Archive for the ‘The Black Fact’ Category

by Theophilus Nana Tsiwah

I always at least within each hour ponder a while about why Africa is still what it is. I look at my elephant grass roof and ask, why this beautiful and blessed Africa is still lying in the shackles of poor development.

As a “Semi-Villagist Pan-Nkrumahist-Afric­anist,” in each day I try hard to put my thought and soul into the days and reason conscious ideals of the nationalism movement. In fact, in those days of nationalism movement there were low level of political consciousness streaming the breadth and length of our Africa continent. There were times, that the needs to let the continent be united as United State of Africa drove it stream of passion through the hearts of many nationalists.

Kwame Nkrumah, had a thought-in-chains ideas of making it worth a pride to prove to the world that when the African is given the opportunity he can prove his mettle out of the boiling doubt minds of the world which looked at Africans as incapable of managing their own affairs.

In the Gold Coast for instance, in the era where the chiefs were used as “stooges and puppets” to accomplish British official policies and agenda, the educated class of intelligentsia were woefully cut from the governing stream Not that they were not knowledgeable about how to ‘man’ the affairs of their people, but the bigger agenda was to entrench British rule in the rock of the land.

Several years after independence (more than 50 years for Ghana, Nigeria, Congo etc), independence for the continent of Africa still is leaving her indelible prints in the sands of colonialism that it is not ready to manage her own affairs. Various government have made deliberate measures to put things in place, yet it appears without a shred of doubt that these measures are either donor countries and institutions appeal or at the pleasure of serving their own parochial desires.

Many are times that we hear of government interventions to safeguarding the economy of Africa state. In the face of scrutiny, these interventions could be seen as just one of a kind to still push Africa into the chains of neo-colonialism as Nkrumah would rightly put it. The African on the other hand is also not committing his soul and heart to seeing that the right thing is done. Individualism which is a direct concomitant of slavery and colonialism is what the African is dying hard in its pool to swim.

Africa has passed through the spectacles of many denigrating thunderstorms yet that to my portion of critical observation have not made Africa and the African informed. We as Africans have not learnt any reasonable lessons from their past histories. We have become more Euro-centric than ever. Corruption, bribery, cancerous rots, diseases and lack of development is eating Africa to the core. Sometimes, it is so disheartening and heart breaking to learn how so and so dire projections are made in terms of Africa’s future. As matter of truth, most of these projections, predictions and forecast are urban centred which in it purest reality is just as a fragment of “truth-in-a-lie”.

The struggle has become over due and must be changed. The new world order I see surfacing its head must mark it time in the shifts and dictates of Africa and Africans. Africa is for Africans and it must be noted critically that it is only Africans alone that are the keys to solving this puzzle of problems dwarfing this continent.
I will now conclude with some lines from my poem:

JUST WHEN I THOUGHT I WAS AN AFRICAN

Just when I thought I was an African,
The voices of foreign dominance,
Struck me to the feet of my mind,
Into a journey along the shores of Africa.
About, when neo-colonialism shall
Cease laying it bloody hands on Africa?

Just when I thought I was an African,
The struggles of our past histories,
Torture and torment along the shores of history,
Struck my inner most self,
To riddle wet emotions,
Under the tongue of mouth.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of Lyriversity

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

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by Theophilus Nana Twisah

There is a time in life, I mean a reference period that a boy and a girl mature into a man and a woman respectively. With this changes taking shape in life, the rhythms of the mind-to-thought also undergoes this transformation. We do then begin thinking proactively in positions that sends our thought on travelling reasoning succession of what ought to be.

The celebration or observing of the AU (OAU) to me is such an irrelevant day as the aims or objectives of AU when put under the microscope of critiquè can be sorted out as not addressing the brain behind it as envisioned by the likes of it founding fathers like Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and so on.

The AU which sprung out of the former OAU has resumed a status of a ‘defunct’ more than becoming ‘active’ in pursuing it agenda and aims. To date, the AU has not been able to achieve the full taste in it aims. The AU has not achieve greater unity and solidarity between African countries, it has also not accelerated the political and socio-economic integration of the continent. Where is the integration of the economies in Africa? People are swimming and dying in abject poverty, diseases, malnutrition and so on.
The sad issue is that, the AU has not been able to defend and promote the common position of all Africans on issues of interest to the continent. The AU if it were human would have being a woman in a man’s skin. Cowardice is the perfect description of the AU when it comes to defending and speaking on common grounds on issues which would affect Africans on the geographical scale.

