Feature Article of Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Columnist: Awayevoo, Victor
A Fighter Pilot goes on a jungle target practice which turns into a head hunt for a successor. The pilot believes he is such a good shot that he could never miss a target even from a distance beyond normal human vision. He finds a Professor deep in thought in his binoculars and zeroes in on him. After a period of observation and reflection he swoops down to poach the Professor from the ivory tower of education into the jungle of politics. The Professor also believes in his ability to do well in whatever field he finds himself, irrespective of the fact that his home field is Law. The two begin to pace along in harmony to the drumbeats of the durbar grounds decorated with colourful umbrellas. As destiny would have it, a focused and concentrating Professor can easily move into different dimensions or realms for solutions and be mistaken for an absent minded Professor. The Fighter Pilot who believes he could never miss a target could also begin to shoot wide as age distorts the symmetry in the body of every beauty queen.
At the University of Legon in the early seventies there was a Professor of Archeology who would be walking on the campus and be so lost in her thoughts that she would not be aware of students passing by and greeting her. Her mind was probably so much buried in Paleontology that she could not be bothered with naughty students on campus. A Lecturer in Mathematics at KNUST was reported to have said he could not sit at home and chat with his visiting mother because she could not contribute to discussions on Topology and Integration over Solid Surfaces. This tribe of human beings in Universities can get so lost in abstract thinking that they would seem to be absent minded Professors. When they find themselves in the jungle of politics and working hard behind the scenes to put systems, structures and strategies in place for a Better Ghana Agenda, political opponents would taunt them as Professors who do little.
Was Rawlings the Fighter Pilot wrong when he chose Mills the Law Professor as his successor? This is a debate that has been raging for several years now and is coming to a peak at this time just before elections in December. When Ghanaians had to decide on, and approve Prof Mills as a successor, fate decided to turn the tables and bring in the Elephant Party. After the Elephant Party ran its full term of eight years, Ghanaians resolved to bring in Prof Mills and the Umbrella Party. As the first term draws to a close, President Rawlings is wondering if he chose a traitor instead of a successor while the Elephant Party is threatening mayhem if Ghanaians retain and endorse the Professor as a good successor. December would prove if Ghanaians see in the Professor a traitor or a Better Ghana proponent. The war mongering posture of the Elephant Party may also drive the majority of Ghanaians to teach them that Peace is a better god to worship than war drums and vote for the Umbrella Party.
The Law Professor must have heard a thousand voices say that the Law is an ass. He must also be aware that a few voices sometimes wonder if the Law is probably not a tool for social engineering. If it is true that the Professor is aware of these viewpoints, he could prefer to bury his head in the programs that will convince Ghanaians to vote for him and let those judges who choose to identify with the law as an ass to please and tickle themselves. It is said that the wise will always unlearn the wrong things they have been taught. It is also said that impetuous behavior is a privilege of the youth. Learned judges can degrade themselves and enter wrong judgments or even dementia can set in and wreak legal havocs. They would have become legal youths who may be passed off as privileged youth, despite being liabilities. The calculated silence of the Professor could be a wise management tool of delegation, for strategic reasons, which war mongers would trumpet out as “Professor-do little” and “Mills is not in charge” to their own detriment.
What twist of fate could confuse a successor for a traitor who must be put in the same camp as war mongering enemies with mischief making judges and lawyers? Could this be a travesty of an assessment that Ghanaians would have to confirm or reject in a referendum of a vote? What could have happened to introduce this concept of a traitor in the very person who declared him as a capable successor at Swedru?
There are general principles guiding life and we are all subject to them. We are all bound by the principles of love and respect for our selves and our opinions. We must also take care of our needs, wants and interests. We readily talk about our principles but act on our interests. Society expects us to love and respect others as ourselves but we may prefer to satisfy our personal interests at the expense of the interests of others. We then try to hide our real interests and motives .This conflict of interests could lead us to the point where we see the speck in the eyes of others but not the log in our own eyes.
We may agree to disagree with others or disagree to agree. There is a whole world of difference between these two positions. When we agree to disagree, we search for ways to live in peace and harmony. When we disagree to agree, we search for ways to show and prove that we are right and the others are wrong, and this is the pathway of war and warmongering. Wars and warmongering always involve lies, deceits and ambushes. Any point of origin of uncharitable behavior or hostility involves an attempt to cover up something; an inadequacy. Multiple searchlights with a host of enlightened doubts become an absolute necessity; a sine qua non. Does DESTINY have a lesson here for all of us to learn?