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Opinions of Saturday, 27 June 2009

Columnist: Akumey-Affizie, Nunya

Politicians and their Girlfriends –Is It a Bragging Right?

Just as stardom comes along with it, a curtailed privacy and speculative scandals, so is Politics and it’s juicy trappings with hanging daggers. Can politicians really do without girlfriends? Is it an unavoidable occupational hazard or is it mere greed and recklessness on the part of the perpetrators? A research I conducted recently revealed that, Ghana is yet to have it’s own real share of Politicians and their girlfriends “madness”.

In 2006, the Finnish Premier, Matti Vanhanen, a 51-year old father of two was alleged to have broken up his long standing illicit relationship with his girlfriend, 36-year old Susan Kuronen he had met on the internet, by an SMS (text). Hahaha!!! Victor Smith is not alone in this. Susan spoke to a Magazine and said “Matti dumped me in a text message, where he said 'that's it'," – “Asah” (in twi).

Surprisingly enough in 2008, a Finnish Foreign Minister, Ilkka Kanerva was coerced to quit his job for degrading the dignity of office by sending scores of love text messages to a model, who doubles as an exotic dancer. Infact he was sacked based upon the instructions of the Prime Minister (Matti Vanhanen) whose nocturnal activities hit the headlines two years earlier.

I mean a man without any bragging rights sacked his foreign Minister for a similar offence. You see the pot calling the kettle black? That’s politics, as dirty as ever.

Wonders they say would not cease as long as the sun rises and sets.

Just on May 26, 2009 Thaindian News, a news portal reported that, an ex-boyfriend of a teenage model has blamed the 72-year-old Italian Prime Minister for the breakdown of his relationship.

Silvio Berlusconi's ties with 18-year-old Noemi Letizia had already ended the prime minister’s marriage.

The PM reportedly gave the girl friend a €6,000 (£5,300) gold and diamond necklace at one of her birthday parties.

His wife Veronica Lario, 52, then announced she was leaving him because he "spends too much time with minors" and also because he is "not well". This brought a lot of pressure to bear on Mr. Berlusconi after Noemi's former boyfriend, Gino Flaminio, claimed he (Berlusconi) caused the pair to split.

Gino alleged that they had ended their relationship because she (Noemi) was spending too much time with the media tycoon-turned-politician. That’s gross display of power and money.

In the United States, Mimi Beardsley Alford, a retired New York church administrator who had an affair with John F. Kennedy while she was an intern in the White House broke her silence of more than 40 years to tell her story in a memoir.

Ms. Alford’s secret was initially divulged six years ago when a biography of Kennedy was published with portions from a 1964 oral history that described the president’s 18-month sexual affair with a young intern named Mimi Beardsley. It was later discovered that she was Marion Fahnestock, who was divorced, working for the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church and living in Manhattan. At the time, she gave a short statement confirming that she was “involved in a sexual relationship” with Kennedy from June 1962 to November 1963.

Ms. Alford, 66, was married to Richard Alford, a former sports marketing executive. Before that, she had not even told her parents or her children. Now she is working on a memoir, to be titled “Once upon a Secret,” about the consequences of hiding such an explosive past for so long.

I know you are wondering why I am not mentioning Bill Clinton, I would not because he was a terrific president. Who am I to accuse him when Americans said they were interested in the upper part of his body alone leaving the waist downwards for Miss Lewinsky. Lol.

My dear reader, the “Shoe throwee” was not without blemish.

Ex- President Walker Bush was reported to have used his recess appointment power to name his former girlfriend from his Harvard Business School days, now a homemaker, to the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank. Even in America. That’s woow!!

Let me bring you up to speed with one very funny situation in Africa, specifically in Sierra Leon where the President was alleged to have employed the services of one of his favorite girlfriends and introduced her to the people of Kailahun District as the legitimate First Lady of the Republic. Hahaha!!!!! That’s marriage “Sakawa”.

You can just surmise how “red” the real wife would be upon hearing this unpalatable news. Infact her appetite for marriage might have taken a flight.

Now back in Ghana, we have heard of numerous accusations of Government officials “chasing” all over the place, some buying “Be My Wife” (BMW) for their girlfriends and others jetting out to Europe with their “illegal booty”.

The gentle giant (Mr. Kufuor) had his own dose of the media bashing during the Gisele Yagzi brouhaha.

The latest being Alhaji Muntakar Mubarack Mohammed who has been allegedly accused of junketing around the world with his girlfriend. Was it not in Ghana that a law maker was alleged to have slept with his Sister-in-law?

Again, I think I heard a former minister who was supposed to have being a “doer” and not a hearer alone of the condom slogan when he said at his vetting that “I did it in the interest of Ghana” That’s very infuriating to me because I don’t see reason in someone making love to a woman in the interest of the Nation.

What benefit did we get from it so far? To me, it’s complete baloney. I think I also heard some ugly noises about Law maker P.C Appiah Ofori. So who should we trust?

What is it with Politicians and Sex?

Has morality been mortgaged to the dogs all in the name of politics and power? It is a pity.

Meanwhile I must state frankly that, all these negative publicity not withstanding; I strongly believe that there are very decent Politicians who maintain very high moral standards in our societies. Thank God for the few good nuts. God bless Ghana.

Author: Akumey-Affizie Nunya London School of Journalism. Executive Director, Global Frontiers for Change.