Feature Article of Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Columnist: Appiah, Kofi
For the purposes of history and posterity, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the recent past C.E.O. of the premier hospital, Korle Bu, Accra, is the first African and Ghanaian heart transplant surgeon who successfully conducted heart surgery in far away Hannover, Germany, in 1987. This spectacular feat by a black African was said to have been an unparalleled world record time of three hours. By this special feat, his name would forever continue to be in the Guinness Book of Records for himself and Ghana.
DORIS SEIDU Ghanaians woke up on Saturday, August 1, 2009 to learn with shock the sudden death of Doris Assibi Seidu, the M.P. for Chereponi. Strangely, madam was for many years, a cardio patient and a regular visitor to the Korle Bu hospital. By her untimely death, a great vacuum was created in parliament to warrant a replacement through bye-election. The E.C. accordingly, slated Tuesday, August 29, ’09 for political hostilities to begin. As a result of controversial Baba Jamal’s declaration of ‘jihad’ in the six polling stations election in the Akwatia constituency, it was feared that there could be a repeat of same in Chereponi since he has not resigned from being the Jihad Commander of the NDC. Readers and the general public should note that as a result of Baba’s infamous declaration, Hon. Dan Botwe, MP for Okere and Nana Ohene Ntow, NPP’s chief scribe and others were subjected to humiliation and inhuman treatment while others suffered injuries at the hands of the Azorka Boys from the NDC. Indeed, by their antecedence, there was a replica to show their bestial powers. FINAL FUNERAL RITES Sunday, September 27, ’09 was arranged for the funeral rites. In effect, the funeral turned out to be a political rally. While the function was on, some gunshots were heard. The grounds became chaotic and people started running helter-skelter to flee from the sight. But before one could say, Jack, where are you, information and rumour mill had gone round fast like a whirlwind that the shots came from the weapon of one Fred Tetteh from the National Security outfit. His worry was that the NDC had been denied police permit due to short notice so he was bent on disrupting the NPP’s rally at Chereponi for the following Tuesday’s showdown. In the event, he decided to disperse the NPP large crowd by firing indiscriminately with impunity. CASUALTIES In the end, people sustained various degrees of injury with two persons, Kassum Bawa, 19 and his colleague Abdul Rahman Mahwia, 23, critically serious with bullets ridden through their bodies. Almost everybody tried to abandon the funeral grounds to relegate the essence of the function to the back -ground. Meanwhile, the author would like to challenge the Yendi Police Commander and the Northern Regional Police Command to come clean of their findings as to what has become of this heinous action by this disgruntled ‘idiot’. If, indeed, he is the one purported to have committed the offence, Ghanaians would like to see whether he has been arraigned before the court of law. If not, why not till now? SELFLESSNESS This medical professor never had his chance to give any political talk at Chereponi. But while his counterparts kept bombarding their party supporters with sweet talk and big English one after the other, he was busily engaged in saving the lives of Bawa and Mahwia who could have lost their lives due to someone’s irresponsible idiocy. Kudos, to Dr. Kofi Sarpong, the professor’s doctor friend, who had arrived from the USA on visit to Ghana and who again, was very supportive and lent a clinical hand at the Yendi theatre during the crucial surgery to remove the pellets. NATIONAL HERO His spectacular feat would easily make him a national hero irrespective of political inclination. To bring the curtain down, the author wishes to draw the attention of HE Prez. Atta Mills that Prof. Frimpong-Boateng has done it again to save lives. The first was during the Kume Preko demonstrations where he saved the lives of the injured persons who suffered their ill-fated destinies in 1995. He has performed wonders at Yendi where he travelled to Chereponi to console and to express his condolences to Doris’s bereaved family because she was his long-time patient but was confronted with the bizarre scene of rushing wounded victims to the theatre and perform unexpected surgeries. This is the professor with scientific difference Ghana needs now as leader– selfless, non-partisan; he would not have discriminated against NDC sympathizers if there were any hit by bullet; caring, because to him, every Ghanaian is his/her brother’s keeper and that is what religion is all about. To him, yesterday is gone and never to be remembered; today is fast eroded; but the unknown tomorrow is where he is hopeful to lead the youth of this country to the Promised Land where milk and honey abound and await the majority of the under-privileged and the vulnerable. He is the one professor and visionary leader we need, but not those from the other side of the coin, because deep down his heart, he wonders why there should, in the first place, be poverty, unplanned educational system, poor health delivery system, lack of food storage facilities, poor road network, under-development, large army of unemployment and insufficient housing accommodation. The million dollar question that puzzles him is: why do our governments always travel abroad with a bowl in hand begging for alms despite the abundant mineral and human resources? email:[email protected]