Feature Article of Monday, 26 March 2012

Columnist: Bannerman, Fiifi

Mills Strikes Out


“Opanin a otena fie ma nkwadaa di nanka no, se yebu
anankadifo a, oka ho” I open this article with a word of wisdom learnt at the
feet of my father of blessed memory. This is an Akan saying which literally
seeks to impugn the integrity of the adult whose presence the children (the
unwise) indulges in an abominable deeds.

There was a poignant question during the time of the
American infamous Watergate scandal that continues to reverberate in any quasi
scandal in present day American politic:

In our culture, the ‘OPANIN’ (i.e. the elder) is a revered
member of the family considered to be the steady hand on the wheel in times
when the rowdy ‘children’ went on rampage. Such is the revered position of our
Ghanaian elders by virtue of our collective cultures and for that matter the
President in our political dispensation: To be the voice of reason in the last
resort. Woe to the family or by extension the country that does not have such
an elder (perhaps I should say a ‘statesman’). Many a times, things happen that
makes one wonder if there were adults in the midst of the rowdy children.

Ghana has arguably been endowed with great patriotic thinkers
(mind you; Ghana has not been the first
in everything good in Africa by mere chance). Our leaders have been wise on
the international front as well as the interior with the exception of our
current President. His approach to issues of international prominence has been
abysmal to say the least. Our President’s response to the Ivorian crisis (“dzi
wofi asem”) was symptomatic with a nonchalant leader who saw, hears or says no
evil. A Minister of State should have uttered “Dzi wofi asem”, while the
President took the high road in reprimanding the Minister to the dangers posed
to Ghana by an unresolved crisis in Ivory Coast mainly due to its proximity to
our peaceful country. That was strike one (American baseball terminology).

Wayomegate has consumed more ink and resources than
necessary all because the supposed ‘elder’ in the midst of the rowdy ‘children’
refused to act his role. Our President hue and cried as if he knew nothing
about the Wayome payout: Nevertheless, it turned out that the President was indeed
privy to the whole Wayome saga. His subsequent defense of his orders being
ignored by the so called rowdy ‘children’ is nothing but someone who’s been
caught with his pants down. That was strike two!!

Free Press and for that matter free speech is the bedrock of
democracy: Do away with it and you have nothing but dictatorship or
totalitarianism. The current debacle has been of a government that cannot stand
the free media; hence the boycott of Multimedia Group. Ebeii Uncle Atta, eyi
nso fi hen? I prayed that Uncle Atta would not be privy to this nonsensical
move by the government to boycott Multimedia and this must be one of his many
irrational fire-touting Ministers. Imagine my disappointment when I read that
the President not only knew but also actually approved the boycott! This is strike

Human race have cultures and wise sayings that tend to
intertwine with others: The Americans have “three strikes you’re out” in their
baseball terminology, the Akan’s have, “Kwasea ne dua ontia so abiesa”, and
certainly the English have, “Once bitten twice shy”. One plus one plus one is
three; One plus two is also three, therefore it all adds up to three either way
you look at it. The moral of the above statements in a nutshell is not to be
oblivious of ones morals or lack thereof in matters of personal or national
interest. President Mills has stepped on our ‘dua’ (whatever one interpret
‘dua’ to mean) for once too many. He’s had his strike 3 at the plate; it’s time
for all concerned citizens to call our President out.

Fiifi Bannerman
Toronto, Canada