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Opinions of Monday, 11 July 2016

Columnist: Dailyguideafrica

We joke too much in this country!

“Hate. It has caused a lot of problems in this world, but it has not solved one yet”—Maya Angelou

I’ve had the occasion to discuss the role of jesters during the medieval times. Perhaps you’ve forgotten so I take this opportunity to refresh your mind. A ‘jester’ is a professional who entertains using varied skills. These may include music, storytelling, juggling, acrobatics, jokes and other similar skills.

Historically, jesters gained prominence during the medieval period. Jesters were employed by various royal courts to entertain a ruler or other members of the royal family. They often wore brightly coloured clothes and eccentric hats with bells as they lampoon others to the delight of the king and his royal household.

Since their words were mostly considered as jokes, the court jesters were allowed to be freer with their opinions. They therefore used their privileged position to tell the king what others wouldn’t dare. But they were careful about overstepping their boundaries, for fear of being punished by the monarch.

We now live in an era where court jesters are rarely seen. What we see nowadays are career comedians such as KSM, DKB and Oscar. Sorry, did I say Oscar? That bloke is an apology of a comedian. The comedians in this country aren’t as funny as their Nigerian counterparts, but are gradually catching up.

Many politicians and public officials may not be career comedians. They may even reject the comedian tag. But the undeniable fact is that some of them are funnier than career comedians in this country.

Was President Ogwanfunu not the one who included Akua Donkor in his entourage on a visit to Europe last year? No one knew what her role was but she was included in the entourage, anyway. She flew business class, received per diem and slept in first class hotels at the expense of the poor tax-payer. Tell me it was not a joke and I would tell you Obama is a woman.

The same Akua Donkor was invited to the Senchi Economic Forum in 2014. She ate and slept at the expense of the tax-payer; but practically contributed nothing in return. Perhaps, the only positive her presence provided was its comic value!

You do know the educated fisherman, don’t you? This is a man who knows nothing about corporate management and the energy industry. Yet he was made a board member of Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and subsequently represented the country at an energy conference in the USA. Is it any wonder that the country is still reeling under “dumsor”?

I’m sure the story of Alistair Nelson and Ako Gunn in the Muntie debacle is no longer news to you. The brazen threat on the lives of our judges sent shivers down many spines, yours truly inclusive.

I did predict last week that I expected our security agencies to turn a blind eye since the hoodlums were coming from the stables of the ruling party. I said so because I knew our security agencies were nothing but a bunch of jokers. And have I not been vindicated?

The Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) that had arrested Ernest Owusu Bempah and Ato Kwamena Dadzie for lesser “crimes” are now saying we should not worry about the threat on the lives of our judges. Their reason is that the pronouncements were simply “a show of needless bravado”. What a great joke coming from jokers parading as security personnel!

Many of my compatriots are very livid at the joke being played on us by the BNI. They are livid because they cannot understand why a body mandated to protect our security would allow itself to become a tool in the hands of its political masters. They also cannot understand why a body that used to send shivers down many spines would allow itself to become a laughing stock.

I’m, however, not surprised. This is because the bureau had lost credibility and significance long before now. It is now a body used by its political masters not only to protect party sympathizers, but also to punish political opponents.

The 2009 pictures of recruits wielding G3s and AK47s in the North are still fresh in our minds. The Chereponi shooting saga where a so-called BNI operative was caught on camera shooting at a crowd of Osono sympathizers is also fresh in our minds. All our jaundiced security agencies keep on telling us is that they are still investigating. Another joke, isn’t it?

Abusuapanin, I had a problem with the Supreme Court (SC) ruling on the Election Petition. I wondered how one judge could vote for over-voting and still vote against it at the same time. But I know it is one place that jokes are rarely entertained.

Refreshingly, Alistair Nelson and his ‘partners-in-crime’ would be facing the dreaded SC tomorrow. I pray that the judges do not tamper justice with mercy this time. I suggest they use President Ogwanfunu’s “bulldozer-kill-ant-theory” to drum home their message. A threat on the lives of judges is not, and cannot be, a joking matter!

See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo volente!

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