29 Jul 2013

Violence In Politics: Who Is Responsible?

As we await the verdict from the Supreme Court of the land, the "peace preachers" are at their best again with their peace messages and songs as if someone is planning something against this nation. Are we serious at all? Where they when some parts of the country were in the dark, fighting and killing each other? Do I need to cite the Nkonya-Alavanyo conflict and other conflicts which erupted in other places because of an MCE or a DCE nomination?
Image - Violent protests
Violence in elections is becoming a routine in politics, especially in Africa and
the middle East. Image Courtesy: Pulse.ng
The police have even come out to exhibit their armor to the general public so as to scare potential "trouble makers" and with the false reassurance that they are ready to clamp down on miscreants. They claim the country has been peaceful over the years and they will not allow anybody with partisan interests to destabilize it. I have lived in this country and none other and I know well about this country. No one can tell me this country has been peaceful! Or their measurement of peace is when some other groups of people don't 'misbehave'?


     style="display:inline-block;width:336px;height:280px"
     data-ad-client="ca-pub-1348075503032010"
     data-ad-slot="2062548887">


At the time they were making these statements, they forgot to tell us how they are dealing with some of the miscreants in other places who were chasing presidential nominees away and destroying property amounting to thousands of cedis with impunity. Do I have to take it that they are all blind to these happenings? How many times haven't we witnessed pockets of violence in various parts of the country? Or this call is targeted at some other political party supporters? Maybe, their definition of peace is based on what other countries around us do? But their cases also started as pockets of violence and escalated into the full-blown wars and civil strife we witnessed. Have they asked the recently nominated MMDCEs if they think the country is peaceful?

The mere fact that no one cares about whatever going around and hence would not retaliate is not because the police are at their best and keeping the peace as some will want us to believe. How many times haven't police officers connived with gangs to rob institutions and other citizens? I don't think someone who claims to protect me can engage in a despicable act like that. Recently, a police inspector was caught supervising the stealing of underground cables by some miscreants, not because the police were on the ground but because of the vigilance of Ghanaians.

I strongly believe nothing will happen in this country when the verdict is announced as many Ghanaians, especially the youth, have become aware of the lies and deceit of politicians and hence no one would waste his or her time and energy on any politician as it stands because they are all the same.


     style="display:inline-block;width:336px;height:280px"
     data-ad-client="ca-pub-1348075503032010"
     data-ad-slot="2062548887">


I believe some Ghanaians are aware that many of the politicians have their wards and family members in foreign countries, either studying in the best schools or even working there. Hence, who is a fool to fight for someone's father or mother to be in power or come to power only to send their relations abroad to attend best schools and get better jobs while the rest of us suffer in our own country?

Ghana is bigger than any individual or group. No one should tell me they are the reason for peace in a country where many people have trampled on other people's rights and nothing happened. If politicians would be honest with themselves they will acknowledge that they are the reason for violence and the disturbance of peace in this country. From chieftaincy to tribal politics, the hands of politicians can always be traced to a violent act someway somehow.

Politicians have to engage in clean politics and the majority of our fears of violence will be gone. They shouldn't come in the media to incite hatred and violence. They shouldn't use jobless youth to do dirty politics. They should help develop their communities and keep the mouths shut on issues unrelated to politics. I believe these will help in eliminating political violence in Ghana.

What do you also think? Share your thoughts here.

1 Feb 2013

Homosexuality In Ghana?

It is no longer the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, that we are discussing. It is now one of our own! It is Mrs. Nana Oye Lithur that is being discussed. And now that it is one of our own, we've begun seeing the double-standard behavior that is being exhibited by people who initially condemned Mr. Cameron to the wire for threatening to reduce aid to countries with less or no support for gay and lesbian rights.


     style="display:inline-block;width:336px;height:280px"
     data-ad-client="ca-pub-1348075503032010"
     data-ad-slot="2062548887">


Lesbianism can go unnoticed under the cover of "girls girls" movements.

