Yes, it is true we are suffering!

john-mahaIt was a Friday. The date was July 4, 1969. It was 8:15 AM: and the venue was the Kade Local Authority (LA) Primary School. We were made to stand in straight lines according to sections. There were four sections: red, blue, yellow and green. My section was blue. A teacher whose name I have forgotten came to inspect our school uniforms, finger nails and teeth; and those who were found unkempt were punished.

A tune of a song for us to march to our classrooms was given; and we started singing:

We are marching to our classes
We are marching to our classes
We are marching to our classes
And no more return
And no more return

So, we marched joyously into our classrooms. I was in class three. Many years later when I grew up I wondered why such a song of “no return” was allowed to be sang by school children. Interestingly, some of my mates “returned no more” – they died at tender ages. And there was a particular case I vividly recollect. One of my classmates died from a nasty sore on his ankle!

Every evening, with the help of four strong boys my friend’s legs and hands would be firmly held to resist any slightest movement, then his mother would treat his sore with steaming boiling water. The excruciating pain my mate went through was indescribable.

So, my friend had a plan. He decided to play a hide and seek game with his mother when it was time to treat his sore. In some instances he slept outside home. And for several days his mother didn’t get the opportunity to treat his sore. Sadly, the sore got infected and he died. Albeit the treatment was very painful, he would have survived if he had endured the pain.

This true story brings me back to the present state of our nation and steps being taken to address some of our challenges. President Mahama wants to lay a solid foundation that will move the country to the next level. He could have decided to reduce the number of infrastructure development going on, and use the funds to increase salary of workers, subsidize fuel prices, shore up the cedi, etc., and people would have applauded him.

And as much as such policies could have given the people of this country some temporary respite, there is no way our beloved country could develop. Positive change calls for tough measures, and these come with uncomfortable biting policies. And as with the case of my deceased classmate, it is better to endure temporary discomfort than suffering perpetually.

To borrow the words of the 32nd president of the US, Franklin Roosevelt: “only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.”

Yes, it is true that we are suffering as a people, but it must happen so that we enjoy later. We must die to resurrect. We must sow in tears and reap in joy! A maize seed must die and rot before it can germinate to give us corn for us to enjoy our banku. I have faith in President Mahama, and I believe he has what it takes to send Ghana to the next level. Our love for him must be unrequited.

We most often do not appreciate what we have till we lose it. President Mahama is competent, peaceful, tolerant and humbly. Posterity will not forgive us if we allow him to slip through our fingers.

Let’s support him in his bid for his second term in office. Choose peace over violence. #ichoosejm.


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