'TWAS SHOCKING NEWS in an early Tuesday morning as the member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) whose wife was reportedly snatched from him by the 67-year-old baby-face Deputy Minister of The Interior, Mr. Thomas Yaw Broni, dropped a bombshell.
“The Honourable Thomas Broni… has impregnated the woman” at a time when formalities for divorce of the marriage between us have not been completed, thus he has aided and abetted the lady in committing bigamy.
Then the 48-plus-year-old Mr. Tony Osei Tutu, yet-to-be-ex-husband of the woman at the centre stage of the alleged wife-snatching scandal, Ms Martha Nkrumah, dropped another rocket that should send shivers down the spine of Mr. Broni, reported to be aspiring to contest the NPP primaries for the Asutifi South constituency in the Brong Ahafo Region. He was about to hit the Deputy Minister with another novel legal suit as an accessory to bigamy having discussed the issue with his lawyers, he said.
These shocking revelations were made on JOY FM's 'Super Morning Show' hosted by Komla Dumor last Tuesday.
The discussion was on whether morality matters in the public lives of leaders. The programme featured the Managing Editor of The Independent, Mr Egbert Faibille Jnr.; the Editor of The Searchlight, Mr. Ken Kuranchie; Mr Osei Tutu and a contribution via phone from the Reverend Fred Degbe, a leading member of the Ghana Pentecostal Council.
Mr Osei Tutu has already issued a writ against Mr Broni and his estranged wife. He also has a divorce writ pending at the Accra High Court in which he cites Mr Broni as being responsible for the break-up of his 17-year-old union with Ms Nkrumah, out of which they have two children.
“But why don't you let the woman go if she wants to go?” Mr Dumor asked.
According to him, whilst he could not force the woman to stay with him, he had fought to keep the marriage intact because of the personal experience he had as a child growing up without both parents being around, something he said he had hoped would not happen to his children.
He said he was not aggrieved and was not fighting to keep the woman with him. Rather his efforts are to ensure that what happened to him never happens to any Ghanaian again, and that no officer entrusted with the public trust should be allowed to abuse his office or snatch people's wives and go scot-free.
He said people who want wives of others should first ensure that processes for the dissolution of such marriages are completed.
Osei Tutu was of the view that there should at least be a modicum of morality in the public lives of those chosen to lead the nation, adding that though he and the Deputy Minister belonged to the same party, their morals differ. He admitted, however, that he was shocked that nothing had happened to the Minister months after the story played out, and intimated that the lives of public officers cannot be totally exempt from scrutiny by the media and the populace.
Contributing to the programme later by phone, the Rev. Degbe said there are instances where questions on the moral lives of leaders can lead to evidence of how they are managing or mismanaging public funds.
He said he saw no problem with newspapers probing the lifestyles of public officers provided the stories are accurate.
Speaking on the topic, Mr Kuranchie, whose paper has made it a mission to editorialise on alleged reports that a minister had fathered a child out of wedlock, said he considered it a legitimate business to raise questions on the lifestyles of ministers and the examples they set for those they lead.
Whilst admitting that his own paper, The Independent, published reports that the NPP National Chairman reportedly fathered a child with his step daughter, Mr Faibille said he would urge any newspaper that would like to probe the morals of any public officer to ensure that it gets its facts right before hitting town.
He also explained that family and community members from the NPP National Chairman's hometown later explained to The Independent that it was an acceptable practice to give a daughter or sister of a deceased woman to husbands who treat their wives well after the death of those wives.
But the Rev. Debge countered that though such practices might be acceptable to a tribe or group, the question of whether the wider society accepts it should be examined.