Feature Article of Sunday, 19 August 2012
Columnist: Tay, Wilson
By: Wilson Tay
I feel obliged to publish a rejoinder to the feature article titled “Mills, The Last Ewe King: Farewell “TRIBALISM” written by Akadu Ntiriwa Mensema which appeared on the ghanaweb on 11 August 2012. After having read through Akadu Ntiriwa’s article in which she credited herself with a PhD, I first decided to gloss over the issues on the assumption that this might just be a foul-mouthed comic. Upon seeing a second of such comic titled End Castle “Tribalism” to Bring Diversity to Unity which appeared on 17 August 2012, I saw a need to speak against her unrestrained scandalous outbursts and those of her sympathisers. I will not like to dilate upon the failure of the article to give credence to any due academic accolade since I find it as having been put up for public reading by an aggrieved Ghanaian who, owing to her remote overseas abode, has been out of touch with the realities in Ghana. There is no doubt that the writer under some strange convictions is prejudiced against the current Ghanaian political and social order. Intriguing however, is her choice to haunt Ewes as a solution to her own predicaments whilst her equally disgruntled cohorts got electrified from the imagery of the diabolic intent and used the opportunity to satisfy their whims. Not even explanations by those fair-minded people like my own former schoolmate Christian Kwami Agbodza could calm their nerves from their sustained inflamed passion for Akadu Ntiriwa’s misguided outpouring. The likes of Akadu Ntiriwa who perhaps have become embittered from their own failures would always be under the delusion that Ghana’s social and political orders are near their ignition points. Interestingly however, their advocacy for a more unified Ghana is always wrapped in their deep-rooted parochialisms. One would have expected that the writer would be serious about what she paraded as facts so that their verifications would be possible. Therefore, if she chooses to malign the appointments that surround the president, then the mention of Head of DVLA, Head of Maritime Safety Division, Chief of Army Staff, Head of NADMO, and the likes is a wide cast that invalidates her tribalism accusations. Being able to count the Ewes in this wide net which embraces the heads and deputies of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies is enough to show that the Ewes are few and her assessment is absolutely erroneous. Could she in all fairness list also all the Akans or for simplification of her task, all the Ashanti heads and deputies within her net for a fair comparison; a comparison which will take cognisance of her proclaimed majority posture? It is expected that articles put up for public reading would be based on accurate research work so that there would be very little doubts about their credibility. This is also necessary from a moral point of view to avoid the belittling of PhD award as Akadu Ntiriwa’s article woefully unleashed. The Head of the Military in Ghana as we know is the Chief of the Defence Staff. How did Lieutenant General Augustine Amihere Blay - a pure native of Nzimaland become a member of the Ewe tribe? Is there any such belief that when Nzimas reach the peak of their careers they get inducted into the Ewe tribe? One would have also expected that the writer avoided such mawkish sentiments which influenced her inclusion of the Castle Chief Cook in her libelous list. It is only inexperienced and untrained minds that would see the Chief Cook as the only one who could have poisoned or prevented the poisoning of the president as Akadu Ntiriwa appears to be insinuating. I know she would be the last to come to the realisation that such ranting undermines the sensitivity of the loss of the much revered Ghanaian president. Shockingly, she persisted in her entrenched passion for her falsehood with long poems; satiric she named her style, in a bid to conceal the glaring inherent deficiencies of a less talented writer. There is a suspicious undertone to her envy of castle drivers, cooks and other employees who she insinuates to have been employed from the Ewe tribe. Either that is the class she belongs to or her being in the Castle is crucial to the execution of her ill-intents. What should we assume from the following Akadu Ntiriwa’s statement: “We should, all ethnic groups, ask why all the officials around Mills were Ewes”? Is Akadu Ntiriwa presenting logic or forced under her own convictions to rant remorselessly? Little minds like Akadu Ntiriwa continue to think that Ewes should not have a place in the political party they support but that her party; the NPP could choose to exclude them from government appointments when they are in power. Is Akadu Ntiriwa’s sense of logic implying that her tribe’s men and women subscribe to her greedy posture; the ostensible quest for all government appointments? If her agitation for an end to tribalism in our governance and society were genuine, she would have been obligated to condemn both the NDC and NPP. By saying that one of her reasons for not condemning the NPP was that she was not writing at the epoch of the NPP-rule is a self-deceit uncharacteristic of someone passionate about the existence of a political and social disorder. It is clear that the reign of the NPP; the hegemony of Akadu Ntiriwa’s tribe agreed perfectly with the desires of her values. ‘Undertoning’ her tribe by calling herself a Denkyira is not concealing enough; her legs are showing across the path from her hideout. In order not to denigrate the supposed PhD holder any further on the matter of logic, I will merely consider that she became stupefied in her obsession; the erroneous perception that the Mill’s administration was full of Ewes who merit her anger and outburst. The unwarranted generalisation of issues which trained minds would have avoided rather seemed a passion of the writer. The generalisation of some behaviours and characteristics if perceived to be widespread in certain tribes is not altogether forbidden anyway. However, if the writer wants to draw attention to tribalism as a social menace in Ghana, then it was reasonable and morally obligatory for her to have avoided restricting it to a particular tribe. For instance, the tribe from which most of the numerous thieving and lying pastors who continue to prey on the pockets of the poor, gullible and vulnerable in our society is quite obvious but that is immaterial when one is desirous to see the end of this social menace. Again If Akadu Ntiriwa sees that there is tribalism in Ghana and wants to suggest a solution, her perception of the demise of the late President Atta-Mills as an end to what she called ‘Ewe hegemony’ and therefore the signalisation of the end of the problem is insane, savagery and most disgusting. It is surprising that the minds of tribal-centred bigots of the types of Akadu Ntiriwa and Kwame Okuampa Ahoofe are blurred from the truth that such publications under the impulse of urge to vilify Ewes and justify the innocence and sincerity of the Akan tribe are distasteful. It is obvious that the effects of vilification of a tribe are above the comprehension of the writer and her cohorts. A little more thinking would perhaps bring them to know that the more a tribe is vilified, the more vengeance grows in them and the more closely they get knitted together. Those who understand the mechanisms of tribalism, cronyism and nepotism know that they are root problems whose solutions lie in objective reassessment leading to fair redesign of the political, social and economic order; but not on the ideas of the kinds of Akadu Ntiriwa whose parochialisms propel their thoughts to the belief that the solution lies in the death of a sitting president and the pursuance of a discriminatory policy against a particular tribe. I would like to conclude that Akadu Ntiriwa and her cohorts should understand that no one advertises a job with the purpose of seeking his or her prospective candidates from a particular tribe. Character and capabilities are what employers look for; therefore, if Akadu Ntiriwa and her disgruntled cronies are unable to get jobs in Ghana and continue to labour on menial jobs overseas, it is because perhaps they have clothed themselves in a falsehood of having acquired PhD and other higher qualifications, whilst their thoughts and perceptions of real issues readily betray their true academic placements. Such people will forever suffer from the illusion that Ewes have taken jobs intended for them and will be pressurised under such illusions to continue venting out their irrationality to public ridicule.
Wilson Tay, a humble Ghanaian who sees acquisition of higher academic qualification as an invitation to serve society. He has much sympathy for the environment and abhors uncontrolled activities that destroy it. You may contact me by my email: [email protected] or Tel: 0243-821734672.