President John Dramani Mahama virtually reduced his State of the Nation Address, delivered last week Tuesday, to complete jokes, interspersing it with the latest expressions of joke in the country:
“Who said tweaa?”, and “Are you my co-equal?” Some people think even though there was nothing wrong for the president to be a bit humorous, he went overboard with the jokes, in view of the current economic crisis facing the country and how the citizenry expected him to proffer serious solutions to arrest the situation.
Responding to heckling from the Minority, who were using expressions such as “Mr do little, speak big,” “Mahama, do something before you leave,” “You cannot do it” and “Tweaa”, the President, clearly in a joking mode, responded: “Mr. Speaker, who said Tweaa? Keep quiet and listen to me. Are you my co-equal?”
That was the President of the Republic of Ghana addressing the people’s representatives on the state of the nation, with members of the diplomatic corps, political leaders, including a former President, and chiefs in attendance, with the whole nation watching him live on national television.
Few days after the president’s address, Pastor Mensah Otabil, General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church, has challenged the nation to adopt a more serious approach to national life, as a way of solving the many challenges confronting the country.
The renowned pastor and motivational speaker does not understand why comments, attitudes and behaviours of people which should attract anger and condemnation, as a check against repetition, rather become fashionable and "all we do is to joke about it."
Pastor Otabil, who was speaking at the 2014 Springboard Road Show programme, an initiative of Albert & Comfort Ocran of Legacy and Legacy fame, cited the conduct of the District Chief Executive of Ahafo-Ano South, and wondered why Ghanaians should tolerate such an attitude.
Gabriel Barima, the DCE for Ahafo Ano South, strangely walked on dignitaries at an official function when somebody from the crowd made a 'tweaa' comment. He was only reprimanded by government for his shameful and irresponsible conduct and allowed remain in office.
Pastor Otabil believes "comments like this should make us angry”, instead of joking with them at official functions. "Can't we for once be serious and face life more seriously?" he questioned, proposing the institution of a "month of seriousness" where there will be no laughing, no joking but serious work to solve some of the most debilitating challenges facing the nation.
According to Pastor Otabil, Ghanaians are conducting themselves as "if it is the most normal environment to live in," even though "we are overwhelmed by serious challenges."
He lamented that while the whole country had been engulfed with filth and toxic waste dumped indiscriminately in Agbogbloshie and other parts of the country, all Ghanaians did was to laugh and joke about everything, drawing attention to the fact that the Ghana we have today "is not the Ghana the people of 1957 envisaged."
"The Ghana of 1957 worked better than the Ghana of 2014...;[In 1957] we knew how to deal with sanitation; toxic waste was not dumped on us. Let's start talking about the issues we face and not trivialise them," he charged the nation, challenging all Ghanaians to be "sad and burdened" and think about how to "contribute differently for myself and country."
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