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Opinions of Thursday, 10 November 2011

Columnist: Akoto, Akwasi A. Afrifa

Mills Must Apologize to Cameron (II)

WHAT WE MUST DO
Ghanaians should never justify their objections on the issue by the laws of the Judeo-Christian or Judeo-Islamic religuous philosophy. Remember, the British people themselves broke - violently - with the Roman Catholic Church due to the lust of one man, King Henry VIII and his cultural pride to sire a male heir. Now, what if they were to come up one day, announcing the discovery of a new "Death Seas Scrolls", an Apocrapha, debunking the laws of the Book? ( Sounds facetious but it is possible). Or they simply reject the Laws of the Good Book stating whatever reason, which they seem to be doing now? (Europeans who profess to Christianity continue to decline). Would we still believe in the Good Book when they themselves no longer do? Or we'd tell them -and ourselves delusionally- that we know more about the Book, now, than they themselves do....they who have had possession of the Good book more than1500 years, translated it, added and subtracted a book here, a book there, and only brought it to us less than 500 years ago?
Is it possible that David Cameron is drawing inspiration from another source, a source that predates the advent of Judeo-Christianity on the Island. Could it be possible that the source is the so called "Driudian culture", mislabeled as "Paganism" -since every religion from Christianity's view point is Paganism- disguised in the language of "human rights?"
In truth however, Cameron is under pressure to "modernize" the Conservative party. In reality, elements in his own country want him to "Sankofa." Very ironic using the word "modernize" to describe a culture that had already been in practice in Europe before Judeo-Christianity and so called "modern world", isn't it? What is modern about it then, when all things of old are described as "primitive?" What is modern about something that has already been in existence before? Didn't they teach us that "progress -modern-" means going forward?
Whatever it is, our own "Sankofa" is the source in which Ghanaians must tap. What ever conditions existed before the arrival of the Good Book on the issue under question still exist in residual form. It is intertwined with our culture and tradition which co-exist with the Laws of the Good Book. In this culture, the question under discussion is not encouraged.
In fact many a Ghanaian would tell you that he knows or knew or suspected some one who engaged in same sex at one time or another or maybe still do. But they will also tell you that never did they harass, intimidate or persecute whomever - except maybe a withheld snickering, here and there - at the more flamboyant/cross-dressers ones. Nor does the country have a systematic history of persecution in this regard.
Obviously, some kids and adolescents, some pretentious kids, may have experimented in the act out of curiosity, just as they may have experimented in cigarettes , drinking and in many of the things that many pretentious adolescents do. Or they may have been innocently lured into the practice. Whatever the causes, be it natural, coercion or experimentation, this culture of ours has never encouraged it. And we must not start now.

WHAT WE MUST NOT DO.
What we must not do is to politically enact laws or even attempt to redefine existing laws -for or against- backed by legislative instrument in the Fourth Republic- pre Fourth Republic is history. Once we do that, the issue becomes institutionalized persecution. And at the moment that happens, we would be entering the dangerous territories of the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem witch hunt and Nazi Germany. We might as well form a two nation alliance with North Korea. Let us simply maintain the status quo.

HOW DID WE GET HERE?
In Part I, we pointed out that Cameron was not personally addressing Mills and Ghanaians - on the Marr Show on BBC One. But he was speaking in general and within a category that Ghana currently does not fall. So it was diplomatically distasteful for Mills to call a press conference to re-emphasis what Ghanaians already knew. Mills unashamedly and intentionally hijacked the story , in order to temporarily distract citizens from the abysmal performance of his administration and ultimately, for political gain and votes.
Yet for three years and counting, Mills has never called a press conference to address immediate and dangerous human rights violations committed by his footsoldiers. Neither has he called a press conference to condemn his ministers for their daily verbal abuses - a human rights violation- of opposition leaders, Think Tanks, Civil societies etc...not even a press conference to address the Doctors strike when lives were at stake.
To make matters worse, he has looked on,unconcerned, as his government, his party and his supporters insult Prime Minister David Cameron....including his own undiplomatic insinuations. Mills has brought shame on the country.
Thus Mills must apologize to Cameron.
AFTERWORD
On November 1, Information Minister John Tia releases an official "no comment" statement regarding the issue under discussion. In the official release, government states it is yet to receive "official correspondence" from the British government. The same day, Trade Minister, Hannah Tetteh contradicts government's position by talking "tough." Two days later, on November 3, Mills calls his press conference. I guess the "official correspondence" had been received by then. Did government ask for the "official document" or the British voluntarily mailed it within the time frame referenced? Go figure!

Akwasi A. Afrifa Akoto