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Opinions of Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Columnist: Daily Guide

Bawumiaphobia Grips Opana Ogwanfunu

Opinion Opinion

A phobia is an intense fear of something that, in reality, poses little or no actual danger. Common phobias include fear for enclosed places, heights, flying insects, snakes and needles. Most phobias develop during childhood, but they can also develop during adulthood.

I do not know about you, but Yours truly has a phobia. I have a fear for enclosed areas, otherwise known as claustrophobia. I developed that fear when, as a ten-year-old, I got trapped in a lift with my dad. It took more than thirty minutes for us to be rescued. But for the presence of my father who helped to calm me down, only Maw knows what would have happened to me.

If you have a phobia, you may realize that your fear is unreasonable. Yet you still can’t control that irrational fear. Just thinking about the feared object or situation is enough to make you anxious. And when you are actually exposed to the object you fear, the terror is automatic, overwhelming and nerve-wracking.

You know the brilliant economist cum running-mate of Nana Addo who responds to the name Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, don’t you? Who could have imagined that such a gentle and affable character could become an object of fear to anyone? If you haven’t heard, Bawumia is now the object of fear to no less a person than President Opana Ogwanfunu himself? Bawumia’s name terrifies him so much that he hardly gets any sleep nowadays.

President Opana’s irrational fear stems from the fact that the brilliant economist has for some time now given Asomdwekromanians a better insight into the gross incompetence of his government in handling the country’s economy. The truth has gone under his skin and continued to prick him, compelling him to go haywire.

If you would recall, Bawumia did admonish the Ogwanfunu government to change the incompetent way it was handling the economy, lest it be compelled to seek help from “Big Brother” IMF. Not only did the Ogwanfunu government ignore his advice, but the ‘babies with sharp teeth’ publicly sucked his blood. Bawumia was called all manner of names, but did his prediction not come to pass?

We were all in this country when Bawumia told the Ogwanfunu government that its incompetence would be exposed by the poor performance of the Cedi against the foreign currencies. Did we not see a sprint by the Cedi, which necessitated a spiritual intervention from Arch-Bishop Duncan Williams?

Dr Bawumia has, therefore, done no wrong in describing the Ogwanfunu government as incompetent. The description is very apt, and no amount of lamentations from Opana Ogwanfunu can change that.

Was I surprised at Opana Ogwanfunu’s outburst? No, I wasn’t. I was not surprised because I know what phobia can make one do. The irrational fear in you can make you behave irrationally.

Is it rational for a man to tell those who made him president that it is only those who have been presidents before that can criticize the work of a president? Bizarre, isn’t it?

I am not a professional plumber. But when I engage a plumber and he does a shoddy job, I do not need any expertise in plumbing to judge him because the leakages would expose his incompetence. So calling the plumber competent does not change the fact that he has done an incompetent job.

We now know what Opana Ogwanfunu detests. He does not want to be described as ‘incompetent’. Out of respect for his position, we would accept his request; even though incompetent is the word that best describes him. He wants us to shout from the rooftop that he is competent, though he knows he is not. We shall oblige his request and give him the ‘competent’ tag. But we would not shirk our responsibility of letting the world know how his so-called competent government has inflicted its incompetence on us, leading to unprecedented hardships among the populace.

Abusuapanin, those expecting a response from Bawumia to the vitriolic attack on his person would be disappointed. I know Bawumia had a very good upbringing so he is not going to respond in kind. He knows too well that descending into the gutters with Opana Ogwanfunu would only make both of them dirty. But trust Bawumia to further expose the incompetence of the Ogwanfunu government.

As for Opana Ogwanfunu, my unsolicited counsel to him is to ponder over these wise words from Abraham Lincoln: “If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem.” Wise words indeed!

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