The concert party show by the Mills Presidency
By I. K. Gyasi
As usual, Metro-TV’s Good Evening programme of Friday, July 6, 2012 featured Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, Deputy Minister of Information, and Nana Akomea, Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
When Madam Shamima Muslim, the Host (or is it Hostess?), called on Nana Akomea to speak, he began by sending a message of condolence to the Mayor of Accra, Mr. Alfred Vanderpuije, on the unfortunate death of his wife.
As soon as I heard Nana Akomea utter those words of condolence, I instinctively shouted, Ei, Nana Akomea, ‘wontrefo’? (“Don’t you ever learn?”).
“Don’t you know that in consoling the Mayor, you could be accused of indulging in what the Ashantis describe as ‘Gyamsere?” (That is gloating over the misfortune of your enemy while pretending to be sympathising with him).
“Have you soon forgotten how your presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, was abusively accused of wishing the death of President Fiifi Atta Mills, when he (Nana Akufo-Addo) sent a message to the president, wishing him successful treatment in the United States of America?”
“Didn’t you hear them say that Nana Akufo-Addo was an evil mind in using the word ‘treatment’ in his message, when all that the President was going to do in the United States was just “a routine medical check-up,” and not medical treatment?”
When Nana Akomea also stated that he would personally call on the Mayor to express his sympathy, I asked myself whether Nana had forgotten about the threat of physical assault that greeted the late Hawa Yakubu, when she paid a sympathy visit to Alhaji Muhammed Mumuni, who had suffered a dawn motor traffic accident, still unexplained up to today.
Madam Hawa Yakubu at the time was coincidentally in the colours of the (NPP), and so it was concluded by some people in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that she had deliberately donned NPP clothes and gone to the victim’s house to heartlessly poke fun at him. In fact, at least, one member of the NPP was involved in the accident.
If for nothing at all, Hawa Yakubu and Alhaji Mumuni were both Members of Parliament. Secondly, she and Alhaji were both from the ‘North’. Thirdly, a fellow human being had had an accident.
What was more natural than for Madam Hawa to pay a sympathy visit? That was how our politics had got to, and that is how it has prevailed to this day.
Nana Akufo-Addo’s misfortune was to use the word ‘treatment’ instead of ‘routine medical check-up’. Perhaps an even greater misfortune was to send even a message of well-wishes to the President.
Of course, there is a difference between “a routine medical check-up” and “medical treatment.” There is no iron law which states that a routine medical check-up must necessarily lead to medical treatment.
In other words, after thorough medical examination, your doctors may find nothing medically wrong with you, and may, therefore, not give you any medication.
But, it is also true that as a result of a medical check-up, your doctors may discover an illness that needs immediate treatment, or an incipient one that may require medical or surgical intervention after some time in the future.
If the handlers of Mills and sympathisers of the President had nothing sinister to hide about the state of his health, why did they so ill-manneredly and abusively impute evil motives to the ‘Get Well’ message of Nana Akufo-Addo? Would it not have been a simple matter, telling Nana Akufo-Addo that the President was going to the United States for full-blown medical treatment, but for a “routine check-up” advised by his Ghanaians doctors?
Under our Constitution, if President Mills dies today, the next in the line would not be Nana Akufo-Addo, but the Vice President, followed in that order by the Speaker of Parliament and the In the almost four years of the Mills Presidency, we have had drama in the form of tragedy, comedy, and pure farce, written, produced, directed and presented to us in a kind of “Concert Party” show. A case in point is the state of the President’s health.
Only an implacable enemy, a heartless, unfeeling person or a fool will use a person’s illness to mock him or her. As the saying goes, “Do you know what will happen to you tomorrow?”
However, at any one moment, the health of our President should be of concern, not only to his immediate family, but to his extended family and the whole country. He personifies the country.
It is no news if President Mills is not in the best of health. What is sad, myopic, infantile and tragic is to present him as being stronger than a combination of the legendary Asebu Amenfi, who reportedly carried the whole barn of maize on his shoulders, the Greek Atlas who carried the world on his shoulders, and Hercules.
Some of us see a President with blackened palms, and are told that it is as a result for sinusitis. It is widely rumoured that the President cannot read small print.
That is not a crime. But, it should bother us when we are told from the grapevine that all sorts of things are smuggled into the final print, which he does not see before the information goes out.
We are told that a Deputy Minister has underscored the super-human nature of President Mills to make it sound that anyone who talks of the President’s death, instantly dies himself.
President Mills is so divinely-inspired, it said, that he once went to see a flooded area, raised his eyes to Heaven, uttered a short, silent prayer, and, straightaway, the flood waters disappeared without trace.
Look at a President so humble that before he flies out, he submits himself to a search at the Very Very Important (VVIP) Lounge at our international airport. And we are told that his gesture has received international acclaim.
Do not be too surprised when next you hear that the President has carried his pieces of luggage, joined the Very Ordinary Person (VOP) Departure area, unaccompanied by any bodyguards, because he is such a Man of the People that no one can, or will harm him.
Oh, and to show that he has the strength of 100 elephants and the speed of a cheetah, he jogs at the airport and walks so fast that his bodyguards are unable to catch up with him, we are told.
Did you see how a return from “a routine check-up” was treated like a carnival, nay, like a resurrection from the dead? Oh, what a great “Concert Party” show we are having. More of it, Sir.
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