Feature Article of Thursday, 3 May 2012

Columnist: Sakzeesi, Camillus Maalneriba-Tia

In The Matter Of Tribal Incitement ....

.... National Security, Judicial Justice And The Hipocrisy In Democratic Governance.


“…But the greatest menace to our civilization today is the conflict between giant organized systems of self-righteousness – each system only too delighted to find that the other is wicked – each too glad that the sins give it the pretext for still, deeper hatred and animosity”. Herbert Butterfield. The month of March, running through April, have not been a pleasant period for peace-loving Ghanaians. The ‘ugliness’ and ‘dirtiness’ of politics in Ghana, brought itself to bear on the people of the country.

Ghana - touted as a beautiful state in democratic governance in Africa, was nearly set ablaze by the recklessness of someone who is tagged with the title “HONOURABLE”. Citizens of this country and the world at large are privy to the unguarded effusions of Mr. Kennedy Agyepong, which threw the country into a partially chaotic situation – void of very serious fatalities. This write-up should have been addressed to Kennedy Agyepong only, but the many actors in the scenario do not warrant me to isolate him for this venture. But to Kennedy Agyepong I address first: Dear Mr. Agyepong, it is indeed, with difficulty that I wish to send you this epistle. The urge is there for me to be hash on you, but I am trying my best possible not to thread on the filthy path you got yourself into. I first heard of you when you had a very ugly encounter with Mr. Ben Ephson, when you engaged yourselves in a radio battle 2001. Not knowing your nature at the time, I condemned Mr. Ephson for calling you a mad man at the time, because according to him you put up a very ungentlemanly behavior at the Kotoka International Airport. He made an emphasis in the Akan language that indeed “na wa bodam” (you had gone mad).

It was during your intercourse with him, as the altercation went from bad to worst, that I first head of your boastful outlook as to what you have and the assistance you’ve been giving to people. Since then you have religiously held on to this BOASTFUL disposition of how rich you are.

You have made yourself appear to be the only Ghanaian who has money and have helped people out. In this dear country of ours, anybody who goes against you would have himself ‘pummeled’ in radio stations as to how you have ever fed that fellow, or given the fellow money sometime past, or better still – ‘organized marriages’ for them, as you said of Baba Jamal. This rendition of your wealth as an intimidating tool is not limited to your political opponents alone. For within the New Patriotic Party (NPP), you have extended the limitless length of your tongue to your own party members. I vividly remember a threat you made to the party stating your unwillingness to give further financial support to the party due to certain decisions that were taken which were not to your taste.

You claim to be a democrat, belonging to a party that claims to have been built on the foundation of democratic finesse. Why should you, as an individual feel you must bully an entire party which takes decisions based on the collective appreciation of leadership, simply because they go against your individual interest.

Is that your understanding of our modern-day democratic tenets? Does it then mean that the poor in your party must be blocked from being part of the decision-making process because you consider them mean-looking and for that matter have no intellect? For goodness sake who told you that it is the wealthy that have shaped this world of ours? Even granted, without admitting that it is the situation, how many of such wealthy people have gone boasting the way you’re going about projecting yourself? It is your type of characters that forced Samuel Madden to say this of a boastful friend that; “…With all his tumid boasts, he’s like the sword-fish, who only wears his weapon in his mouth…”

And exactly, Mr. Agyepong, this is how I see you – making yourself KING-KONG of the air-waves showing off your wealth and how philanthropic you are. The fact which must be pointed out to you is that, genuine givers don’t blow trumpets on roof-tops for recognition.

Maddens view of people like you having your weapons in your mouths is the exacting precision you have to yourself. For you succeeded in spitting out the weapon in your mouth which caught up with people who seem to have no reasons for leaving and, therefore, would not subject your senseless effusions to scrutiny. Mr. Agyepong, I must admit you have the intellectual capacity which you can choose to use for the good of Ghanaians, or destructively against us. For no alarmist will do what you did without studying the mindsets of those he intends to incite.

There was this attribution to Julius Caesar by an unknown which states: “…Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervour, for patriotism is indeed a double-urged sword. It both emboldens the blood – just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fevers pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind is closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry – infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader –and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have. And I am Caesar”.