In the promotion of peace, stability and security on the continent, if that were to be an examination the AU would have scored 5% out of 100%. Where in Africa or which part of Africa is the AU promoting peace, stability and security? Take your mind and it visuality to the shores of our continent and you would realise the pain, agonising, and traumatic moments people are going through in some of our countries, and you would understand how ‘sluggishly’ and ‘deceasedly’ the AU has become in terms of promoting peace and security. What of the recent coup de’tat in our part of the world? Can that be linked to promoting stability?
Are we not still swimming deeply in the pool of colonialism after our paper written independence? What is the reference point of our being independent when we still can’t unite on our fronts to embattle this world’s order of not favouring Africa? Are our nations truly united? Is neo-colonialism still not eating us to our core?
Now, if all these and many more questions of problems are hanging around our necks as Africans, and our so called united body (AU) can’t solve them. Then what is even the point of the existence of AU, let alone celebrating or observing it’s day?

Africa must work and not talk-talk.
What is the importance of this statement to us as Africans; “that Africans are capable of managing their own affairs”? But are we really managing our own affairs?

The views, opinions and statements found on this column is solely those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of Lyriversity.

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

Students studying in a Library, Nigeria. Photo by Okoye Charles

Students studying in a Library, Nigeria. Photo by Okoye Charles

by Theophilus Nana Tsiwah

After several years of independence Africa nations from colonialism, Ghana in particular has not being able to stand tall to her meriting as the ‘lodstar’ of Africa since it is still meandering in the river of how to develop holistically. When one cast his or her eyes to the happenings in other African countries like Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Algeria, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Lesotho, Sao Tomè and Principe and the rest, the same observation as to what is happening to Ghana can be seen.

Colonialism has influenced Africa and her nations to the far side of retrogression. Many are the deliberate efforts by African countries and governments to reverse the symptom of stifled stillness of development. It would be very unfortunate for anyone to say or think that Africa leaders have not made any efforts at all to ameliorate the lives of their ‘ruled’.

Continentally, many worthy course have been embarked upon to see Africa develop. Key Organisations such as the Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU) now Africa Union (AU) being the foremost body has been established to this effect. The AU despite it challenges in areas of ideological differences of it member states, language barrier, lack of effective standing army, overly attachment to aprons of colonial masters, as well as lack of a common voice by Africa on the international front about pertinent matters which concern Africa. One cannot simply justify the soft-underbellies of AU as not enough efforts towards helping Africa.

Regionally, the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), East Africa Community (EAC), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Southern African Development Community (SADC), Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) and so on have also been instituted as regional blocs primarily focusing on economic empowerment and regional integration.

All these are laudable efforts by Africa and African countries towards development. However, it is very sad to note that despite these efforts, Africa is still swimming in the pool of problems ranging from the perpetual abject poverty, chronic diseases with no cure, generational ‘Adam’ inheritance of corruption, civil strifes and wars, and other thwarting woes.

The one key area Africa and her nations have not realised is that, these problems we are facing stems from Africa’s continual adherence to the “colonial educational system”. We all, in fact admit that, indeed education is key to development be it, individuals, nations and continents. Innovations and initiative are mammoth factors which oil’s the wheels of technology. On the contrary, the colonial educational system which the colonial masters introduced in the form of “western education” has bedevilled Africa to a larger extent. The demands of this genre of education by the colonial masters sought to provide effective communication skills, clerical, theological and evangelism exigencies by the colonial masters. This form of education did not provide any room considering the needs of Africa. It is this type of education that is still “adored and cherished” by African countries.

With this kind of educational system, the innovative and initiative instinct of students_learners are killed even at birth. What Africa needs to note is that, this type of educational system seeks all diabolic means to down play technical and vocational skill acquisition, and in return usher unto us the elements of “bookish knowledge” acquisition. This same form of educational system which our curricula have been modelled after seeks to perpetuate the words of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as “Neo-colonialism”.

It is this same kind of educational system which have made us and continues to make Africa countries producers and exporters of raw materials such as gold, diamond, bauxite, cocoa beans, timber, manganese and the likes, and in turn imports finished commodities thus the resultant effects of balance of payment deficit and flying inflation. This colonial system of education encloses students in places called “classrooms and lecture halls”, feeding them with theories of fictions which kills the true spirit of pragmatism given to Africans by the ‘creator’.

