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Saturday, June 19, 2021

The culture of silence – Nana Damoah writes [Opinion]

Goodmorning Ghana,
A few thoughts this morning for you.
A definition of this ‘culture of silence’ is that it is “A conspiracy of silence, or culture of silence, describes the behavior of a group of people of some size, as large as an entire national group or profession or as small as a group of colleagues, that by unspoken consensus does not mention, discuss, or acknowledge a given subject.” Understandably, to enforce this embargo on the ‘taboo’ topic or topics, some sanctions are enforced vigorously to deter persons who want to break ranks.
Here are some questions: In Ghana today, which topic is beyond discussion? Who is a ‘strongman’ enough to attempt to stop the mention of any subject? How can anyone refuse to acknowledge any subject except he wants to live in a silo? Anyone who has some creative ideas on how these can be achieved should please engage me.I am willing to learn.
Here is a fact: IT IS NOT POSSIBLE.
Does anyone think that if a culture of silence could be enforced, government would not have employed the mechanism on more productive uses? The recent power outages have spurred a lot of conversations (and anger) against the government. I would like to think that a so called “culture of silence” on that matter will be more profitable to the powers that be. But can anyone attempt to impose a culture of silence on this mater? In this country today will anyone dare? Who born dog?
Who is man enough? No one. We are a proud people who will never again allow anyone to trample over our well protected rights. Everyone knows this and no one will dare even mention the curtailing those rights.
The events of 04/05/2021 on social media should let everyone know in the most convincing manner that this supposed “culture of silence” in Ghana is a myth. It doesn’t exist.
Right here in this country, a sports journalist can tell persons who disagree with him (supposed apparatchiks of the ruling Government) that “Ony3”, to wit, ‘your Mother’ and still be free to go about his duties freely. Yet, somehow there is a culture of silence? This same person once referred to a Minister, a whole minister, as an IDIOT and not a finger was raised against him. But we are in a culture of silence? How?
There are some persons who refer to the gruesome murder of Ahmed Suale in their attempt to say a ‘culture of silence’ is either in place or is being instituted. I find such analysis as sad as the murder of Ahmed itself. A young man was murdered in cold blood for reasons that we have not yet established. Investigations are ongoing. We need to respect the grieving widow and family and stop using him for our own expediency. Such conduct is just immoral.
His murder has not been solved yet and that is a reflection of some of the real problems in our society. It exposes the inadequacies within our investigative apparatus. It tells us that our technology in use is a problem.
The thousands of cameras that have been installed across the country now, if they were in place then, could have probably helped us in finding his killers. However we need not give up and blame a supposed “culture odf silence’.
Lets continue to press on and get justice for him instead of using his death for our ungodly expediency. Ahmed Suale deserves more than this.
The very fact that we are boldly discussing a supposed ‘culture of silence’ in such an open manner should let us know that this culture does not exist. To contrast the current situation, could anyone have attempted to discuss same matters in 1983 or thereabout? How about 1964? Or even 1972? Obviously not because u would not have lived to tell the tale.
Let us all be clear with ourselves, there is no culture of silence in Ghana today. There are a lot more ills that plague our country. Real problems we need to work together to identify, develop, and implement strategies to solve. We should all be willing to #letsbuildghanatogether.
We have precious little time. We cannot spend it complaining about non-existent issues.
Together we can. Lets do it.

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