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Opinions of Saturday, 5 January 2008

Columnist: Ankah & Collison-Cofie

Physician Heal Thyself ---Luke Chapter 4:23

It is with great admiration to hear that our dear President, John Agyekum Kufuor, President of the Republic of Ghana and the current Chairman of the African Union (AU), is heading to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi to mediate and/or intercede in the mayhem taking place in that beautiful African country.

It was even more amusing and interesting to hear the leader of the Queen’s land, the Great Britain of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown, praising the Ghanaian leader for his brave and timely gesture to help in this respect; and I quote "He will work with the parties to ensure reconciliation is brought about and perhaps a chance that some of the people who are at the moment opponents may join a government of national unity".

"I welcome his decision that ... he will go to Kenya," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told reporters, adding that Kufuor was "well respected right across Africa and someone who has promoted human rights in his country and across Africa."

"He will call on them to urge their supporters to end violence and he will work with the parties to ensure reconciliation is brought about and perhaps a chance that some of the people who are at the moment opponents may join a government of national unity."

"I think it is very important that the international community supports the efforts of President Kufuor," "He is trying very hard with other people to bring an end to the violence and we will give whatever support we can to President Kufuor's mediation which will take place tomorrow", on quote.

What a great compliment from no mere a leader than the leader of the Queen’s Land himself. I in particular and Ghanaians in general should have being rejoicing for such kind words about our dear President but for that three word parable by even a greater leader more than 2000 years ago, “Physician Heal Thyself”.

The irony of Kufuor’s kind gesture that is being praised by Gordon Brown is reflected in the following headlines:

1) Fighting starts once again in Bawku --- News of Wednesday, 2 January 2008 ...despite presence of Military personnel Bawku (U/E), Jan. 2, GNA - Fresh violence erupted in Bawku at about 12 noon on Wednesday in spite of the presence of the Military, who are patrolling the Township in armoured vehicles……

2) Latest From Bawku ....Residents Flee Homes --- News of Wednesday, 2 January 2008 The communal conflict stricken and fear-gripped residents of Bawku Municipality and its environs have started fleeing their homes for fear of being victimized as a result of communal conflict in the area. At least four people have lost their lives in the conflict.

3) Curfew on Bawku ; Four dead --- General News of Tuesday, 1 January 2008 Bawku is under dusk to dawn curfew following communal clashes that have claimed at least four lives and led to destruction of property.

4) JAK where are you? By: Abirekyiba, Kofi Sam, (2007-12-27) “Benchmarks” of an ineffective and inefficient Head of State.-Recipe for the disastrous NPP government. The Kufour Administration's demonstrated protocol in times of national difficulty has been first, to do nothing.

5) Disaster in the North Region! Where is our President?
By: Bolus. Mercy Adede, (2007-10-15) Hardly did I know that my earlier article attached below would become a can of worms. It did cross my mind that, perhaps things were just not adding up here. Particularly, seeing the President off to Canada for an important meeting when the whole world was so concerned about Ghana and some parts of Africa. This made me to become vocal for the voiceless, destitute brothers and sisters in the North facing such a calamity.

6) President's Whereabouts Revealed At Last! --- General News of Monday, 8 October 2007
... Never went to Canada
... Was in London to "tie up a few things"
... NDC citing President for contempt of parliament

7) Floods: Comments on President Kufuor's Absence --- General News of Thursday, 20 September 2007
QUESTION: Should President Kufuor return home to manage the govt's response to the floods?
From: Dominic Akyea There is a disaster situation at home and it is unwise for father of the house to abandon it. The situation is indeed a disaster and one would have expected to remain in Ghana and mobilize massive support both internally and externally. Unfortunately, he abandoned ship. This is not the mark of a good leader. It is very regrettable.

8) Floods set to worsen: UN ---- General News of Tuesday, 18 September 2007
... Cholera, dysentery & diarrhoea reported
... Death toll has risen to 32
... Bridges, homes and crops were destroyed
... UN to launch appeal for aid for Ghana
... No relief support yet for 9 districts

9) Floods: Aussies Call For Aid to Ghana --- General News of Tuesday, 18 September 2007

10) Floods: Concerns over sanitary & food --- General News of Tuesday, 18 September 2007

11) Floods: Japan to provide emergency assistance --- General News of Tuesday, 18 September 2007

12) France sends two choppers for flood relief effort --- General News of Tuesday, 18 September 2007 13) Kufuor off to Canada --- General News of Friday, 14 September 2007
... He'll address UN General Assembly in NY
... He'll be away for 2 weeks

14) Floods force some 10,000 from their homes --- General News of Saturday, 8 September 2007
DAKAR, 7 September 2007 (IRIN) - Flooding in northeast Ghana has killed at least six people and displaced some 10,000, according to local news reports. Local media reports said floods destroyed some 4,500 homes in the Upper East Region after torrential rains from 24 to 29 August.

While all these were happening, our dear President was relaxing somewhere with the taxpayer’s money, not really caring what is happening back home and with no information to parliament about his whereabouts as is required by the constitution. Now this same person is being tagged as a “well respected right across Africa and someone who has promoted human rights in his country and across Africa”. Which country of his, I don’t know.

If only he could do to Ghanaians 1/100th of what he is trying to achieve in Kenya, I would have called on fellow Ghanaians to give him a standing ovation amidst the praising singing by Gordon Brown.

It is therefore my conclusion that Kufuor is not that caring but an opportunist who jumps at any opportunity to make himself loved and praised by the west. I surely will therefore say unto to our dear President what Jesus said some 2000 years ago, that “Physician Heal Thyself”.

Desire Ankah & Hussein Collison-Cofie

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