Africa has not being able to catch up with the winds of development aptly because, her human capacities are being fed with some kind of ” knowledge” that is not compatible to her developmental needs and agenda. Right from the basic form of education through senior high school and tertiary, students are made to believe that being able to speak like a ‘whiteman’ quantify ones effort as truly educated. Along this same path lieth technical and vocational education which most of our governments have not given the needed push to ensure it life-long support to our economic growth.

Per the observations made, if this trend or system of colonial education continues to eat deeper into our continental and national fabric then surely Africa has a long way to go as far as economic and infrastructural developments are concerned.

However, there seems to be a glowing light at the far side of the tunnel, if Africa leaders and governmental agencies particularly the Ministries of Education in the various African countries, can pool resources together in terms of human, capital and material to “review” and “rewrite” the educational curricula, then surely Africa would be on fertile grounds towards development. Africa and her nations must develop a system of education that is relevant to the needs of Africa in today’s 21st Century.

The education system must be made to lay more emphasis on the acquisition of technical and vocational skills which comes along with it critical and pragmatic thinking thus the power of innovation. Africa must eschew the unwholesome licking of the fiction nectaries that comes with the colonial educational system and embrace the realities of the problems she faces. This way, we will be able to avail our minds to finding efficacious modalities of remedying the myriad of problems confronting Africa, her nations and citizenry.

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

by Theophilus Nana Twisah

The major policy of French colonial administration in West Africa until 1946 took on the wheels of “Assimilation”.
The underlying policy was to enable France implant French culture and civilisation on the people with the intention of suffocating the culture and fundamentalities of Afrikans. The policy of Assimilation can be strategically divided into three folds_ranging; political, economic and socio-cultural.

Political Assimilation

The political administration of assimilation which was controlled from a centralised federation as the Federation of French West Africa had it headquarters at Dakar, Senegal. The laws for the administration, that is, obnoxious were deliberately made in France under the very watchful eyes of the legislative body in France.

There were the colonial minister, the governor-general, lieutenant governors, the commandant du cercle, chef du subdivision and the puppets_African chiefs heading cantons.

With this structure well entrenched and codified in place, the French government was ever more pig-headed to dance to the tune of “loot-all-natural-re­sources” given to Afrikans by nature and make them wallow in the abyss of poverty and agonies. The political assimilation however, enfeebled the political authority, military, rulership and divine authority of the chiefs who were made to become the elements of puppetism and stoogism which occurred in French West Africa.

Economic Assimilation

French policy of Assimilation took a different trend in the economic sphere. In the Economic sphere, the colony was made to produce raw materials particularly to feed French industries. Based on this, French interest was the premium. The natural resources were exploited to enable France compete favourable in the league of industrial competition taking place in Europe.

French Colonial Pact, made it possible for France to dictate the economic and financial decisions of the colonies to favour or serve the interest of France and her citizens at the expense of the colonies. The colonial pact also forbade French colonies to engage in any foreign trade with the exception of France. What this then meant was that, France became the ‘god’ of trade for their colonies which even till date works like a generational ‘curse’. It is however clear from the principle that, France did not only lord herself over the colonies but to the entrenchment of a “one-evil-route-trad­e” all in the name of serving the parochial selfish whims and caprice of France. France like any other European colonisers feared for losing their foul gain as a result of the lack of or inadequate resources they had.

Cultural and Social Assimilation

Another policy of Assimilation which is equally as dreadful is that of the socio-cultural assimilation. The cultural assimilation was solely meant to implant French culture on the local people thus distorting the cultural heritage of the local people. French civilisation meant that, everything Afrika was barbaric and ungodly, and that it beholds on the local people to accept and uphold their claim of their culture being divinely-ordained.

The social assimilation took on the harshest of all trend, thus dehumanising the Africa into the notorious system of indigenat and prestation. The worrying thing was that, the subjects under the social ordinances or obnoxious laws were subjected to forced labour without any monetary payment. The subjects did all the difficult works especially those conscripted into the army to work as auxiliaries. They were popularly known as deuxieme contigent, who did all the drugeful work. In fact, they were regarded as “Slaves” in their own homelands.

The General Effects

The many incurable problems confronting French West African countries today can all be stemmed from this system. The situation where France has over-lord herself over the French West African countries all are as a result of the French policy of Assimilation.

