ought to be mindful of not presenting any LIE or semblance of it as a form of TRUTH, whether in private or public life; and that we should be ready to bear the consequences of a LIE, especially as they are not just for a moment or moments in time but once captured as recorded in any format to state the test of time, then we ought to know that there will be consequences of all sorts.

What then is a LIE?

A LIE is a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood; it is something that is intended or serving to convey a false impression; imposture; an inaccurate or false statement; the charge or accusation of telling a lie; to speak falsely or utter untruth knowingly, as with intent to deceive; to express what is false; as well as convey a false impression.

They say, the act of LYING is ingrained in our vernacular languages and cultures, by their flowery natures to over-impress or overemphasize and thereby, to lie to each other and laugh about them, as if to say that we have never placed any premium on TRUTH as it should be told and lived by Ghanaians.

So a father lies to his children, a child lies to his or her parents, a wife to a husband as a husband lies with impunity to the wife, and siblings lie to each other with abundance; just as family members will do same to each other with no regret because as far as the society is concerned LYING IS A WAY OF LIFE; and that the more lies we tell, we tend to believe that same will get us to the point of being regarded or recognized as the truth eventually.

The long and short of it is that we have lost all sense of values associated with the truth in any form as these find expressions in the folklores we have passed down from generations to generations; and as if to say that was why it was far easier for the colonialists to deceive us into handing over our birthrights to them without a fight. We were easily taken in by the beauty of the lies to have our own tribesmen and family members to deceive us into giving up without a fight.

To be accused as a LIAR is now a vogue and therefore all manner of people lie and contradict each other in careless abundance, lying in one’s throat or teeth or through one’s teeth, lying grossly or maliciously has now become part and parcel of our body politick.

What is worse and most challenging is the reality that LYING has now become the stock in trade of the world and giving birth to FAKE NEWS, which is now acceptable as part of life and as a tool for maligning the characters of those ever-trying to do the right thing or particularly, our political opponents.

Amazingly, many now use several of the available social media tools and handles to create fake lifestyles, profiles and genealogies as well as recast their pasts to change or better still, re-write the past of their descendants, apportioning them the best of the roles they had played or are now projected to have played in their past lives.

When people mount all kinds of stages in various roles and lives, including the church and socio-political platforms, they tend to adopt and use ‘lies-telling’ to convince or manipulate their audiences to believe their aggrandizing ways of life as to prepare the mindsets of the future generations of this country that they were never corrupt or to hide their corrupt deeds.

It is important, therefore, for us as a people, to begin to question the lifestyles of others, specifically public officers, those elected or appointed into office by those who have been elected through national elections. If we want our 4th Republican dispensation to be the ‘beacon of hope’ for our people and our nation, then we should begin to develop new cultures for ourselves and future generations: the youth who we term as the ‘Future of this Nation’.

We need to revisit the issues of TRUTH and LIES in all aspects of our lives before we totally destroy beyond redemption, the very fabric of our existence as a people and as Ghanaians. There ought to be the establishment of a CODE OF OFFICE / APPOINTMENT that punishes lies-telling by public / civil officers, otherwise we are doomed.

The re-emerging culture that the easiest way of becoming rich in this country is to enter politics are part of the new impunities phenomenon, which if not curbed at its early stages would grow into a kind of monster that would easily turn round to swallow or consume us all as a people.

One of such consequences of this new national ‘malaise’ is the propensity for the growing youth to go after all kinds of ‘SAKAWA’ ventures to the point of global notoriety. But who blames them, when they have been positioned to accept that hardwork does not reward, except telling lies to get into public office and be rich overnight. Personally, I do not think nor accept that this is what POLITICS is all about and worse still, those bold enough to tell the wildest LIES get rewarded with trips on official delegations outside the country.

‘SAKAWA’ has been defined as a Ghanaian term for illegal practices, which combine modern internet-based fraud with African traditional rituals or social media occultism. The term or word “SAKAWA’ is a Hausa word which means putting aside, how to make money (Wikipedia). This phenomenon includes kidnapping young ladies with the intention of using them for money rituals.

This also includes spells to attract wealth and be rich overnight so the beneficiaries could join a supposed elite of rich persons to the extent that nowadays blood or water money rituals take most young men and women to Benin over weekends and return with instant wealth, fame, power and protection against intimidation from rightful authority.

Parents have lost control over the lives of their children, worse for those who revel in the riches of their children without questioning them over the sources. They find that to be the alternative to politics, which also assures others of instant riches, fame, power and protection.

Politics of Service to the people, community, constituency, region and the nation has now become so weaponized to become intimidation by the elected over the people vowed to serve.

Gone are the days when parents knew everything that their children owned, item by item, in their trunks and chop-boxes so during each vacation, they were able to count and verify whether any additional item had been procured without their knowledge and after which they, especially the daughters would be grilled as to how they were acquired.

This was a check on children to ensure that they do not engage in unbecoming lifestyles that would damage the good name of the family, especially those with generational recognition and importance.

The Kasoa story of the youth adopting worrying lifestyles did not start only yesterday. It is indeed as a result of new political cultures that are re-emerging with the 4th Republican Dispensation but suffice it to state: this phenomenon emerged with the first coup d’état, through the several including “even the little amenities that we enjoyed under Kwame Nkrumah had been taken away” coup.

With the over-changing lifestyles in our society, it is now important for us to question the new emerging TRUTHS, be they political, religious, cultural, family, philosophical or societal to the extent that it has become ever so important to question the basis for our ‘ANANSESEM’ – stories built around the proverbial spider or ‘Ananse’. Why does he always project ‘LIES’ or ‘scheming’ or ‘mischief’ to be achieve any rewards of life? Is it the ‘Curse of Ananse’ that now influences our way of life as Ghanaians to the extent that TRUTH is according to the one saying it but not general to all of us or applicable across board.

Is there a way that VOTES could be deducted from any candidate who lies to get into office so that he or she could be disqualified by the extent of lying during campaigning? Why do we want the generations yet-unborn to accept ‘LIES AS TRUTH & TRUTHS AS LIES’ and what is even worse is maligning ‘PROPHESIES’ with half-truth and lies, especially when supposed prophets recruit agents to find out about past lives of people and families and then turn them round to benefit?=

Why should we get to the point that now whatever truths or promises we are told by the political class ought to be taken with a ‘pinch of salt’: why should we do these to ourselves over simple matter of TRUTH?

We have turned our national landscape into a ‘THEATRE OF LIES TELLING’ to determine who tells the worst lies, the most damaging, that which receives the loudest applause and earn our mothers placing their cover cloths on the streets for us to walk on – outdoing each other on the radio, television and social media without second thoughts on the critical damage to the psyche of the youth, our children and generations yet unborn; or is it because when we get home our wives, husbands, children, grandchildren and family members do not question us as to why we lied or admonish us?

Every ‘truth’ about us now, is beginning to sound as PROPAGANDA to the extent that the normal FOUR YEAR TERM OF OFFICE is now all campaign period: how on earth can we sustain this way of life as a nation and as a people; and how did we now get it so wrong with everything: sacrificing ‘truth’ for all manner of expediencies.

 

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