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Opinions of Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Columnist: Abugri, George Sydney

President Mahama, Dabbousi and a tea bag.

By George Sydney Abugri

I have never heard it said or read anywhere, that Rudyard Kipling had ever been a particularly religious man. The man was just a poet, and discounting Jesus, who else has ever spoken truths so profoundly from the depths of the soul, than poets?

I have always been struck in particular, by Kipling's counsel in his epic poem “If”, regarding how we might respond with maturity, to the attitudes of those who hate us, lie about us or tempt us to anger:

“If you can wait (for God to act) and not be tired of waiting; of being lied about, don't deal in lies (yourself); of being hated, don't give way to hating (yourself)…The capacity of any individual to take Kipling's counsel to heart, is easily tested in the acrimonious turbulence of partisan politics, where the pursuit of power can blind people to the destructive dangers of hate.

Like warm water drawing the flavour from a tea bag, there are those very unexpected events in partisan politics, which draw out from people, the kind of things about them which the public would otherwise never have known: Dishonesty, insincerity, opportunism, pride, arrogance, pettiness, intolerance, violence, capriciousness and so on and so on…

You probably recall how the residence Jerry Rawlings had lived in for decades, was gutted by fire. While the former president and his family were in a state of great distress, a political activist of the opposition declared on radio, that former President Rawlings started the fire himself!

If for no other reason than the ludicrousness of his claim he had been ignored, this is what would have happened: NOTHING.

What happened next unfortunately, illustrates the warm water and teabag effect on both perpetrator and victim: Mr. Kofi Adams, a Rawlings aide, called the cops who moved in with indescribable haste, grabbed the chap, dragged him before a judge and had him behind bars at the drop of a hat.

A higher court granted Rawlings's accuser bail in a matter of hours whereupon, activists of the political opposition showered him with the traditional hero's white talcum and carried him along some streets in celebration. Such activists fall under the category of agents provocateur, and some political parties place a high premium on them.

Some said it was quite appalling that for the sake of partisan political advantage, people who should have counselled the young activist against “hate political commentary” on radio, rather goaded him on.

His case is however quite different from the case of Fadi Dabbousi who is described by the media as a pilot, writer and journalist {wow, what awesome accomplishments!} There are two starkly opposing perspectives on the arrest of Dabbousi last weekend by the BNI. One portrays the man as a harmless fellow, who has done nothing whatsoever to warrant being arrested, save being critical of President Mahatma.

The second is that he is an agent provocateur who has blatantly published very serious allegations against the president, accusation so serious that they cannot be ignored, because if indeed they are true, they render Mahama unqualified to be the president anymore under our constitution.

In the article, he alleges that the president has impregnated the daughter of the Asantehene, Otumfuour and has been “working hard” to make his younger brother Ibrahim Mahama accept responsibility for the pregnancy.

Addressing the First Lady, he tells Lordina Mahama that the president has “smeared you with disgrace” and advises her to seek divorce and let the whole world know that she still has dignity.

Bearing some acidic and barbed descriptive words, he accuses the president of “incompetence, crudeness, inefficiency, bigotry, theft, misappropriation, lewdness, and disfavour.” {Wow, the man can write-o, I swear!}

Well? Do you reckon the man could do that to the president of his country and go scot free? The gravity of the claims make the issue a security matter and some say, a criminal one as well.

His arrest may look bad and a case of a use of the coercive power of state against a political activists making truthful statements, but how could someone tell all this to the world and the security agencies look on unconcerned? That would be abnormal, wouldn’t it?