Thursday, October 6, 2011


It’s a beautiful Tuesday morning and I had a wonderful sleep waking up at the right side of my soft bed. I woke up feeling hale and hearty and I said to myself, ‘Lord I hope this day is good,’ remembering that great country track by Don Williams, The Gentle Giant of Country Music. Talking about music, I love music so much so that I always sleep with music. I sleep with my radio on and when I hear a song I know I wake up sing along and go back to sleep. Strange! You can say that again.

After swimming in my bed for some time, I decided to finally tune my radio to one of the sister radio stations in Accra. The morning sports was on and after that, it was time for the business news at 7. Do you have a clue of that station? Well, let me go on. After the business news, there were some commercials and the morning show anchor man started playing music. Just when I was dipping myself in the music to ‘soak’ it, the anchor man came in with the back announcement of the business news and acknowledgement of the sponsors.

After all that, Bernard Avle, who is the host and anchor man of the show started with his concerns. I tell you, this guy is so so critical and analytical. I don’t like missing that thought-provoking show with him even though I work for another radio station. Ssssshhhhhhh, don’t tell anybody. Bernard started talking passionately about road accidents and the indiscipline nature of the drivers and Ghanaians in general.

This morning in the news, there was a report of a fatal accident which has claimed more than fifteen (15) lives. In less than 7 days, 2 fatal accidents have been reported in the news. Just some few days ago, we heard of an accident on the Kumasi road which claimed more than 24 lives. There have been several horrifying news in the media in recent times and one can only ask, WHY? What is happening? It is this which has pushed me to write about accidents this morning.

Let us first ask ourselves what an accident is.

According Wikipedia, an accident or mishap is a specific, unpredictable, unusual and unintended external action which occurs in a particular time and place, with no apparent and deliberate cause but with marked effects. It implies a generally negative outcome which may have been avoided or prevented had circumstances leading up to the accident been recognized, and acted upon, prior to its occurrence. refers to an accident as an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage, or loss; casualty; mishap: automobile accidents.

Experts in the field of injury prevention avoid use of the term 'accident' to describe events that cause injury in an attempt to highlight the predictable and preventable nature of most injuries. Such incidents are viewed from the perspective of epidemiology - predictable and preventable. Preferred words are more descriptive of the event itself, rather than of its unintended nature (e.g., collision, drowning, fall, etc.)

Accidents of particularly common types (crashing of automobiles, events causing fire, etc.) are investigated to identify how to avoid them in the future. This is sometimes called root cause analysis, but does not generally apply to accidents that cannot be deterministically predicted. A root cause of an uncommon and purely random accident may never be identified, and thus future similar accidents remain "accidental."

On the 13th of January ghanaweb carried a heart-twisting headline news, titled ‘30 People Died in Road Accidents in Less Than a Month’. It was short but a classic headline arresting news, which pulled my attention on my daily browsing of the site. The piece did not reveal much other than the general statistics of road fatalities. Besides, it is a recurring headline that every now and then steals our attention and causes our bleeding hearts to drip more blood for the departed souls, the maimed and their love ones. At a first glance you might think that people are born and people die and it’s all part of life. But on a second thought the realisation hits home that the victims have got love ones and not only that but dependants, maybe, in their formative years. It’s one thing to live in Ghana with both parents and another living with a single parent and worse without any. What actually prompted me to put these words together was the sort of comments it attracted from the various readers.

Of recent, Ghana has been experiencing an increasing spate of road traffic accidents. These accidents have claimed several lives, both children and adults, maimed numerous victims and have severe effects on the welfare of families. It is against this background that I want to do this.

Road transport caters for 96 per cent of national freight tonnage and 97 per cent of passenger traffic. In 2001, the country was rated the second highest road traffic accident-prone among six West African countries with 73 deaths per 10,000 accidents. From January to March this year, Accra alone recorded 1,417 motor accidents involving 2,125 vehicles.

According to the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the police during this period, there were 78 fatalities, 373 serious injury cases and 966 minor cases in which vehicles ran into other vehicles.

