On May-Day holiday Monday, 3 May 2021, I watched a Joy FM Documentary titled “Killing our Roses” by Joseph Opoku Gakpo.
In it, the MP for Builsa-South lamented the gradual extinction of the rosewood with nothing left for the next generation. Another MP indigene of the area also stated that, officials of the Forestry Commission were/are complicit in the illegal felling of rosewood.
The case of the Chinese woman Helen Huang’s escape after being caught involved in rosewood smuggling in 2020 is still fresh in Ghanaian minds!
Both MPs attributed the decimation of the rosewood to GREED!
Otherwise, they asked, how do contractors get Letters of Conveyance from the Forestry Commission ostensibly to salvage old rosewood on the forest floor, but end up with freshly cut rosewood?
As a twelve-year-old first year secondary student in the mid-1960s, two events made an indelible imprint on me; Cricket and Theatre/Drama.
We were introduced to cricket in Term One. For many of us, it was a new game we were seeing for the first time. Aside the fascination of the game being played in spotless white shirt and white trousers, halfway through the match, they stopped to have tea with biscuits. Like many of my classmates, I love cricket to this day.
Theatre/Drama was the second activity to impact heavily on me. During Speech Days, the Drama Society staged interesting plays.
An early play we saw was from Geoffrey Chaucer’s book “The Canterbury Tales” in which the Latin “Radix Malorum Est Cupiditas” featured in The Pardoner’s Tale. It translated as “the love of money/greed is the root of all evil.”
It taught me that, despite its superficial appeal, greed always ends up with disgrace or death or both.
As guests of a colleague Kenyan General in Easter 2009, we visited the Nairobi National Park. Unlike a zoo where animals are caged, the Park is a huge fenced game reserve where animals live in their natural environment and move about freely as they would in the wild.
After a few minutes’ drive, a spectacle I had never beheld burst on my sight! I saw the frightening scene of two lions, the male and his wife/girlfriend. As my host drove closer to them, my protests increased! My protests notwithstanding, he drove to within six feet of the lions and asked me to take pictures of them. Still protesting, I took some quick shots and ordered him to move away! It was at this stage that my amused friend said something which has stayed with me.
He said “Dan, unlike us humans, animals are not greedy!”
Recalling why he made us enter the park at 6 am, he explained that, carnivorous animals like lions spend the night hunting. By dawn, they would have eaten to their fill. Thereafter, all they wanted was a shady place to rest once day broke. Until the food digests and is excreted some days later, the satiated lion harms no-one except in self-defence.
A lion, he said, would hunt an antelope because that would be enough for it. However, a pride of lions would go after a bigger animal like a zebra so the family can feast on it.
He concluded that, since hunger is the instinct which makes carnivores like lions hunt, once that need is satisfied, they are harmless.
For us humans however, once a need is satisfied, we graduate to wants. So humans will kill just to satisfy our greed.
In the play, three friends chanced on a vault of gold in the countryside. After the initial excitement, they decided to guard the gold till nightfall when they would carry their booty home without any interference. While two guarded the gold the third was sent to go to the nearest village to buy food.
As soon as the food-buyer left, the two guards plotted to kill him so they would share the gold. As he went, he thought of having all the gold to himself. He decided to kill his two friends. Having bought the food, he ate his and laced the rest with poison.
Although I watched this play about fifty years ago, I still have a vivid mental picture of all three friends dead on the stage. Greed!
1.Why are we destroying cocoa farms/vegetation and the environment for gold (galamsey)?
2.Why are we poisoning our surface and underground water with mercury and cyanide
3.Why are we illegally cutting our rosewood?
Unless we eschew greed, we are sitting on a time-bomb!
Leadership! Lead by example.
Fellow Ghanaians, WAKE UP!
Brig Gen Dan Frimpong (Rtd)
Former CEO, African Peace Support Trainers Association
Family Health University College
Source: Brig Gen Dan Frimpong (Rtd)/ [email protected]
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