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24.08.2020 Feature Article

President Ogwanfunu Is Clutching At Straws

President Ogwanfunu Is Clutching At Straws
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I had the occasion to narrate in this very column a fatal incident I witnessed as a teenager. The horrific encounter scared me so much that I vowed never to swim again, not even in a bathtub. I will repeat the story to refresh your memory.

At age 15, I remember going to the Mensah Guinea Beach behind the Independence Square one fine Saturday with my friends. Being my first time and not a very good swimmer, I was intimidated by the gargantuan nature of the sea and decided not to swim. I was thus made to keep watch over my friends' clothing while they went in to swim.

A few minutes later, we saw two boys far ahead of the rest of the swimmers. It was obvious that the duo was engaged in a swimming race. A strong tide swept through the sea and made one of the blokes to lose balance. Before one could say Kwaku, the boy was seen gasping for breath and desperately struggling for survival.

Oblivious of the predicament of his competitor, the other boy continued swimming. The yelling and desperate calls from onlookers finally drew his attention to the pathetic plight of his colleague.

But in the frantic struggle to gasp for air, the drowning boy had gulped in considerable amount of sea water and became heavy as a result. He got swallowed by the bowels of the sea before help could reach him.

The shout and desperate calls for help soon turned into shedding of tears and prayers unto Mawu to save the boy. The wailing and lamentations continued until the disfigured body was washed ashore about an hour later.

Abusuapanin, I recalled this sad event because I can see a re-enactment on the political stage in Asomdwekrom. After losing woefully in the last election, President Ogwanfunu has resorted to clutching at straws for survival in the 2020 contest.

Indeed, when you see a former president desperately calling for infrastructure debate after he had in the past referred to such a debate as “a recipe for mediocrity”, then it becomes obvious that he is clutching at straws. When a man who vehemently opposed Free SHS makes a turnaround and shamelessly claims to be its originator, then one cannot help but see a drowning man desperately seeking survival.

Desperation has led the man ('Papa No') on a promise spree. Did you hear him promise to reduce corporate taxes from 25% to 5%? Such a promise would be believed coming from Joshua Alabi or Alban Bagbin because they are yet to sit on the presidential throne. But coming from a man who even went to the bedroom and taxed condoms during his reign, the promise must be taken with a pinch of salt.

Did you also hear him promise to maintain the nursing and teacher trainee allowances this government had restored? Well, the message from the trainee nurses and teachers is that the “restorer” is much more believable than the “promiser”.

Come to think of it; do we really need a presidential debate to help us make our minds on whom to vote for? Do I need a debate to differentiate between a cow and a goat?

Abusuapanin, I was amazed when I visited Gambaga, my mother’s hometown, last week. The road network was splendid and just could not believe my eyes. For sure, my family members in Gambaga, who used to share water with their livestock but now have access to potable water just by turning the tap, do not need a presidential debate to make a choice.

It is very obvious that the Umbrella has not learnt any lessons in its 2016 defeat. The gigantic and magnificent infrastructure might be pleasing to the eye, but they are as important as the small ones in the rural communities. They can pooh-pooh the small projects if they want. But what they fail to realize is that a toilet facility in my holy village is more appreciated by my folks than the gargantuan Circle interchange in the nation’s capital.

We all remember how in 2014 cholera killed over 250 of our kith and kin. Cholera was subsequently recorded in huge numbers the following years. But the 'toilet for all' programme has ensured that very minimal numbers or none at all were recorded last year and this year.

We were all in this country when Zu-za’s Sammy Gyamfi said snakes and grasscutters had taken over Nana Dee’s Ekumfi Fruits & Juices Limited. Well, did Sammy see the commissioning of the factory last Thursday? I’m sure he has seen the pictures and he saw snakes and grasscutters on display. If Sammy has any shame, he will eat humble pie and apologise.

I hear the company will create more than 600 direct jobs and over 1000 indirect jobs. Do the newly employed need a presidential debate to tell them where their bread is buttered?

I agree with those who say this year’s election is about records and not promises. Two cassavas from different farms may have the same skin, but they definitely do not have the same taste. So do not be deceived by the desperate screams of those clutching at political straws.

See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo volente!

Agya Kwaku Ogboro
Agya Kwaku Ogboro, © 2020

The author has 177 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: AgyaKwakuOgboro

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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