For those who doubt the statistics, the reality is that Ghanaians are now seeing the havoc that road indiscipline has been causing more than they ever thought, as distorted vehicles and bodies continue to be dangled before them in the media.

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Services, Professor could not have put it more concisely when he declared that the most "deadly disease", at the moment is motor accidents. It even kills more than HIV/AIDS

President, John Kufuor during his leadership, encountered at least three very serious accidents involving his convoys with about six security personnel dying as a result. Two Members of Parliament belonging to Kufuor's party died owing to accidents and the Vice-President's convoy was also involved in an accident in which a teenager died.

But like many issues, it has taken these high profile cases to highlight the indiscipline on the Ghanaian roads. The number of vehicles on the roads has greatly increased in recent years owing largely to the government's liberalised policy of ensuring the availability of vehicles. Unfortunately, road maintenance, driver education, vehicle upkeep and traffic enforcement have not grown accordingly. The result - the roads have become deathtraps.

In most places, drivers seemingly fail to adhere to road signs. Even where they are apprehended for road offences, some are able to bribe their way by seeking the assistance of corrupt police motor traffic officers who by and large, have been partly to blame for the growth in road accidents.

The driving standard of many drivers has also been recognised to be very poor, leading to a severe impact on the traffic accident problem. A general low educational level of the driver population in combination with low economy and lack of widespread formalised driver education have been contributing factors to the problem. The newly established DVLA (Driver Vehicle and Licensing Authority) has put the problem into focus and is seeking assistance to improve conditions.

It is, however, common knowledge that some people even get their licenses through dubious means, a situation that has led to wrong people acquiring licenses for which they are not qualified to hold. Over the years, the Ghana Association of Driving Schools has enlivened this debate, suggesting that only through licensing could drivers be able to hold on their own.

But what is suprising is the seemingly disregard for even presidential convoys. The list of road accidents involving presidential convoys seems baffling enough. Some time ago, Ex President Kufuor narrowly escaped death when a taxicab crossed his convoy. One person died on the spot, while three others later at the hospital. Later, a student was killed when he was knocked off his bicycle in an accident involving the Vice President's convoy.

Again, the presidential convoy was involved in another accident in which two of the presidential security guards died. The accident occurred when the President's convoy was on its way to Accra after an official assignment in the Volta Region. Prior to that, two security men attached to the president had been killed when they were thrown out of their vehicle after it hit a big pothole during another official engagement.

In January, in that year, a drunken driver was arrested when he drove and blocked the presidential convoy. The driver ignored the sound of the siren to stop and drove on instead. In the process, the driver nearly knocked down one of the presidential dispatch riders with his Mercedes Benz bus.

Such reckless driving has led to the untimely death of some presidential dispatch outriders in the past two years. The latest victim was crushed to death by a pick-up in Accra, while ahead of the presidential convoy.

But the indiscipline has not been limited to the present period. It is recalled that ex- President Jerry Rawlings, also had a scare during his tenure of office when a mini bus drove into his convoy from an unauthorized entry. Four of his bodyguards died on the spot.

But the recent accidents have stirred up arguments in many social circles. The MTTU is threatening to be hard on recalcitrant drivers. But how far it could on this is another matter. It has inadequate equipment and is constrained logistically to check road offences.

From another perspective, it seems Ghana has not been prepared to accommodate the very rapid increase of traffic. Lack of experience and aggregated skills and knowledge has set back the concerted action to deal with the traffic safety problems.

Ghana's public transport, for instance, is in a mess, private commercial operators now fill the gap whose desire for profits knows no boundary. Drivers compete strenuously to pick up passengers. Some do not even rest at all, since the number of rounds they make in a day is a strong determinant of the money they can make.

People are now touting for the enforcement of traffic regulations to the letter. I think district assemblies should establish motor courts to handle traffic offences. This has become necessary because traffic offences are being delayed at the traditional courts. Such courts could fast track cases and ensure drivers are dealt with promptly and in accordance with the law.

Perhaps when we reach the point where individuals are valued and life is respected, then behaviour and habits will change for the better. I believe one way to curb the problem is to take tough measures to evolve harsh laws relating to those violating the rules.

