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Opinions of Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Columnist: Kyei-Mensah-Osei, Kofi

Honourable Haruna Iddrisu: A Villain or Valiant?

People with the propensity to talk without thinking through their utterances irk me no end and I guess I am not alone in that school of thought. More so when the individual is paid from the public coffers. Positions come with privileges; attached to those privileges are responsibilities. The onus therefore, is on those who occupy those privileged positions to be circumspective in their utterances in order to earn the respect that go with their status in the society. Therefore, those in political positions who deliberately choose to ignore this basic logic and shoot from their mouths as they do with their backsides must be given same dose of the stinking vitriolic they spew into our body politic. They are wimps and kiss-arse hypocrites! No wonder such people usually resort to needless emotional blackmail and mere bravado as a tool to advance their shameless divisive agenda just to maintain their hold on power. The English have a popular saying: “If you can’t beat them; join them” meaning, you join your competitors if your efforts at getting better than those individuals fail to yield the desired dividend. The leadership of the NDC though have no regard for niceties or formalities! Their modus operandi borders on mob-rule. To that effect whenever one of their stock say something stupid against the NPP, prominent individuals in the society, the chiefs or some in the clergy who are erroneously perceived as “sympathisers of the opposition”, such people get rewarded with positions! It was therefore no brainer when Haruna Iddrisu jumped into the fray on that fateful Wednesday!
As if to continue from where other NDC trash-talkers have left off, Haruna Iddrisu, the Tamale South Member of Parliament unashamedly asked Samuel Sarpong, the Ashanti Regional Minister designate at the latter’s vetting on Wednesday, 13th February if other ethnic groups, particularly those from the Northern and Volta extraction were safe in the Ashanti Region. How preposterous! True to character, apart from some politically bigoted buffoons in the NDC, any sane minded Ghanaian knows the Ashanti is the microcosm of the country. The Region whose indigenes are vilified and pilloried brims with diversity! It is the only region in Ghana whose capital has areas carved out for people from other tribes who live and practice their customs and traditions side by side with their Asante cousins. Kumasi, the capital of Ashanti Region has areas like Accra Town, Anwonaga and Moshie Zongo among others. Moreover, Asantes have inter-married from these other tribes making it even more difficult to distinguish between who is an indigene and who is not. The diversity in the Ashanti Region and Kumasi for that matter is like the colours of the rainbow; beautiful as individuals and extremely lovely as they seamlessly merge into each other. The diversity is adorable as the unity is admirable! You don’t get diversity of that magnitude anywhere else in Ghana and if people like Haruna Iddrisu want to shred this beautiful example of tribal cohesion into pieces for their selfish political gains then they are welcome to do so but curse upon their Mugu Yaro heads should any blood be spilt as a result of their foolish utterances.
There has never been fighting between tribes in Kumasi or the Ashanti Region for that matter. Therefore, Honourable Haruna Iddrisu’s question was impious and his apology, disingenuous! The ripple effect of his silly inquisition is already being felt in every nook and cranny of the globe where Asantes and descent minded Ghanaians are located. The irony though is that, at the time Haruna Iddrisu was asking his stupid question, NDC youths were rampaging in Tamale and yet he did not see the need to assure Ghanaians that other tribes there were safe! Would Haruna Iddrisu assure us all that other tribes in Yendi are safe in view of the persistent perennial friction between the Abudus and the Andanis then? I hope he would be preparing to ask the Volta Regional Minister designate if Muslims are safe in that region too. Perhaps he should attach a little addendum to the above and ask the Greater Accra Minister designate how safe Akans are in Greater Accra Region since Nii Lante and his drug-infested hoodlums in the lead up to the elections, mercilessly attacked the latter! Failure to do all the above would expose Haruna Iddrisu as weasel who cowardly hides behind political power to stoke the fires of tribalism to keep himself in his position. He has exposed himself as a blood-sucking political opportunist!
The NDC for reasons known to only themselves, have time and again made Ashanti Region and for that matter Asantes the butt of their expensive political jokes. It is evil and fiendish! They should watch it though before they burn their fingers as they are sadly and gradually lighting an inextinguishable tribal bonfire! Methinks the NDC have a grand scheme to maintain this anti-Ashanti agenda to create division in the country just in the hope of clinging to power. Unfortunately our brothers and sisters from the other tribes have somehow swallowed the bait without doing due diligence. In furtherance to that agenda, many NDC apologists have spoken coarsely of Asantes among them, Kobby Acheampong who had the temerity to refer to Sir John as “Kokoase kuraseni” who had the “Kumasi thing in him” and still kept his position! The late Prof Mills himself did not help matters when he referred to a mythical “Great Ashanti Project” without going into details. Last but not the least; we have a Council of State chaired by Prof Kofi Awoonor whose legendry hatred for Asantes is captured in some of his own books and one would understand where I am coming from. We live in perilous times indeed!
Ghana has survived as one piece of fabric since independence. It is something our country must be grateful to God for if one considers what has gone on in other sister West African countries. Interestingly, whilst other countries are still picking up the pieces of civil war many years ago, some Ghanaian politicians are steadily pushing the country to the brink of intense tribal hatred and possible civil war. They forget that the pangs of the civil war in Liberia and Sierra Leone years ago are still being felt in both countries. They have no memory that the echoes of the wailing and gnashing of teeth, which characterised the Kosovo and Herzegovina war, is still being heard loudly in Europe!! Those politicians have their heads buried in the sand like ostriches and think that civil war in Ghana may not happen in their lifetime. May God help them! For the sake of unity of the Germans, politicians agreed to bring down the Berlin wall in 1989. Racially diverse South Africa used politics to abolish the hated “apartheid” system in order to attain unity.
Sadly, for Ghana though, some of our leaders are using politics to destroy what others elsewhere have used politics to bind together in their respective countries. Some of our leaders are using politics as a tool to individualise the yarns that have seamlessly inter-woven our tribally diverse society into one beautiful piece just to win power. How our politicians could be so greedy and evil-minded to callously erode our national unity with their caustic utterances to perpetuate themselves in power beggars belief! If these “evil dwarfs” want to tempt fate by invoking the irrevocable curse of tribalism on Ghana in the 21st Century just to maintain their grip on power, then I pray the Almighty God to torment their poor souls till their death. My hope is that the other tribes would see through their veil of lies and deceit and not look on Ashantis as their enemies. We have always lived in peace with one another and I hope we do not let politicians take it away from us. We have only one Ghana. Let us all guard jealously against the unity we have and not take it for granted. Once we lose this unity, we can never knit our society back together in one piece again. We should not push one other to the point of needless suspicion that only generates schizophrenic paranoia. Whether or not readers judge Hon Haruna Iddrisu as a villain or valiant is immaterial. What matters is that, Ghanaians should not let politicians like him to knock our heads together for their selfish ends. We are all in this together. “A word to the wise...”, as they say, “…is enough”.

Kofi Kyei-Mensah-Osei