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25.08.2004 Feature Article

Letter From The President: Red Alert

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Countrymen and women, loyalists and opponents, I have just concluded a tiresome tour of the Western Region. It was a very grueling tour but I enjoyed every bit of it, confident that the tour will win me a few more hundred votes. It's so sweet being the incumbent candidate. Now I know one of the reasons why I couldn't beat Jerry Boom in 1996. Incumbency is very, very sweet. I wish I could be an incumbent forever. That is why recent reports from Liberia about a possible guerrilla invasion of Sikaman to end my constitutionally-permitted period of incumbency have sent a billion shivers down my spine.

You might have seen me on TV smiling, 'croaking' and doing so many other things, giving the impression that I am not bothered. I am not ashamed to tell you that I am very, very worried. I can't sleep at night without taking in some 'ogogoro'. During the day, I can't do anything without swallowing some APC or codeine because the tremors in my head measure about 15 on the Richter scale. This 'possible' insurgency story has really scared the hell out of me. I am not taking these reports lightly at all. You know how I fear coups. You also now how I tremble when I hear the Master Coup Maker saying 'dangerous' things. So I have put myself on a high state of alert. I pray to God that I don't over-panic and do silly things, like unnecessarily hounding my opponents, tapping their phones and calling them names. I will get through this, Insha Allah. I am taking measures to ensure that if ever the insurgency ever takes place, I will stay alive, even if it means losing the Black Star Stool. I am not allowed, for obvious security reasons, to tell you about some of the measures I am taking to protect myself but, being as transparent as I am, I will divulge a couple of my options to you.

I am seriously considering a suggestion that I should be sleeping in my newly-acquired bulletproof car. Mama Tess doesn't like this idea but how else can I protect myself from being shot if I sleep in my king-sized bed with just a mosquito net for protection? I could bulletproof my whole house, from the main gate through the master bedroom to the loo in the boys quarters. But it would be at a great cost to the whole nation and at this time of the year, I don't want any citizen to think that I am being extravagant. So this is just to let you know that you should not be surprised if Mama Tess starts complaining that I have not been performing my “wo ba ada anaa” duties. If she is still in the mood for 'action' even in these dangerous times she should join me in the bulletproof car. If the threat becomes too real to ignore, I wouldn't even mind setting up office in my bulletproof car to receive my numerous 'useless' visitors.

Secondly, as a result of this 'insurgency' scare, I have decided that my convoy should run faster than it does now. I wish I could install supersonic accelerators in each of the dozen vehicles and the half-dozen motorcycles in my convoy. This way, it will be difficult for anyone with an insurgent's mind to waylay me and cut short my incumbency days. I am sorry, but you have to be careful when you hear sirens blaring. Between now and December, my convoy could cause more accidents than I have done in the past three-and-half years. I hope you bear with me if my convoy kills any relative of yours, I need to protect myself.

Thirdly, I think now is the best time for me to make friends with the Master Coup Maker – Jerry Boom. He might know 'something' about these so-called mercenaries who are planning to destabilize the whole of Sikaman, just to get rid of me. I will invite him to dinner one of these days, I will lay the red-carpet for him and, I wouldn't even mind, moving my residence next to his home (or building a house for him next to mine). All I want to do is to keep an eye on him so that if he ever starts misbehaving and communicating with any dubious characters, I will be able to run quickly into my bulletproof car and get him fast tracked.

Being on a high state of alert, I am going to get my passport filled with as many visas as possible so that in case this place becomes too 'hot', I can jump into the next available plane (I wouldn't mind traveling on the Gulfstream in case of an insurgency) and seek asylum in a willing country. I believe that almost every politician in this country will do the same if the place gets too hot.

I pity all you ordinary citizens, who can't afford to even get a passport. If (God forbid) the insurgents ever come here, you will suffer. You will bear the heat alone. So I implore you all to pray to God to cause the insurgents (if there are any anywhere) to get so confused that they will start killing each other. Pray and pray long and hard. Tell God that even though democracy does not put the right size of bread (sometimes, none at all) on your table you like it better than autocracy. Tell God that we prefer the incompetence of a democratically elected president who has term limits to the efficiency of a dictator who will want to rule with an iron fist without rendering accounts to anyone. And ask the Mighty One above to do something urgently about the so-called insurgents, wherever they may be.

Prayer may not be enough without vigilance. I want you all to keep your eyes wide open. If you really love me (and the democracy we are all enjoying) don't sleep too much. Stay awake and observe. Report any unusual movements of 'cargo' and people, unless, of course, the cargo is being sent to Australia House. I don't know who you have to report these strange movements to, but I know that you can even call into a radio station, speak to the duty DJ and he will be kind (and patriotic) enough to announce it to my hearing in good time so that I, and the other politicians, can speedily pack our baggage and leave.

If the insurgency ever happens, I will like you to bear it whiles we politicians enjoy life elsewhere. ECOWAS and other organizations might intervene to resolve it and, I promise you, we will come back again – to rule over you.

I don't want anyone of you to panic, though. Take the reports about the possible insurgency serious, but remain as calm as I am not, and be vigilant. I can't make any promises but trust me, I am still the incumbent and I am in control.

Scared as Hell,

J. A. Fukuor

[email protected]

PS. I would have been celebrating a milestone in my life if these insurgency reports had not come to my attention. But I guess, you can celebrate on my behalf. This is my hundredth letter to you. I hope you will continue to read me.

J. A. Fukuor
J. A. Fukuor, © 2004

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

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