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Opinions of Sunday, 19 July 2020

Columnist: David Adumbire

Why I will name my son after Domelevo and remove Daniel

Domelevo is gone. To eternity? No. Just gone. It was my grandmother who told me my dad left early because he was too Frank. Too blank. He says it as he sees it. In one occasion there was a debate about a colour on the wall of a sacred building in my village. Everyone said it was black. My dad said, it's white. He was hated. So he's gone.

Domelevo. Domelevo. Lone ranger is gone. That name reminds me of my dad. Strict. Principled. Incorruptible. My dad was a PDC (Preventive Defence Council) member. And at the PDC, he treated all culprits equal. It is common knowledge in my village. My mother was mercilessly beaten up by my dad. Her crime? Like other women at the time, she traded in kerosene. It was in high demand in neighboring Burkina Faso. But it was illegal to export it. She was arrested with other groups of people. Many thought she would be spared.

My dad, her husband was the PDC chairman in our area. So people thought her burden would be lesser. Not true. She got equal measure as others. My dad was the executioner. I have never seen a man so principled like him. He has no tribalism in his dictionary and he will not even accept his own wife womanhood as a gift of exchange for a plea for mercy.

He said, my mum and her colleagues were enemies of state. Little did he know that, whilst he was preventing my mum to engage in that business, big tankers were always smuggling fuel to neighboring countries. Gold, bauxite, diamond and timber were always exported and the revenue is paid into the pocket of the “government”. Though he is not part of government, he had every confidence that, the revenue would be used for development purpose.

But I hated my dad. He treated Goose as Gander. Someday he told us that all people were children of God and all of them deserve same treatment. If God gives you bread remember to share it with the child in need, he said. Wastage was his enemy. Theft. Graft. Nepotism and parsimony were never his bedfellows. In the evening, there was always accountability meetings. Transparency.

Justice. He ever locked up my senior brother in a pen for a day to account for the groundnuts we took to nourish our souls without authorization. He hated parents who spoon-fed their wards. He hated children who call their father’s name as theirs. I remember he made a guy beat me the other day because I had told the guy if he beats me, I would tell my dad. I hated him for this. I had wished to have a dad, who would hold my hand to an office and say to the big man there, give this boy a job because he is my son.

I wanted him to be the man who would allow my mother smuggle fuel to Burkina Faso while preventing others do same, because he was the man in charge. I didn’t want my dad to be like that deaf and dumb boy, Clement who refused me entry into the cinema hall because I didn’t have a ticket even though he was a close friend of mine.

But Domelevo's case is even extraordinary. He speaks his heart. Roars his strength and finally, he’s shot on the leg. But what a man who doesn't need rest? Like my dad, the Domelevos were two; Uncle Martin Alamisi Ben Kaiser Amidu and Daniel Yao Domelevo himself. But our elders would always say, a dog with a bone never barks. Uncle Martin Amidu until recently, barked.

Then Domelevo barks. He refused to employ his own son because of “conflict of stupidity” in a society where there’s reward for kinship ties. The government of Ghana had owed my former legislator and his colleagues about three years allowance. A letter from the king’s palace was sent to Domelevo to pay the former legislators but Domelevo refused to pay.

Domelevo even likes accusing others “wrongly”. He took on an elder over a one-million dollar Kroll judgement debt. He was taken to court and was found guilty of contempt. He would have gone to prison. However, the court became lenient with him. Domelevo was spared with hard-custodial sentence allegedly due to covid-19. But before that dust is settled, we remembered he never took a leave since his appointment in 2016 by a rejected government, except nine days. His notoriety knows no bounds. One hundred and twenty-three days leave is not enough for him to keep his mouth shut.

While a child, I was told not to respond to the elderly when they rebuke you. Authority. We were not to question authority. In secondary school, we were fed maggot infested beans and we never had a voice to speak. Our bread for breakfast was small, but we never spoke. Our community road became deplorable but we never spoke. Our community hospital did not have any equipment but the in-charge could not speak.

Our community school did not have teaching materials but the headmaster could not speak. The CEO of a renowned institution in my village was removed by hood lords. He “died” in silence. All heads of independent institutions in my village became dependent and answerable. They could not predict their tenure of office. That’s how things have become in our era.

So Domelevo is a trouble bee in a colony. I did not hear him again about the one hundred-and-sixty-seven-day leave. But if I were his counsel that I am not qualify to, I would ask him to go start the farm he himself spoke about sometimes ago. Go rest Domelevo. We shall remember you as the man who fought the children of darkness at day.

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