By Daniel Dugan .
Thursday, January 31, 2019, was more than an eventful day in Ghana, as a rather anticipated peaceful bye-election in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency to choose its replacement Member of Parliament, turned into spillage of blood and dishing out of slaps.
In the full view of video coverage, one could clearly identify the firebrand young MP for Ningo-Prampram, Sam Dzata George raging on about someone firing at him or was it someone firing at someone in a house.
As if the Joy FM crew anticipated what was going to happen, they followed Sam George on every step he took. Then a police officer might have said something which sounded un-parliamentary to the MP and he turned to educate him on how to speak to honourable members of the house.
Sam George’s tone and aggression might have been interpreted by the police officer as a form of attack on his uniform.
He too, decided to educate Sam on police rules, where in the face of any aggression the use of minimal affordable force is mandated to disable the aggressor. Hence, he unleashed some slaps on the face of the honourable member.
We did not hear what Sam George said which made the police officer to respond. We did not also hear what he said that made Sam George turn on him and we did not clearly hear what Sam George said that made the police man take offence and launched those hand to face missiles.
What we saw was that an MP verbally assaulted a police man and a police physically assaulted an MP.
In all these, should what took place ever take place? There is one thing very common among the two which is also becoming most acceptable in this country.
Pride, yes, vain pride with its associated vices of arrogance and pomposity has taken over almost every office in the land.
Since this is all about an MP and an officer, let us deal with these offices.
It is rather very common that some MPs and other politicians feel that they must be worshiped and adored by all whom they encounter. After all, if they do not lead the way, one may not achieve what he or she wants.
A politician for that matter could easily don the cloaks of a minor deity living among men. There are many cases where MPs could just talk anyhow to their constituents, not at all been mindful of the fact that at the end of the political cycle they will face these same people and beg for their mandate.
A politician believes that the powers in his or her hands are there forever. And so after God Almighty they are next to judge the living.
If there is any good example of the way power can fizzle out sooner than expected, then all politicians must just look at ex-President Rawlings and his wife Nana Konadu.
For nineteen good years of this nation’s life, almost 44% as at year 2000 to be precise, the Rawlingses held sway and they were they who must be obeyed.
They could decide when the nation eats and when the nation sleeps and in the party and governments they formed all members automatically stand at attention, whenever the names or the voices of the Rawlingses come out of radio or television sets.
At the time he left office, Rawlings was the longest ever ruler of this land after independence and he still holds that record.
Today he is a pale shadow of himself in his own party, yes, in the party he and his wife formed, in a party which he used his blood to sign its constitution.
He has lost that respect, that power, that charisma to make people spin over at the mention of his name or at his appearance. As for his wife, she is now a non-entity in the party and has been clearly rejected. This is how most politicians end, after the power is gone.
Some men and women in uniform who have been licensed to possess arms and ammunitions can believe that they hold humans in their palms and so can do whatever they please with them. They forget that in that office, tolerance and humility is the key because any spark of madness can make them shoot and even kill innocent civilians.
The show of strength, which is turning the other cheek, means nothing to them. Turning the other cheek means talking in an apologetic manner even when one is right, it means behaving orderly in public.
Weakness is most evident when one cannot control his emotions, when one can just burst out in anger and threaten everyone because he has a gun and can kill and come out with a good excuse. That is weakness and that is cowardice.
The police have a good example in their ex-colleague Jack Bebley, who at one time was the most powerful and most feared policeman in Ghana. He ended up on stretcher been convicted of armed robbery and that was his end.
Anyone could dance on his bed and speak back at him. He was no longer that powerful person and he became a miserable fellow before his demise.
On social media people are either blaming the MP or the police man, but to me both are at fault. No good and decent MP who represents his people should be enraged in public and talk anyhow. There is a good reason why a chief is not supposed to lose his temper in public.
In the same way no decent police man should go about slapping people. That is not the spirit of the uniform and the crown they wear. Just as we all need to respect our police men and all members of the security services and forces, we demand respect from them. That respect can be made manifest, if everyone pray for the humility the foundation of all virtues.
Anyone called into any office should know that it is call to serve and not to be served.