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Opinions of Friday, 14 July 2017

Columnist: G. Ofori Anor

Diaspora homecoming summit : When arrogance met 'Whining'

Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, Deputy Minister of Trade Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, Deputy Minister of Trade

Thanks to social media. You might have now seen short video clips of episodes at the just ended conference of sorts in Accra.

Dubbed Ghana Diaspora Homecoming Summit this conference is reported to have been organized by Nana Akuffo Addo's administration "aimed at mobilizing and harnessing the resources and skills of the Diaspora community to accelerate development in the country".

However, the video captures a presentation by a paid agent of the government that seem to indicate a plan to get Ghanaians home and tell them to go eat dirt.

A well-fed government minister Robert Ahomka Lindsay, waving a government supplied cell phone and full of self-assumed sense of power and authority tells his audience that they are nothing more than whiners. He tells them “nobody likes whiners, people that spend all the time to whine all the time really get on people’s nerves, so stop whining, stop this doesn’t work, this doesn’t work, if it's worked you probably wouldn’t be sitting there ". The other clip shows a well-dressed gentleman, obviously, a returning Ghanaian delivering a fine counter punch to the crude characterization: "who travels 3000 miles to whine?" he asks. (8,000 from New York, 12,000 from Alaska, 15,600 from Australia -- Ghanaians are there!!) He takes a good swipe at the pervading culture of arrogance among government operatives and ends with what to me should be adopted as the slogan for this engagement i.e. WE ARE NOT HERE TO PLAY. I would prefer WE ARE NOT HERE TO BULL SH..!

May we extend the benefit of doubt courtesies to the President and say that the pathetic show of arrogance by his minion in no way reflects on his government; that this president is serious and well intentioned. We want to believe that the summit is a genuine effort to engage Diaspora Ghanaians constructively and productively to lift the country up.

We hope Ahomka Lindsay is not outing the kind of banter that occurs in boardrooms, where the Diaspora is miss-defined, maligned and caricatured by spoilt by their inheritance. We do know there are those who see other successful and accomplished Ghanaians anywhere as threats to their power and privileges.

They despise and derisively squirm at any mention of constructive engagement and integration. It is no comfort to them that the facts and figures make a most compelling case for that line of action. There is no need to rehash that argument because this administration seems to know where its bread is buttered.

We hope this President will find it expedient to coral and rope in assistants, aides and operatives that are lost in the haze of their self-assumed importance. They are consumed by an arrogant fire that burns in them a desire to substitute well crafted official policies with their own self-serving egotistic idiosyncrasies.

If you don't, Mr. President, watch the likes of Robert Ahomka Lindsay diffuse, refuse, dilute, frustrate and outright destroy your well-intended initiatives.

People who according to him 'whine' over things that don't work get on his nerves. He doesn't like them. He has a long list of important business to attend. He cannot wrap himself around people who do not find ways to deal with things that do not work and rather complain. Of course, he doesn't have to whine. He is more than adequately provided for by the government.

Do not, Mr. President, hide his type in your office as staffers. Get rid of them outright. Your predecessor by now wishes he had done so.