From the above, I have no doubt in my mind that you have captured it well, just as I guess the leader of your party have stored in his system. However, anybody who comes across such medieval references ought to be careful in swallowing them wholly. They are good for literary entertainment and nothing beyond that. However, even under the medieval senseless engagements of war, and even though Julius Caesar had taken advantage of the fickle-mindedness of his subjects, he insulted them after making good of their ignorance. I know you’ll surely do same with some ignorant Ghanaians just as you nearly succeeded a few weeks ago. But would they ever see themselves as such?

You see, Mr. Agyepong, you ought to be told that what you have engaged yourself to be doing best, without knowing, is that you are sinking the NPP party. Unfortunately, your party leadership seems not to be seeing it that way – or again, the power of your wealth is bullying them to submission?

Your very last political masturbation which finally culminated in your arrest by the police has worsened the party’s outlook. These latest but more hurting outbursts have made people to question whether you normally think before talking – or it is the other way round.

You once referred to a political commentator who ran on you as an alleged dealer in illicit drugs which I was not enthused - though . Your response, to a large extent, went beyond the fellow’s individual identity. You described him as, ”Opepe ni ba aa ne nae a pae-pae. Kwasea watchman ne ba…” You issued out these insults simply because the fellow under reference, Alhaji Bature Iddrisu, is a northerner. And by extension, all northerners are coming from the parentage of “idiots and watchmen”. After that you felt no moral compunction to apologize to northerners for maybe ‘slipping’ your tongue. Your party equally saw nothing wrong with these insults of political vulgarity. To me it appears the silence of the party has emboldened you to ‘keep up with the good work you’re doing’.

And that was why you saw the President of the Republic of Ghana as the “Kronfuor Number One”.

You see, Mr. Agyepong, you don’t need to always carve a certain situation which you alone can understand as discontentment in order to go on radio tongue-lashing. For your category of people, James Harvey Robinson’s essay “On Various Kinds of Thinking”, warned that “…Our personal discontent does not ordinarily extend to any critical questioning of the general situation in which we find ourselves”.

Our individual understanding of situations must, therefore, be subjected to rational analyses, from which comes logical appreciation of the statues quo before making public pronouncements. When we subject ourselves to this civilized human endeavour, we can build a society on the foundation of PEACE. That is why Mr. Agyepong, you should have considered asking whether, ‘what I am about to say would bring any benefit to Mother-Ghana? You deliberately refused to subject yourself to this exercise, only to go to town as an uncontrolled ‘democratic warrior’ who nearly succeeded in demolition this dear country of our Father and Motherland. Well, I am happy the law has finally caught up with you. What happens to you hereon would be left to the discretion of the LAW, but I hope as well that it is not crooked to the advantage of either side.

At this stage, let me skip you and engage the next category of the Ghanaian citizenry – Civil Society Organizations.

“How inexpressive is the MEANNESS of being a hypocrite! How HORRIBLE is it to be a MISCHIEVOUS and MALIGNANT hypocrite”.

How I wished to have ended this quote of the French Philosopher and Pay-write, Francois-Marie Arouet, (Voltaire) 1694-1778, due to this exacting attribute to advanced acts of hypocrisy. So, to Civil Society Organisations of Ghana, this is the portion for you:

You people would have realized the power you wield in this country and the need to hold on to it responsibly. The question as to whether this privileged power has indeed been held and used to the satisfaction of the citizenry, can be a very difficult exercise but is not far-fetched from conclusions that can be drawn from some negative developments coming from your side. Right after the 2001 change of regime, you decided to recoil into your shells because you felt that the Rawlings regime was the type of the ‘DEVIL’ and since it was out of the system your mouths had to be sealed-off. In its place, was a regime led by an ‘angel’ whoh made you enjoy your ‘talking leave’ for almost eight years. Not even empanelling many Justices at the Supreme Court to shore-up the numerical strength to enable a judicial victory for government could elicit some level of a moral cry. Arrests were made in churches to the blind side of your various organizations. Ordinary organizations could be spared – but when church organizations refuse to observe and condemn these acts, then some of us would have good cause to fear for this country.

Even with the hot nature of the Kennedy Agyepong’s call for war, you guys – whether robed or suited, decided initially not to open your mouths until so many individuals made noise against it thus making you jump into the fray. And even in your condemnation statements could not come in isolation of less explosive ones allegedly made by some NDC elements.

Much as one condemns some statements that were not in good taste by some NDC loose-talkers, the enormity and aggravated nature of the Assin North Member of Parliament’s declaration of war - has no comparison. That is the plain fact and must be seen in that light.

