The recent ultimatum given the operators of Power-FM, an Accra-based media establishment and a subsidiary of a multimedia-parent firm by the name of Authentic Media Company Limited, to promptly render an unqualified apology to Mrs. Samira Bawumia, wife of Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, could not be more opportune and appropriate (See “You Have till November 11 to Apologize to Samira Bawumia – NMC to Power FM” Classfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 11/6/23). The ultimatum, we are told, was issued by the executive operatives of the National Media Commission (NMC), the statutory institutional establishment in Ghana officially charged with ensuring sociocultural, political and professional decorum or decency in media praxis.
We are also reliably informed that the managers and/or administrators of Power-FM indecently and unwisely permitted their airwaves to be used to slander and defame Mrs. Bawumia and the largely peaceful and hardworking community of Fulani people in the country, in particular the womenfolk of the Fulani community in the country, for reasons that are not clear to this writer, although it is quite obvious that such slander and morally execrable act of defamation, coming right on the heels of a fiercely contested 2024 New Patriotic Party (NPP) Presidential-Primary Election, may very well have precipitated the fallout of such a national contretemps. Which also explains why the Executive-Secretary of the National Media Commission, Mr. George Sarpong, also demanded from the operators of Power-FM an unqualified apology to the Ghanaian citizenry at large, for flagrantly offending our delicate sensibilities.
It also goes without saying that in the ECOWAS Subregion, Ghanaians are widely regarded as arguably the most polite and hospitable people. And, by the way, protocol demands that Mrs. Samira Bawumia be addressed as “Mrs. Bawumia” or “Honorable First Lady,” not “Her Excellency,” since the subject of our discussion does not hold any elected or statutorily recognized appointment in the present Akufo-Addo Administration, except for the fact of her husband’s being Vice-President of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana. It is also significant underscore the fact that while, indeed, the minority Fulani community has from time to time clashed with some indigenous citizens, mainly in the rural areas of the country, this has almost exclusively involved Fulani cattle herds and farmers over grazing grounds and cultivated farmlands, the Fulani have been law-abiding and hardworking citizens and residents of the country like everybody else.
Culturally speaking, the Fulani have also significantly contributed to the dietary and nutritional aspects of Ghanaian life and culture, to mention only a couple of their remarkable contributions to our culture and national life. But perhaps even more significant to highlight here is the fact that as a people and a culture, the presence of the Fulani goes far back in time over centuries and generations within the entire West African Subregion, including Ghana, to be certain, much longer than many of those sociopolitical losers who comically suppose that they could, somehow, make themselves feel superior or elevate their apparently abjectly low sense of self-esteem by degrading or downgrading diligent and distinguished Fulani-descended Ghanaian citizens like the members of the Ramadan Family and their relatives and kinsfolk. Such pathological ignoramuses are obviously not aware of the fact that there are scores of Fulani-descended Ghanaian citizens who have risen through each and every rank of the institutional establishments of both the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and the Ghana Police Service (GPS) and all the other national security agencies, as well as each and every professional endeavor in the country.
That the scandalous unleashing of such obloquy may very well have at least been partly occasioned by the recent public tantrum reportedly thrown at Mrs. Bawumia by a politically desperate Candidate Kennedy “Akom-Prigozhin” Ohene Agyapong, the Assin-Central Constituency’s Member of Parliament on the ticket of the ruling New Patriotic Party, may very well have inspired and/or encouraged the anonymous Power-FM guest, discussant or interviewee to rather lamely and obtusely suppose that he could cavalierly and intemperately impugn the integrity and the dignity of the Second Lady with reckless abandon or impunity. The fundamental fact of none of us having any discretionary choice over our racial and ethnic identities does not seem to have even for a split second crossed the minds of the Samira Bawumia defamer and his patrons and sponsors. Which, in effect, is to emphatically observe the fact that absolutely none of us ever earned our ethnic and gender and cultural identities by dint of any personal achievements or labor.
As an African people and the most unspeakably humiliated and wantonly exploited species of humanity, one would have expected the maligners of Mrs. Bawumia to have known far better than the morally immiserated Donald Trumps of this world. Morally refreshingly, however, as of this writing, the executive operatives of the National Media Commission had also reportedly been studiously in the process of considering any further steps that might be deemed to be necessary, by way of any definitive means of addressing this kind of morally despicable and antisocial behavior. More like the Ghana that I was born and brought up to live in and feel proud about.
*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
Professor Emeritus, Department of English
SUNY-Nassau Community College
Garden City, New York
November 8, 2023
E-mail: [email protected]