Feature Article of Saturday, 16 June 2012
Columnist: Anipa, Marlon P.
... “Burning, Burning, Let it burn” - Says President Mills
I cannot live with the nonchalant attitude and total inertia of the Mills administration to the events happening in Hohoe as we speak. I am so angry and upset. The more as I do not not want to politicise this horrible and tragic event, the even more i cannot help but be highly critical of the shameless, casual and just plain and simple I-dont-care attitude of a response to the enraging battle unfolding before our very eyes in Hohoe by the Mills administration.
Perhaps President Mills do not know or understand or fathom out what Hohoe is or means to a lot of people. Hohoe of the, Gbi duko , is arguably the most enterprising town in the Volta Region. It is full of vim and vitality and serves as a hub for people from all walks of people and ethnic communities. Hohoe linguistically is a polyglot as all are welcome. I hail from Akpafu but most Akpafu people will just say they come from Hohoe as Hohoe gives you a general idea of Akpafu location and Akpafu people are genuinely proud of our association with the town and its people. i I was brought up in Hohoe and proud to have been born in Daavi Emma Kordzi(maternity clinic). Daavi Emma is sister to Obed Asamoah, mother of Anato Van Lare and the Dumeloos, who gave us the Ghanaian actor John and they are from Likpe, but lived in Hohoe. That is only a small example of what Hohoe is. If I want to tell you about Hohoe, its people and what it means, one will need to sit down and relax as it will take days to recount its proud history.
John Mills reminds me so much of Nero the fifth emperor of the Roman Empire also called Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus, the fifth and last Roman Emperor
As these events unfold, if you had any doubts about our President’s commitment to peace and security your worse fears are more than proven, so shed your doubts now, please. Mills just does not care as he thinks the people live for him and he Mills does not live for the people – just like Nero. Why does John Mills think he should visit the plane disaster site in Accra but not Hohoe? - is it just convenience, proximity or based on a principle that informed his visit to the plane disaster site? So if it was principle, where is the principle now? You cannot run a Presidency based on knee-jerk and ad hoc reactions, Mr President. It is simply not good enough and unacceptable. And it is wrong, wrong and wrong.
Mills is fiddling whiles Hohoe burns. “Hohoe burning? Burning?” "Let it burn" - says President Mills. Why is the President acting so casually or blithely in the face of disaster? I just do not get it. This is surreal. This is so unreasonable it beggars belief. Good grief!! What is going on?
This is like Rome in 64AD all over again being repeated and we are in the 21st century. Can someone remind our President of that in case he has forgotten? I thought he had a little problem with his throat and sinuses not his brains and cognition. History tells of a great fire in Rome in 64 AD, that "Nero Fiddled While Rome Burned".
Well, during the night of July 18, 64 AD, fire broke out in the merchant area of the city of Rome. Fanned by summer winds, the flames quickly spread through the dry, wooden structures of the Imperial City. Soon the fire took on a life of its own consuming all in its path for six days and seven nights. When the conflagration finally ran its course it left seventy percent of the city in smouldering ruins.
Rumours soon arose accusing the Emperor Nero of ordering the torching of the city and standing on the summit of the Palatine playing his lyre as flames devoured the world around him. When told Rome is burning, he responded, “Rome Burning, burning, Let it Burn” and continued fiddling and having fun. (Now, who is behind the confidence and audacity of actions being perpetrated in Hohoe?) I have my own theories and I am sue you have yours- I am happy to compare notes. However, if truth stands and principles endure, there can be only right conclusion. People can continue calling sheep cows but whatever expediency, not me and certainly not when a great township with such resounding history and illustrious indigenes are at risk.
In fact, Nero rushed to Rome from his palace in Antium (Anzio) and ran about the city all that first night without his guards directing efforts to quell the blaze. (Does this not strike a cord with how the police and military handled the Hohoe incident?- Oooh No!!! President Mills why? - You need to bow down your head in shame.
But the rumours persisted and the Emperor looked for a scapegoat. He found it in the Christians, at that time a rather obscure religious sect with a small following in the city. I will not be surprised if a certain known name with a small following in the town be blamed for this – thank God, the one who will have led that chorus of “blame it on the boogie” has been grounded and is hibernating in some cooler somewhere for now.
That’s not all though, because to appease the masses, Nero literally had his victims fed to the lions during giant spectacles held in the city's remaining amphitheatre. Yes, after this complain and many others I expect President Mills in his usual, bolting the stables after the horses are long gone syndrome, sacking the MCE or a Minister or some communication person to appease us all. This President never ceases to amaze me. He thinks running a country is a kind of concert and Ghana is some kinda amphitheatre and the world his spectators. How sad. This certainly is not comedy; it is a tragedy.
But I want President Mills to know because it is apparent he does not, from the ashes of the fire rose a more spectacular Rome. A city made of marble and stone with wide streets, pedestrian arcades and ample supplies of water to quell any future blaze. The debris from the fire was used to fill the malaria-ridden marshes that had plagued the city for generations.
So Hohoe will rise again. We are calling for $50m to rebuild Hohoe to its glory. We will have peace and we will rebuild our town and President Mills can continue fiddling, sleeping or remain in coma.
Marlon P Anipa London June, 2012 [email protected]