Are we serious as a nation? Why were these double-standard individuals condemning Mr. Cameron and calling his stance a 'bluff'? What has changed? Or 'it is only a fool who does not change his mind'?
Some of those who used foul words on Mr. Cameron have even launched social campaigns to support the human rights activist's position. I think these people will have to render an unqualified apology to Mr. Cameron.

And to those who argue that we have no legal backing for our stance against homosexuality, they have to think again. Why? A democratic nation is not governed by only written down laws but also by customs and conventions!

What do you also have to contribute to this issue? Share your thoughts below.

11 Jan 2013

Bedwetting: A Childhood Dilemma

I am sure almost everyone would be familiar with the story of the eleven-year-old girl who was forced to sit on hot water by her grandparents because she wets her bed when sleeping. The enormity of the burns is gore and bizarre. One would wonder what results they expected to achieve with such a cruel approach to a psychological problem as this.

Image - Knowledge deficiency
Most parents lack knowledge on how to deal with a child that wets their bed.
Some even think it is a spiritual problem which demands a spiritual solution.


     style="display:inline-block;width:336px;height:280px"
     data-ad-client="ca-pub-1348075503032010"
     data-ad-slot="2062548887">


Looking at the bigger picture, we know that a lot of parents are indeed frustrated by the problem of bed-wetting in older children who are expected to have good bladder control.

Looking back in the days when we were growing up, older children who bed-wet were called up when school is assembled. They were whipped by the teacher and hooted at by school mates. Some people have pepper and ginger smeared and stuck to their private parts, others are denied food and some are even made to sleep outside in the cold. Some people also carried their mats and mattresses on their heads and stood in the hot scorching sun, all in a bid to stop them from wetting their beds albeit cruel, as you are aware. But they used to work perfectly on most occasions.

Are people aware of the fact that psychological problems such as bed-wetting in older children require psychological treatment? Do people also know that such bizarre treatments have psychological effects on the children in their adult lives? I don't think so!

So what education is available to the public to forestall the recurrence of such an unfortunate situation as that of this unfortunate girl who is going through so much pain and anguish right now?


     style="display:inline-block;width:336px;height:280px"
     data-ad-client="ca-pub-1348075503032010"
     data-ad-slot="2062548887">


It is true sometimes that our ways of dealing with issues and handling some situations as parents and family members are just outrageous, to say the least! So if you as a parent has gone through the problem of dealing with older children who were bed-wetting, what did you do and how did you handle the situation?

Indeed, this has a lot of psychological effects on both the children and their parents and guardians.

So where can people with such psychological problems get help? I believe you have the answers. Share your thoughts here.

8 Jan 2013

"Okada" In Ghana

There is a lot of debate ongoing as to whether "Okada", a Nigerian term referring to the commercial use of motorcycles, should be allowed in the country or not.

Motorcycles are very important in our daily lives, especially places good roads are only a dream. They come in handy when roads become impassable to cars and huge market trucks.

Image - MotorKingTricycle
These forms of tricycles are meant for conveying goods and not for
carrying human beings.


     style="display:inline-block;width:336px;height:280px"
     data-ad-client="ca-pub-1348075503032010"
     data-ad-slot="2062548887">

The debate is centered on their commercial use. I personally think it is bad and should not be allowed in Ghana! In a country where motor riders are notoriously known to flaunt traffic regulations, allowing motorcycles to be used for commercial purposes would create an eyesore. Many riders would be jostling for huge daily returns at the detriment of the people who patronize their services. This will create unnecessary competition among the riders.

The already bad situation we have on our hands whereby no one is able to check the operations of motorcycle users such as registering their tricycles and checking their speed limits coupled with the few security personnel to control the situation would leave an even worse situation on our hands.

What do you think about "okada" in Ghana? Share your thoughts.

6 Kinds Of Social Media Users

Social media these days are the new craze in town. You are either on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and the list goes on and on. Some people have more than four or five social accounts for various sites. Those who often find it difficult to remember passwords have just one social medium of linking up with the social media community.

