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Opinions of Sunday, 16 July 2017

Columnist: Papa Appiah

The “whining” Ahomka-Lindsay; A “new money” little plonker

I almost missed this one. But I still need to have my say.

I know the NPP have made a valiant and admirable attempt at apologising, but I am not satisfied. And I am not satisfied because the man himself, in trying to “apologise,” rather sought to explain, that his visibly contorted face of fury, and the frantic brandishing of his “ever ringing” phone in the faces of his guests were all in the spirit of a nationalistic zeal to offer a gentle word of advice to “diasporans” on how to do business in Ghana.

I would not want to be anywhere near this man when he is actually angry, if his general composure and attitude while talking these distinguished Ghanaians intending to spend money to help our economy, was merely brotherly advice.

And these were guests, remember, who had bought their own tickets and travelled thousands of miles, at the invitation of the president, to explore business opportunities. One wonders if the minister’s attitude would have been any different had the guests been Chinese or Americans.

We simply do not value our own.

You see, anybody could be gentle, polite and courteous, especially so when you happen to be part of a government that has swept into power with an impressive majority and is enjoying such goodwill as has never been experienced in the country before.

Anybody can be polite when journalists are asking about their wives and kids and inviting them to funerals and birthdays on air.

But the tide always changes. And soon, there will be those aggressive probing questions, the ever-ringing phones and the persistent “diasporan” whining. That is when, the men are separated from the boys, and the wheat from the chaff.

Arrogance is probably a word that is often overused in Ghana.

Omane Boamah, the Communication Minister of the previous NDC government is a fine gentleman and an intelligent medical officer.

He is, however, hardly the best politician one ever saw and he did not easily endear himself to people. But anytime he had been accused of arrogance, it was because he was fighting with all the vigour he could muster to defend the president who had appointed him and who he had come to like and respect.

Sometimes he crossed the line and viciously attacked opponents of his master. Naïve? Maybe. Misguided? Could be. Unfair? Probably. But never arrogant. It was never ever about Omane Boamah. He fought hard for his president and his party.

If you want to understand what true arrogance means, play Ahomka-Lindsay’s speech to his diaspora visitors over and over again.

Therein lies the sound, the look and the smell of arrogance in its purest unadulterated form - See me Lakayana with my spear! I am Ahomka-Lindsay and how dare you speak to me like that.

Back in school several years ago, there were two kinds of rich kids. There were the recently rich politician’s children, who, bemused by their new money and status, craved attention and respect.

They came to school with a chop box, sometimes two, filled to the brim with provisions, and they had the money to spend. They were arrogant and boisterous and often got themselves into trouble.

Then there were those we called, the true Dada Bs. These were boys who had never known poverty in their lives but had been brought up with discipline and were often the most humble and well-behaved boys even as they flew round the world for their holidays.

Every word of Ahomka-Lindsay betrayed him as “new money” arrogant buffoon and one that needs to be booted out of government.