20.04.2005 Press Review

EDITORIAL: A Political Funeral

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Yes, there are such things in Ghana - and probably elsewhere too.

It is now fashionable to turn funerals into partisan political gatherings.

It is therefore quite ordinary to hear people talk about an NPP funeral, an NDC funeral or even a CPP funeral. CPP funerals are gradually dying out as the stalwarts of that political tradition continue to deplete.

When Mr. Victor Selormey died on Monday, it was immediately picked upon as a political killing (If some active reading into Totobi Quakyi's GNA interview on the same day would be permitted).

Subsequent "discussions" on the raucous FM radio stations are pointing the way to a period of fun and games as the political missiles fly as to why Victor Selormey has not lived forever. But it is not funny. Attempts at comparison with J.B. Danquah would be made.

This would be parried with the case of John Kugblenu and others. Tenuous as some of these references may be, this is one death that would be milked for whatever political nourishment it can provide to people already looking for causes to fight the government.

Victor Selormey, a man who was judged by a competent court of jurisdiction with all the niceties of the rule of law and sentenced accordingly, would in death become something of a celebrity. But on what grounds?

For those who think of him as a victim, it would do his memory no good if they insist on making political capital out of his death, because the reason why he went to jail is properly documented and would most definitely be dragged out to "tarnish" his corpse.

It would be extremely disingenuous to try to equate Mr. Selormey's end with Dr. Danquah's or even Mr. Kugblenu's. The legal grounds on which Mr. Selormey went to jail must be separated from whatever humanitarian grounds people feel should have been used to mitigate his sentence.

We do hope, also, that those who represented the Republic in the case that took him to jail, would not allow themselves to be dragged into any political gutter that would end up heaping more dirt on a dead man.

In other words, let's all remain within the bounds of decency even as we try to come to terms with the death of this former public servant.

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