1. The Social Spies

Most people use social media to catch up with friends and family members, including classmates, work buddies, and pseudo-friends. They just want a place to drive out boredom and loneliness. All they want is to just read updates from friends and loved ones and also see how they are going about their lives. They hardly communicate their own thoughts and feelings about anything happening in their environment. They are the reserved type. They often have fewer friends and fewer or no photos or posts on their timelines.

Image - Social media buttons
Social media is now replacing traditional media, despite the costs in
internet bundles especially in developing countries in Africa.

2. The Pious Ones

There is another group of users whose main use of social media is to get motivational information from popular motivational speakers and pastors. They think everybody else is engaging in noise making and disturbing their peace. They will rather type "Amen" than acknowledge a friend's awesome dress and/or looks. They are the church, church type. Sunday always seems far away for them. They can't wait to share the message they learned from their pastor with the rest of the 'unholy' community of social media users. They have a moderate number of friends compared with the introverts.


     style="display:inline-block;width:336px;height:280px"
     data-ad-client="ca-pub-1348075503032010"
     data-ad-slot="2062548887">



3. The Entertainment Freaks

There is also the entertainment group of users. New entertainment shows in town are their focus. They follow the musicians, actors and actresses, directors and producers. Some have interests in acting and music. Award ceremonies and entertainment competitions like the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards and Ghana Meets Naija are their taste. They can't wait to take selfies if they get to the venue. They think everybody else is too reserved and boring. They often share their photos and even jokes with their social friends. They sometimes have a large number of friends.

4. The Politicians

The next group is the news addicts and political fanatics. They are always on the lookout for breaking news so they can share it with their friends. Most of them have political persuasions they cherish so much. They will look for negative news concerning their rival group and help make it go viral. They are mostly people who don't think logic is necessary at all times. Sometimes, they believe, logic has to make way for weirdness and sheer stupidity. They will attack anybody who tries to correct them on social media. These guys are often unfriendly to even close friends because they don't share a common opinion. They mostly have a huge following on social media.

5. The Non-Aligned Group

There is yet another group of social media users. These are the non-aligned group. They will follow anybody and share anything if their judgment tells them it is right to do so. They can follow all the different groups above and still have the sense of judgment intact. Most of them are not political fanatics, entertainment geeks, news freaks, or religious folk. They can say anything against anybody. In short, they are free to do whatever they like whenever they feel like it. Most of them have a regulated number of followers based shared interests.


     style="display:inline-block;width:336px;height:280px"
     data-ad-client="ca-pub-1348075503032010"
     data-ad-slot="2062548887">



6. The Business Gurus

The last group of users is the business folks. They use social media for business purposes. They don't have time to share personal stories or share other people's stories. All they care about is their business or brand. Almost all selfies are with their business or brand. Some of them have a huge following whilst others are just trailing along.

Which of these groups do you belong? Share your thoughts here.

3 Jan 2013

Fire Outbreaks In Ghana: The Real Causes

Ghana has already witnessed two fire outbreaks at the beginning of the year (1st and 2nd January), one in Accra (MTN warehouse on Spintex Road burnt down) and the other in Kumasi(parts of Kumasi market guttered). On the 12th of the same month (January), a fuel tanker got burnt when the driver tried to pass over a speed ramp at Anyinase, burning two people to ashes on the spot and destroying buildings. At the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, another fire broke out on the same day, destroying household property running into millions of Ghana Cedis.
Image - A fire outbreak scene
People have lost so much to fires recently. Ignorance is a huge contributor to this.



     style="display:inline-block;width:336px;height:280px"
     data-ad-client="ca-pub-1348075503032010"
     data-ad-slot="2062548887">


As if that was not enough for the day, another fire outbreak was experienced at the Tema Industrial Area, a fire which was described by many as explosive in nature (as the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) personnel themselves attested to this).
In recent times, Ghana has witnessed a huge number of fire outbreaks, especially at the market centers. As to whether these fires are orchestrations of some individuals or not, we all continue to guess in the dark. Many people are quick to blame the carelessness of everyone else in one way or the other and not themselves.

