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Ghanaian children declare Nana Addo the current president
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Opinions of Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Columnist: Newton-Offei, Justice Abeeku

Ghanaian children declare Nana Addo the current president

There is this very popular Fante axiom that says: ‘adze pa na oton neho’, to wit, a product of superior quality does not need much intricate or a sophisticated marketing strategy in order to make it attractive. This is because, it will easily become a house-hold name and even toddlers will be singing about it as they engage in play-ground activities.
Exceptional Fante taste
The current Atta-Mills administration has already been written off by the good people of this nation, vis-a-vis the 2012 lelctions.But the greatest task which currently faces them is the fact that almost all the school children of our nation don’t consider Atta-Mills as the president of Ghana. The reason being that: on the morning of Wednesday, 27th October, 2010, the good people of Ghana woke up to the news that NDC’s insipid propaganda train had landed on school compounds of our children.
I am an indigene of the Central Region where we have always been associated with the consumption of very rich doses of tea, fried eggs, bacon, butter, cheese and so on. It is a well established norm in Ghana to be described as a lover of ‘nkyekyewee’ (fried-meals) the moment you introduce yourself as a Fante.
Now, considering the age of Atta-Mills, I thought he was going to take some gastronomic lessons from his nutritionist and cut-down on his intake of all these ‘nkyekyewee’ to enable him control his cholesterol levels, keep his body in perfect shape and put to shame all those who go about making fun of Fantes as people who take delight in consuming ‘sokyee’ (richly prepared food).
However, my hope of the president being able to shame all these Fante critics about what we eat, by staying away from tea and other ‘nkyekyewee’ meals, was painfully dashed during the transitional commission, just a few weeks into his tenure in office.
Transitional tea-drinking
Transitional committee is merely a platform where records of State are handed over to the incoming administration by the out-going one. And under normal circumstances; this process should not capture the attention of the nation in any way since it would be taking place amongst capable and highly respected representatives from both sides. Members from both teams might consist of out-going ministers and potential incoming ones and for the love and service of the nation, should be able to, on their own, bear the cost of feeding and transportation to and from the venue where such a process of national importance is taking place.
And here, I would like to commend the NPP group at the 2009 transitional committee for not taking per-diems and so on. However, the NDC group cannot be said to have been kind to the so-called ‘empty’ coffers they claimed to have met at the assumption of office, when they decided to throw caution to the wind and engaged in their very first act of what I will describe as a “careless venture of profligate-tea-drinking”. A monumental sum of over ¢3-billion was said to have been spent on tea, fried eggs and butter-bread for the NDC group on the transitional team.
This issue became a huge public debate and the explanation given by the NDC for that huge tea-expedition, at the time they were screaming all over the place that the state coffers were empty, was that their foot-soldiers had starved throughout the 8-years of the NPP so they decided to embark on that spending spree so these severely-starved and acutely malnourished foot-soldiers could walk into the premises, where the transitional team was meeting and simply munch tons of bread, fried eggs and washed it down with ‘Kufuor-gallons’ of ideal-milk-laden tea.
And as typical of Ghanaians, we made a lot of noise about this quantum of cash spent on tea, for some couple of weeks and simply allowed it to fizzle out. And as we kept our cool and went about our normal life under the over-bearing weight of the non-existent ‘ecomini’ policies of the current administration, we were hit with a violent ‘volcanic-eruption’ by a school pupil in Kumasi at the beginning of last year’s school calendar.
Nana Addo declared president in A/R
The Ashanti regional minister, on his rounds to some selected schools to fraternize with the pupils on their first day at school, asked a class to tell him who the president of Ghana is. And hurriedly, an enthusiastic pupil put up his hand just as we all did in class during our primary school days, when we were very sure of the correct answer to a teacher’s question.
Indeed, some of us, in our child-hood days, were always anxious to be the first to raise our hands to be recognized by the teacher, just to prove to our class teachers how brilliant we were, and also, to let our class-mates know that they were not taking their studies serious enough.
So, when that pupil raised his hand to answer a question from not less a person, but the minister of the whole Ashanti region, he (pupil) must have definitely been very much convinced about the correctness of his answer. This is because; no pupil will be bold enough to raise his hand to answer a whole minister’s question in the presence of his/her teacher and class-mates, if he was not sure of himself.
Now, when that bold pupil finally provided his answer for the name of the president, the jaws of the minister and his entire team dropped to their chests in complete amazement when Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was mentioned as the current president of the Republic of Ghana. The minister was said to have felt extremely embarrassed by that incident and he left the place with his face completely thwarted and contorted
Propaganda induced captivity
That development certainly came about as a result of Atta-Mills’ own campaign promises. Kufuor was described as a “tourist president” who was visiting nations without even being invited. We were made to believe that “all the solutions to our problems can be found here at home” and therefore there was no need for Kufuor to travel anywhere but rather “stay at home” and solve our problems.
So, when Atta-Mills was sworned-in as president, he decided to cocoon himself in the old slave castle and completely stayed out of public view, in conformity with his total allergy to foreign travels. Even here in Ghana, the president was not appearing in public until people started complaining of his invisibility. That was when his handlers started taking him round in the streets of Accra, which I described in an article at the time, as “keep-fit-exercise disguised as walk-abouts”.
And even most of those presidential walk-about gimmicks were curiously targeted at the asylum-down psychiatric hospital and the reason for the president and his handlers to have exhibited that high level of concern for this particular institution is a question that still lingers on.
Nana Addo declared president in C/R
And these efforts notwithstanding, the original intent to make Atta-Mills visible to these school pupils, again this year, suffered another fatal blow since pupils in a primary school at Agona-Nsaabaa (Agona-West district) in the central region, said Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is the president of Ghana when a question as to who the president of Ghana is, was put to them by Martin Luther Obeng who is the DCE.
Can we blame these children?
But how can we blame these kids for still having such huge nostalgic feeling for Nana Addo when an administration, of which he was an integral part, saw their parents giving them a much better standard of living than what they are currently experiencing? These children are simply making personal choices between Nana Addo and Atta-Mills, based on the size of kenkey/fish their pocket-money can buy, struggling for ‘trotro’ on their way, to and from school, instead of free rides on Metro Mass Transit Busses.
I even hear some of these school children are very angry and do not want to go to school because their parents used to provide them with well-tailored uniforms but this has stopped because of these over-sized and ‘pam ma mento’ (roughly sewn) propaganda uniforms being given out in drip-drops like urine coming out of a man suffering from a urethra stricture!!
Effectively, what these school kids are doing is a clear case of the famous Akan axiom that says: 'ahwene pa nnkasa', and that, the light shall surely triumph over darkness at the polls in December, 2012.God bless Ghana our mother-land.

Justice Abeeku Newton-Offei
E-mail: justnoff@yahoo.com

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