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Opinions of Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Columnist: Asher, Bernard

Of Nana Addo, a‘Drunken’ lass & the Ghanaian Youth ....

Of Nana Addo, a‘Drunken’ lass & the Ghanaian Youth for Good Governance- A Rejoinder.

As an advocate of democratic governance I -as a matter of course- believe firmly in the inalienable right to free speech. That notwithstanding I sometimes cannot help but cringe at the patent buffoonery displayed by some aspects of the Ghanaian populace in the name of that enviable constitutional provision. The abuse, or rather, misuse of this freedom is even more poignant when undertaken by civil and pressure groups whose very existence is guaranteed by the selfsame. Nowhere has this misuse been more obvious than in a rather sophomoric article by the highly suspect Ghanaian Youth for Good Governance with the title:

The Drunkard Daughter “Charity begins at Home”. (http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=195296)

Now I must admit that the above article is the only publication by that ‘organisation’ I have come across or bothered to read but then again one cannot get overly indulged in any piece of nonsense that is spewed out by any organisation which flatters itself with the label: pressure group!

The writer, one Zu Kwame, opens this burlesque of an article with a lament against Nana Akufo Addo’s silence on the concatenation of unfounded accusations that have been levelled at him. Writing in his capacity as the spokesman of the highly suspect GYGG, this Zoo[sic] is of the view that “it is prudent to treat mere and unfounded allegations with contempt, nonetheless when speculations have grown into full flesh realities underpinned with clear evidences, silence is tragic”. One must needs ask which of these fatuous accusations has “grown into full blown realities”? Can the so called GYGG clarify please? What nonsense! As far as I can remember the august and well-manicured personality of Nana Addo has been subjected to a barrage of character assassination attempts. Some of these accusations include his alleged drug use, his supposedly promiscuous sexual proclivities; the risible idea that he has never been the chairman of the Ghana Bar Association and his alleged and much-ballyhooed quick temper. Being the intellectual and political force that he is I can bet my last pound that there are more such verifiably nonsensical and unsubstantiated guff peddled about the man. But then that’s to be expected from Attah Mills’ Ghana whose population is circa 60% illiterate, majority of whom can be driven out of their homes and into the streets on the basis of a text message supposedly forecasting an imminent earthquake! Can this GYGG provide a shred of evidence to substantiate any of these stupid accusations? When confronted with such intellectually deficient and patently foolish accusations does one waste a whiff of breath in response? When an individual who has been the Attorney-General of the country and has practised law almost all his life gets accused of having dubiously advertised himself as the quondam chairman of the Ghana Bar Association does he bother to rebut such poppycock? How can a public figure like Nana Akufo Addo falsely lay claim to such a position and not expect to be found out? Indeed anyone who subscribes to these accusations may be every bit as duncical as their crafters if not more! I could hardly contain my joy when in reply to being asked about whether or not he had ever been the chairman of the Ghana Bar Association, Nana replied with something to the effect of “if today people are going to accuse me of lying about ever being the chairman of the GBA then I will leave it in the hands of the discerning Ghanaian citizenry to judge and to verify at the offices of the GBA”. Pure brilliance from a truly discerning political genius who refuses to be drawn into verifiably demented dialogues!

The GYGG is also of the view that it is “incumbent on a responsible parent to condemn this recalcitrant behaviour without fear”. I can’t help but guffaw at the warped thinking of the writer! What proof does this political commentator wannabe have that Nana has not done so already? Or perhaps this poverty ‘pressured’ [sic] group thinks that it can gain cheap publicity by demanding that Nana Addo answer to its complex mix of half-truths and falsehood? And what makes it think that the man has not reprimanded his daughter already? Or perhaps the group wished that Nana Addo drag his 31-year old daughter on national TV and publicly lambast her for her misdemeanour! The writer goes on to critique Nana Addo’s politics as one that “is not sensitive to the concerns and circumstances of people's lives [and] does not speak to and include people”. He roundly dismisses such politicking as “intellectually arrogant politics that deserves to fail”. What utter nonsense! How is responding to an incessant barrage of unsubstantiated and clearly maddening accusations tantamount to political sensitivity? So does the writer expect Nana Addo to appear on national TV to announce that “I am not a wee smoker” or should he submit himself to be tested for drugs on national TV in response to demands made by that cigar- munching scallawag- Kofi Wayo? Is it not Wayo that should rather be subjected to drug tests given his cigar-munching cowboy vulgarities? Does the substantive leader of the New Patriotic Party whose very personality and conduct articulate the essence of rule of law and democratic governance capitulate and take the proverbial bait in the face of such sophomoric old wives tales? Does he waste even a puff of breath on what basically amounts to cat calls by an overly scatological sub-section of the Ghanaian media who are hell-bent on smearing his image by hook, crook or both? Or does the apparently trifling GYGG not know that to whom one yields himself to obey, his bondservants they are? It will indeed be demeaning if also disgraceful for the substantive leader of the NPP to pay the slightest hint of care to these lies.

