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28.07.2004 Feature Article

Letter From The President: End of A Circus

Letter From The President: End of A Circus
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Countrymen and women, bootlickers and 'against' people, I just noticed a few days ago that the National Reconciliation Circus had ended. I have been trying to call Mr. Amua-Sakyi to find out why he ended the circus so abruptly. He seems to have put his phone on voicemail and he has not been courteous enough to return my calls. Sources have told me that he is busily writing his report. I wonder why he's bothering himself to write a report, knowing very well that I am aware that he failed so successfully. I have made up my mind and I wouldn't ever hesitate to make it known that, on balance, the NRC has failed. Before I tell you why I think the NRC has failed let's look at some of its meager achievements. The commission helped people with politically-motivated grievances to let their hearts out and share their grief with the general populace. It helped provide psychological healing for so many people, who had for so long bottled up their emotions and were dying slowly from “crying in their stomachs”. I sympathise with those who appeared before the commission with genuine grievances and backed their cases with genuine tears. I particularly remember a woman from Tamale who told the commission that she'd lost her voice because she was tortured by soldiers. There was also the case of the former First Lady who had 'moko yerawa' inserted in her. Whiles the commission's hearings afforded psychological healing to some people it also became a source of entertainment to many Sikaman citizens. This, for me, is another positive side of the NRC. Even though it was not included in the commission's mandate to provide primetime entertainment, the NRC managed, unwittingly and so effortlessly, to regularly kill boredom in our country. People used to sit glued to their seats, listening to one testimony after another. Most of the testimonies were not so revealing but the entertainment value was often in the sort of tales which were told by certain people who seemed to be under the impression that the establishment commission was an opportunity for them to make a quick buck. I remember a 'bofrote' seller who told the commission that she should be compensated because her late mother had her wares destroyed by some soldiers in a certain village in the Western Region. She proudly declared that she needed the money to take care of the four children she bore with different men. As she told her tale, I could see her struggling to force some tears out of her eye. That woman had me in stitches. That's not all. People kept themselves entertained just by watching the televised proceedings and looking out for people in the public gallery who were dozing off. The NRC also presented an opportunity for some of our unemployed brothers and sisters to do 'something' with their lives. For these people sitting in the public gallery of the old parliament listening to the grievances of 'tortured' people was better than going out to look for a job or a skill which could get them a job. That's why I called it the National Reconciliation Circus in a previous article. The commission's actions and inactions also provided programming currency for our radio station managers. They used events at the NRC to run phone-in programmes, sparking debates and arguments all over. This, no doubt, occasionally took people's minds off the pressing social and economic problems we face. And I tell you I enjoyed it because anytime the NRC provided a topic for discussion, people's minds were taken off my failures. The NRC has truly done 'something' for us and we are grateful to its members and its entire staff for doing such disservice. But let's look at the bottom line – by adding up the plusses and the minuses – and you will realize how much a failure the NRC has been. Here is why I think the NRC has failed. The commission failed to live up to its main, unwritten mandate – to Nail Rawlings Completely. I though that by the time the commission ended its public hearings, Jerry Boom will be so disgraced, embarrassed, tainted and politically destroyed beyond recognition. Unfortunately, like they say, wishes are not horses and Jerry Boom is still walking around a proud man – proclaiming, implicitly, that the NRC is “afraid” of his version of the truth. The Commission invited Jerry Boom to their hearings – and he went there with so much funfair – only for the commission to ask him just a couple of flimsy questions. I was shocked when the commission chairman told Jerry Boom that he was free to leave the witness' chair after just 15 minutes. At the time, I didn't think the NRC chairman was so myopic as to miss a wonderful opportunity to 'grill' the man the commission was established to destroy. I was given the impression that Jerry Boom would be invited to the commission again. Alas, Jerry Boom was never called back and the former Supreme Court Judge is now writing a report I don't want to read. I hope he will include in his report that he has unwittingly raised Jerry Boom's profile. If it had not been for his own infantile and boisterous utterances and actions, Jerry Boom would have been a superstar by now. I tell you, if he's as half as wise as I think he isn't, Jerry Boom could decide to write a book about how he survived my persecutions. What a bestseller that book would be! As if failing to Nail Rawlings Completely was not enough, the NRC went after the wrong people as well. And who do they go after? Someone like Tsutsa, whose mental acrobatics and penchant for litigation, gave me the first shock of my presidential life. By going after the wrong people – like Tsutsa and his elder brother – using witnesses with questionable credibility – like Fugitive Chris – the commission created an indiscrete path to failure. In essence therefore, I am saying that the commission failed to achieve what should have been achieved with just a little discretion. With its many indiscretions, the commission rather succeeded where it should not have succeeded. I can give you so many examples but I will give you only one. Why could the commission chairman not hide his dislike for Tsutsa, prompting the former GNPC boss to take him to court? The commission chairman was lucky that the case went to court, before a pliable judge, just when he (the chairman) was about ending the public hearings. Otherwise, Tsutsa would have filed one appeal after another all the way to the gates of hell just to buy time, just as he's done with his trial on charges of causing financial loss to the state. So now I say I am not looking forward to the NRC's report. I won't be surprised if whatever report they present points accusing fingers at the wrong people – just as the Wuaku and Okudjeto Commissions did. Perhaps, a bad omen follows which makes it impossible for the commissions I set up to succeed. If only the NRC chairman will call and give me a better assurance, I will rest easy. Meanwhile, I am glad the National Reconciliation Circus has ended. It was such an embarrassment to me, even though I know that a lot of you enjoyed the entertainment it provided. Let's all wait for their report and hope that it will also contain a chain of comedies of errors to keep us entertained (and talking). 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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