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10.03.2004 Feature Article

Letter From The President: Insults all the way

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Countrymen and women, loyalists and opponents, What is this I hear about Tony Aidoo insulting me. I have asked for a recording of the interview in question so I could determine whether he really insulted me or not. I have still not had the privilege of hearing the insult for myself. So am ok. I don't care much about whether he insulted me or not. Or should I? Tony Aidoo will not be the first to insult me neither will he be the last. Since I assumed the Black Star Stool, I have borne the brunt of public ridicule almost everyday. I am used to it now because it's all part of the package of being the only excellent one in the country. In fact, excellent ones get insulted everyday in every country of the world. Before I became the excellent one, I used to cast aspersions on Jerry Boom. I still do and I enjoy doing so. Remember when we used to call him an alien? Oh. We even used to call him an uninformed drop out. Do you also remember when I called Jerry Boom “Sasabonsam” – the Devil at a rally in Takoradi. I have insulted people before, I still do insult people and I don't want people to run away from the fact that I will, very frequently, get insulted as well. It's all part of the political game. In the US, my Bushman friend has and continues to suffer all manner of insults. He has been insulted by his own party people, the Democratic 'against' people, journalists, women's groups, environmentalists, gay rights activists etc. A whole lot of people have described him as “stupid”, “ignorant”, “arrogant”, “an obnoxious drunk”, and “barely adequate”. Thankfully, he has not only been at the receiving end. He has been throwing some insults himself. He once turned to his vice President on a stage and said of a journalist: “there's Adam Clymer, major league asshole, from the New York Times.” In the UK, Tony Blair, has often been described as a “B-liar” and the Bushman's “poodle”. Now check this out. What is more insulting than being called the “poodle” of a “stupid man”? In Italy, Popa Silvio has on so many occasions been described as a “thief” and a “mafia don”. All these are published cases of Excellent Ones in the Western World being insulted. As I said earlier, we don't have to run away from the fact that African leaders get insulted. We do get insulted but the insults often don't get published because our journalists fear, and rightly so, that they might be hauled before a court and charged with libel – emanating from publishing the insult. I can make a 'guestimate' that more than 50% of Ghanaians have at one point or another insulted me. It is un-African to insult your elders but you do it. Some of you insult me in your living rooms whenever you see me on the TV news – you make derogatory remarks about eyeballs, the wrinkling on my face, the way I sit and yes, the way I talk. You insult me sometimes in the presence of your children. Don't deny it – I know! So I am surprised about the excitement generated by what Tony Aidoo said about me on radio. He spoke his mind and told the world that I speak like a “dumb person”. For me, I think he got too carried away by Fiifi Mills' superlative performance at his fake version of my 'People's Assembly' concept. I guess he decided to cover up his inability to defend Fiifi's shameful imitation of my idea by shifting focus to my speech deficiencies. Perhaps, he was too harsh, but that's Tony Aidoo for you. I have decided to take what he said in good faith and from now on work very seriously on my speech defects. I have listened to myself speak so many times and I think on several occasions I have sounded so boring and incoherent that anyone listening to me would readily suppose that I don't know what I am talking about. It's not that I am not intelligent. Far from it. Tony Aidoo knows that I am more intelligent than he is. It is therefore a matter of perception, a perception held by several other Ghanaians (even some of those in my governing team) – and not Tony Aidoo alone. I have therefore decided to take Mr. Aidoo's disparaging remarks in good faith and prove to him, and the whole nation, that I can be an eloquent speaker (if eloquence is his criterion for determining a person's intelligence). I have decided to employ a dedicated team of speech writers who will be tasked to write sound-bite laden speeches for me. I will also employ a team to train me in the art of speech delivery. Their job will simply be to help me to enunciate properly and show me how to stress, emphasize and pause for effect wherever necessary. I will also employ a team to help me deliver extempore, with as much eloquence as my maker has endowed me with. I think that one of the reasons why I sound so boring and incoherent is that I always have to read my speech from a paper. The Bushman often reads from a teleprompter. That machine just costs about five thousand dollars. Next time I travel, I will use my per diem (which now stands at $2000) to buy one for the presidency. Before I sign off, I want you all to know that in this political season, insults will be flying about like vultures. I will insult some, I will get insulted. We politicians will call ourselves names. It's all part of the political game. When you hear that the politician you admire had been insulted, please don't pick a cutlass or a gun to go and shoot the deliverer of the insult. Just keep your fingers crossed. The man you admire will deliver a response much sooner than you expect. I also have a word of advice for the politicians. Let's be artistic with our insults. Use euphemisms – and other figures of speech – to insult. What I am saying is that don't make an insult sound like one. By so doing, you will not unnecessarily agitate the easy to offend mad fringes who are always looking for an opportunity to pick a cutlass. Excellently yours, J. A. Fukuor [email protected]

J. A. Fukuor
J. A. Fukuor, © 2004

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

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