Feature Article of Monday, 9 January 2017

Columnist: Clifford Yaw Frimpong

Find out why JJ Rawlings embarrassed Oko Vanderpuije

The trending video of former President Jerry John Rawlings and NDC Member of Parliament for Ablekuma south constituency, Oko Vanderpuije seems to have generated much ado, with several meanings being read into it.

The video at issue shows Mr. Oko Vanderpuije backing away from Mr. Jerry John Rawlings with his tail in-between his legs, as his attempt to accost the ex-president is met by a repulsive rebuff.



Naturally the gesture of the former head of state towards the recent past mayor of Accra indicated he was unhappy about something, however what exactly that was, only a few people could discern right away.

Many have interpreted the NDC founder’s body language to be an expression of his chagrin towards his party folk for obvious reasons. Others have also conjectured that the Mayor’s idiosyncrasies earned him the cold, humiliating reaction from the ex-service man.

On the face of it, former president Rawlings brushed off Mr. Oko Vanderpuije, however what really occasioned that cold-shoulder reaction?

Interestingly however not long after the mortifying spectacle, the two men were spotted inside the chamber of parliament seemingly talking the incident over.

In the article below, Mr. Kofi B. Kukubor – a quondam NDC Parliamentary primaries contestant for Keta Constituency – seeks to explain what Mr JJ Rawlings meant to communicate to the one-time best African mayor – Alfred Oko Vanderpuije.

Mr. Kofi B. Kukubor explains…

“The general rule of red carpet is that, when the designated person steps out of the car on the red carpet (aside the other in between arrangements), the accompanying members walk about two meters behind the designated person taking to his left hand side.

Taking a critical examination of the trending video of H.E. Jerry Rawlings and Oko Vanderpuije, one will notice that, the accompanying members of Jerry Rawlings understood the protocol governing the official red carpet. The three accompanying members were at about few meters behind, taking to the left hand side of Rawlings due to the open environment.

H.E. Jerry Rawlings was jolted by a movement on his right hand side. He stopped and was greeted with a profuse genuflection from Oko Vanderpuije. Though startled by the breach in protocol, there was a nodding of head to respond to the act.

He continued his walk upwards, Mr Oko Vanderpuije completely oblivious of the breach in protocol continued in step with the former President.

This is an unpardonable ignorance and breach of protocol which knowing the temperament Jerry Rawlings, he will not countenance. He had to order Oko Vanderpuije to step out of step, and out of sync.

Unfortunately, the ignorance of the protocol that surrounds red carpet and official State functions rose to its highest apogee with so much condemnation on the former President.

The media in their ignorance and lazy journalistic work, rubbed it in with headlines that suggested a snub. What a disgrace? ??

I will rather ask my elder brother Oko Vanderpuije to send a note of apology for causing embarrassment to the former President. It his choice though.

As for the deliberate twists on the photo of the former President not standing when H.E.The President, John Dramani Mahama entered the floor, as much as it is malicious and evil, it may serve another kalypo effect.

Ignorance they say is bliss. But I say, ignorance is misery. Hate is a cancer.

Shalom