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Opinions of Sunday, 12 April 2009

Columnist: Appiah, Kofi

Et Tu Te Brutus?

Et tu te Brutus? Et tu te Kwesi? Comrade Kwesi Pratt Jnr. has tried successfully and unsuccessfully to be recognized in Ghana but, has, on many occasions, failed in his bid. For those who want to know this character of a man, he is the Managing Editor of the Weekly Insight. He has tried on several occasions to be the mouthpiece of the NDC on radio, on our television screens and lastly, with the help of his paper, that is a print media, tried to lash at virtually anybody who crissed -crossed him especially, in the politics of Ghana. Kwesi, from his looks, may be in his late 40’s or early 50’s. He is very vocal; his vociferous nature, perhaps, has brought him to political limelight. As someone puts it, try as he would, he’d never, ever become a notary public so the earlier he stopped his vituperations, the better for him. Kwesi is, however, a very bright scholar and a very seasoned journalist, but whether or not his paper has a very wide readership is a puzzling question because discerning minds who know their left and right and follow principled objectivity and good governance, certainly, would sort of blacklist his business thereby starving him and the family.

LIFESTYLE

As already indicated above, Kwesi has since the inception of the AFRC/PNDC in 1979/81, been a very staunch member of these two governments, even though, he never held any ministerial portfolio. He was indeed an inner circle member who could make and unmake. One could easily be sent to the gallows if he wished during these periods, but as a Christian from a well-bred home, he never took delight in such things, but quite well knew the number of those people who, he thought must have been killed during the peak and heat of the revolution to be between 238 and 250 innocent Ghanaians. Some papers described some of the mysterious deaths to be by firing squad in either the Achimota Forest or the John Teye Memorial School areas near Ofankor on the Accra-Nsawam Road. Naturally, the way Kwesi’s intimacy and bond of friendship with the leadership of the two governments strengthened, it would not be surprising at all if he never was given the chance to film or video tape the killings/ executions because the leopard can never change its spots to become a tiger. Going by the adage that birds of the same feather, flock together, it could be an affirmation of what the author has repeatedly quoted Kwesi and hammered many times that the purported 238 to 250 innocent Ghanaians believed to be killed by the governments of his pal would be true because, every time, he wined and dined with the ‘devil’ there was no way that he would not be implanted with certain instincts of his fait accompli and to admire their characteristics.

GRATITUDE OR INGRATITUDE

Ghanaians may have heaved a sigh of great relief last Tuesday, March 31, ’09, when, he, character -istically, on an Accra FM morning radio programme dubbed “Kokrokoo”, lambasted the NDC perpe -trators and propagandists who impersonated Hon. Kofi Jumah, MP, Asokwa, Kumasi, and another friend for plotting to assassinate certain key personalities in the NDC and causing mayhem and anarchy. By Kwesi’s categorical denial of this falsehood and misinformation (still seen to be believed by Alhaji Bature), this writer would urge the sector minister of Communications to, as a matter of urgency, cause to be set up, a commission of enquiry as this cancerous misinformation purported to have had the backing and blessing of one Agyenim Boateng, also perceived to be a sympathizer of NDC and his employers, the Radio Gold, also another source of NDC evil machinations. I take a strong view of this because the slanderous misinformation from the mouth of that Agyenim Boateng, could have landed Ghana flat-footed to toe the lines of either Kenya or Zimbabwe just because of one’s ‘foolishness’ this beautiful country could have been in flames till now. It is now or never. This is the time rather than chasing cars, fighting over public toilets, snatching vehicles from various garages et cetera. Kwesi, by your brave admission, discerning minds owe you a debt of gratitude. But as the saying goes, there is no sweet meet that does not have linkage with the kidney. Apart from all what many of us perceive to be your ‘special allowances and per diems’ from the Rawlingses for your occasional slanderous statements against the NPP while in power, you have so soon turned coat to be the shadow spokesman for the incumbent president. Could it be that this sudden turn around or about turn or better still, the u-turn is a ploy to also gain recognition from Uncle Atta. For as you Kwesi put it, ‘Fante Confederacy’, because the general norm of the Fantes has always been, “Adze wo fie a, oye”.

FAIRY TALE

An Akan fairy tale was told by Prof. Kofi Agyekum of the Department of Linguistics, University of Legon, on the Peace FM’s morning ‘kokrokoo’ programme on Tuesday, March 31, ’09 and its this – Mmere bi na obaa pemfoo bi woo abofra akokoa bi a na wafifri se na afei nso owo abodwese. Saa bere koro no ara nso na kurum ho foo nyinaa ko won mfuo mu. Na anwanwasem ba a onkyere nyini; abofra no bisaa ne maame da no ara se, “Maame, enti kurom ha foo no a woko afuo mu no beba abeto me anaa? Ne maame no nso de awerehoo ne amemenemfi nyaa abotere yii n’ano se, Kofi, se kuro mma no a woko afruo mu no ammeto wo a, na efri wo se ne w’abodwese no.” This Akan Twi fairy tale translates as thus, ‘There lived a pregnant woman whose labour time was at hand. One day, it was not until the whole townsfolk had gone to their farms for work that this woman gave birth to a bouncing baby-boy with a full grown beard and all the 32 natural adult teeth. The mother was lucky she never had any post-natal bleeding arising out of foetal dysfunction or anything of the sort. Strangely, enough, this day-old baby quizzed his mum, “Mummy, do you ever think the townsfolk would ever return home from their farms to see me alive and to congratulate you for a job well done or what? What do you think was the child’s implication of the puzzling question? The mother seemed startled and did not have a ready answer but quickly retorted when she found the answer. While murmuring for a nice answer to give to the new-born babe, the mum in a desperate and very sullen and perhaps, sad composure, said, “Kofi, whether the townsfolk return home from their farms to see you dead or alive, depends entirely on your strange features of an adult’s beard and miraculous teeth that you have brought with you to this world. How come that a day-old baby just as you should be born with beard and adult teeth? That is a taboo and a bizarre phenomenon indeed, you know? Wonders, they say, would never end.

