I was beaming with smile when I read the news. For once, they’re doing something right! The policy has generated a lot of mayhem; and many believe it’s a contributor to our recent economic decline. I agree with them. It’s about time something drastic but bold was done about it. It’s long overdue, and if government, acting through the Ghana Education Service, now decides to review one of its major flagship programmes, the free SHS policy, then, it’s in place to warrant my joy and, relief.

But my smile would soon depreciate, like the Ghana cedi, as I visisted social media. It was the usual Ghanaian attitude at display. Many teased. Some pointed fingers. Others were happy, sarcastically speaking; God has delivered their enemies to them. Few applauded the decision. For obvious reasons, my friends from the opposition NDC, were grinning from ear-to-ear like Dr Bawumia usually does when he’s telling a lie. Ooopppss; this akple and fetri-detsi I ate would search me wahala oo…..

The common thread passing through all these comments and reactions is, I TOLD YOU SO! Now, can you see where it has landed you, us?

Yes, YOU TOLD THEM SO, and so?

Unbeknownst to us, this attitude has cost us our development and done more harm to our economic growth over the years than the COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war combined. Oh laa; this fetri-detsi again o. Who likes to be pointed in the face and told, I TOLD YOU SO? I don’t know about you but, at least, I don’t! It makes me feel like a dumbass. It gives me a sense of inferiority over my accusers. Who likes the feeling of being inferior and stupid all at once? Nobody! So most often than not, we would rather crush in our mistakes than to give our opponents or advisers the opportunity to tell those four dreaded words to our face, grinning: I TOLD YOU SO!

That’s why you find it difficult to make a u-turn when all hell is breaking loose on that new path you’ve taken after you were duly cautioned. That’s why your ex is still in that new relationship though s/he isn’t happy. You know why? We’re all running away from being told, I TOLD YOU SO; it serves you right.

I TOLD YOU SO!

This is the reason why your call for the government to apologise to Ghanaians won’t happen. This is the reason why your call for Ken Ofori Atta, the finance minister, to resign for his incompetence won’t happen! This is the reason why your call for the President to accept responsibility for mismanaging the economy is like asking a teenage boy to donate his manhood to his ailing grandfather — it will never happen! This is the reason why the government won’t stop blaming the “guiltless” COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war for our economic woes. They simply don’t want to be told in the face: WE TOLD YOU SO!

So, instead of ranking ourselves based on higher standards, party communicators would rather mark each others’ scripts based on who the lesser sinner is. “We are less corrupt than you.” “You are more incompetent than we are.” “More than 50 innocent voters were injured during the election we supervised; yours were in the 100s.” “Oh, the global crisis during your tenure was not as grievious as the current one.”

The lesser sinner beats his chest and concludes, “I’m better.” He would not accept responsibility for his mistakes because he believes the other person has done worse. She won’t resign because she feels she is the most qualified and competent person cut for the job. Each goes away, with a sense of an overhyped competence and superiority, only to continue down the valley of economic destruction, taking the whole country with him.

If Ghanaians truly want the development and economic freedom they vote for, then, they should not only hold their leaders accountable, but, they must be willing to make room for their leaders’ mistakes as well. If a president knows you won’t follow the propaganda of his opponent and vote him out of power (after telling him, WE TOLD YOU SO) for the mere fact that he’s publicly accepted responsibility for his mistakes and is taking better steps to correct them, he will easily drop his pride and defensive posture, and become more teachable. A government that won’t make mistakes occasionally, is a government that can’t lead well, eventually. Growth and mistakes are like Siamese twins, inseparable.

Nobody wants to be told, I TOLD YOU SO!

If a minister, MMDCE, or Head of a governmental institution voluntarily resigns because he feels he is stuck or makes a big mess, and wants someone more competent to be given the opportunity, and he knows instead of mocking, you will applaud, respect and cheer him on and be willing to give him a second chance, he will gladly do so. This has been one of the secrets for the development and better governance we see in the Western World. To them, resigning is not an act of shame but a deed of honour that often earns the applause, respect and compassion of the citizenry.

Also, if politicians want to earn the compassion and honour of the masses in times of their messes, then, they should start selling themselves as fallible invidividuals who are willing to learn and rise when they act wrongly. When you get it wrong, acknowledge it, and apologise. When the commoners feel you are one of them — an imperfect person; yet, striving to make a difference in their lives, they become loyal to you. Forget about what they told you about kingmakers. They’re overrated. Usually, it’s the commoners who make kings, at least, in politics.

If political parties can deviate from this I TOLD YOU SO culture, it will serve them well. Because the mess your opponent leaves for you while in government is a mess that eats you up when you assume power. And mostly, governments find it difficult to admit their mistakes and make a u-turn to a better path because they know their opponents will make a great propaganda out of it. So, they’ll rather leave a mess than to timely correct it.

Nobody likes to be told, I TOLD YOU SO; well, the wise appreciates it.

To the wise, I TOLD YOU SO, however shameful it sounds, is simply a call to be human again, drop down from his high horses, and consider wise counsels, even if it comes from an arch enemy.

Congratulations to the government on this bold decision. The free SHS is a great policy that needs a nonpartisan review. I hope they don’t change their minds. I pray they make a broader consultation and put the future of the country ahead of their personal and party interests.

Well, I just TOLD YOU SO!!

There’s a Hero in you; unleash it!

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