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Opinions of Monday, 5 June 2017

Columnist: Rockson Adofo

Do you know who I am?

The bullies in the Ghanaian society, be they the nouveau riche, educated ones with higher paper qualifications, people with elevated royal prestige, or macho men, do often have that self-centred arrogance to threateningly question those appearing vulnerable in the society but who for once stand up to them, saying, do you know who I am?

Knowing who and what they are may not be relevant to the issue at stake at that very moment of posing that question. However, as bullies as they wish to come across with intent to stopping any further probe into the issue which may expose them in one way or the other, they become irrationally intimidating if not confrontational asking, do you know who I am?

Knowing who and what they are may not be the answer to the problem; nonetheless, they prefer to drum home their high status to frighten off their victim(s) who may have mustered courage to engage them in intellectual debate or question their behaviour on certain matters.

This deplorable attitude of the Ghanaian bully has allegedly been exemplified by the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto.

He is alleged to have said to a journalist asking him whether he is incompetent as was reportedly alleged by his fellow politician, Hilda Addo, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwadaso, “I don’t want you to talk to me in these times… Do you know who I am, do you know what I have created in this life of mine for a journalist like you to tell me that I am incompetent. If you’re repeating somebody’s words it’s your words as well. You shouldn’t be that insubordinate. I don’t know how old you are but my son will be older than you, you understand, even the owner of your station does not come anywhere near my standard in terms of life achievement so you have to learn to be respectful, don’t use those words on me”

The web link below takes any reader to the publication of the “do you know who I am” effusions by the Minister.

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Minister-flares-up-after-being-referred-to-as-incompetent-542167

If the Minister had really responded as stated above, then I am afraid there is nothing more incompetent than the answer he gave. The journalist had offered him a platform to redeem his image if indeed Ms Hilda Addo had alleged he is incompetent for what reason I do not know. Instead of availing himself of the golden opportunity offered him on a silver platter, he rather decided to compound the situation.

Yes, your son may be older than the person taking you to task. Yes, you may be a million times richer and more educated than the ‘nonentity’ questioning you; however, you owe the person a rational response and not threats.

May I ask those people who appear as bullies but are indeed cowards without distinction; what positive impact have you made on the lives of Ghanaians? To better explain my question to you, Bill Gates has changed the way we do things throughout the world by his Microsoft invention/ development. Hon. Kennedy Agyapong is renowned for fighting institutional corruption to liberate Ghana from the ongoing exacerbating socio-economic captivity but those asking, “do you know who I am”, what have you done?

The less those ‘do you know who I am’ guys talk, the much better, for they just make big fools of themselves by their vainglory which is but without substance as long as the masses have not benefited from them in any meaningful way.

Incompetent is defined by the dictionary as not possessing the necessary ability, skill, etc. to do or carry out a task. Therefore, if you are questioned on whether you are incompetent or not, please give a more satisfactory answer if you want to prove that you are not incompetent but the “do you know who I am” sort of counter-question instantaneously makes you come out convincingly incompetent.

Therefore, going by his answer as measured on my logic scale, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto is incompetent, and will remain so until he comes back to explain his strengths, his achievements, and how they impact on the Ghanaian public.

Whoever is into those empty self-elevation antics is a bully and all bullies are cowards without substance.

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto might not be incompetent but just that he was consumed by pride and tradition to find it difficult bringing himself up to understand a young journalist asking him if he was incompetent as alleged.

The Akan tradition demands that if someone insults a chief in his absence, he who repeats the insults to the chief when conveying the person’s actions or reactions to him is the one said to be insulting the chief hence Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto not taking it kindly to the blunt question asked by the journalist.