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Opinions of Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Columnist: Agya Kwaku Ogboro

President ogwanfunu’s shenanigans!

Former president John Mahama Former president John Mahama

It is an open secret that I have a very soft spot for the Great Elephant. Indeed, my love affair with the animal started during my sixth form days in Wa, which is about 27 years ago. I would, therefore, be telling a white lie if I said I have any admiration for the eagle-headed Umbrella.

But the truth is that there are very few under the Umbrella whose pleasant personality and traits have endeared them to me and many non Zu-za compatriots. One of such personalities is President Ogwanfunu. Oh sorry, did I say “is”? He used to be one of the few, but not anymore.

I don’t remember exactly when my admiration for him started waning. But I know it was after he became vice-president. I know so, because that was when he developed a very foul breath as a result of a rotten tooth.

How such a fine gentleman could exude so much bad breath still beats my imagination. He became so disrespectful in speech that many openly declared he was only epitomizing the true nature of politicians. Not even our revered chiefs were spared.

Abusuapanin, do you remember the first time the word ‘baloney’ became popular in Ghana? It was in February 2008 when President George Bush Jnr, visited this country. He responded ‘baloney’ to the suggestion by a section of the media that the United States of America was planning to establish a military base in the country. He explained ‘baloney’ was an American slang meaning ‘nonsense’.

The word was subsequently used by only one politician in this country. And it is no other than President Ogwanfunu. During his reign as vice-president, and without due regard to our social and cultural norms, he referred to the call by Nananom for 10% of oil proceeds to be reserved for Western Region, as baloney. Not even his desperate explanation was able to neutralise the effect of his insult to Nananom because the harm had already been done.

Soon after, he descended heavily on the electorate for complaining about wanton looting by his government and the hardship he and his party had compelled them to endure. He referred to their complaints as ‘useless lamentations’.

It was followed by another insult to the business community for daring to tell him that his inability to solve ‘dumsor’ was threatening the existence of many businesses. His response was as intriguing as it was insulting. He said no ‘smart’ businessman would shutdown his business due to dumsor. He was indirectly saying those complaining were simply ‘stupid and dumb’.

The icing on the cake was the ‘dead-goat’ comment he made in faraway Botswana. He minced no words in telling agitated workers back home that he was not moved by their threat of a strike action because he was ‘a dead-goat’ and had no fear seeing knife on his neck.

My compatriots and I endured all the insults and waited patiently for December 7, 2016, to show him the power of the thumb. The ‘dumb’ businessmen, Nananom and those of us engaged in ‘useless lamentations’ proved to him that ‘a dead-goat’ could not be allowed to have dominion over the living. No wonder he was handed the heaviest defeat in the annals of this country.

But he has refused to learn any lesson from his defeat. Even in opposition, he continues to vomit pure bunkum and balderdash. He now calls the electorate ‘foolish’ and ‘naive’ for voting his corrupt government out of power. He knows too well his assertion that the electorate ‘ignorantly’ voted Nana Dee and the Elephant into office is an insult to the intelligence of the electorate. But he will not desist from it because he deludes himself that we all have short memories.

How wrong he is! Some may have short memories, but certainly not all of us. It is too soon to forget the ills of his government and allow him to sweet-tongue us. We may allow him to come back and continue his ‘create, loot and share’ type of governance one day. But I’m certain not 2020 because that will be foolhardy on our part.

You see, when a former president who knows Asutuare is a National Security Council facility used for training security personnel, forestry officials and the like but comes concocting stories about ‘party militia’ being trained at the location, then one should smell desperation. And a desperate former president is the last thing this country needs, especially one known for his shenanigans.

See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo volente!