Even in 1958, when Sekou Toure and his Guinea voted against the French community, all the colonial ‘benefits’ Guinea had although it was generated from her own resources were destroyed with impunity. Charles de Gaule must have being very diabolic_wise to enable France envisage her vision which they (France) are enjoying today.

Leaders who decide not to walk the talk of France are quickly engulfed in the web of pustch or coup de tat machinated by France.

Today, about fourteen (14) West African countries after serveral years, say 50 years of independence from France still pay colonial ‘benefits’ to France. These countries are made to pay annual financial contributions over billions of Dollars to France simply because they are deemed by France to have benefited from them as a result of France colonising them.

In terms of trade, major trading partner of all French West African countries is France and no one else. The failure to trade first with France means the worst is yet to happen.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Lyriversity.

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

by Theophilus Nana Tsiwah

Once again the annual ritual of reminding ourselves of independence as a nation from British rule. On 6th of March 1957 a nation was born in sub-saharan Africa with her emblem “Freedom and Justice” boldly written on the faces of it declarers and citizenry. We made to comprehend our freedom from British rule and dictatorship. Indeed, the thrills, sounds and shouts of the thousands sent a signal of what “independence” meant. The flashbacks and scenes indeed sent a strong sign of a nation that had the spirit patriotism and true patriots walking the length and breadth.

The struggle for independence didn’t start with the era of the birth of United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) in 1947. It must be noted that the struggle to gain independence heightened between 1947 and 1949, that is the birth of the former political movement that of the later Convention People’s Party movement.

However, it must be keenly seen from an angle that the struggle to gain independence had two phases. One with the Proto-nationalism era of which The Fante Confideration of 1868 been the first of it kind of movement, it also saw the likes of the Aborigines Rights Protection Society of 1897 which sought to freedomise the people from foreign land dominance and so on. All these movements and struggles occurred before the first world war.

The other phase of the movement, The Militant/Radical nationalism happened after the second world war and the first Pan-African Congress, Manchester in 1945. It was within this period that independence revolutionaries imbibed, inculcated and indoctrinated with radical methodisms, a call for antagonistic posture towards colonial wing powers and as well the intensity of immediatist approach.

A man (NKRUMAH) from “nowhere” was spell-broken from his hide-out by “Divinity” to come to Gold Coast to lead the way which had already been paved by others. Despite the myriads of problems and thwarting antagonistic shades they encountered, so desirous and patriotic they were, it paid well on an unrelentless wings and so on 6th of March 1957 Ghana was born in the speech of the Osagyefo, “At long last the battle has ended and, thus Ghana your beloved country is free forever”. This meant the bondage of
Colonialism has been disentangled and the way forward was what all were seeking for.

At this very moment all were ready to go the positive way. Kwame Nkrumah the Prime Minister at the time laid conscious modalities to make the nation attain full Republican Status. In fact, all that a new nation need was to fly through the winds of quick transformation stream of the atmosphere. Concrete and realistic developmental initiatives were put in place which saw the realisation of the many things we are enjoying today. The unfortunate happened in 1966, which set this nation which was seen soaring high back. All efforts since then made heads in the abyss of the “dark”.

Anthony Obeng Afrane in his article, GHANA: THE WAY FORWARD TO DEVELOPMENT reminds us of a lot of things. He stated, “Africa is said to be notorious for its abundance in natural resources: iron, cobalt, bauxite, uranium, copper, silver, gas, diamonds, gold, oil, timber, cocoa, etc; and available fertile land for agriculture. The largest waterfall in the world, the Inga Falls in DR Congo has the potential to produce electricity for the whole continent of Africa, yet Africa is one of the poorest regions in the world with billions of its people dirty and poor.
Japan, a country so small, and who imports almost everything is one of the world’s largest and wealthiest economies; this clearly shows that land size and a large endowment of natural resources do not necessarily translate into wealth. So why is Africa so “poor” and other nations so “rich”? Colonization is certainly part of the reasons, but it has been several decades since most countries on the continent gained independence, and therefore, I believe we don’t have any excuse for remaining poor.”

The fact is that we are “paperly independent or say verbosal independence”, and that is why the forces of Neo-Colonialism are at work against us. Mental Slaverism has eaten deeply into the minds and hearts of many especially our leaders who tell us to be more patriotic. Inspite of the noise making, we are still dictated to and invariably directed upon to act in conformity to the whimsicalities and capriciousness of external forces. As citizens, we have less or no say in matters of “policies” that should affects us, all in the name of ‘Aids’ and ‘Grants’.

