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Opinions of Sunday, 15 May 2011

Columnist: Akosah-Sarpong, Kofi

The Abysmal Mind of Dominic Nitiwul

By Kofi Akosah-Sarpong

Forget the fact that Dominic Nitiwul, the main opposition National Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Bimbila, has LLM from the University of Westminster, UK, MBA in Corperate Finance from the University of Glamorgan, UK, and BED (Science) from the University of Education, Ghana.

Despite his unversity degrees and the fact that Nitiwul is 33 years, that should supposedly make him simultaneously modernized and globalized - with all its attendant sophistication – his statement that “President Atta Mills did not win the 2008 elections on merit, but by the help of a “magic ring” reveals his uncivility and appalling mind, in spite of his science background, in relation to Ghana’s/Africa’s progress, where some deadly cultural inhibitions are entangling greater progress.

By making such discouraging statements nation-wide on the Accra-based Citi FM and Metro T.V’s ‘Good Morning Ghana’ Show, and claiming that “he has irrefutable evidence that a ring worn by Professor Mills during the 2008 electioneering period, was not an ordinary ring, but one that gave him victory over his main challenger, Nana Akufo-Addo,” Nitiwul reflects the sad mind of the supposedly Ghanaian/African intellectual.

An intellectual who cannot extricate himself/herself from the cluthces of the inhibiting parts of the Ghanaian/African culture, that have been blocking greater progress.

Deficient intellectuals of Nitiwul’s ilk confuses the ordinary Ghanaian/African who normally look up them for sense of progress. In Nitiwul, irrational Ghanaian cocoa farmers will easily draw the conclusion that the destruction of their cocoa trees by Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD) is the work of either evil spirits, demons or witches. The farmers do not take scientific explanations, despite Ghana Cocoa Board advising them that witches aren’t responsible for CSSVD.

An odd logic: the unsophisticated cocoa farmer will argue that after-all the Big Man Nitiwul thinks like that, so as ordinary, uneducated cocoa farmer I must also think like that – monkey see, monkey do. The result is a cocoa industry reeling under destructive superstitions. Compared Ghanaian cocoa farmers to their counterparts, in say USA, who are freed from such clutches of demonology and are more scientific and wouldn’t attribute an agricultural disease (s) to unforseen evil spirits.

Nitiwul makes the situation disturbing – and it certainly indicates the kind of legislator Nitiwul is – irrational, unreasoning, negatively superstitious, juvenile and self-destruct. As a parliamentarian, Nitiwul’s transmission of such irrationality nation-wide puts Parliament under bizzare image, as to the level of reasoning that goes on there. Nitiwul is a member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee. How sad!!! It also shows that Nitiwul has disturbingly shaky grasp of Ghana’s and Africa’s developmenmt challenges – a situation that needs hard, serious thinking to tackle pressing progress issues.

Like his counterparts in other parts of world, Nitiwul is expected to radiate light when he speaks on demanding Ghana/African developmen issues against the backdrop of mass ignorance, especially Nitiwul’s Northern Region. No society develops with mindless elites of Nitiwul’s thinking.

More so, Nitiwul’s wrestling with the inhibitions in the Ghanaian/African culture, parts of which have entwined Nitiwul’s mind, and made him erroneously believe that “magic ring” helped President Atta Mills win the presidential elections in 2008 and not painstaking campaigns, most times in rough terrains, to sell his assumed development programs to the Ghanaian electorate.

In fact, to further take on Nitiwul’s rational weaknesses, as progeress and enlightenment issues, the contest between President Mills and his main competitor Nana Akuffo Addo was so close that nobody would have convinced Ghanaians that magic was involved. In the first round, Akuffo Addo won the presidential elections (short of not geeting the legal percentage), where was candidate Mill’s “magic ring”?

His university degrees included, Nitiwul isn’t different from the supposedly illiterate Ghanaian/African who believes witchcraft or evil spirits are responsible for vehicular accidents or for deaths or for diseases or for poverty or for conflicts or for other existential challenges. We can add Nitiwul’s political superstition – that juju-marabou “magic ring” can help win elections without hard campaigning that sells one’s development agenda.

And why not make more of this “magic ring,” via Nitiwul’s thinking, so that the magic rings will make Ghanaians/Africans live a far better live than Norwegians or Canadians?

Nitiwul’s warped mind isn’t all that surprising. In Bimbila, in Ghana’s Northern Region, where Nitiwul is the Member of Parliament, negative superstitions are dangerously troubling phenomena. Part of the reasons for their recuring backwardness and wrenching poverty is counter-productive superstitious believes such as witchcraft that have entangled the people’s mind and made them ignorant to better living.

In relation to the on-going enlightenment movement spreading across Ghana, Ghanaians at home and abroad have responded appropriately to Nitiwul’s uncivilized and appalling mind masked in his university degrees and the fact that he is a Member of Parliament. At most Ghanaian web sites, especially ghanaweb.com and modernghana.com, where Nitiwul’s statements were publshed, there were over 800 hits, almost all damning his irrational postering.

One of the most striking responses was from Tetteh Asagba on ghanaweb.com, who said that, “I am even ashamed to be a Ghanaian with people like this Nitiwul sitting in parliament and uttering such plain stupidity. If there are powers like what he claims he knows, how come he did not lead himself or the leaders of his party to go and acquire some? It is like people talking about juju or voodoo being used to win soccer tournaments. Yet still when you look at all the winners of our competitions in Ghana, it is the the teams with the best players who emerge victorious. How come there has not been even one winning team from the areas of Ghana where such beliefs are prevalent? Such an ignorant useless person is supposed to make laws for people of Ghana to abide by. It is even sickening to think anything to respond to this nonsense ...”

Kofi Nkyekyer said, on ghanaweb, that, “Where is our education if at this age and time we are this superstitious?” Kofi Bempah, writing from London, UK, stated that, “An MP thinks a ring can win elections. How did he win his own seat- by magic?”

Kwaku Kele Ashiagbor angrily wrote that, “I feel sad and worried sbout the intellectual level of some of our so called Honurable MP's. It is about time we begin to examine the mental status of who we elect to Parliament otherwise we will end up having donkeys and monkeys sitting in Parliament making laws for us. I feel sorry for the Constituents of this moron MP. Seriously though, they should start thinking of replacing him.The guy is not fit to represent them. The question to ask is how did he get to be selected in the first place? This speaks a lot about our electoral process. If we continue to send bamboos to Parliament, we will one day wake to find that our dear Ghana is being ruled by animals.”

In any case, who would dare say the Ghanaian enlightenment movemet hasn’t impacted on Ghanaians positively?