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Opinions of Monday, 2 September 2002

Columnist: Antwi-Danso, Dr. V.

Of Shallow-Mindedness and Sycophancy

I HAVE decided to dedicate this piece to all “Shallow Minded,” “Sycophants” of Ghana. I do so because, some people somewhere think I am one dare devil of a sycophant; that I am shallow-minded.

In reaction to some of my daring writings, calling on ex-President Jerry John Rawlings to “part up or shut up,” some persons with warped logic and tainted reasoning have chosen to insult my person. It is their right: I owe no apologies for my writings on Jerry Rawlings. And I shall explain soon.

Meanwhile, I want Barima Agyenim and Kwame Agbodza to note that they have a big problem understanding simple English. Barima Agyenim’s deductions from my pieces on Jerry are so stunted in logic, that I wonder if he ever did pass any school test in what was commonly called “comprehension.” He claims that I had insulted Mr. Kofi Annan. Strange! If he wants the import of my message here we go: I said Mr. Rawlings’ behaviour makes Kofi Annan’s efforts at conferring on him a World’s Statesman status seem erroneous. And I swear I am right. Mr. Annan clearly knew the nature of Rawlings. And I think it was intentional that he wanted Rawlings to be more often out of Ghana, in order that our young democracy can survive. But alas, he is always in Ghana, calling for an end to democracy, and in its place “something to happen before 2004.” This is why I said “you do not wash a pig and dress it in white.”

Again, Mr. Barima Agyenim thinks I am a “typical Ashanti” and that is why I wrote that way. He also thinks I am a “tribalist.” Hey boy, you are wrong. I am not an Ashanti and I am non tribalist. Tribalism just as racism, is a psychological construct. Only the uninitiated in the rudiments of intellectual thinking would ascribe tribalism to my analysis of Rawlings vituperative, intemperate verbal explosions. Recourse to tribalism is insanity. Let me school people a little: nobody chooses a tribe. Tribe is not by choice. Each one of us was born into a tribe, not by his/her choice. So it would be very stupid for anybody to think of somebody as coming from tribe A or B and/or using ones tribe to measure a person. Such thinking is sickness. For your information, Mr. Agyenim, I am a Guan and I am married to an Ewe.

I am accused of being shallow-minded and a sycophant. Fine, that is by Agyenim’s and Agbodza’s reckoning. To them I am a bad lecturer and I impart nothing to my students. The two of you are extremely unlucky to have missed being my students. Not a single one of my students had even had cause to complain about my knowledge and mode of delivery. Some of my students are now lecturers, here in Ghana and elsewhere; in fact one is now a Professor of Political Economy in Calgary, Canada. Again, when I taught at Tuft university, Boston, my students would not want me to come back. In fact they petitioned the Dean to have me retained on tenure!

As for sycophancy it is those like the Agyenims and Agbodzas who fit this description. And I dare say that a lot many people who followed the Jerry-train were sycophants. They would see rot but shut their mouths. A lot of wrong things went on during the (P)NDC era and yet, many otherwise good people around Rawlings kept mute.

I do not hate Rawlings. I hate his style, his insults and his call for indiscipline. And I shall continue to be part of the crusade to force him to put up or shut up.

Meanwhile, I thank Cathy Duah of the Bureau of Finance and Accounting, USA, and Mr. Nyeya Yen for congratulating me on my crusade. Mr. Yen (should be the Yen, my mate in Legon) know very well who Rawlings is. He, Kwasi Adu, Zaaya Yebo, Chris Atim, Napoleon Abdulai, Akata Pore, Atampure, and others were the vanguard boys of Rawlings’ revolution. It was good that they saw through Jerry early and left him and his obnoxious revolution. I still maintain that the December 31 1981 coup was the most unjustified, obnoxious, ill-motivated and ever backward coup in Ghana, and we shall continue to lick its wounds for a long time to come. Rawlings has a big role to play in healing its wounds. Rather, incidentally he is doing the opposite, adding salt to the gaping wounds of his treacherous so-called revolution.

As I said earlier, I owe no apologies to anybody for my writings. I hurt nobody. I am calling for sanity in our body poliitic. I am also calling for support for democracy. Only idiots will support a call for chaos, for anarchy and for Liberia. Remember, when NDC supporters gathered at the BNI Headquarters where Jerry had been invited, some of them chanted “We want Jerry,” “We want Liberia.” If this is not idiotic and insane then God save Ghana! Barima Agyenim and Agbodza would be comfortably residing in London, when Ghana would be burning. This is what my writings are meant to fight against.

Jerry has balkanised and polarised Ghanaian society, so badly that he doesn’t have any moral right to exacerbate the situation further. He wants all of us to be belted under his hypnosis. The Ghanaian society is rebelling against this.

Let me ask him and his supporters: Why on earth is he unprepared to disclose the source of his four 4-wheeler, allegedly bullet proof vehicles? The pontiff of Probity, Accountability and Transparency, who gave people 48 hours to account for their wealth and properties; the holy crusader, who sent people to their graves for daring to take loans from the banks (?50,000); the Lord of poverty, who shouted hoarse that he had not a single dollar anywhere in the world, now says he will never tell where he got $137,000 to buy four cars. Can he tell us from where he got Five Hundred Million Cedis to pay for duties on the cars? And why did his picture not appear on the registration forms as demanded by law?

Dear reader, this is clearly an “Animal Farm” of “four legs good, two legs bad.” I call on all Ghanaians to resist any idiotic attempt to derail our nascent democracy. Ghana is for you and me, not for any self-acclaimed Junior Jesus.

Dr. Vladmir Antwi-Danso
LECIA, University of Ghana, Legon
Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of Ghanaweb.