The GNFS personnel often complain that they don't get easy access to the fire whenever they arrive at the scene of a fire outbreak to perform their duty because of the manner in which structures and buildings are constructed.They also complain that most of the material around these fire points are combustible and hence could set the whole area ablaze with just a spark.

What do you think may be major causes of these fires? Could it be that we attach less importance to basic safety principles? Could it also be that we are careless in dealing with the combustible material?

What of ignorance? It could also be that many people can't differentiate between flammables and non-flammables. Most people who sell in our markets can't tell if the products they are vending are combustible or not.

It could also be that some of these fires which are often linked to faulty electrical connections are as a result of lack of maintenance of the facilities involved. For example, a building which has been wired far back in 1976 would not be checked for any connection problems and no renovation done, provided the lights continue to come on and the building shows no signs of collapse. I think our culture of maintenance has to improve if we are to see a downward trend in the spate of fire outbreaks in our country.

The attitude of some people also has to change. The law regarding smoking in public places has to be strictly applied. Some smokers just throw the butts of their cigarettes anywhere after smoking, without putting the fire off. This fire, when it comes into contact with a combustible material, can cause a huge disaster like any of those above.

The way we dispose of our waste can also be the cause of a fire outbreak. Some people just gather their waste and burn it in the open. In the process, a strong wind can carry sparks to a nearby combustible material. This can lead to fire outbreaks of the magnitude above.

Not all fires are by accident. Some fire outbreaks are also intentionally caused. Workers who may be the focus of an investigation for alleged malfeasance can set fire to their offices in case the documents to be audited will land them in jail. However, I don't believe any politician and an opposition one for that matter would intentionally set a market on fire just because their rival political party is in power. For all you know, it may even affect them more in the subsequent elections. So let that crap be thrown to the dogs and vultures.

We all need to get involved in bringing this situation under control.

What do you think can be done to ensure the number of fire outbreaks can be reduced to their barest minimum? Share your thoughts here.

Sanitation In Ghana: An Attitudinal Problem

"Accra faces waste management crisis" was a headline which appeared on the back cover of the 3rd January 2013 edition of the Daily Graphic, Ghana's premiere daily newspaper. I felt sad reading this 'news'. Ghana has been politically independent for 55yrs now, but still struggles to keep her environment clean due to indiscipline.

After 55yrs of independence, it is worrying to know that we have not yet found a better way to deal with this situation. I believe our problem with waste management has to do with a lack of commitment to dealing with this problem.


     style="display:inline-block;width:336px;height:280px"
     data-ad-client="ca-pub-1348075503032010"
     data-ad-slot="2062548887">


We are in need of many things, and instead of us focusing on one thing at a time we want to tackle all at the same time. If sanitation is such a huge problem and a threat to life as we know it, why not concentrate our efforts on it and make sure we tackle it with all the seriousness it deserves? Do we have to always cry at the top of our voices whenever we have a problem?

As the government is doing its part, Ghanaians, in general, have to show a sense of discipline and resolve to end this emerging cankerworm once and for all. First of all, it is Ghanaians who litter the environment, not the political leaders. It will, therefore, have to take individual Ghanaian discipline to stop littering the environment with all forms of waste which goes to choke our drainage systems and cause floods.

Image - Rubbish heap
Ghana loses so much due to poor sanitation caused by gross indiscipline and an
inept management system.
I believe if we resolve to treat our waste and dispose it off at the right places, the number of preventable diseases we record on a yearly basis will also reduce and less or no pressure will be exerted on our meagre resources and the already ailing NHIS.

I also think we have to train enough experts in waste management so as to reap the numerous benefits that come with waste. Some of these include but not limited to biogas and recycling of some materials for industries. Instead of us getting diseases from waste, we can actually get rich from the everyday waste we generate in our homes and industries.

What do you make of the sanitation situation in Ghana? Share your opinion here.