Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

Subjugated people cannot evolve a constitution (3)

Mrs J. Maud Kordylas

Mrs J. Maud Kordylas of Douala, Cameroon, has in the previous two issues clearly analysed the basic socio-economic problems in both economic and political spheres. In this third instalment, which concludes the series, she provides solutions which could lead the country out of the woods.
Ghana does have a chance but her chance lies in her ability to recognize what her major problem is and accept to do some- thing about it. The nation has been following a national policy of pumping good money to chase after bad invest- ment, and bad money to support a largely unproductive and redundant sector, whilst she woefully neglects her most productive sector, the rural economy. Like our cocoa, the nation has developed the disease of 'swollen shoot'. The alternatives left to deal with the problem are: either to allow the disease to go on till it destroys us or take a cue from the treatment of 'swollen shoot' and cut the tree down to start all over again.

Ridding ourselves of the relatively unproductive parasitic 'modern bubble' with its extended tentacles which has become a drain on the productive sector is our only choice. The AFRC government led by Rawlings had a gut feeling about the problem and set out to destroy it. The members identified the Makola market as the root cause of the problem and bombed it. They also destroyed the people they chaotic economic system. The actual root cause of the problem, however, eluded them just as it is also eluding the present continuation military government formed by Rawlings.

These tactics having yielded no desirable results, the government has now turned to policies which identified as the key beneficiaries of the are pushing the country more and more into then grips of subjugation to the international power agencies, while it helplessly calls on the people to evolve a form of government to save themselves. Subjugated people cannot evolve a constitution nor form a government that would save them from themselves.

Having deduced and identified the unproductive 'modern bubble' as the 'swollen shoot' that is draining the productive sector, the members of the present government set out to destroy the disease and to effect a change. They forced hardship, torture and executions onto the people to force them to change their habits and to become productive. Most of the people with saleable skills left for better pastures elsewhere. Those left who have skills are making the best of them. The rest with no practical skills or caught within the system remain at post, continuously unproductive and trying to adjust to the hardship placed on them.

These tactics having yielded no desirable results, the government has now turned to policies which are pushing the country more and more into the grips of subjugation to the international power agencies, while it helplessly calls on the people to evolve a form of government to save themselves. Subjugated people cannot evolve a constitution nor form a government that would save them from themselves.

The 'modern bubble world' as identified is truly our parasitic 'swollen shoot', but it is hardly the root cause of our problems. It is the most glaring effect brought about by the root cause of all our problems. Its forceful destruction, as has been learnt by the present government, however, does only lead us to bleed to death. Unfortunately, we have learnt to define and identify ourselves with the rest of the world through our 'modern bubble'. We cannot, therefore, hope to pretend to be able to survive without it. Our only hope lies in attacking the root cause of the problem, hoping that its destruction would push the 'modern bubble world' out of existence, just like a permanent tooth grows out to push and replace a milk tooth that has outlived its usefulness. We need, therefore, to set up a type of economy based on optimum productivity with minimum outside input, such as already exist within our rural economic set up. The growth of such an economy is the only way to replace the 'bubble economy'.

The Root Cause of All Our Woes

To achieve this we have first to uproot and destroy the root cause of all our woes. The root cause of all our problems: our educational system, the system which we have so conscientiously adopted. The system through which our forefathers and our founding fathers were trained. The system through which we were trained, our children being trained and their children would also be trained to uphold and perpetuate a western-style bookish ideals and values which unconsciously promote imperialism from within. The system that taught us to hate our African heritage; shun manual labour and which compelled us to leave behind our own ideals and values and to measure our successes and failures by our own standards instead of treating American manufactured goods and to adopt Europe and America as our paradise on earth. We are all victims of it. Not only our educated people, but also our uneducated brothers and sisters have also learnt to admire western products and have also become victims of it.

This is the system that produced young men and women with no alternatives but to become employees instead of employers. The system which failed to teach us skills and know-how to enable us to become original thinkers instead of echoist; to become doers instead of slogan toters; leaders instead of followers; creators instead of imitators; manufacturers instead of consumers; fabricators instead of importers; innovators instead of users; designers instead of adopters; constructors instead of admirers; generators instead of receivers; producers instead of beggars.

It is in fulfilment of these yearnings, yearnings for western ideals that a 'modern bubble world' has been created. A world which has brought about our subjugation to the western powers; our foreign exchange problems, our desire for western manufactured goods, envy, em- bezzlement, kalabule, chartered flights, black marketeering, coups, etc... It is in the desire to be part of this accepted westernized system that people have migrated from the rural areas to the cities; caused people to educate their children abroad, and to remove from our crowded cities to the crowded cities of Europe and America. It is this western, imperialistic educational system that we have adopted that is stifling and destroying us.

A New Dynamic Education System

It is only when we have successfully overhauled this imperialistic system of education that we can hope to consider ourselves free and to want to evolve a constitution and a form of government that will guide our future development and our progress. To accomplish such a great feat, we need to evaluate the westernized educational system which has now become part of us, pick out what we can successfully use, blend it with our own cultural ideals and values. It is when we are able to define and project ourselves as we are that we can claim to be a free people.

We can then introduce a more relevant, new, dynamic, practical and participatory system of education, where practical skills are taught to our children from the nursery university; starting with simple, practical skills which are upgraded and advanced through the system, till they reach advanced and sophisticated levels. It is when we have taught our children to extract pectin from lemon peels, instead of importing it; to extract vegetable milk from groundnuts; malt from sprouted cereals; alcohol from cassava; wines from tropical fruits, that we can hope to produce original thinkers, fabricators, innovators and leaders of men.

Introduction of such an educational system will have the highest potential for simultaneous achievement of several goals. It will register tremendous increases in the productivity of the products. Majority of the people will acquire practical skills that would enable them to generate their own productive ventures. The type of productive ventures that will be based on our own products. A healthy productive economy will be set up that will either absorb or dissipate the 'modern bubble' with its western-style economy; undesirable tentacles and arbitrary governments.

It is when the majority of the people struggle through their own efforts to create things for themselves; obtain their own livelihood from what they have created; acquire their own property through their own efforts, to the that they will begin to want to evolve the type of constitution that will give them justice, protect their freedom and their liberty. It is then that they begin to form associations which will cut across regional boundaries and tribal ties to take care of their common interests. It is then that those elected to form a government will be the people's choice and would not spend time debating over salaries to be paid to them, nor would they debate over the model of cars to be imported for them. They would be occupied with more pressing problems of the times, because they would be answerable to the people who have put them in their positions. It is then that the people would demand accountability from their government and we can confidently say that power is in the hands of the people.

talking drums 1985-11-11 Nigeria the IMF Recipe - when st bob geldof went marching in