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Thu, 04 Apr 2024 Feature Article

Okwaduo, You Are Gone, But Your Brothers…

Okwaduo, You Are Gone, But Your Brothers
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Democracy, good governance and modernity cannot be imported or imposed from outside a country. - Emile Lahoud

Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday – rich homilies and Catholics (no more Roman Catholics) who enjoy reading must have read the Catholic Standard (March 31 – April 6) which captures some aspects of the homily of The Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, Most Rev. John Bonaventure Kwofie, at St. James Catholic Church.

The paper quotes the Man of God, “Lack of Political Will Killing Ghana,” and he expatiates, “They represent us but some do not listen to us. (They) listen to the screeching of their stomachs more than the screeching of those they are representing. To hold a political office, you are representing everybody in your Constituency – those who voted for you and those who did not vote for you. (BUT) when an NPP person says something, all NPP members will go to his support and when an NDC member says something, all NDC members will support him.”

The man of God knows what he is saying – because he has lived with us; so do some of us, because we are involved in “mankind”. You criticise a government policy, and you will be asked, “Wo paa na woreka sei” (Is it you of all people making such a remark?) So, you see something going wrong, and you want to talk because the government itself says, “See something, say something,” then you get a label, Tobiah and Samballat; he is envious; he didn't get this and he is peeved.

So, you go back to your music not as a pastime, but as source of comfort. Then you remember Nana Ampadu and his animal stories. (We loved those “animal story – songs”, just as the “modern” Ghanaian lads and lassies love Shatta Wale, Kai, kai, kakai).

You remember Okwaduo, Wodee Wokoo Na Wonuanom; A hunter went to the bush and encountered 'Okwaduo', a type of monkey in distress – it had fallen into a pit. The Okwaduo requested the assistance of the hunter to come out of the pit. The promise was that Okwaduo would not escape if it came out of the pit. The hunter gave the needed help. Then, come see; Okwaduo mmirika, trom–trom… The hunter had learnt his lesson: henceforth, he would no longer assist any of the “brothers” of Okwaduo, and certainly would not entertain any plea for mercy.

Daddy Lumba would not tell many animal stories in his repertoire of songs but frankly say, “Yenntie obiara” (We will not listen to anyone). So, the President would not listen to anyone? Abraham Lincoln had an ingenious way of handling his numerous critics, abusers. He would say, “I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true.” We thought a believer in democracy would welcome other views, particularly those that go counter to his policies.

Therefore, he would forge ahead with his plans, no matter how strident the voice of protest. So, his Secretary Asante-Bediako writes to the Speaker of Parliament over the anti-LGBTQI+ bill to stop transmitting the bill to the President for his assent, “It has come to the attention of this office that while the President and other senior officials of the Presidency were at Peduase for a Cabinet Retreat on Thursday, March 14, 2024, you attempted to submit the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill 2024 to Jubilee House for the President to signify his assent or otherwise to the Bill.

“This office is aware of two pending application for an order of interlocutory injunction both filed on March 7, 2024 in the Supreme Court in Dr. Amanda Odoi v The Speaker of Parliament and the Attorney-General (J1/13/2023) and Richard Sky v The Parliament of Ghana and the Attorney General (31/9/2024) respectively to restrain you and the Parliament from transmitting the Bill to the President from signifying his assent to the Bill pending the final determination of the matter.”

Ei! Executive Secretary to the President writing to Parliament? Don't get us wrong, Asante-Bediako is a prominent lovable lawyer; he makes our Bar Association conferences tick with his display on the piano. But, why should he generate a feud between the Executive and the Legislature?

What happened to the Constitutional procedures for passing bills in Ghana? Article 106 of the Constitution of Ghana, 1992? Where is the Council State and what role does it play in this rigmarole? What about Article 90? Surprised at Speaker Bagbin's tit for tat, blow for blow, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, measure for measure? Ananse yɛm, na menso meyɛn!

Talking about LGBTQI+, should it be Ghana versus LGBTQI+? So, we in Ghana have no values? What is $3 billion to us, to allow ourselves to be whipped into line by international pressures? We do not want to write about “gay rights”, “human rights” again. They leave something bitter in our mouths. And someone would say any lawyer who supports the anti-LGBTQI+ bill is not up to the name! Speak your mind; let others speak their minds. It should be live and let's live; not live and let's die.

Kofi Jumah means more to us than mere friendship would dictate. He should remember the encounter we had at Elmina involving the leadership of the party (and talk “hush-hush”) now that he is the President's in-law. Good for him as a member of the “family and friends”.

The campaign time is here. What message do the campaigners carry to the people? If people will not listen, we will be forced to come out openly. We all have a stake in the fortunes of this country – and some of us have a lot of information, but we check ourselves. We could listen to the Big English that explains why the dollar ($1.00) in exchange to cedis is hitting the roof (GH¢13.50). As party people, we can try our best to explain away the “success” story of the National Cathedral?

The more than 98 NPP Members of Parliament who championed the exit of Ken Ofori-Atta could do a mea culpa for their action. Let no one touch the Lord's anointed (Psalm 105), so we will let Ken Ofori-Atta be, to enjoy his new position – as Senior Presidential Advisor and Special Envoy for International Finance and Private Sector Investment.

We may not be tempted to write the second edition of Arthur Kennedy's “Chasing the Elephant into the Bush”, but we have lived long enough and have partaken of active and passive politics. Our stories will be told in sketches, in anecdotes. Why not, we all pray for NPP – to break the eight – with the chosen Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and his running – mate (Did we hear Naa Torshie?), but our own people grabbing in a free-for-all corruption beat!

Don't be boiling over! Check your temperature, your blood pressure. Is it still below 140? What if Aggie, your sister says she will be arriving in Ghana from France in May for the funeral of a loving sister Ama Serwaa and sends you the oldie, “At night before I sleep, I pray the Lord, my soul he keeps. Jesus, Jesus, my soul he keeps, he keeps my soul,” you have no excuse not to sing with Bill and Gloria Gaither, “Thank you Lord for the blessings on me.”

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