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07.01.2009 Feature Article

8 Questions for 'Ekua Kwansema'

8 Questions for 'Ekua Kwansema'
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Over the last few weeks, someone purporting to be one 'Ekua Kwansema' – apparently a self-appointed cyber-crusader for the NDC – has been passionately fighting the corner of the NDC and the soon-to-be-President Atta-Mills. Hardly a day has gone by without an article or two from 'Ms Kwansema', with sustained attacks on the NPP, Mr. Akufo-Addo, and the soon-to-be-ex-President Kuffuor. Opinions are like noses – we're each entitled to ours – and 'Ms Kwansema' has certainly carried hers with passion.

For me, as a 'neutral' (i.e. neither an NDC nor an NPP follower), her articles are thin on facts (i.e. far too frequent use of 'did you hear about'), not entirely helpful, and devoid of balance, objectivity, or anything constructive for Ghana's development. I have, however, noted that she is much-lauded by and the toast of many an NDC sympathizer. Being the fair-minded person that I am – at least I try to be – I thought it would be good to give 'Ms Kwansema' the opportunity to win-over some of us neutrals – and perhaps some of her detractors too – by answering a few simple questions. I believe some honest answers to all of my questions will earn 'Ms Kwansema' the respect of many patriotic Ghanaians, across the political divide, who have come to 'know' her through her writings.

1. Is 'Ekua Kwansema' your real name, or have you been capitalising on the anonymity of the Internet to pursue your agenda? If your answer is the latter, I think you can 'come clean' now – after all, it's not a crime and besides, the NDC is in power now. Oh, and don't worry, if you want to get back 'on your bike' with about 6 months to go to the next election, you could adopt a new alias – perhaps 'Efua Gyasiwaa' – no-one will be any the wiser.

2. Are you on the NDC payroll (i.e. as a salaried propagandist) or do you have something against NPP / Mr. Akufo-Addo / President Kuffuor? Perhaps the NPP promised you a prestigious position in their Administration and didn't deliver. Before Professor Mills was elected President, I suspected it might be the former, but as your attacks on Mr. Akufo-Addo and President Kuffuor have continued since then, I am beginning to think it might be the latter. I have been both astounded and impressed by the rate at which your articles were written and published, and the numerous online forums on which they were posted. Don't you work? Perhaps you could enlighten us?

3. I refuse to believe that someone as well-read, articulate, and passionate as you are can only be good for political propaganda. I expect you've come up with many good ideas for the ongoing development of our country – since your interest has been the well-being of Ghana. Perhaps you have some useful suggestions on energy policy, maybe renewable energy such as solar or wind, or perhaps you've written some papers on how we can create employment and wealth for our people. Better still, maybe you've got some ideas on how we can improve primary and secondary education so our children can learn to write as passionately as you do. I, for one, am keen to seen some of these good ideas of yours – and I suspect President-elect Mills might be too.

4. One of the 'charges' you have frequently levelled against President Kuffuor, Mr. Akufo-Addo, and the NPP as a whole, has been that they are arrogant. I suspect you probably have a point, and I am prepared to accept it. For me, real arrogance, to the point of impudence, is the kind Mrs. Rawlings frequently exhibits. I will accord her some respect as the wife of a former President, but that is all she is. She is not, nor has she ever been, an elected officer of State, yet she continually elevates herself to match her own self-importance and meddle in affairs she shouldn't get involved in. Can you comment about this arrogance too – for the sake of balance, fairness, and for Ghana? Mrs. Theresa Kuffuor, in all of her husband's 8 years as President, has not been known to do such things, neither did Laura Bush and Cherie Blair.

5. You have been stressing how the good and “humble” Professor Mills is the epitome of integrity, and how he would waste no time in “defending” President Kuffuor or any political opponent if lies and unsubstantiated allegations were being peddled about them. So tell me, why didn't the soon-to-be-President Mills leap to the defence of President Kuffuor when some malicious individuals were spreading lies (and distributing leaflets to that effect) that President Kuffuor and some of his Ministers had stashed around one trillion Ghana cedis in Prudential Bank? Ghana's economy does not generate enough money for that amount (that is, close to one trillion US dollars) to be quietly siphoned away into private accounts. It is also highly unlikely that Prudential Ghana could administer such an amount without raising some serious international alarm bells (their balance sheet would appear abnormal). For that matter, why didn't you – as our glorious champion – write one of your wonderful pieces to set the record straight?

6. Former President Rawlings has shown complete disdain and disrespect for the Kuffuor Presidency. He has taken every opportunity to disparage him – both home and abroad – based only on unproven allegations. Perhaps the lowest point of this unfortunate saga was when he likened Mr. Kuffuor to the armed-robber 'Ataa Ayi'. It is not a requirement for Mr. Rawlings to like President Kuffuor, or for them to have a cordial relationship – though that would have been nice – but if he claims to love Ghana and respects Ghanaians, he should respect the Presidency, even if the occupier is not someone he necessarily likes. After all, whoever occupies the Presidency is the people's choice. Is this right, in your view? Is that what Bill Clinton did to President George Bush when the latter took over from him, or Tony Blair to John Major when the Labour Party beat the Conservatives in 1997? We can all disagree with our President's views or policies, but so long as he / she is elected by the people, we must show him / her due respect. Maybe you can dole out some advice to Mr. Rawlings too.

7. Your latest article accuses President Kuffuor of hypocrisy because he suggested some electoral reforms just recently. They were the suggestions of someone who is about to leave office and wants to end on a good note – they are not binding on anyone. You ask in your article why Mr. Kuffuor didn't suggest this at the beginning of his tenure, but I suspect you would probably have been the first person to accuse him of fiddling with the electoral system to suit him and his party had he done so. Wouldn't you? Be honest.

8. It's clear that Mr. Akufo-Addo's 'concession' speech didn't tickle you one jot, as you wrote another less than complimentary piece about that too. Could you please share with those of us who might be interested the sort of words you expected (or hoped to hear) from Mr. Akuffo-Addo? Personally, I felt his message of congratulations was fine – I mean, the man lost; we can hardly expect him to be jumping for joy. He will probably have bad dreams about it for weeks. Also, I might be mistaken, but I thought concessions were made when it is clear that a particular person is about to win but a winner has not yet been officially announced. I thought it would be meaningless (and therefore pointless) to concede once a winner has been officially announced – but then what I do know? I obviously don't have the command of language that you clearly do. Where Mr. Akufo-Addo and the NPP erred is – in my view – allowing things to drag on (and fuel anxiety and tensions) when it seemed clear they had lost.

'Ms Kwansema', over to you. I suggest you post your answers online so all interested parties can peruse and be impressed. God bless you, God bless President Mills, and God bless Ghana.

Robert J. Aryee
Robert J. Aryee, © 2009

The author has 5 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: RobertJAryee

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