How Honourable Is The Honourable?


It is said in our local adage that ?The one who climbs the good tree, gets the push?. Encouragement or praise ought to be given to the one who merits it. In our part of the world however, we all seemed to have forgotten this golden adage. Our leadership keeps failing us and yet, instead of hitting the nail on the head in telling them of their failures, we have rather coined a decent name for these people, as though they merit it. They are being addressed as ?honourable! I have thought about this issue, and cannot seem to wrap my head around it. Even when they show us gross disrespect, even when their promises are not being fulfilled, even when their behaviour is far from honourable, we still call them honourable!

We keep calling them ?honourable?, and yet, they are not honourable. How honourable is the honourable? Of course, they respond to it with feigned importance. They respond to it with unmerited substance. And yet, their conducts are far from honourable!

Honourable is an adjective of the word ?honour?, which is to have a quality that commands great respect or esteem, or allegiance to moral principles. To be considered honourable therefore implies that you should be worthy of the calling. What do principled people do? Having a principle requires a code, standard, rule, law, attitude, belief, or an opinion that does not wane whatever the circumstance.

Rather unfortunately, in our part of the world, this word seems to have another meaning, or perhaps, no meaning at all. At least, hawkers use this word to lure people into purchasing their wares. The con-artists also love to use this word in their trade. It therefore has a cunning appeal or sting. It is more or less, a word or tool of seduction. When someone uses that word unwarrantedly, it is because the person perhaps needs a favour or we are being deceived. At such times, we watch out for what follows, and as always, a request follows.

The African loves to call all politicians honourable, who in truth do not deserve such appellations. When would the Ghanaian learn to do away with all the unnecessary pleasantries and politeness, and for once, say things as they really are? Ghanaians are always polite, even when we are being cheated! The conducts of our ?honourables? are inappropriate and undeserving and yet, we keep calling them… I am most certain that at times, some of them actually have a great laugh at the irony behind their appellations, because they are very much aware of the fact that their conducts and misconducts, do not warrant such appellations.

We call them honourable, and yet, when we demand that they carry out their responsibilities, our requests are usually denied! When we ask for a favour, it must be accompanied by a bribe of one form or the other! In our society where bribery and corruption is killing us, our honourables are the usual perpetrators. They are the most corrupt people in our society! And yet, we call them honourable! We call them honourable, even as we watch them loot our nations, dry. We call them honourable, even as we watch them scramble among themselves, the best that this nation has to offer; even when we know that every decision taken by them, is for their own selfish interests. Let us look around us because around us are the results of a society being run by a principle of no principle.

The current invasion of this nation by unlawful foreigners in the form of the Chinese illegal mining workers, and the Fulani nomads, can all be traced to our ?honourables?. Viable lands and water bodies in this nation are being destroyed each day, all being endorsed by our ?honourables?. For these reasons, the usual call of all Ghanaians to rid this nation off these people has not gone far! They are the brains behind the operations of these illegal expatriates!

In this dear nation of ours, the laws governing this land are non-functional. Simply because our laws are being disregarded! On our roads, we usually encounter them over speeding; they break traffic regulations all the time, and of course, we usually excuse them. They are on national assignment! We have made people so powerful that the very laws by which they must rule, and therefore must be upheld, are being broken. The very people, who have given them the power and authority, are being trampled upon!

For most people, it is more of fear than respect. People live in fear of authority, and so, are forced to call them by such names, and not for the actual meanings. Of course, who would defend us should we fall victim to the monsters we have created in the form of these ?honourables?? Yes, we have created monsters, and so have no choice than to call them ?honourable?. How honourable is the honourable? Not so honourable, I would say!

Anna Esi Hanson (,

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