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Opinions of Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Columnist: Adjei, Frank

Kofi Jumah and the ‘infamous’ sexist comment

Kofi Jumah and the ‘infamous’ sexist comment: Does he really deserve the vitriol?

Most often than not, society expects so much from our leaders, especially leaders in elective positions. Such can be said of politicians, mainly our parliamentarians, ministers, presidents and their appointees. These expectations are formed from our own Ghanaian cultures and some colonial relics.

Few weeks ago, it was reported that Hon. Maxwell Kofi Jumah, the Member of Parliament for Asokwa made a chauvinist comment about a former female mayor of a city, which many find unpalatable and I join the masses to condemn the statement by the Hon. MP. I believe the comment, if he indeed said so, leaves much to be desired. I am glad he came out to apologise publicly for the unfortunate comment. After all these, many a party activists in his constituency are demanding his head to the extent that some are calling for his resignation.

All these being done, the question I would want to pose is: Is somebody concerned about the substance of the matter he raised? As a people, we seem to be so quick at coming after people, when we perceive them to have falter in their strict lines of duty. Are we saying that it is not true that some women get to where they are in society through what some call ‘bottom power’? Not long ago, we heard in the media about how some lecturers are exchanging grades with sexual favours from female students in some tertiary institutions. A lecturer in Tamale Polytechnic was actually punishes by the Polytechnic Council after it was established that he actually engaged in such immoral practices. Few weeks ago, it was reported that a District Coordinator of National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) in the Western Region was dismissed following an investigation, which established that he actually enrolled a lot of ladies on the programme after having had his way with them. Several cases are there to mention but for space and time. Has somebody bothered to investigate what Hon. Kofi Jumah said? Maybe, he has some evidence to adduce but for the instant public bile that was squeezed on him, he coiled into his shell.

As much as I don’t approve of making unsubstantiated allegations, we must be slow in printing condemnation on people for comments we do not agree with. There may be some truth in it. How many ladies actually got their promotions on merit? I know a good number of competent ladies have risen to wherever they are in society now on merit. That notwithstanding, a good number of them also are getting what they have with ‘some assets’ other than meritocracy.

Author: Frank Adjei, Accra

The author is a moralist and can be contacted via