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Opinions of Saturday, 6 November 2010

Columnist: Akoto, Akwasi A. Afrifa

All the Presidents’ Children.

About three months ago, one of the daughters of Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo, Mary Fummey Gyankoma-Addo was involved in a near tragic accident with another vehicle. Fortunately for those involved in the accident, none were seriously hurt. Let us all give thanks to God for the positive outcome of an unfortunate incident.
When the story broke, my initial thoughts were, this was an opportunity for the Government to declare war on drunk driving, with Miss Addo as the beacon. In the first instance, I had expected the President to personally extend a sympathy message to his peer’s daughter. I had also expected the President to pay the victim a personal visit. This would have finally put to the rest the negative and unfortunate side of the incident. It would have also enhanced the yet phantom title of “Asomdwehene”, giving the title its first legitimate vote.
On the Government side, I had expected it to launch a nationwide campaign against “Drunk driving”. With the victim’s personal and near tragic experience, her father’s spirit and the right support staff, Miss Fummey Gyankoma-Addo would have been the perfect spokesperson against drunk driving on behalf of the COUNTRY.
This unfortunate incident alone – amid the daily grunge in our polity- could have been the catalyst that “would” have rallied the nation around a most common cause.
Miss Addo could have embarked on nationwide tour as the official government spokesperson visiting schools, giving lectures; hosting seminars on drinking and driving for commercial drivers etc; in short, spearheading the country’s campaign against the number one cause of accidents on our nation’s highways, roads and streets.
But oh, no! Not the P-ndc! Yet what did I expect?
Instead, the P-ndc behaved and is still behaving as if none of its subscribers has any children, especially daughters. They descended on the unfortunate child with such intense mental and verbal abuse comparable to only the Salem witches, and have since subjected poor Miss Fummey Addo to such psychological torture witnessed only when a witch is supposedly "uncovered" in a nearby village.
In fact, it has become part of their mantra: to a question, Kuku Anyidoho, Director of Presidential Communications, from far away Japan, responds, “Nana should first take care of her daughter before he can criticize Mills”; Media Analyst Group, “ Nana can’t say Mills is slow because, he, Nana can’t take care of his daughter”. And it goes on and on and on.
I’m of the firm belief that this unfortunate incident is going to be used by the P-ndc as a diversionary tactic in the coming campaign. Dangerously, they have failed to recognize the possible effect of the mental anguish being visited on father and daughter, especially THE DAUGHTER. If Miss Addo is not of a strong character as her father, the effects on her might be devastating. In “a psychologically resourced” society that we live in, she might suffer a nervous breakdown, if she were to perceive, in retrospect that “A defeat” had been partly her fault, “by drowning the message.”
On the course that the P-ndc has so far taken, it won’t be long before they start insulting, mothers, wives, daughters and sisters – including their own- all in the name of politics. Whosoever thinks subjecting a man’s daughter to public ridicule is not insulting should think again; so does subjecting a wife, mother or sister.
So far, and as we are all aware, the P-ndc lacks principle- and has always lacked principle- but has a strategy in this particular case. On the other hand, the NPP, a very principled entity lacks the strategy to combat this case. Overall, the Party stands to “lose” if it does not act and put the above matter to rest. So, this is my humble suggestion: The NPP should rather seize this near tragic incident and turn it into a positive by declaring war on drunk driving with the victim as the official spokesperson. Preferably, it must be enshrined in the coming campaign’s manifesto. Miss Fummey Addo would be the official spokesperson. With her personal experience, her father’s spirit and the right support staff, she would be the most effective advocate against drunk driving. She would go on speaking tours, seminars etc.
Now, if the P-ndc continues with its reprehensible behavior when Miss Fummey’s campaign is under way, it would finally convince the whole world and “the Blind” that the P-ndc is indeed an unprincipled entity. ( Those of us on this side of the aisle are already “in the know”. The rest, however, needs further proof.)
So NPP, as the cliché goes – yet I’m using it- “the ball is in your court”. Seize the moment and “kill three birds with one stone” – yet another cliché- by putting the P-ndc’s viciousness on the spot and hopefully putting an end to it, with a counter campaign as suggested above; by saving a man’ daughter and finally, by saving countless other victims who might become CASUALTIES through driving drunk with Miss Mary Fummey Gyankoma-Addo’ campaign.
“Nana, Y’ani da wo so”.
AFTERWORD.
By the way, what was the GOVERNER OF BANK OF GHANA’s car, A STATE ISSUED CAR, doing at 4am in the morning?
When David Cameroon has cancelled all State issued vehicles, plus chauffeurs, to his Cabinet and beyond as part of the austerity plan in an economically depressed world, poor man Ghana is abusing his.
Akwasi A. Afrifa Akoto