What at all will move the Ghanaian youth to be insolent to nobody other than our most revered traditional overlords? Our once most feared and respected traditional chiefs have recently become like dirty rags before some Ghanaian youth, especially, those residing abroad.
Have we taken time to cogitate about why the youth is taking on the chiefs, disrespecting them? Do we know about action and reaction? Whenever an action takes place, there must correspondingly be a reaction. Could this not explain the current disrespectful attitudes of the youth towards our chiefs?
Let me narrate the following incidents or case scenarios to finally ask for the opinion of whoever is reading me, about what would be their reaction.
A traditional chief sells a two-hundred acre farmland to you. You are without the knowledge of the land being subject to litigation but the chief is very much aware of it. After selling the land to you, you discover that it contains a few interspersed patches of cultivated cocoa farms. You decide not to avail yourself of any poor man’s toil, thus, cocoa farm, so you voluntarily agree that the owners must have their farms, although the entire area has been sold to you. The chief does neither compensate you with any land from elsewhere, nor does refund part of the money you give to him in payment of the two hundred acres of land.
The chief then asks another party that somehow relates to him to go and take about sixty acres of the remaining land, after the cocoa farms have been removed. This is when they go to see him privately, saying that part of the land he has sold to you is theirs. However, when you raise the issue with the chief, he tells you not to allow his third party relatives to take the land and that they are lying. However, it is rather the chief who is lying.
You end up in enduring sour litigation, costing you all your life-savings. In the end, after about fifteen years battling litigations in court, you lose the land with your cultivated citrus farm of about 100 acres. What will you do to that chief? Will you continue to kowtow to him, or you will begin to take him with a pinch of salt, and also, lambast him at any least opportunity you get?
In the second case, there is a chief who simultaneously sells the same one plot of land to about three people without each being aware of the dubious attitude of the chief. He has taken the money from these three buyers. They finally come to the realisation of how the chief has duped them into paying for the same plot of land, even though he had sold it already. The two or the three buyers end up in bitter litigation over the ownership of the land. The chief is left untouched to enjoy the money he has dishonestly collected from the buyers. Will you continue to respect such a chief?
In the third scenario, a traditional overlord has no traditional or customary powers vested in him to interfere in the affairs of a division within Asanteman in the Ashanti region. However, he colludes with others to impose a chief on that division in contravention of their prevailing foundational traditions and customs. He then connives with other chiefs, politicians and judges to deprive that division of their hundreds of thousands of hectares of their stool land for good. He decides to suppress the subjects of that division using government security personnel and instruments with the motive of cowing them into submission while he exploits them to a hilt. Will you continue to pay obeisance to such a bully-chief or give it to him when given the opportunity?
In another scenario, a chief sells any available lands in his division, pockets the money while the towns and people in the division are suffering from the want of basic things that make others respect the area and the people therein. The area has no potable water, no public toilets and no enough domestic toilets. Some of the inhabitants end up defecating in their backyards and nearby bushes. This chief transfers the money so earned into his foreign bank account. He uses part of the money to cater for his numerous girlfriends. Will you continue to respect such a chief?
Finally, there is a chief who involves himself in illegal surface and alluvial mining. Nonetheless, the surface mining, otherwise called in Ghanaian parlance “galamsey”, is wreaking a lot of irreparable damage to the water bodies, fertile and arable lands and virgin forests of the area. Or, the chief, if he is not himself participating in the galamsey, he stays quiet while foreigners and other Ghanaians come from elsewhere to destroy his land. Will you respect such a chief?
The hypocrisy of some of the Ghanaian media houses is alarming. Does it matter how a youth takes a chief on to get him wake up to the duties for which he was enstooled? When a chief proves himself irresponsible and is taken to the cleaners to wake him up to his responsibilities, you will find some ignorant, conniving or sycophantic journalists hurtling supportively to the side of the chief.
By being supportive of the chief in all his criminal and not-living-up-to-expectation ways, you such journalist must see yourself as not only an absurd nation-wrecker but the enemy of the people and the country.
Therefore, those journalists that hurry to the defence of the rouge chiefs, condemning and cursing the youth who out of anger and desperation insult the chiefs following their criminal acts, are not worthy of their profession. They don’t like Ghana and the citizens but are pursuers of their selfish interests.
There is a Ghanaian programme presenter in London at Hot FM called Sir Richie, I should think. He says, he does not agree with any youth insulting an elder, let alone a chief, under any circumstances. To him, I say, “If the construction of a road does not touch your house, you claim the road is straight”
For how long should the youth sit down, watch and wallow in traditional belief of respect for our chiefs while the chiefs participate knowingly, or unknowingly, in deplorable acts that can potentially culminate in the death of many people?
The chiefs in my opinion are receiving the reactive response to their dastardly actions. It is not only Twene Jonas and Ohene David that are annoyed at the chiefs but many more.
In the not too distant future, should things continue as they are with our Ghanaian chiefs and politicians being that irresponsible, there will surely be a “Ghana Spring”, the like manner of “Arab Spring”, in Ghana.
The chiefs and the politicians had better turn a new leaf from their bad ways to avoid the instances of the youth insulting them anyhow.