SEMBLANCE AND SYMBOLIC

This particular story goes for a particular personality in this country. Without the slightest breach of journalistic and industrial norms and ethics and without prejudicing my senior member, Kwesi Pratt Jnr., many Ghanaians would agree with this writer to some extent but not altogether that the proverbial child could be a modern day Kwesi Pratt. His sharp criticisms against governments, individual personalities, his level-headedness, bravery, the superb organizational skills and ability to mobilize demonstrators by the flick of a finger, makes him an exceptional figure in Ghana. Eh, wait a minute! He flopped miserably when he attempted to organize the CJA people for the ex-gratia march through the principal streets of Accra. This man has strategies, you know? When he realized he had woefully flopped, he quickly changed his strategic plan like the chameleon to give the worst bask against the former president, John Kufuor and his ministers for siphoning almost all the money for the development of the country. Kwesi’s knowledge of current affairs and more especially facts and figures from the others parts of the world really makes him a world beater in Ghana now. Even though he is the envy of many, including his own party machinery, the CPP, he spends much more time working presumably, for peanuts for other parties instead of seeing to the restructure of his. By his regular pronouncements, therefore, he has made more enemies than friends. This guy seems to know everything in Ghana from A – Z. Anytime there is a national issue, he is the first to comment otherwise, his good old friend, Hon. Moses Asaga would beat him to the second place. Many people even wonder whether they were once school-mates at the Gbewaa Secondary School in Tamale. The next time there was a topic for discussion that borders on economics, politics or zoology; Kwesi would try to air his views even if he did not have a clue to that. In fact, these are the people that Ghana needs to give our governments the needed push to be on their toes. Kwesi has always tried to relate to Ghanaians by his association with the FM radio stations to receive cat-calls from the public where he deviated except when he was sick. But one thing that Ghanaians would never forgive him the most was when he bragged that he would lead the CJA/NDC sponsored demonstration to present a petition to the Parliament House and that if even he were sick before the D-day, he sho0uld be placed on a ‘truck’ pushed in a wheel-chair to be able to achieve his objective. That was a 9-day wonder. He feared for his skin and failed to participate in that particular demo. But, wait a minute. This young-man has been on almost all radio stations in Ghana except the one that was established only yesterday. Even if Kwesi were sick, the fact that his voice would be heard nationwide, he would grudgingly crawl like a tortoise to get there. On our TV screens, fellow Ghanaians, he is always ubiquitous. When it comes to street demonstrations, either good or bad for the country, he is second to none. Funnily, unlike the celebrity, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, who has opted for Islam, Kwesi, who, nevertheless, is neither a vampire nor an antelope, always has the dress code reminiscent of the late Yasser Arafat of the Kingdom of Palestine.

PEACEFUL DEMOCRACY & CO-EXISTENCE

The least this media supremo thinks about the peaceful forward march of Ghana’s democracy the better it is to throw the subject matter to the winds. His actions and inactions are synonymous of someone who wished the Nation Ghana were in fact, in flames but God forbid. Does he do that for a living or just for a hobby? Sometimes, many people the writer comes in contact with wonder if he had never, ever been a servant of that wonderful company that delights in that ‘kind’ of thing. The author is greatly worried as to his daily pronouncements that, to quote him, left to former president Rawlings, Ghanaians should be governed by someone who is tough; anytime that person acts, its like a dragon; flames and flames gush out of the mouth. Instead of preaching peace, his very often statements, many times provocative, and preceded by “massa” and “adabraka” have tended to inflame passions. Does this strange behavior of a man such as this fit him in our society today? Or does he want to be part of government delegations to solicit funding? It is very pitiful to say here that an octogenarian neighbor who visited the writer for some ad hoc discussions frankly remarked when it got to politics, ‘leave this man alone”, all this behaviour portrays the lifestyle of a fowl – it is his bread, butter and pudding. Hopefully, we all know the fowl and how it feeds; soon after picking seeds from the ground and insects from plants and other food, the first thing it does is to brush its beak leaf, right and starts walking away as if nothing really had happened – pretentions. Anyway, there are many people born like that; may be, he does not get the crumbs from the dining table of the Rawlingses anymore and could possibly be getting some-thing this time round from his uncle. If so, why not turn coats. After all, Ghanaians are the better judges of characters like Nana Akwasi Agyeman, Maame Dokono a.k.a. Grace Omaboe, just to name a few who can perform better than them – the political chameleons or stomach politicians. To him, the sustainability of Ghana is secondary; as peddling falsehood and misinformation have always become his source of livelihood. Who ever thought he would turn against Mr. Rawlings or did the two men plan for that mischief to happen only to go back for his per diem? Et tu te Kwesi Pratt?

KOFI APPIAH 0277 122 909

email: kofiappiah2002@hotmail.com