Today, 6th of March 2014, as we embark once again on this annual ritual of independence, we must all as citizens be reminded that we have a long way to go on the basis of us realising holistic development and full economic independence, thus we must as citizens do all that is in our power to make this aspiration a dream come true.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Lyriversity.

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

by Theophilus Nana Tsiwah

“Mau Mau” a term believed to be an acronym in Swahili that means, “Let the foreigner go back abroad, let the African regain independence”.
This was made by Dedan Kimathi during his struggle for independence in Kenya. I think that Kimathi’s movement of Mau Mau still applies today here in all Africa countries.

Today, most Africa countries be it former British, French, Portuguese or Belgian colonies are still living under the shadow of servitude in independence or fragmented independence.

Independence is a holistic venture. It includes all wheels which run a nation. It embodies the entire social, political, economical, religious and cultural spectrum of a people and nation. Can this independence be deemed as what truly engulfs our nations and continent? I guess, this simple rhetoric needs no pondering over to give an answer; No.

The “Mau Mau” movement sought to demonstrate against the infringement of the right of the local people in areas of life concerning their lands, culture and governing.

Taking a look at what is happening in Africa today, everything tells us that She needs to regain independence. The people of South Africa have their lands in the hands of foreigners. Robert Mugabe the last liberational pillar in Africa had to embattle white dominance in order to restore the land of his people in Zimbabwe.

Economically, Africa is living in the shadows of “no win” in the battle field. In fact, our entire economical set-up is dictated and architecturally manned by those same foreigners whom we claim we had independence from. The World Bank and the IMF keeps dictating our economic policies. In fact, we are still the pre-independence “puppets”.

Isn’t it so pathetic to note how our very own culture have been quashed to nothing. Our identity has gradually dwindle. Black women and men living on the Africa-land no longer value their skin. They deem black skin as a mistake by the creator, thus, the daily bleaching of their skin. Our people no longer admire their dressing as well as language.

Our political and national aspiration is in the hands of foreigners. We are under the whims and caprice of the international and foreign watchers. We as a people still work tirelessly to institute principle in terms of political endeavour to please those whites. Our elections becomes either credible or incredible from the reports of these international observers. Some Africa countries that have being torn apart and destroyed is as a result of these same observer reports.

Isn’t it fair to state without any shred of doubt that, Africa needs to regain independence. The independence fought and won by our Liberation Leaders who are no more has really fallen into the gutters of nothing.

The many problems fraughting our nations can only be salvaged, or we can find lasting solutions to the myriad of problems impinging on our prospect to develop as nations and continent if only we understand that, indeed our independence needs to be regained.

Indeed we have gained independence but to regain true independence, this must come from a conscious revolutionary modalities and strategies which is based on conscientising the African to enable him understand that the independence we are priding ourselves with, which even go to the higher extent of celebrating it as part of our national holidays has totally fallen or put it has shrink into the sands of white control.

“Mau_Mau” Let the white go back abroad, let the African regain independence. Africa must regain independence.

Long Live Africa!
Long may her nations prosper!!

 

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Lyriversity.

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

by Theophilus Nana Tsiwah

Before the first encounter of the West Africa man with the British (Europeans), the local people had their own administrative and ruling set-up. Though it was not the what the Europeans practised thus it would be arguably wrong to say or insinuate that the local people had no system of rule.

It was the pre-colonial period. There were the “centralised societies” as evidenced in the Akan societies of pre-colonial era as well as the “acephalous societies” of pre-colonial Igbo communities in Eastern Nigeria. In the tale of the centralised societies, it was more organised on solid ruling pattern and features. in the case of the pre-colonial Akans for instance, there was the paramount chief who performed military, administrative, judicial, legislative and religious functions. In fact due to the enormous influence and control of the paramount chief, he was regarded as the father of his people. He was at the apex of authority. All other chiefs within his jurisdiction owed allegiance to him.

In the next line of authority were the sub-chiefs who controlled sub-chiefdoms. The Queen mother was one prominent figure we cannot leave out. She nominated a successor to the throne to be approved by the council of Elders when the royal stool became vacant. The linguist, council of elders and ‘Asafo’ companies were also in that respective order.