Another way is for passengers themselves to take their safety in their own hands and refuse to travel in speeding buses or on over-crowded boats.

For now, the government seems to be listening to the views being expressed by the people, not merely because people are talking about road accidents but for the fact that it has experienced enough to know how it feels like.

I leave it here. . .




Wednesday, September 14, 2011



“He who finds a wife finds a good thing”, but does that actually reflect in our marriages today? Marriage is an institution from the Almighty God and it is supposed to be exciting, loving, understanding and above all pleasurable. Just after saying I do in front of the priest, loved ones, and relations at the altar, it looks so beautiful and life seems like paradise without considering whether the proposal came from the man or the woman. Since it is a human institution which involves two different people from different backgrounds, disagreement may set in. As this natural, the very best of marriages have conflicts and disagreements. In 1996, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly(A.M.A.) recorded six hundred and thirty three ( 633 ) dissolved customary marriages out of a thousand even hundred and fourteen (1,714 ) marriages registered. It is against this backdrop that I want to highlight on ways to deal with conflicts in marriages.

But before we take a look at how to solve some of these problems, let us first dive into what marriage is as an institution.

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia define marriage as that life long and exclusive state in which a man and a woman is wholly committed to live with each other in sexual relationship under conditions normally approved and witnessed to by their social group society.

Marriage is not the joining of two worlds but an abandoning of two worlds in other that a new one might be formed. Marriage is the closest bond between two people.

In the contemporary cycle, the Oxford Dictionary of the Advance Learners’ English defines marriage as a state in which a man and a woman are formally united for the purpose of living together (usually in other to procreate children) and with certain legal rights towards each other.

John Hagee in his book What Every Man Want From A Woman says that: ‘Marriage is a covenant, which means it is the death of two wills and the birth of one.’ Marriage is the art of two incompatible people learning to live compatible life.

Marriage exposes and reveal who we really are, because when two different characters meet, then there is friction in the intersection of the union.

In business, partners seals their relationship with a contract agreement, enforce by law. In marriage two people enter into covenant with God being the witness.

It is one of God’s greatest schools of learning- it can be a place where the husband and the wife are refined.

Marriage is the pledge of mutual fidelity. It is a partnership of total subordination. A Christian marriage is similar to a solvent, a freeing up of a man and woman to be themselves and become married is the refining process that God will use to have us develop into a man or woman He wants us to become.


Conflict came from the Latin word “Confligere” which means strike together. When two or more thoughts, perception, attitude and behaviour strike each other, for example, then there is a conflict. Such conflicts can be experienced through intrapersonal or interpersonal. Conflict is intrapersonal when an individual expresses real or imagined compatibility among needs, goals, or roles. Conflict becomes interpersonal when there is perceived divergence of interest among individuals, group or organization. Interpersonal or social conflicts have been defined in the following manner.

According to Morton Deutsch, Conflicts are power struggles over differences: differing information or beliefs, differing interests, desires, or values. There are also struggles over differing abilities to secure needed resources.

In his book, Conflict Management, Jay Hall define conflict as “essentially the circumstance- both emotional and substantive conflicts which can be brought about by the difference between parties which, for whatever reasons, forced contact with one another.” There are two type of conflict. These are constructive conflict and destructive conflict.

When there is a misunderstanding between a married couple and they are able to resolve it, then the conflict is constructive conflict. This kind of conflict does not destroy but help to deepen the relationship.

The other type of conflict is called the destructive conflict. This kind of conflict destroys relationships. When a husband and the wife has a disagreement they fail to resolve it but rather end up in divorce, then that conflict is destructive. There are many reasons why married couples have conflicts. Time and space will not permit me to cover all that but I will talk bout some conflicts in marriages.

A newly wedded couple was going through difficulty trying to reach a decision regarding the purchase of an item. All the effort of the man to convince the wife to agree to his proposal failed. The next Sunday the husband went to see the pastor in their church. This was the conversation between the man and the pastor.” You don’t look cheerful today Mr. Johnson” the pastor said.” Pastor I think I didn’t pray enough to God before I married Selina” says Mr. Johnson. The pastor then asked ‘Why are you making such a statement after the prayer warriors spent quality time with you and your wife in prayer?’ Mr. Johnson now told the pastor that, since they got married, they have never reached a decision concerning any issue without quarrels.

