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Date Published: 10/06/09

When there is no light... By Arinze Alinnor A.


We do know that the difference between people is in what they know and what they do with what they know. In a seminar not too long ago, I told the audience that when there is no light there is no life. Knowledge or mental illumination guarantees clarity of vision and can help keep focus in life. While trying to buttress my point, somebody made a comment amongst the audience. He said that the difference between rural and urban areas in this part of the world is also light. He meant that the light in the cities (commercial activities, opportunities, exposure and electricity) is the difference. So when you are in the cities and they are lacking the things he felt are the basics, then there is no ‘urban’ life. His point did make sense.

During my days in the seminary, around 10:15pm we were all expected to be in bed. By that time, all lights are put off with the exception of security lights outside. We were not permitted to be awake to read or do any other thing but to sleep because we had serious study periods. At the moment all the lights had been put off in Nigeria and only the security lights are on. The government of the day had put off the lights. Our educational system is nothing to write home about. Many had said all manner of things about the striking teachers in our school system but failed to look beyond their nose to see the deplorable state of our schools at all levels. We have glorified secondary schools as tertiary institutions and they are not seeing anything wrong about that. The government should stop painting the picture the strikes are all about salary increase. It is a calculated move by the elite to put off the lights in our public institutions of learning and leave only the security lights (private schools and schools abroad even in Ghana) so that their wards alone would have illumination.


The light is very absent spiritually. Many claim we are very spiritual or religious but we are in spiritual darkness. How can we have light spiritually when our minds are not right? Religious leaders shout only to gain attention of the government. Where is the light when the churches and mosques cannot produce or instill moral values in people? Where is the light when religious leaders are only architects of religious violence? Greed and selfish ambitions are the by products of spiritual darkness. Many of the religious leaders went to missionary schools but cannot boast of any school or the ones even the average can afford. Many claim their religion is that of love but we cannot trace any love in their activities. The love of God is measured in our churches and mosques by how much you can bring in. How do we claim to be very spiritual, claim to love God who we have not seen, and yet cannot give or make life good for people we can see? This certainty may be likened to the era of spiritual hypocrisy and darkness.

When there is no light, people walk and work in darkness. Many policies have been tried by different people in all sectors. No policy is sustained, every new person brings new policies. We lack maintenance culture. Today it is regulation, tomorrow it is deregulation. Privatising today, and rescinding the decision tomorrow. We are neither here nor there. There is gross darkness because we are trying practicing democracy without genuine democrats. We are bound to be without light because political jobbers do not want to give chance to genuine technocrats to pilot the affairs of the nation. How do we expect light when leadership had become synonymous with corruption and illicit wealth? The stability we desire may come if we can have stable policies.

We heard billions of dollars had been spent on power but we cannot boast of steady power supply. Is it that our government does not know that many industries had gone under, while many are relocating to neighbouring countries because of lack or epileptic power supply? Is it insensitivity or lack of knowledge on the part of the leaders? It is rather absurd that people are still going about collecting titles, doing parties, granting interviews for doing nothing and their aides would come tomorrow pleading for understanding and more time for mediocrity.

When there is no light, leaders count paying workers salaries as achievement. When there is no light, political jobbers automatically turn to genuine democrats and diplomats. When there is no light, sports especially football and its administration is politicized and tribalised. When there is spiritual darkness, religion is all about greed and self. The light (education) is out, prison doors are now open. Armed robbery and assassinations are prevalent because of darkness within and without. There is darkness in the land, graduates are roaming the streets because the companies that would take them off the street are closing shop and relocating enmasse. Very soon our educational or mental black out would become total system breakdown. There is no light. Who will put on this light? I do not know. Check next door. May be someone from Ghana has the answer – our new Mecca.


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