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Opinions of Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Columnist: Nana Kyei

Politics of comedy in Ghana

Ghana politics has gradually been reduced to a theatre of comedy where men who have excelled with the brilliance of pen and good speeches take the stage to induce spurious acts of comedy.

Politics has indeed become a serious business where men of sobriety and intellectual wits sell their souls to wealth by dating greed, worship corruption, become hired agents of perjury and cronyism. In fact decency is struggling to reconcile and reconnect to the modern Ghanaian version of politics.

Intelligence and responsibility is sparingly left on their own because lately it's no longer a necessary requirement to license someone into politics, characters good for spewing insults, championing ethnocentric supremacy, casting tribal slur and experts in lies are countered 'politicians extraordinaire'.

This has made it possible for the political field to be infiltrated and invaded by several many of unwholesome characters who use the media as a medium to propagate this senile agenda by making hard noises to get partisan recognition !!

What actually transforms the arena of politics into a theatre of comedy is the attitude and the posturing of people who by the virtue of their profound intelligence and unquestionable experience ought to know better yet they stand gullible and fall for these cheap political fallouts.

First on my radar is the clergy, let me hasten to clarify that our constitution does not debar the clergy unlike our stool leader from engaging in active politics. What it means then is that every preacher man has the absolute right to join the political chariots and make significant impact or could decide to stay neutral and make both positive contributions and constructive criticisms to discourse of politics in the country.

In other jurisdictions, we have had popular men of God who were active politicians and nobody blamed them for their decision.

The most notable one among them is the twentieth president of the United States, James A Garfield who was a preacher man and a teacher.

The former president of Haiti, Jean Bertrand Aristide was former catholic priest.

Ernesto Cardenal a former minister of culture for Nicaragua was a catholic priest, Ivan Grubisic was a catholic priest and an independent representative in Croatian parliament.

Ludwig Kass was a prominent German politician who was also a priest and Samuel C. Fessenden US congressman was a pastor. These are good examples to clear the way that, there is no contradiction in a person with the man of God tag becoming a successful politician.

But the irony in the Ghanaian situation is quiet bizzare in the sense that none of the clergies in our country have been bold enough to tilt publicly to support any political party, a situation that gives us a presumed inclination that they must be fair whenever making contributions to both social and political discourse concerning the state.

But hypocritically, within this shield of neutrality some have been identified as partisan wagons in cassocks doing the bidding for political parties whilest others have also turned themselves into a "hired political guns" which shoot discreetly from their safe hideouts behind the holy alter.

In fact the comments and the utterances of some supposed men of God have been making are quiet disrespectful, disparaging and unkempt.

I believe nobody will complain about a fair critique from a man of God who just like any other citizen expresses his candid opinion on matters of national interest but for a man of God to see everything wrong with every single move by government but doesn't blink in a face of extreme atrocities on the other side must be a big hypocrite who must only be selling Christ for money.

For a man of God to stand before the holy alter and call for the intervention wisemen to rescue the country from the hands of those in government who in his view lack wisdom to rule, such is a height of unbridled politics of culumny to be spearheaded by a man who society look up to for guidance.

How can someone talk like this? Whose message are these characters pushing across Christ or theirs? only time will tell.

These are people we expect to remain committed to the welfare and the good of the state and must defend it with truth and in all sincerity no matter where their political allegiance may fall but Ghana is not fortunate to be blessed with many of such clergies even though very few may exist.

A hasty comdemninatory communique is what some are noted for ... We condemn this! we condemn that! without a thourough study and analysis of such situations. I strongly believe Christ must angry about this fortunate stance some men who have vowed to be sincere in all endeavours but have now become celebrities of dreadful hypocrisy.

The second on my radar of politics of comedy is the parliament of the republic.

The legislature as an arms of government, parliament has become one of the revered institutions of state and considering the enormous authority granted under the 1992 constitution, parliament has been quiet critical in the democratic advancement of our democracy.

It's mandated to make laws, empowered by the constitution to hold the executive arm of government responsible and accountable by subjecting various engagements by government to strict scrutiny.

But considering the emerging gross irresponsibility being shown by some members of parliament lately, the dignity and the integrity of the house is brought to question making the floor of parliament look like a precinct for comedy.

The people of Ghana have entrusted their inherent right sourced from the constitution to representatives of parliament who are supposed to act on behalf of the people they represent yet issues bearing national interest are often treated and handled on the lines of strict partisan options devoid of merits and risks.

The only time members of what once used to be the August house come into consensus is when a particar policy before them seeks to renew or widen their welfare, policies like a car loan for members, increment in stipends and allowances, accommodation and other related goodies, there you could anticipate the aggression and the hasty push without the normal partisan war usually waged on critical matters of the state.