The case of the Acephalous states like that of the Igbo communities of Eastern Nigeria is different from that of the pre-colonial Akans of Ghana. These societies had no distinct governments. However, each headman of a family was a chief in his right. The headman was the guardian of the land under his jurisdiction, and as well served as the spiritual head and mediator between the earth god and the people. The headman was also in charge of customary issues relating to the land.

Indeed both the rulers of the “centralised” and “acephalous” states played mammoth roles in administering and ruling their people. Little did we know that with the interaction or coming of the Europeans all these will fade away like vapour.

To prove their total dominance, the Europeans, adopted a tactical approach in dividing Africa among themselves at the Berlin Conference. This finally made each European master to know the kind of territories they were to deal with in terms of control and looting of their natural resources such as gold, diamond, and so on. This in one way or the other, also ushered in the introduction of the British rule as in the Gold Coast which was then known as “British Crown Colony”. This was the time that the British devised a system which till date has thousands of effects on our dear nation’s administrative system. The system was the introduction of “governor-generals and governors”. Initially all the four colonies from Gold Coast, Nigeria, and the Gambia were controlled by a governor-general in Sierra Leone.

Talk of Nigeria, the man whose principle of indirect rule properly known as “Lugardism” which has affected us so much, Sir Frederick Lord Lugard became the Governor-general of Nigeria between the period of (1914-1919). He formulated and implemented several policies. Subsequent governors such as Sir Hugh Clifford (1919-1925), Sir Graeme Thomson, Sir Donald Cameron Sir Bernard Bourdillon, and so on to the last British governor Sir James Robertson (1955-1960) all followed the foundations in terms of policy-making laid by Lord Lugard in the governance of Nigeria.

In the Gambia, there were the Alexander Grant (1815-1821),
Alexander Findlay (1829-1830), George Rendwall (1830-1837) Thomas Lewis Ingram (1837-1838), Charle Fritzgerald (1844-1847), Sir Robert Baxter Llewelyn (1891-1900), Edward John Cameron (1914-1962) and then finally to Sir John Warbuton Paul (1962-1968) who became the last governor of the Gambia.

In Sierra Leone, there were the B.Thompson (1787), John Taylor(1788-1789), Alexander Falconbride (1791-1792), John Clarkson (1792-1795), William Dawes (1795-1796), Sir Charles MacCharthy (1815-1820), Hugh Lumley (1827-1828), Alexander Findlay (1830-1833), Octavius Femple (1833-1834), Sir George Beres Ford Stooke (1947-1952) and finally Sir Maurice Henry Dorman (1956-1961) who became the last governor of Sierra Leone.

Finally in Gold Coast (Ghana), there were the Sir William st. John(1621-1623), Thomas Dalby (1701-1708), Thomas Llelri (1751-1756), John Roberts (1780-1781) Archibald Dalzel (1792-1798), John Hope Smith (1822-1825), Sir Hugh Charles Cliford (1912-1919), Sir Frederick Gordon Guggisberg (1919-1925), Sir Arnold Weinholt (1934-1941), Sir Alan Maxwell Burns (1942-1947), Sir Charles Noble Arden-Clarke and the last of the Gold Coast governors Lord Listowel (1957-1960).

All these colonial governors drew various constitutions and policies for their colonies. These constitutions they drew have had so much (or considerable) influence on the poor state of our developmental agenda, since all these were based on the methodics of “Lugardism”. In areas of economic, political, and social hardships, all these stem from the era of the ‘governorship’.

In the political events that clouded Gold Coast now Ghana, the killing of the ex-servicemen namely; Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and Private Ordatey Lamptey as a result of a demonstration to submit the grievances of the ex-servicemen to the colonial government were simply the immediate catalyst which sped the riots. However, it must be noticed that behind the mask were that, numerous economic, political and social injustices triggered the occasion.

The control of domestic trade which happened to solely be in the hands of foreigners including Europeans, Syrians, Lebanese as well as Indians who formed the Association of West African Merchants. The undue manipulation of prices of commodities and black marketing all were simply as a result of the colonial octopus efforts. Discrimination of Africans in areas of employment to Civil Service and education.

