Okyenhene unmasks President Mahama.
Feature Article of Saturday, 16 February 2013
Columnist: Damptey, Daniel Danquah
Ghanaians were anxious and needed a straightforward “Yes” or “No” answer. But who was to bell the cat and ask what was on the lips of everybody? From the East, West, North and South, no one would say anything. The fear of the uncertain times had done its worst. But when the heart decides, no amount of words can prevent the Crossing of the Rubicon.
It was at that point that the Okyenhene, Nana Amoatia Ofori Panin II got the much needed inspiration. The Aaron in him spoke and the President was bemused, transfixed and transmuted into outer space. He no longer found himself amongst mortals. He was immortal; at least that was how he visualized himself. He was now a super human being, perched on top of his self deluded Mount Olympus. But who would blame him anyway? Surrounded by sycophants and praise singers, who wouldn’t act God?
The occasion? It was simply a courtesy call on the President by the Eastern Region House of Chiefs to congratulate him on his pyrrhic victory. Being its President, the onus fell on the Okyenhene to be the Spokes-person.
Yes, the Okyenhene was right. He spoke the truth. A few weeks earlier, the Western Regional House of Chiefs had issued a fatwa that the President should appoint no other person but their own son of the soil, Honourable Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, MP for Ellembele to the newly created Ministerial portfolio of Energy and Petroleum otherwise hell would break loose. And pronto, in less than twenty four hours, the President succumbed to their demand. Call it blackmail or whatever you like.
So, where did the Okyenhene go wrong? That he had the boldness to advise and ask our untouchable President some few pertinent questions agitating the minds of Ghanaians? What was evil in asking the President if he would commit himself to the verdict of the Supreme Court should it go against him? Mind you, the Petitioners led by Nana Akufo Addo had earlier given their commitment to abide by the Supreme Court’s decision. But Ghanaians were yet to hear a categorical “Yes” or “No” answer from the President. Now that the President has given his commitment, we can sleep with at least one of our eyes closed. To the Okyenhene, Ghanaians say “meda gbeshi”, “yeda wo ase”, “eshe”, “thank you”
We now shift away from the first request to the second one, or should I call it an advice? – That in appointing Regional Ministers and D/MCE’s Nananom should be consulted by the appointing authority in accordance with the constitution of the land. This was an innocuous remark/advice which should have been embraced in its totality by the President with gratitude.
What was wrong with such candid advice, I ask once more? But to our President (who twice contradicted himself by lying to Ghanaians and the international community on the death of his predecessor and who remarked that it is only in adversities that we have progress and that it was the death of his predecessor that a golden door of opportunity was opened for him to become President) the Okyenhene had gone beyond bounds and ought to be put in his proper position. His memory which seemed to have deserted him when he commented on the death of his predecessor the second time, might have failed him again. He had forgotten the direct demands made on him by Nananom from the Western Region. Again, reminiscence of the promise he had made to the people of Region that the NDC administration will give it 10% of the oil revenue for its development might have been haunting him. Nevertheless Nananom from the Region had taunted him and the President had danced to their tune. The Okyenhene was not asking the President to do him a favour by appointing any of his relations or favourites to a particular position. He was only asking that the Chiefs be consulted.
The countenance of our despotic President changed immediately. He attempted to smile but it was the kind of smile one reserves for one’s enemy. It was a sneer as far as I am concerned. The words started flowing from his lips in close succession. You could discern traces of anger in them. The Okyenhene and his entourage from the Eastern Region, which happens to be my home Region were tongue lashed and berated for keeping quiet when “ordinary mortals” from their domain had insulted the President.
According to our despot of a President, he had never in his life insulted any of his political opponents but people from other political persuasions have continued to heap insults on him at the least opportunity. The Okyenhene and his chiefs should admonish heir people to desist from that. It was like a headmaster tongue-lashing his teachers and pupils at Assembly. The language used was anything but “presidential”.
But do I blame him?. I could conjecture what was going through his mind at that particular moment. Perhaps, he was recalling an incident which never happened in the true sense of it but was given currency by the NDC.
That was the supposedly rally held by President Mahama and the NDC few days to the December 8 2012 Presidential Elections at Kibi. The President and his entourage had arrived at the peaceful Akim Abuakwa capital to be fed untruths about attempts NPP supporters to prevent the President from going to campaign in the town. This falsehood was peddled by misguided and disgruntled NDC members in the town. If the President wants to go to a particular town or village what earthly power can prevent him?
Without waiting for confirmation from the local chapter of the party, the President and his aides including Omane Boamah went beserk and made serious unsubstantiated allegations against Nana Akufo Addo, the NPP and the peace-loving people of the town. I was shocked to hear the President, a student of history make a very serious historical slip in his spate of anger.
The local chapter of the NDC Executive came out to rebuff the claim of Mr President and that of Omane Boamah’s that the NPP had attempted to prevent the President from going to campaign at Kibi.
The truth of the matter was that the NDC had wanted to hold their rally at the fore-court of the Ofori Panin Fie. This would have resulted in the desecration of the traditional values of Okyeman. It was this abominable act that the youth of the town led by the Abontendomhene resisted. This was however misconstrued, albeit erroneously as attempts by the NPP to prevent the President from entering the town.
I ask this question. Which traditional authority/council will allow the forecourt of its palace to be used for a political party’s rally? I doubt if there is any. But even if there is/are any, it will definitely not be Okyeman for we hold our chieftaincy in high regards.
And this, I believe was what might have been going through the mind of John Mahama when he lost his cool and became “unpresidential” in his response to the Okyenhene’s queries.
The President made an incorrect deduction when he said that he had never insulted any of his political opponents. Was he not the very person who described members of the NPP as “baloney”? Were his effusions at Kibi not an insult to the peace-loving people of Kibi? Was he not on the same platform when Omane Boamah added fuel to the already dried wood by referring to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo and the NPP in very derogatory terms?
What did he do to the hawks, the scavengers, the scarecrows, the vicious snakes, the snarling and vicious dogs, the lions, the tarantulas’ vultures and the hideous medusas like Allotey Jacobs and Peter Otukonors whose minds have been dripping with insults of their political opponents almost on a daily basis? What reprimand had he given to Asiedu Nketiah who had described NPP chieftains as idiots for going to court in pursuance of their claim against the declaration of John Mahama as winner of the December 2012 Presidential Elections?
Again, when one thinks of the President’s response to the NPP’s petition before the Supreme Court, one could only come to the conclusion that the use of intemperate language in his response was incompatible with his status as Number One citizen of the land. Such language could only emanate from the stable of leaders of banana republics and despotic leaders like Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.
In conclusion, I make bold to state without any fear of contradiction that President Mahama’s admonition to Nananom from the Eastern Region is hypocrital for when it comes to insults and lies, the name John Dramani Mahama ranks very high, second to none in the country.
And instead of berating the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin II for candid advice, he should rather be grateful to him, for making him (the President) realise that he had a log in his eye.
President John Mahama had a problem but none of his appointees and acolytes could unearth it. It took Joseph, the dreamer in the Okyenhene to point out what was wrong with our President. By that singular act, our revered royal father was been able to unmasked John Dramani and prevented him from dancing naked in public.
Daniel Danquah Damptey (0243715297) (email@example.com)