In our current dispensation some of the emerging development emanating from parliament is very embarrasing, a member of Parliament without shame stood on public platforms to declear war, champion ethnocentric supremacy and cast tribal slur and bigotry, propagate and chant hate speeches and sing war choruses and promote comments with seditious and genocidal tendencies.

It's no longer a shameful ordeal for a parliamentarian to mount a public platform and humiliate EC boss by alleging that her position was given her as a compensation of sexual exploitation.

A member of a house supposed to be the August house where members are freely given the prefix "Hon" could leak the naked pictures of a married woman with soundbites of comments too low to be made by a class one pupil, what is more challenging than this.

In a case of constitutional amendment bill 2016 which sought to change the voting date from December 7th to November 2016, the constitution is quiet clear that in such instances voting shall be secret. Parliamentary standing orders- order 110 clearly asserts the same authority of secret voting.

So what exactly could tempt a senior member of the house to reveal or show his vote to the public? Has parliament become a platform for satirical comedy?

Surprisingly the authorities of the house did absolutely nothing about the situation which is considered flagrant abuse of statutory law.

Such constitutional fracture and insult to both the constitution and the authority of parliament by a supposed senior member couldn't attract any punitive sanctions to serve as lesson to deter future engagement. In fact both the integrity and the authority of parliament is disgruntled.

The biting arm of parliament, the privileges committee, noted for summoning outsiders to appear before them to answer charges but their colleagues could mess up to any extent and they will not even blink, what a shame!

The third subject is very interesting, the recent happenings in our Supreme Court has drawn all of us a little closer to an anima called contempt which recently became the ravaging bugaboo engulfing both social and political activists who run commentary on matters on judicial radar.

I condemn in no uncertain terms any derogatory and disparaging comments likely to drag the ministration of justice to disrepute in our jurisprudence or any statement likely to mitigate the delivery of justice or with the tendency to impugn the authority and the integrity of both the court and the judges.

So l faulted no one when Ghana Bar Association (GBA) and the so called social activists and interest groups when they started petitioning the Supreme Court to cite the montie 3 for contempt.

But there's a saying that he who comes into equity must come with a clean hands.

How many times have people defiled the authority and the sanctity of both the president and the presidency and what was the position of GBA and their likes who appeared to be championing the aura of competent surrounding the comments made by the montie 3. The most powerful person in the country can be insulted, defiled and petrified and none of these shameful masquerading interest groups and their surrogate media outfits see nothing anything wrong with that.

The bias media houses, pretending to be operating form the covers of political neutrality make matters worse. Using disrespectful braggarts who hurt and spew raw nonsense to the person of the most powerful man in the country who per the constitution is mandated to exercise a special executive powers.

But is the GBA and its executives telling Ghanaians that an insult to the president is not a big deal but a conditional threat and insult to a judge is equal to the sins of Ananias and Saphira which requires unmediated death sentence by the Holy Ghost? That's must be funny indeed.

Now in my country Ghana the president can be insulted, any Ghanaian can be threatened but the judiciary is a heavenly institution beyond criticisms and reproach and you dare not say fi"

The only obvious question lingering in my thoughts is simple, was it the conduct of the montie trio who letdown or initiated the cascading fall of the judicial integrity and the administration of justice in our jurisprudence or was it a conduct of judges who accepted to sleep with a whore, in a common words a prostitute to free a hardened criminal into the streets per Aremeyaw's revelation or a judge who accept ordinary goat "aponkye m33" to exchange justice to favour the undesired or a yam collecting judge who cherishes a food called waakye to pardon the guilty after thousand Ghana cedis have exchanged hands ?

I sincerely believe my readers could judge this better than myself hence l reserve that judgemental discretion for my readers to exercise.

The GBA support the judiciary in the face of all these aforementioned embarrassment but the president should be left to battle with the unending public insults.

In the case of montie 3 conviction, there's something quiet interesting with the ruling.

The host of the show and the directors were hauled to appear before the Supreme Court to answer charges of contempt and we're finally slapped with 60k and the host was sentenced same as persons who according to the court scandalised its authority.

My simple question is by the same simple logic: Can we call on the Chief Justice to resign in the face of diabolical embarrassment brought to our jurisprudence through the conduct of some judges who sold the dignity of the judiciary for sex, sheep, goat and awaakye because the regulation of the conduct of judges are within her remit? If montie directors could be punish for conducts and comments of panelists then the Chief Justice must equally suffer for the misconduct of her subordinates.

If in incorporated organisation directors answer for the criminal liability of their employee then in the judiciary who answer same for an unscrupulous judge who is in bed with the devil to invoke wreckage and havoc on the innocent maybe Dr. Ernest Ameyaw, medical director of holy family hospital, Techiman may have some answers for me.

I picked this analogy from and you can equally log in and explore further to satisfy your curiosity, honestly the Bible is my witness!!

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