Political Appointments On Ethnic And Tribal Line: A Subliminal Meta-Dehumanization
In their scholarly journal article published in the prestigious journal of personality and social psychology, Kteily, N., Hodson. G and Bruneau, E (2016), asserted that dehumanizing an out-group is a pervasive and potent intergroup process that spark-off discrimination and conflict. The researchers therefore defined meta-dehumanization as robotizing or dehumanizing out-group. The purpose of this article is to adumbrate the significance of regional and tribal integration relative to political and national appointments and thereby decreasing a covert meta-dehumanization which is a recipe for conflict, using Ethiopia as a case study.
Just as the Austrian diplomat, Clemens von Metternich (1773-1859), described Italy in the first half of the 19th century as a mere geographical expression due to that country’s dis-unification, the same could be said about the Horn of Africa’s landlocked country of Ethiopia. In his brilliant documentary, “Ethiopia failed state” circulating on youtube.com, the writer, Miller Hansen, described the current government of Ethiopia as ethnocratic, plutocratic and totalitarian. This is because the Tigris people liberation front (TPLF) continue to carryout intimidation, torture, abduction, imprisonment, massacres, ethnic cleansing, assassination and genocide. The press freedom in Ethiopia is now fizzled in a thin air. The arbitrary arrest and imprisonment of journalists have been very rife.
According to the recent World Bank group latest poverty assessment, poverty in Ethiopia fell from 44% in 2000 to 30% in 2011. In spite of economic strides in poverty reduction, about 37 million of Ethiopians continue to wallow in poverty, and from the recent World Bank data, the poorest in Ethiopia have become even poorer in the sense that the high food prices that improves lives of many farmers also make buying of food more challenging for the poorest especially those in the rural areas. Illiteracy is another major reason why Ethiopia wallows in poverty. The government of Ethiopia formed on Tigris ethnic group is heading Ethiopia towards disintegration.
The framers of the 1992 constitution of Ghana envisaged the danger of forming government based on one ethnic group. This partly explains why regional integration and regional balance were captured in the constitution. However, the makers of the constitution forgot about the real danger associated with it and what I call “the tyrant of executive president.” This is because the excessive powers wielded by the executive president could easily sink the idea of regional balance into oblivion. When political appointments are excessively based on ethnic lines like Ethiopia today, the likelihood of corruption, mismanagement, administrative ineptitude is obvious.
Conflicts do not happen by chance. Underneath every conflict in society is a remote factor. In his book: Europe since Napoleon, page 4, David Thomson intimated that revolution may begin, as wars often begin, not because people positively want them. They happen because people want other things that, in a set of circumstances, implicate them in revolution or in War. Leaders must refrain from pursuing politics that could lead into disintegration such meta-dehumanization and ethnocracy.
The former United States Supreme court judge, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr, said that, “If there is any principle of the constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought, not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.” As a country we cannot swallow our dangerous cough for the fear of hurting others. Looking at the recent political appointments in all the sensitive positions in Ghana, any objective analyst including NDC stalwarts and aficionados will be surprised and assert: “ebei, Mr. President, the Akan, the Ga-Adangbe and Ewe lives matter.” For example, the governor of the central bank is from the north: Dr. Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku, National Insurance commissioner, Miss Lydia Larriba Bawa, National petroleum authority (NPA), Mr. Moses Asaga all from the north.
Far from doubting the educational qualification of the aforementioned personalities, the concentration of the northern people only could not help the country to develop. They are all highly qualified for the job. However, for the safety of the nation and the welfare of the regional balance and integration, I succinctly suggest to Mr. President to conduct self-introspection on his appointments relative to regional balance and integration. Such self-appraisal will enhance the electoral fortunes of himself as a president and NDC as a party. “The mode by which the inevitable comes to pass is effort” (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr). There are other qualified people from other parts of the country. I respect people of northern Ghana for their hard work and honesty, even so a right thing must be done.
In his book, the history of Ghana, page 8, Roger Gocking, asserted that about 44% of Ghana’s population are Akans, who live primarily in the forest regions of the country. The Akans can be further subdivided into 11subgroup, the largest of which are the Asante, Bono, the Fante, the Akyem, the Akwamu, the Akuapem and the Nzimas. Tribalism, nepotism are all forms of corruption. .” In his book entitled: “The Africans, A triple heritages” page 11, Professor, Ali. A. Mazrui, opined that the ancestors of Africa are angry, for those who believe in the powers of the ancestors, the proof of their anger is obvious. For those who do not believe in ancestors, the proof of their anger is given another name. What are they angry about? Things are not just working in Africa. My own adaptation of Professor Mazrui’s statement is that the people and ancestors of Ghana are angry. Things are not properly working in Ghana and it is imperative we change our changeability. For example, I struggle to catch the drift of Ghana’s economics when it comes to import duties. Why must a country put high taxes on goods they don’t produce such as cars while people travel in a moving coffin from Odorkor to Kwame Nkrumah circle via Kaneshie?
In sum, covert meta-dehumanization inherent and pervasively revealed by political appointments base on tribal line is a recipe for conflict. Just as the Eastern African country of Ethiopia is now poverty-stricken frightened economy as a result of forming government on Trigris ethnic stock, the leaders of Ghana must not shelve the idea of regional, ethnic and religious balance in the composition of government. This will bring peace and development into our beloved country. Fellow countrymen, this article is not motivated by political campaign.
I am intelligent because I know that I know nothing (Socrates). I humbly stand for Corrections.
Nana Yaw Osei (Padigo), PhD Candidate, Psychology
College of Doctoral Studies
Grand Canyon University, Arizona, USA
Professor, Ph.D. (Western)
Office: MC B324
Phone: (905)688-5550 ext.5127