Dr. Asebu Amenfi
When 100 musketry is fired at a funeral Politics is in the air
LONG BEFORE the Mirror Group of Companies of the United Kingdom established the Daily Graphic in 1950 to popularise the art of reading newspapers in the morning in the then Gold Coast, there was this maize food item wrapped in green leaves. It was doing the rounds in our towns and villages, much earlier then the arrival of the daily newspaper.
When the Daily Graphic began to be published and was delivered early in the morning, an ingenuous trader with an eye for the market did a comparative study with the delivery of the maize meal.
The findings informed the new name which has made Osino Graphic synonymous with the daily newspaper. Not only were the two commodities identified with the time of delivery, it was also established that just as the reader needed to open and get the newspaper unfolded before reading, the maize meal customer is obliged to unfold the wrapping to get to the maize meal.
The main difference in the mind of whoever coined the name is that while Graphic was published in Accra, the traditional headquarters for the maize meal was, and is still Osino, the bustling Akim Abuakwa settlement on the main Kumasi road, flanked on both sides by the Atiwa Range.
The old man with one foot in the grave needs not bore the reader. That is how the maize meal acquired its adopted name. Osino Graphic also acquired a new reputation. Up till today, passengers in any vehicle making a stopover at Osino, have the food items thrust at them, with women and boy-merchants shouting in unison: ‘OSINO GRAPHIC!’
‘Osino Graphic’ remains the most popular product of this town, where Prof. Addo Fenning, veteran of the History Department at the University of Ghana, Legon, has his roots. With the growth of Osino has come the Muamadu Rural Bank, which name used to play tricks on the Old Man until the good old professor delivered an unscheduled lecture on the concept of Muamadu as the distinctive identity of the people.
Osino was in the news recently. It was not its version of Graphic that agitated many minds. The report that 15 men arrested with guns on their way to the north, boarded the Metro Mass Transit bus from Osino, is the source of the worry. With the Abudu-Andani conflict still creating problems in society generally, the discovery of a bus full of guns heading north was an uncomfortable piece of news.
It took DCOP Augustine Gyennin, Ashanti Regional Police Commander, to put the minds of the people of this country at rest. But, his announcement that the guns, all 100 of them, had been fired as musketry at a funeral at Osino opened another can of worms.
What kind of dead body is it that needed 100 guns, all firing at the same time, to put to rest? Graphic reported that the woman whose body was laid to rest was the mother of the National Disaster Management Organisation boss. Take it from the old man with one foot in the grave, Martha Dede Abrokwa, aged 93, had no biological link to the man who threatened to pull down a wall at HIPC Junction in 2009 and created panic in the body politic.
Like many of mothers, Awoode, as the grand old lady was popularly referred to when she had the gift of life, was good at fostering children. One of those she cared for while he was schooling at the local Presbyterian school was the man now directing disaster management with a tunnel vision of the umbrella.
The jury is still out on whether or not it was the child she fostered that brought the umbrella faithful in their numbers to this purely elephant territory.
For Ama Chavez to arrive from the crab territory, where she is engaged in a territorial and contract contest with the educated fisherman, the funeral ought to be of supreme interest to the umbrella. So it was! Awoode’s biological son, Blackie, had arrived from Obama territory much earlier and filled in the nomination forms to contest the Atiwa seat in the House, protected from the rains, a daily ritual in this part of the country, by the umbrella.
After the firing of musketry in the 100-gun salute had finally laid the old lady to rest, the contest for the turf with the elephant was about to be ushered in. Trust umbrella adherents to put up a show. With all state contracts and kick-backs translating into properties, and fat bank accounts dictating the pace, the arrival of the official delegation, with appellations glorifying the umbrella in a state of want for the silent majority, the funeral ground was charged with politics in the air.
A house divided, they say, would not stand. But, Awoode’s house was long divided without conflict before the funeral. Blackie, a son of the soil, who had earned the right to be referred to as Dr. Dapaah, for his academic prowess in Uncle Sam territory, arrived with the umbrella contingent, including ministers of state from the East and Central provinces in attendance.
When Arafat, certainly not the Palestinian leader of blessed memory, arrived and attempted to sit on the seat reserved for members of the bereaved family, an overzealous policeman put up the refusenik sign. In this politics of divide and rule, to allow an admirer of the elephant to sit near ministers of state was an abomination in his regimental mind.
In a matter of the stranger mourning more than the bereaved, the umbrella faithful took charge of the territory. Arafat, whose given name is Okyere Agyekum, a local hero in his own right and drawing inspiration from the elephant, decided not to allow himself to be intimidated at his own mother’s funeral.
A wave from him was the signal the mourners needed to get the message. In the twinkle of the eye, the entire funeral ground was empty. As the mourners left the funeral grounds, one issue was on the lips of everybody.
The elephant would not allow itself to be bullied in its natural habitat. It did not take long for the woman to serve notice that the umbrella is a creation of her mind, and would not hesitate to withdraw it form the heads of those using all manner of tricks to bully their way through. With the rains about to set in, life without the umbrella would be an interesting study in geo-politics.
What to do with the Poly Tank gift when the dam has collapsed
There is a new excitement building up at the seaside resort where Egya Atta has his roots. Last week, the occupant of the old Slave Castle arrived, as he usually does when the ballot is nearer. Unlike the last visit that created all the problems with people crammed into the Community Centre without the anticipated address, this time the visitor had something to give.
Six or eight poly tanks, depending on which of the political symbol the narrator may be putting into the box next December, were delivered.
The idea, according to one fisherman who was on the spot, was a Presidential presentation to store water for the townsfolk who have been battling with animals over the years for stagnant water.
Snag is that there is no water to store. Initially, there was talk of extending water supply to all the 53 towns and villages in the newly-created Presidential district from the Baafikrom Water Works near the town where ‘Nananom Pow’ was created centuries ago.
With the advent of the new occupant of the old slave castle tracing his roots to the territory, once ruled by that chief who rose to become Chairman of the Presidential Commission, in the era before the guns put an end to the first constitutional experiment, the idea was floated that an entirely new water works devoted solely to the people of the new district would immortalise ‘Adze Wo Fie A Oye.’
First reports indicated that the contract for 33 million Euros passed through the House without any objection. When the Czar asks for water relief for his people, who would stand in his way?
The revised note is that water would take some time to flow from the project. The construction of the new dam has been set back by the collapse of the concrete wall erected to hold the water behind. Unlike many acts of sabotage in the system of late, the elephant has not been cited in this instance.
The worry for the recipients of the goodies at the seaside resort is what to do with the poly tanks when the water supply is still elusive!
Short URL: http://thechronicle.com.gh/?p=44448