Nevertheless, conflict in marriages is not a sin. The presence of a problems, tension and argument does not necessarily mean trouble for a marriage.I want to state that, if there is a married couple without conflict it means they are not communicating.

Listed below are the monthly and yearly summary of marriage and dissolution from the year 1990 to 1998 and from 2000to the end of August 2007 s recorded in the Accra Metropolitan Assembly’s Register Of Marriages:


Marriage 1538

Dissolution 804


Marriage 2126

Dissolution 972


Marriage 1450

Dissolution 860


Marriage 2100

Dissolution 1320


Marriage 1120

Dissolution 876


Marriage 2764

Dissolution 853


Marriage 2419

Dissolution 639


Marriage 2576

Dissolution 613


Marriage 3189






Marriage 2433

Dissolution 521


Marriage 2,182

Dissolution 751


Marriage 2,311

Dissolution 342


Marriage 2,669

Dissolution 399


Marriage 2,669

Dissolution 392


Marriage 2,199

Dissolution 484


Marriage 1,714

Dissolution 633


Total Marriage 1035

Total Dissolution 425

Before we take a look at ways to deal with and resolve conflicts in marriages, let us look at a few examples of some recent media reports that degenerate into bloody conflict.

On the 16th of August, it was reported in the ‘Ghanaian Times’ that Saul Kofi Campbell also known as Kofi Carpenter, a coffin maker, went to the house of his girlfriend, Sabina Amoh, 32, who decided to end their two year relationship and woke her from her sleep under the pretext of discussing and important issue with her. Sabina, a seamstress, was found dead in a pool blood at a refuse dump

On August 29th, ‘The Daily Graphic’ also reported of a marital quarrel between a woman and her husband. The woman Ekua Tawiah set herself and her family ablaze, killing the husband and their seven year old son.

On Saturday, August 30, 2008, ‘The Ghanaian Times’ published that a man had allegedly killed his wife because he was suspicious of the calls she has been getting on her mobil phone. Kofi Mensah a palm wine tapper allegedly cut the throat of his wife, Janet Adu, 35, with a cutlass on their farmland and then hanged himself. This tragic incident happened at Praso, near Tanodumasi in the Atwima-Mponua District of the Ashanti Region. The District Police Commander told the Times that, the couple had been married for seven years. He also said they had been having misunderstandings following Mensah’s suspicion that Janet, his wife had been having extra-marital affairs.

Not too long go we heard the shocking news of the break up of Bishop Duncan Williams with hi wife he has been married to for many years. There was news again about his proposed marriage to a wealthy African –American. I am sure if Bishop had managed whatever conflict was there well, he would have prevented this disgrace.

We also read about Esther Smith, a renowned gospel musician and her husband Rev. Ahinkan Bonsu. Esther Smith, we were told accused the husband of casting a spell on her and having an affair with their maid. The husband, Rev. Ahinkan also accused the wife, Esther of flirting with one, Fiifi at Tema habour before and after their marriage. The story went on to tell us that Esther told her husband that he is not the father of their first two children. Now their marriage is over.

One can go enumerating horrific examples of conflicts in marriages and other relationships that have ended up in the police station or in the law court.

A marriage counselor, Rev. Dei Awuku, said two issue need to be considered when discussing conflicts in marriage. He said there are some husbands who for years stomach a whole lot of problems they encounter in their marriage, because they think their peer will tease them when they talk about their marital problems with them. When they can no longer contain the situation, there is an explosion. He stressed the need to make counseling service available to “would be” as well as married couples, who are both in religious marriages and under customary marriages to enhance understanding and peaceful resolution of conflict in marriages.

Mr. Gifty Afenyi Dadzie, the National Prayer Director of the Women Aglow International, said, the rampant conflict in some marriages indicate that “the agape love as mentioned in the Bible is missing in relationships”. She said most of us keep records of the wrongs in our relationships and we don’t forgive one another. She advised partners to use dialogue when there are problems.

