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Opinions of Thursday, 21 September 2017

Columnist: Koku Mawuli Nanegbe

Citizen vigilante: The Apostle Paul turned Pharisee Saul!

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Biblical history has it that Pharisee Saul was one key figure that persecuted Our Lord Jesus Christ, followers and His works in the propagation of the good news. But when realization finally came, Saul converted and became Paul – Apostle Paul. He arguably was the most industrious of all the Apostles in the absence of Christ, had been on evangelism mission in the Roman Empire not less than four times.

He practically taught and in far off distances consistently wrote letters to areas that are nations today in an effort to keep Christianity alive. Ours today seemed a case of the reverse! From Apostle Paul to Saul!

Lawyer Martin Amidu hurriedly wrote a piece on a development in Parliament on Thursday seeking to condemn the Minority who sought to express concern about an action of a glaringly bias Speaker.

It seemed to me Mr Amidu had not apprised himself with the precursor to the Minority’s legitimate action or did but for purposes of giving a dog a bad name and to hang it did what he did.

Friday night, as I put together this piece, TV3’s Northern Regional correspondent, Eva Atiboka during “News at 10” filed a report on the continuous invasion of fall army worm of farms in the Norther region, obviously contradicting the claim in Parliament by the Minister for Food and Agriculture [MoFA], Dr Akoto Afriyie that the invasion has been totally defeated.

According to Eva Atiboka, the rate of multiplication of the army worms is alarming to the extent that the farmers had had their expenditure budget affected in resorting to improvised control measures which they said proved more effective than government’s much publicized but scarce intervention.

Suffice to say Dr Akoto Afriyie had flatly denied in an answer to a question that the decision by government to sell fertilizer to farmers is to prevent smuggling as one of his deputies told Citi fm, 97.3MHz. COCOBOB CEO, Joseph Boahen Aidoo on Accra, 100.5fm relied on same justification of smuggling as the reason why fertilizer is sold today, a decision which has burden many farmers here in Ghana for which a lot of rural MPs are bearing a portion of the brunt and have to assist farmers in whatever form.

And so as rife as issues of fall army worm invasions, fertilizer sale and other Agricultural related ones are, would be difficult for anyone to convince me that the Minority leader, Hon Haruna Iddrisu, particularly in whose region the issues are was entitled to just a single question as indicated by the Speaker.

Elsewhere, a concerned and dutiful Speaker would ensure the Minister exhaust every burning question in the House to demonstrate true commitment towards the fight and to allay the fears of the people.

Who knows? Out of the extra questions the Minister could pick some vital information for an effective solution especially now that Agricultural Extension Agents on whose laps this army worm fight falls directly lacked resources to be able to work effectively and are no longer regular on the field.

Mr Speaker’s action towards the Minority and leader, Hon Haruna Iddrisu was sadly dictatorial and seemed well-orchestrated to protect an un-prepared Agricultural Minister. The alacrity with which the Majority leadership side indicated it has no question to ask the Minister exposes the hatched protectionist scheme.

Prof Mike Oquaye, per observations during proceedings appear to be much interested in protecting appointees who are scheduled to answer questions rather than the poor people in whose interest we claim to be working. It is a shame!

Now, this regrettable action of the Speaker backed by the Majority was what Mr Amidu finds nothing wrong with but chose to describe the Minority and the expression of their legitimate concerns as un-cultured. He is not an MP; neither has he concerns; not even empathy for the affected farmers especially those in the North. Citizen Vigilante?

The Akufo Addo/ Dr Bawumia regime the past seven months had been rocked by scandals ranging from create, loot and share at BOST; $2.25billion KENBOND; looting of Gh5.2 million under the guise of Ghana@60 [that money could have provided a minimum of 600 boreholes to needy rural areas]; Invisible/ Delta forces lawlessness; invasion of a Law Court among others that the Vigilante had chosen not see or hear about. Regime Vigilante! At the defense of a fleecing regime instead of the people.

According to Dr Martin Luther King “the ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”

But why should one be surprised over the new status of “Regime Vigilante” when he seemed pained by his own un-principled actions and subsequent dismissal from office as an Attorney General [AG] to the extent that he has since not forgiven himself coupled with what could pass as a new “kitchen cabinet” job for which he has to assiduously do to please.

In any case, it is a democracy and the National Democratic Congress [NDC] is tolerant and extremely democratic. Elsewhere, he would have been dismissed by now. You would not do even five articles before they descend on you and to top it up with death threats. Eminent men such as Kakra Essamuah, Dr Wereko Brobbey, Dr Arthur Kennedy, Dr Nyahoe Nyahoe Tamakloe are a few living examples.

Septuagenarian Attoh Quashie has remained traumatized for having his scheduled Korle Gonno press conference scuttled by some young men sent by Tarzan, Arthur K and Dr Nyahoe Tamakloe persecutors.

I wish to ask “Regime Vigilante” what is reputation? What is honor? What is dignity when a simple rule such as Order 30 [2] of the Parliamentary Standing Orders is consistently disrespected? If he does not mind to check what I mean, could kindly position himself one late afternoon of a working day along the Shiashie - Legon – Atomic Junction – Hatso road.

He will find a freshly black Toyota 4x4 with registration number GT 6068 -17 occupied by a higher up on the road disrespecting simple traffic regulations to the extent that the right of way of oncoming vehicles is taken over. Even ambulances with emergency cases on hand hardly do what he does. That is a contemnor. Habitual!

That has been happening in the face of an elucidatory quote of a US Supreme Court Judge that “Laws are for the citizens, good conducts are for higher persons.”

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