The writer of the article again postulates in paragraph four of his arduous article that “if now, Nana Addo cannot be accountable to Ghanaians by stating sincerely his position on public issues that have greater propensity to derail our social values, how can he ever be straightforward, honest and transparent when given the highest office of the land that he seeks”. What are these public issues, if I may ask? Is the fact that a woman (who is way over the age of majority) has been involved in an accident whiles allegedly under the influence of alcohol a “public issue that [has] the propensity to derail the [collective Ghanaian] value system”? I am unable to pinpoint exactly what the writer wishes for Nana Addo to do? Fact is the woman has been accused of a crime and due process requires that she is charged and arraigned before the courts. Period! I fail to see how and why Nana Addo has to explain anything to the Ghanaian populace! Exactly what answers do Ghanaians deserve and to what questions? Exactly what are the questions that have been raised as a result of this accident? The fact that the GYGG admits that the law does not equate silence to acceptance but then contradicts itself by revealing that it does not subscribe to such a bona fide legal provision betrays not only that organisation’s disregard for legal jurisprudence but also its divorce from the basic conventions of common sense!



The writer of the article sees it as an “imperative for the flag bearer of the biggest opposition party (NPP) to respond to issues bothering on his personal and family life”. What guff! This ‘pressurized’ old wives’ club will do well to know that shrewd politics responds to questions and not necessarily to any humbug allegations spewed by any Zu, zany or zemni, or perhaps the writer did not benefit from basic English language education that differentiates between statements and questions? Being the concerned citizen that he purports to be did this ‘Zoo’-keeper-Kwame ever demand answers and elucidations from John Rawlings about why he found it best to wrestle Kow Arkaah to the ground or why he ordered his goons to overturn a taxi whose driver was reported to have driven carelessly towards them? Did the GYGG demand answers from the substantive ‘Junior Jesus’ about why Selassie Djantuah was brutalised after ditching Zenator Rawlings or after vandalising Kweku Baako’s offices? Did this ‘Zoo’ ever question Attah Mills for swiftly increasing the prices of fuel when he had sworn hand-on-heart that he would reduce them? How much less then should Nana Addo respond to accusations that to this day remain only scatterbrained accusations and nothing more? Let me point out to the writer that any serious-minded Ghanaian can decipher between patently apocryphal accusations and gospel. If the writer wishes for his apparently hyper-active mental faculties “to be put to rest” he will be advised to try sensimillia- a variant of cannabis whose calming effects is reputed to be akin to having a delightful wet dream!

The dubiousness of the writer’s intentions is revealed in paragraph five of his fallacy-laden article when he goes off on a tangent and attacks Nana Addo’s attendance of traditional gatherings. Clearly this attack is out of sync with the theme of the article and crucially betrays the writer’s jaundiced view of Nana Addo. Suffice it to say that if the writer has any advice about “carrying oneself as president when [one] is not”, he will do well to render that advice to the founder of the Polished National Defence Council (P[NDC]) whose hangover from the sweet days of “let the blood flow” disallows him from letting the current president have some peace.

This GYGG will also do well to gain some credibility by getting a website and a fixed line phone number [not a mobile number]- two resources considered pedestrian to any serious-minded organisation in this day and age. It will also do well to take some lessons in English grammar with a view to writing impeccable articles befitting of any reputable organisation. Phrases such as Nana Addo being a “role module” does not augur well for the elocutionary development of the millions of Ghanaian school children who necessarily have to grasp the English language. Whiles an individual writing in their own capacity can be forgiven for such grammatical oversights it is unacceptable when coming from a supposedly well-organised pressure group, but then again it may be well be acceptable coming from the highly suspect Ghanaian Youth for Democratic Governance.

Bernard Asher; Lecturer of Business Management, Guildford College of Higher Education & Associate Tutor, College of Estate Management, Reading University. E-mail: basher@guilford.ac.uk. Text phone: 0044-7863791203. (This number will only accept text messages.)