As activists of church organizations, you need to see yourselves as communicators of truth. Failure to do that would expose you to, as Charles Caleb Colton said: “…If Satan ever laughs, it must be at HYPOCRITES. They are the greatest dupes he has; they serve him better than any others – and receive no wages…” To some personalities who, to me have been a disappointment regarding the Kennedy Agyepong’s ‘mouth-bombing’, something ought to be told them. First, is the intervention of former President Kuffuor. It was indeed, disappointing to have heard his press release, asking the current President to douse the rising tension in the country. It was so scandalous a call to have been made by him. Such recklessness goes far enough to make the wrong-doer like Kennedy, see themselves as engaging in ‘rights activism’. Mr. Kuffour, you and your party are to be held responsible for what happened in this country when you were far away in the United States of America. I think you could have used your fatherly and towering figure in the party to call your children to order. This you had not the moral courage to take up the task and instead of keeping quiet – you rather blamed the President. If your call to the President had gone alongside a total condemnation of the VANDALISM that took place in Accra, you would have stood tall beyond your physical height and that would have been an added prestige to your good self. However, in the blind-fold of political inclusivity, you decided to add yourself to the non-thinking and sheepish congregation of civil-lawless activists. In fact, your singular intervention has made me to believe that – after all Kennedy has a case because if this is how the top-brass leadership of the party think, how then could we have expected something better from him. And remember that no matter how big a fish is, if it must rot – starts from the head. “…I never adjust myself to the MADNESS of MILITARISM…” says Martin Luther King Jr. For this reason, Mr. Former President Kuffuor, no matter how hopeless a situation may be, don’t you ever think of giving blessing to what the legendry Civil Rights Activist abhors. It is not too late for you to condemn Kennedy and the unruly behavior of your party supporters.

The Vice President of the Republic also waded into this murky development. You are a mentor, I must confess. But when it comes to matters of principles, some of us would prefer being called ‘bad men’ to sacrificing them in the grotto of hypocrisy. You did condemn the war-declaration of your then colleague parliamentarian. That was alright! But to go yonder that and state that you would not want him to go to jail was rather unfortunate – to say the least. I have this justified feeling because I don’t know who told you that it is only those who are not in parliament who should be filling our penance houses? Be told Mr. Vice President, that we have many prisoners who unconsciously committed crimes and are serving jail terms. One would have considered your comment to be a passing one if you were an ordinary Ghanaian. Unfortunately, you are the Number Two man in this land. Considering the weight you carry, don’t you think that your opinion is an indirect plea to the judiciary to free Kennedy Agyepong? And remember that the bail granted him is even bizarre making people grumble.

On your part, Mr. Vice President, I consider your unsolicited plea-comment for Mr. Agyepong as the Executive’s intervention in the judicial affairs of this country, thank you.

Now to you, Mr. Ndebugre John Akparibo. It is heart-warming to note your manly observation and comment on the Kennedy Agyepong’s most scandalous call to violence in this country. In fact if some more astute members of your party had taken the stance you took, they would have been winning more souls to the New Patriotic Party.

Incidentally, albeit not surprisingly, some NPP members have picked you on and condemned your truthfulness on the M.P’s debacle. In George Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language” he said this of political insincerity that, “…The greatest enemy of clear [political] language is INSINCERITY”. Politics – for this reasoning abhors sincerity, but sincerity is needed in politics so as to beget noble men in it. Noble men in politics, therefore, must stay in it in order not to make it too DIRTY and for that matter unappealing to up-coming noble men into it. To you Mr. Ndebugre – I say well-done. I pledged to address part of my self-imposed assignment to Ghanaians, but I can’t proceed any further except to leave you with a quote from Susan K. Langer’s write-up on “THE LORD OF CREATION” when she wondered about man’s superior STUPIDITY. She questioned in her desperation: “If man’s mind is really a higher form of the animal mind, his morality – a specialized form of herd instinct, then where – in the course of evolution did he lose the realism of a clever animal, and fall prey to subjective fears? And why should he take pleasure in torturing helpless members of his own? Fellow citizens of FATHER and MOTHER-GHANA, before we take cutlasses, slings or any other weapon that can hurt, harm and kill ourselves , let us pause for a minute before the action – and think of this last quote before considering the DIS-HONOURABLE Kennedy Agyepong’s call to war.

I remain your meanly Ghanaian who wants to enjoy my mean Ghanaianness in PERFECT PEACE. Thank you.

Camillus Maalneriba-Tia Sakzeesi


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