This article was triggered by my friend Sandra Ayi Morrison’s post on Facebook. For the sake of references I will type it as it appears on her facebook wall. “I seem to have a problem with Facebook. Y bring up da new profile changing into France flag colours kos dey were attacked. What happened to the other countries hu also went thru d same or even worse attacks. Anaaa )man no bi sum bo sin bi nom. Niways am also praying for Lebanon, Somalia, Kenya, Nigeria n d rest kos dey also went under same attacks. #equalrightisverynecesary”.
The part of the statement in Ghanaian language “Anaaaa )man no bi sum bo sin bi nom” is asking about the equal value of nations translated as; or are some countries more valuable than others?
My own respond on her post was ”Lol if you’ve forgotten check the G8 now G7 with the suspension of Russia and revisit your post. That is what happens when countries like our’s refuse to think, work and live our lives on the chicken change of other nations”.
I later realised that many more were talking about the same issue on social media, comparing the France terrorism to the June 3, 2015, Accra fire and flood disaster, the boko haram chibok girls, the Kenyan mall and university attacks, the south African xenophobia and many other examples, thus, my need to put across my candid opinion.
For me, a person who is very interested in topics of conflict, peace and security, it is important to state that I condemn terrorism strongly regardless of where and when it happens. It is something that ought to be condemned whether it happens in Paris, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya or even the unihabited space. This is because terrorism is a global fight not that of individual nations. It is a highly destructive social element especially when it is linked to pseudo religion. But it is also important to put across my own views not to say I am defending facebook because, I don’t even know the rational behind that act by Facebook.
First and foremost, Facebook is a complete privately owned company operating for the sake of profit. Facebook has it’s own rules and principles as a company. Even though I do not know exactly why Facebook made those changes, how, when, where, what and who Facebook decides to do their corporate social responsibility for is strictly the decision of the owners and managers of the company thus it would be very unfortunate to confuse that with global politics.
Many people driving that campaign may not have checked the reasons behind the change in the application yet they will jump and make issues out of it. It is possible that the French government paid for that advertisement not to say I know that for a fact. Besides, many of the people accusing Facebook, use the App for free thus they have no moral right to accuse Facebook of biases. Take this for example, how can you live in someone’s house for free and dictate who he gives more food to?
Again let us not be unfair because many people globally have championed campaigns against terrorism and also showed solidarity to victims of natural disaster without taking into consideration who was affected. When the chibok girls were taken captives, the popular #bringbackourgirls hashtag trended on social media for a long time with support from many nations, including France.
Also, France as a country has contributed greatly to global security. France is also one of the highly military-sophisticated countries in the world thus if a company feels that a terrorist attack on France is a major threat to global security needs to draw the world’s attention to it, it should not be an opportunity for political attacks. It should rather be an avenue for us to reflect and see the need to fight terrorism as one strong body because if even the most sophisticated people can be hit with such great attacks then it should be a call to strengthen the fight against terrorism instead of embarking on needless diplomatic fights.
There is also a compaign against the West where some people have argued that terrorism was created by the West to wipe out the black race and some other races from the earth. I once again do not have information in that regard. But even if the allegation is true, I have one question. let’s take a look at the militant groups such as Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, AL Shabab, ISIS and the rest. Which people make up the majority of the militants. Are they foreign nationals or natives? If the majority are indegenes, then you have no right to accuse others for your troubles. If you allow someone to kill your mother through you, who should we blame when we are looking for your mother’s killer (Food for thought)?
In any case, will the showcasing of the flags of Ghana , Nigeria, South Africa or any other countries who have suffered natural disasters and terrorist attacks bring back the lives and properties lost. It is really important for us to channel our energies and thinking into much more productive issues instead of being trivial and petty. For me the triviality of this issue reminds me of the fight over the origin of the #bringbackourgirls hashtag on Twitter. Such things divert attention from the main substance of the issues.
When ever you speak about issues such as this particular one, you get called names like Western brainwashed, prophet of doom, mental slave and many others as I was referred to on one Facebook page. The people who do not seek the causes of problems to aid them in solving the problem but rather blame the problem on others are not mental slaves, rather the people who try to be sincere about issues are mental slaves. What a funny perspective.
Again, it is also important that we wake up from the hibernation and face reality in order for us to solve the many problems we face as a people then we can get that recognition we fight for. Nobody is mandated to show solidarity to any nation, thus it is just a mere act of kindness that people portray as and when they feel like, so you cannot demand it like a right.
At this point I would like to borrow the words of the Legon Hall’s motto, University of Ghana, originally in latin and translated to mean “To whom much is given, much is expected” this should tell us that if the whole world is showing the French flag in solidarity for their loss, it is also an indirect call on France to do more with regards to global security and the fight against terrorism not only in France but also in other parts of the world suffering from terrorism.
So my dear brothers and sisters, I will urge you to look at the positive sides of situations at all times and be constructive in your thinking instead of picking fights in empty rooms, like Anas Aremeyaw Anas will say. This is not say that we should not condemn wrong doings and unfair treatments of others irrespective of who they are and where they come from.