- For African leaders, what do you want to do for your country? What legacy do you want to leave?
Written By Brig Gen Dan Frimpong - When I saw the video of the losing presidential candidate wipe tears from his eyes, I asked myself why a septuagenarian would cry because he was not elected to serve his country! Certainly he wasn’t crying because he loves his country so much and genuinely wants to serve! He wept because his projections of money, perks and power for himself, family, friends and cronies had gone to another person.
Videos circulating on the violence and gruesome killings including the setting on fire of boys with tyres around them in what is notoriously called “necklacing,” make me question what human nature is all about.
Dr Samuel Johnson
On April 4, 1755, the first English Dictionary written by Dr Samuel Johnson was launched by a group of publishers who commissioned him to write it.
One quote for which Johnson is remembered is: “The supreme end of education is expert discernment in all things: The power to tell the good from the bad, and the genuine from the counterfeit, but above all, to prefer the good and the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit!”
Do our educated politicians prefer “the good and the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit?” On the contrary, telling lies shamelessly has assumed an industrial scale. One wonders what taking oaths to speak “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” means to them.
The French writer Voltaire said: “Man is rational in that he can think, not in that, he thinks.”
Positive thinking has been sacrificed for negative selfish considerations! Otherwise, while flaunting pictures of their children attaining degrees in oversea universities, what sense does it make for politicians to send poor young men from deprived areas to commit mayhem and snatch ballot boxes which will lead to their death?
At the foot of his grave at the Arlington National Cemetery, US President J.F. Kennedy’s famous dictum is inscribed.
It reads: “My dear American, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
For African leaders, what do you want to do for your country? What legacy do you want to leave?
Do you want to be remembered as that violent leader who killed opponents and only succeeded in sending his country so many years back?
For those of us who years ago enjoyed the glory of being Ghanaians overseas, it is sad that political violence in Ghana is gradually becoming the norm with the creation of party militias.
Alexander The Great
Although he died at age 32 only, the Greek General, Alexander the Great, left a legacy for humanity. Before he died, he asked his colleague generals to do three things.
Firstly, he wanted the best physicians in Macedonia to carry his coffin.
Secondly, he wanted his hands outside his coffin with his palms open.
Thirdly, he wanted all the gold he had accumulated through conquest to be spread along the route to the cemetery. Asked why he made such an unusual demand, he explained as follows:
He wanted doctors to carry his coffin to demonstrate that when death beckons, not even the best doctors can save anyone.
Secondly, his wish for his empty palms outside the casket was to remind the living that we came with nothing, and will go with nothing.
Finally, sprinkling the gold he had obtained in conquest was to educate humanity that all the world’s gold is useless in the face of death!
For politicians who will kill to gain power so as to acquire all the wealth in the world for themselves, family and friends, Alexander the Great’s advice comes in very handy.
Do not lead Ghana to the precipice with your personal greedy and selfish agenda.
Balance in nature
Remember that, in nature there is balance. The children and unborn grandchildren’s monies are stolen, for at the expense of the education of other children and national development are cursed beneficiaries of theft for which they will never prosper.
Finally, remember that you were appointed, and not anointed by God to lead Ghana.
The writer is former CEO, African Peace Support Trainers Association