Hold It, Mr. Adu-Asare!
8/3/2012 1:01:30 PM -
The rather disingenuous and cynical attempt by the National Democratic Congress' Member of Parliament for the Adentan Constituency of Accra-Central, Mr. Kojo Adu-Asare, to squarely fault the late President John Evans Atta-Mills for, somehow, hastening his own demise by refusing to resign - even evidently on sound medical advice - is rather distasteful and despicable (See 'Nobody Pushed Mills to His Death - Adu-Asare' Joyonline.com/Ghanaweb.com 7/30/12).
The undeniable fact of the matter is that the men, and women, that our late leader specially appointed to assist him in guarding and guiding the direction of our proverbial ship-of-state miserably failed their boss and the nation at large. Thus, it is not clear precisely what the Adentan NDC-MP hopes to gain by so brazenly and flagrantly denying the inescapably obvious, especially when President Mills' own National-Security Advisor, Brig.-Gen. Joseph Nunoo-Mensah (retired) boldly and candidly, and contritely, asserts that he had personally prevailed on his boss to unwisely stay on the job, even when the latter felt clearly and fully convinced that he was no longer fit to continue playing the prime and critical role and function of President of Ghana.
At any rate, what we are also looking at here is the egregious failure of our sworn and salaried Members of Parliament to promptly intervene in order to stem the patently unsavory and unhealthy tide of administrative burlesque that appeared to have taken over the reins of governance, with evidently ill-starred cabinet appointees routinely and frequently contradicting each other where the critical issue of President Mills' health was concerned; and likewise, when it became indisputably evident that someone else, other than the substantive Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, or even his constitutionally elected Second-in-Command - the Vice-President - was calling the proverbial shots.
Anyway, as of this writing (7/30/12), I don't know exactly what Ghana's Fourth-Republican Constitution has to say on this matter, but it is quite evidently opportune for a major proviso - or edict - to be inserted into our present Constitution (we can even choose to call it an 'Amendment'), authorizing Parliament to compel any sitting president whose official conduct and/or actions give cause for concern - or raises a red flag, in mainstream-American parlance - to submit him-/herself for thorough medical examination and prompt certification vis-à-vis his/her ability to soundly continue to steer the affairs of the nation.
And here, also, must be promptly observed the morally and politically edifying fact that what Ghanaians recently experienced, with the tragic passing away of a sitting president, is incontrovertibly integral to the growing pains associated with the development and maturation of a modern democratic culture. Consequently, as a nation, we need to promptly revise some aspects of our constitutional rules/tenets in order to keep up with any such contingency - or moment of crisis - in the foreseeable future.
Indeed, it is rather unimaginative, unfortunate and unpardonably uncharitable for Mr. Adu-Asare to have so facilely expected that a terminally ill President Mills, who also clearly appears to have been in an all-too-characteristic state of denial, to have definitively and self-volitionally arrived at the all-too-sound, albeit rather unrealistic, conclusion that it was time for him to boldly ride into the sunset with fortitude, as it were.
Needless to say, Mr. Adu-Asare's trend of thinking is not one that ought to be, ordinarily, associated with an honorable and mature member of our august National Assembly.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of 'Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana' (iUniverse.com, 2005). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org mailto:email@example.com .