“Youth, family Adults” an on line journal has some tips on dealing with the situation.

About Money

It advice spouse to discuss their value and feeling about money so that each partner can understand the other, to work out a budget and set priorities and goals for the future

About In-laws

It points out that in-laws are problematic in early years and can trigger conflicts within the entire family. It advises spouse to deal with in-law problems by sharing their feeling and discussing what kind of relationship they what want with their in-laws.

About sex

It states that this is an emotional issue and most spouse are afraid to be hurt or rejected by their partners so they avoid discussing their feelings about sexual issues. It advices that couple should resolve conflicts about sexual matters by communicating directly, specifically and loving about their needs.

Another online journal, “The Marriage Garden” also listed ways to deal with conflicts in marriage as follows:

Learn to live with things that cannot change

You may wish your partner was different in many ways. Some of those things simply cannot change. Learn to accept that. Be glad that your partner can bring qualities that you do not have.

Do not dwell on your complaints

Sometime we feel irritated about things in our relationships, we list our complaints and get angry about them. By the time we bring out the problem we my have killed ourselves into being mad. Rather than big complaints, we can make request along the way.

Rather than argue bout details, find common ground

In any disagreement it is easy to get stuck arguing about who did what and why. Don’t waste time dealing with such issues. Instead, focus on ways you can help each other.

Hold regular couple councils

Few couples regularly talks about relationship concerns, most of time, what begins as a small issue becomes larger problems that threaten to destroy relationships. Couple can use council to nip problems in the bud.

Plan a specific time and place each week when you and your spouse can talk alone together for at least 30 – 60minutes without distraction or interruptions. Use the meeting to take stock of how the relationship is going and to discuss problems.

When people feel attacked and angry, they do not think as clearly as when they are calm. We can do things to help ourselves and our partners feel calmer. We can start discussion without attacks: “I would like your idea on n issue”. We can look for solutions rather than accusation: “Do you think it would help if...?” If we are feeling too frustrated, we may need to reschedule our discussions. “I need some time think about what you re saying. Could we talk about this tomorrow?”

Couple should agree to limit criticism; they must make sure criticism remain a small aspect of their marriage and never a central part. When there is problem instead of criticizing your partner, limit it and criticism should come constructively.

Agree to attach problems and not each other. A huge part of healthy communication involves never doing or saying anything that might injure the other. No hitting below the belt. Your marriage must be a safe place where you never experience harm. While you won’t always agree you must always treat each other with respect. This must be a basic premise of every interaction.

Develop skills that enhance positively into your marriage. You must always remember how and why you fall in love with your mate. Set aside time to have fun, laugh and experience joy.

It is a fact that simple skills when practiced regularly can help to stabilize your marriage. Share whatever you like and appreciate about your partner. Learn to share all your hopes and dreams. Discuss any change in plans and situations.

Never let a misunderstanding turn into an argument. Clear up the air as soon as possible. If there is something you don’t like be open and tell your partner how you want it done instead of criticizing.


Even marriages that seem unhappy often become very satisfying over time if both partners prevent anger from taking over. In fact differences in marriages can help us grow and a help us build a better relationship.




1) Making Your Marriage Enjoyable: A Biblical And Contemporary Perspective

Bright Michael Adofoh

Print Publication

2) The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia

(Nashville: Word Publishing International,1986, Page 26

3) Seven Secrets to Sanity for Stressed Women

Van Pelt, Nancy L. Get Organised

Revier and Herald Publishers Association 1998

4) The Nature of Conflict and Conflict Resolution

S. Worebel and S.Lundgren

5) In Community Mediation: A handbook for Practitioners and Researchers

K.G. Duffy, J.W Grosch and P.V. Olczak.

6) Conflict: Productive and Destructive

Morton Deutsch.

7) Conflict Management Survey

Jay Hall

8) Wives wish Their Husbands Knew About Women

James Dobson

Wheaton III Tydale Press, Page 133.

9) What Every Man Want From A Woman

John Hagee

Dallas Word Publishing, Page 54.

10) The Ghanaian Times

11) The Daily Graphic