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20.09.2003 Feature Article

Letter From The President (XVIII)

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Countrymen and women, loyalists and opponents, have you realized that after losing the political race, Jerry Boom is desperately trying to compete with me in the arena of endless travels? The man seems to have also adopted traveling as a pastime. He has been traveling a lot these days. I know that most of you have decided not to count the number of times he had traveled outside the country just so that you can argue for me to stay at home. In case you did not know, traveling is good for both Jerry Boom and myself. The first benefit is that when we travel we escape the constant verbal lashing, which is a major feature on our radio networks. So when we travel we don’t hear most of the insults hurled at us. For Jerry Boom, I suppose traveling helps him to overcome his out-of-power stress disorder. Psychologists tell me that this is a very common African disorder, which makes you regret the day you handed over power. It is more serious if your successor happens to be an opponent. It is a typical African disease, which I hope I will not be afflicted with after 2008. I don’t pity Jerry Boom for his affliction because I believe that he actively courted the disease by ruling this country much, much longer than he was supposed to. The only mitigating remedy for out-of-power stress disorder, I am told, is traveling. You should therefore not be surprised that in the last couple of months, Jerry Boom has developed an insatiable appetite for traveling. In the last two months Jerry Boom has given me a very stiff competition in the race for the most frequent Ghanaian traveler title. I admire all the attempts he has made so far and I congratulate him for what he did when Boakye Djan showed up some weeks ago. To refresh your memory, Jerry Boom who had been away for a couple of weeks, returned home on the same flight as Boakye Djan. Immediately he realized that his right-hand-man-turned-political-foe was in the country, the ex-excellent one decided to leave the country. Quite understandably, he didn’t want to hear Boakye Djan spilling the beans. He returned for the hugely successful ‘kafo didi’ demonstration in Kumasi at which he accused me of stealing, nepotism, murder, conspiracy to destroy the opposition, victimization etc. Shortly after the Kumasi demonstration, Jerry Boom traveled to Nigeria, to attend the wedding of a daughter of his fellow coup-maker, IBB. He shamelessly used the opportunity to insult me again and reports reaching me indicate that he even warned investors to stay away from Ghana. Immediately, he returned from Nigeria, he wrote to my chief international messenger, who is also the manager of Presidential Travel and Tours, requesting that “appropriate courtesies” be granted him to travel. “No Way”, my international messenger responded without any prodding from me. The decision essentially means that Jerry Boom cannot use my travel and tours agency, at least for now, to secure visas, tickets and escort services. Until Jerry Boom makes a pledge that he will not travel on our ‘appropriate courtesies’ and paint me black to foreigners, we will not allow him to use our travel and tours agency, which is the foreign ministry. He must go to the diplomatic missions and apply for a visa like every Kofi and Ama does. Am told that the last time Jerry Boom was spotted in a ‘logoligi’ line was somewhere in the 1970s, when he queued for ‘yoo ke gari’. I guess he must be missing the experience and he wouldn’t mind joining the long queues of Ghanaians, who are forced to stand in the scorching sun for hours just to obtain a visa to travel abroad – thanks to Jerry Boom’s economic recklessness between 1981 and 2000 AD. I am told he was at the departure lounge of the KIA to check-in for his trip to the US. Jerry Boom has never personally checked-in at the airport before and he should thank me for offering him a belated opportunity to gain such an experience. He tried it last Sunday and am told everything went all right. I know it is a bad reflection on our national image for our former head of state to be seen checking-in at an airport in Los Angeles or hailing a cab in Toronto or buying an electric train ticket in Tokyo. But I think he needs the experience before he dies. It will also help him to appreciate those ‘little’ things I do for him to ensure that he travels in presidential comfort. Here is an opportunity for him to think twice before he opens his mouth too wide to talk by heart about me and my government. Most of all, this decision to withhold appropriate courtesies, will increase my chances of winning the race for the title of Ghana’s most frequent traveler. While withholding the appropriate courtesies for Jerry Boom, I don’t expect any of my successors in the future to do the same to me. I believe God is using me to avenge the humiliation ex-President Manli suffered at the hands of Jerry Boom. I know there is a saying whose approximate translation is that “the whip that was used on Takyi will be used on Baah”. And I know that “what is good for the goose is good for the gander”. So as a man who is fulfilling destiny and helping to make some few proverbial prophecies come true I do not expect anyone of my successors to deny me any ‘appropriate courtesies’ when am no longer on the Black Star stool. Excellently yours, J. A. Fukuor (Ghana’s most frequent traveler)

J. A. Fukuor
J. A. Fukuor, © 2003

The author has 204 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: JAFukuor

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