Who carries who, when the crab as well as its baby crawls? This just came to mind, when I listened to the interview granted to the press upon the arrival of President Mills from holidays. I didn’t witness the reign of Rawlings as a mature Ghanaian but I did witness that of the gentle giant, ex-President Kufour. It will be noted that, he tried as much as possible not to insult or call his opponents names. And this is a plus for him.
The president of Ghana is what Italians may call “primo di primi” (first of firsts) and as such must live up to his task. This does not only refer to economic, political, legal tasks but it also entails morality. The President must be a moral authority. This being what is expected from a president, then it must also be vivid in any person who hopes to be a president one day. Ghana does not need leaders who will only be responsible when elected as president instead Ghana needs leaders who are responsible now and will be responsible when elected to lead the nation.
I am sure at this point every Ghanaian agrees with me. Now we are going to disagree because I have to involve some current political figures in this piece. Let people like Kennedy Agyapong and Tony Aidoo call people names but not presidential aspirants. Ahaa, I said you will disagree with me. In my proud Ghanaian culture, it’s an embarrassment to see/hear a king/chief calling peoples names or harangue people in public. But I wonder where this value evaporates to, when people become politicians.
One thing that makes me proud as a Ghanaian is that Ghanaian presidents express themselves comparatively mature. For instance, President Banda of Zambia described one of his critics as ‘someone who was not born to human beings’ and Kibaki of Kenya will repeatedly call his opponent ‘kumbafo’ – idiots. It is really disgusting to hear abusive words rocketing out of the mouth of a president or presidential aspirant. There is a saying that ‘a log in a river never turns into a crocodile’; this wise saying enlightens me to understand that if you want to rule, learn to be ruled. Am I increasing temperatures?
But before I am swallowed let me make my point. I assume every presidential aspirant regards the status of a president as that of a respected one. And for that matter yearns to climb it. Now if a presidential aspirant disdains that status, then it becomes very difficult to believe that such a person will believe in Ghana especially when he himself has denigrated what is held in high esteem by Ghanaians.
Since I listened to the remarks made by Akufo-Addo concerning the sitting president by calling him “Professor Do-Little” on 10th August, I have been praying that the president may treat it lightly in order not to descend into the same gutter with his opponent; for it is deemed that the one who runs naked after a madman who bolts away with his cloths is the true madman. Thank God, the reply came in a very reflective manner.
Surely this has not been the first time the president is sacrificing himself to ease tension in the country. In his last address in parliament, he pleaded with the entire country especially the minority to add the phrase ‘but sure’ to a nickname ‘Mr. Slow’ they have given him. In reaction to that of Nana, instead of being on the offensive, he instead appreciates and then as professor schools Nana on what the word ‘little’ means. I told this very story to my classmates from other countries and the broke into laughter.
As a philosopher, let me speculate a bit, Little is comparative. Little as compare to what? Surely the word little makes no sense if it has nothing to compare with and in this case Prof jabbed Nana. But I am not interested in this, I am principally interested in the reaction of the President; imagine Otumfuo insulting his critics in return or imagine Sheik Nuhu Shaributu doing something like that, for sure it will be uncouth, absurd. This is what the president lived up to, he demonstrated his maturity as far as dealing with issues and choosing words are concerned. Be free to think but be careful to speak, for an elder does not release bad air in public, you get me Nana?
Source: Joe Tony
Email: bezanku@yahoo. com