Respecting the presidency, our responsibility
By Whigham Robert Dundas, Jayee University College
The sudden demise of the late President Prof. John Evans Attah Mills shocked the entire country and across the globe, as several people from far and near expressed the untimely death of our great leader as a loss not only to the nation, but the entire world, due to his immense contribution towards most of the aspects of human endeavors.
Undoubtedly, he was the only Ghanaian President who received several insults from a section of the Ghanaian public. On no account did he react to the insults he received from the people, who did not believe in his ideologies and principles.
Ironically, after his death, he is now seen as a hero, a good father, a selfless leader, an incorruptible person and what have you. I wondered and asked myself: Is he not the same person some Ghanaians insulted when he was alive? Why did we not say all those good things about him when he lived?
Must the practice of democracy which campaigns for freedom of speech be used as a platform to insult our President, who we referred to as the first gentleman of the land? If indeed we claim we are the beacon of hope for Africa when it comes to the practice of democracy, which means we have gone far, why then must we subject our leader to the highest level of insults all in the name of politics?
Then I want to put it on record that we have not gone far because we do not honour our leaders, but wait till their death before saying good things about them in the form of tributes. This is hypocritical and those behind it must bow down their heads in shame. Showing respect to our President and every person should be a responsibility. Our leaders, especially politicians, must be seen to spear-head this particular course.
The office of the President, believe me or not, is the highest and the biggest office as far as this country is concerned. We should always endeavor to pay respect to the person we have elected to occupy that position, and on no account must this highest office on the land be brought into disrepute and be subjected to various insults.
If a son does not respect his own father, will he be angry when another person insults his father? Politicians must be blamed for all the insults that we hear almost all the time on our airwaves, and they should immediately put a stop to this negative behaviour.
It is worrying whenever we hear insults from the people we respect a lot, make me ask where we are heading to as a people. Why must we then allow politics to divide us and wish that the death of our President must unify us?
This is something we should have done long ago, knowing the fact that the general election is just around the corner, and we need unity and peace to prevail in such difficult times, where most African countries have suffered to achieve such a feat, in terms of conducting elections.
It is a known secret that people are afraid to insult the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II in secret, let alone in public, why then must we not give the same prominence, in terms of respect to our President.
Why must we spend so hugely to organise a general election to elect our President through universal adult suffrage, whiles the office itself is not respected? We could have heard many insults today if the President was to be living. Many of us have seen the kind of hypocrisy and selfish interest which are endowed in a section of the Ghanaian populace.
Even though the cause of the death of our President is not known, many believe he was a worried person. Myjoyonline.com revealed that the late President Mills was a worried person, due to certain key national issues. This was contained in a secret conversation between our late President and the Asantehene, which was held in a secret location in Accra, where the former poured his heart out about the piercing key national issues before he (Asantehene) enplaned to Israel to woo investors to Ghana, some few days ago.
Even though the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, according to the source, did not reveal such key national issues that were discussed, we are bound to know such key issues which were worrying our leader.
In a country where unemployment is very high and where we have associations like the Association of Unemployed Graduates, coupled with the highest level of insults, together with the list of judgment debts which dominate the news everyday, and a lot more issues that affected the Presidency. The President was indeed a worried person.
If the late President is today seen as a hero, why did we not honour him long ago? So, what is the essence of the various tributes that have been poured out after his death? If the late President contributed immensely towards the development of sports in the country, why did we not name the National Hockey Pitch in Accra after him, when he was alive and kicking, but wait after his demise?
This was long over due. We will never know what we have until we lose it. These are all lessons we as a people must learn from and always make things right and put an immediate end to all the insults in the name of politics.
As the time draws near for Ghanaians to go to the polls, I edge every individual to know that its peace that we all want and nothing else. Politicians should also exhibit a high sense of professionalism in the discharge of their duties and charge their followers to remain calm at all times. We should always endeavour to honor our leaders when they are alive and not after they are no more.
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