Now with all these developments going on, one would like to ask, couldn’t the colonial governors at the time do anything sensible to salvage the awful situations? I genuinely believe that the Sir ‘Alan Burns’ constitution of Gold Coast of 1946 created and facilitated these chronic economic, political and social damages especially in the Gold Coast. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah the leader of the Convention People’s Party in 1949 rejected the report of the Justice Henley Committee labeling it as a “Trojan Gift Horse” and as “bogus and fraudulent”.

The fact there lies in that, Nkrumah saw it as a manipulative mean by the British government to continue her dominance over the local people. It must also be noted with all the eagerness it deserves. After several years of Independence, Ghana in 1957, Nigeria in 1960, Sierra Leone in 1961 and the Gambia in 1965 and as nations we are still struggling to gain feet on our quest to see and feel real development, that should tell us where indeed our setbacks lies.

Ghana for example is embattling the canker of retail businesses to those same folks who in some way connived with their governors to detrimentally cause great economic and social distortion to our colonial days. The laws in Ghana in particular is breached constantly as day fades and night elapses by these foreigners who flout our laws with impudence as it occurred in the days of colonialism. Chinese in particular have over exploited our precious minerals (gold) in the crude method called “galamsey” causing tremendous degradation to our lands and water bodies, where as our governments, which are, a predecessors of those governor-generals haven’t done anything positive and realistic to curb this appalling phenomenon.

In the light of this, I honestly think that, today, if our nations are dominated by foreigners in areas of economic development then something should remind us of the era of the “governor-generals” and “governors” which has dealt so much seriously blows on our efforts to develop on a cheetah’s speed.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Lyriversity.

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

byTheophilus Nana Tsiwah

After a deeper reflection through all the historical chronicles these nation(s) of ours and continent has passed through leaves me in so much heart bleeding moments.

The treatment of ‘Lugardism’, that is, Indirect Rule as propounded by Frederick Lord Lugard is one of a disturbing phenomenon. Talk of how our chiefs lost their sanctity and supremacy is quite unfortunate.

With the introduction of indirect rule, the omens of ‘Lugardism’ swept and ate into our entire traditional fibre. The ‘Lugardism’ sought for an objective to establish and entrench western democratic institutions and practices into our administrative set-up.

Lord Lugard in his book “The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa” published in 1922 persuaded the British authority of the need and appropriateness of indirect rule in British West Africa. Nigeria, Ghana, The Gambia and Seirra Leone received their turn of entrenchment in that succession. As a result of the propounder thus the crowing principle ‘Lugardism’.

Lugardism in a way was ‘trick’ in disguise just as many other European colonising strategies. It made our chieftancy supremacy weak and fragile by duping the major architects (chiefs) their powers thus making the chiefs “puppets and stooges”.

It also took away the power of judicial function which was based on African traditional customary laws, and in turns tried and punished offenders through British courts and judges. This also led to the introduction of the police and prisons to enforce these colonial laws.

The ‘Lugardism’ system brought in it wakes strained relationship between the chiefs who happen to be the rightful emirs of their people and some fraction of their ruled (educated elites). The marginalisation of African intelligentsia was indeed the one surest way for the entrenchment of indirect rule or better put it the ‘Lugardism’.

The Bristish at some point in their inordinate quest to see total dominance over their ruled in West Africa, sought for modalities to cut down it huge financial cost due the vast shape the colony was getting. Other factors such as acute shortage of personnel, communication problems, limited knowledge of the territories and fear of antagonistic posture from the local people were some of the things that brought in it wake the ‘Lugardism’.

With the full introduction and total entrenchment of the ‘Lugardism’, it basically laid the foundation of our ruling process even till date. Several constitutions which have exerted a considerable influence on our current constitutions emanated from this.

In the case of Ghana, the 1992 Republican Constitution evolved from the various pre-independence or colonial constitutions. Talk of the Guggisberg constitution in 1925 which created the Provincial of Chiefs in the Central, Western and Eastern provinces. Subsequent constitutions like that of the Alan Burns, Reports of Coussey Committe, Nkrumah’s constitution and so on had their influence as a result of the infections of indirect rule.

It however comes with no doubt that most of the myriad problems we are facing as nation(s) and continent stems from this system of rule. In view of this, if we really want to find solutions to most of the problems we are facing in terms of our efforts to seeing realistic development, then we must stop the “cymbal playing and blame games” and trace back the root of the ‘Lugardism’ principle which till date has a hand in “setbacking and sabotaging” our nationalistic and continental developmental agenda.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Lyriversity.

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity