Commonsense With Daniel Dugan
Some couple of years or so ago, the media landscape was awash with screaming headlines about what Hon. Yaw Osafo Marfo allegedly said in secret. We were told it was so ethnocentric that it was classified as first degree high treason. What did he say or was alleged to have said? That since the bulk of the nation’s rich mineral and natural resources are located on Akan lands, only Akans should be allowed to rule this country and ended by asking his audience to rally all Akans to support the NPP.
Suddenly a number of anti-ethnicity NGOs sprang up and “a million man” march was quickly organized in the capital city. The noble Yaw Osafo Marfo was verbally pounded like cassava and plaintain in a mortar. No one wanted to hear him because the evidence was there. He was caught on tape as saying what he was alleged to have said. In fact it was no longer an allegation, but clear cut evidence.
Even an experienced and notable senior journalist condemned the seasoned politician who also doubled as one of the few who contributed more than their quota to nation building.
The demonstration took place and it was followed by a press conference where strong worded proclamations filled the air. “What Hon. Osafo Marfo said was to play the tribal card and so he must quickly withdraw and apologize.” Sadly the demonstration had some top members of the NPP in the thick of affairs, who could be among the first to enquire from the man about the allegations.
In fact in summary, Hon. Osafo Marfo had suggested to a meeting of party elders in the Eastern Region that there was the need to harness Akan votes. Then it was well packaged to come out that since Akans reside over rich mineral and natural resources, Akans must also be presidents.
So this matter was laid to rest or better still was put to sleep small and his accusers decided to make the best out of a gloomy situation, having lost the elections, to seize the opportunity to attack the Hon. Osafo Marfo should he be chosen as minister designate.
So it came to past that on Friday January 20, 2017 Hon. Yaw Osafo Marfo was first on the list to be vetted. He was the Senior Minister designate.
This allegation of ethnicity was brought up and he explained that he was misquoted. His explanation clearly meant that some miscreants decided to cut and join some parts of his message to the NPP Elders of the Eastern Region to play mischief. He only spoke about the mineral and natural resources of this country that could be harness to create wealth for all. It was a clear case of electronic cut-and –paste.
This was after he was queried on his conduct in the Hair-Dressing-Salon-addressed financing company and something to do with McMillan. After satisfactorily responding to the two allegation of wrong doing, the ethnocentric one was dropped perhaps as the Plan C to nail him down. He answered all perfectly.
The last one was yet to come when a senior member asked him if it was not a proper thing to do, to apologize for such comments made. The noble politician came out strongly that he had no reason to apologize when he had said nothing wrong.
It looks like a case of village elders meeting over an allegation that one of their own had sexually harassed a young girl fit to be his granddaughter.
“Hey, you stand here to say that Numo Agbeli Abrebrese touched you where? What were you doing where he met you?”
“Numo, please like I said I was sent by my mother to go and remind Maame Atta that they were to leave for the big city at dawn. Numo, Numo Agbeli has always been making moves to touch my breasts anytime we meet at places where there are no people. But Numo, I always brush him aside. Numo Agbeli this time, under cover of the darkness of the night forced his hand under my underwear. It is obvious what he has in mind and he is as old as my grandfather…”
‘Shut up, how can you fabricate such lies against a noble elderly person? Look at the way you young girls of today dress and flank your dignities shamelessly in public. Immoral generation you are. Now never should we hear you say anything about Numo Agbeli Abrebrese again. Come on! Kneel and apologize to him!”
The poor girl completely overwhelmed by this injustice only wants to get away and she could only do so by first apologizing to this villian who invaded her privacy. She does so and quickly leaves very angrily and resolving in her mind how to crush the randy man’s head should he ever but only wink at her.
The council of elders had not finished.
“But you too, Numo Agbeli Abrebrese, how could you do this to a girl as young as your granddaughters?”
The young girl who was sexually harassed was made to apologize for doing nothing wrong, a clear case of apologizing for not apologizing at first. Her apology was not necessary because it was not about something that needed to be apologized for.
Hon. Osafo Marfo spoke to some party elders and someone decided to secretly record him. Some people then took their time to remix his submission by electronically cuting and pasting all that he said.
It ended that something meant to be offensive was thrown into the public domain and suddenly Hon. Yaw Osafo Marfo was branded a racist, emmm….an ethnocentric person, nation wrecker.
What happened to our motto, Freedom and Justice? Why was the man denied any hearing? Why did some top members of his own party join a demonstration against him? In fact when Lord Commey and company organized a demonstration against Jerry John during the first term of Kufuor’s administration, no one saw a known NDC member in that huge crowd.
The issue is not what Hon. Osafo Marfo said but what he was alleged to have said which was twisted to create tribal sentiments across the land. Was it wrong for him to ask Akans to rally behind his Akan flag bearer? Well, if we generally determine the popularity of a presidential candidate among his own tribe by the votes he got there, then what is wrong when one rallies his own tribe to fully support his candidature?
Was it what he said about the rich mineral and natural resources found mainly in Akan areas? But that is also very true, unfortunately, this is something we can only protest to God about and not blame Akans for it.
Did he say that because of that only Akans must rule this country? He did not say so but the truth is any of the major political parties can field Akan presidential candidates and win because Akans are the most dominant tribe. And their dominance in the three major parties can make Akans be elected at their primaries. Of the seven presidential candidates who were cleared to stand elections in 2016, five were Akans. And in the end an Akan candidate won the election. It means that without even considering what Hon. Osafo Marfo was alleged to have said Akans, who inherit rich lands, can always rule this land.
In our political history we have had twelve heads-of-state (military inclusive) and eight are Akans. Of the constitutional heads-of-state we have had so far, five out of the eight are Akans, with three out of the five military dictators also Akans, so what is the problem here? Mind you no party can win elections in Ghana without winning majority of Akan lands. In 2008 H.E. Nana Addo then candidate, during the first round of voting won in three of the indigenous Akan regions, Brong Ahafo, Ashanti and Eastern, and led in that round. The NDC’s H.E. John Atta Mills had won in the seven other regions. During the second round the tables turned with the NDC flag bearer taking three of the five Akan Regions and he won the presidency.
In 2016, the NDC were given a whipping of their lives as they reluctantly surrendered grip on all Akan regions and came out battered in perhaps their worse defeat in the seven elections of the fourth republic.
Does anyone have to reiterate the fact that Akans can rule Ghana without necessarily making any ethnocentric statement? The answer to this is Yes.
And if some of his detractors want an apology, then on behalf of the senior citizen who continues to give more than his quota in nation development, we only apologize for not apologizing at first. Leave Hon. Yaw Osafo Marfo in peace. Let him be.