Thu, Dec

Corona, Nana’s Finest Hour

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  • I expect him to emerge out of the present crisis with a radical economic and social blueprint that will cause Ghana to look within for solutions, determined to build its own factories.

Greatness often emerges out of crisis.
From the ashes of social upheavals and epidemic and natural disasters, great economic policies, often, are shaped.

A leader as evil as Hitler sits on the minds of many Germans because he gave the world Volkswagen, the family car, at the height of the German economic crisis. Out of the American Depression of 1929-1933, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal ensured for him a place in immortality.

The coronavirus pandemic is President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s finest hour.

I expect him to emerge out of the present crisis with a radical economic and social blueprint that will cause Ghana to look within for solutions, determined to build its own factories.

Kwame Nkrumah’s blueprint of, at least, one factory for every region may have suffered from management challenges, but it was one sure way of ensuring the exploitation of the dominant raw materials in every region.

That is why we shouldn’t joke with the present 1D1F programme.

For the long term, we need to turn the universities, including and especially the technical universities, into problem-solving institutions.

It’s paradoxical to have universities with energy departments, which wallow in darkness with the rest of the country in the event of a blackout.

President Akufo-Addo, you have given Ghana Free SHS, thank you very much.

But numbers without quality content at the tertiary level is mass production of garbage.

I expect that President Akufo-Addo should, by the end of 2020, use the coronavirus threat to sweep clean cities.

Occasional mass cleaning is only a small part of the solution; the greater part is effecting attitude change. The level of mass communication required is the kind being mobilised for the coronavirus education. Over to you, Nana.

Reviewing reactions by people and nations since coronavirus graduated from an epidemic to a pandemic, I am compelled to agree with the conclusion that this virus is bringing out the worst in humanity.

A woman at an Australian supermarket pulled a knife on a man in a confrontation over toilet paper.

In London, a Singaporean student of Chinese ethnicity was beaten up in the streets and left with a fractured face. Protesters on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion welcomed cruise passengers by hurling abuse and rocks at them. What accounts for such selfish and irrational behaviour?

Let’s start from home. Hand sanitisers, that used to sell below GH¢2, were this week being offered for GH¢19.

The 250 mls bottle which I used to buy for GH¢10 now goes for between GH¢30 and GH¢50.

A friend bought three pieces of nose mask for GH¢7.00.

The Ghana we used to know as a country of God-fearing people is no more. In a coronavirus world, I couldn’t fail to notice the differences in cultural behaviour.

In Canada last week, it was perfectly normal for the Office of the Prime Minister to inform the nation that the wife of the Prime Minister had tested positive for coronavirus.

In the culture where he finds himself, movie star Idris Elba had no hesitation posting videos of himself announcing that he had tested positive for coronavirus. These would be abnormal in Ghana.

Prostate, cervical, breast and blood cancers are closely guarded secrets because they are supposed to be a curse by the gods.

I am not as deeply steeped in Bible knowledge as many of our pastors and bishops, but I find it ridiculous for anybody — pastor, bishop or pope — to reason that the temporary ban on religious gathering would make it impossible for the Church to be praying against the pandemic.

That is to suggest that Christians cannot pray, but only in church!

O, we need prophets. But what happened after the all-night church service held to save Ghana Airways in 2005! Somebody will accuse me of lacking in faith.

We would be trivialising the grace of God to expect any different result from what happened in Jonestown, Guyana in November 18, 1978, when Reverend Jim Jones caused his congregation to drink poison.

To persist in congregating in church in the face of evidence of the spread of the virus through contact and the release of droplets is to act irrationally and irresponsibly.

Pastors and prophets with power over the minds of their congregations should not abuse that power.

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