Immature, Unnecessary Reprimand
President Akufo-Addo is in his elements when he is dealing with international affairs and the reason is obvious. For many years, he has been a foreign affairs minister and attracted an enviable testimonial in that department of state. Endowed with a second international language, French, he communicates with all statesmen without inhibitions.
When it comes to managing matters of international dimensions and therefore requiring the much needed dexterity, he cannot be found wanting.
Unfortunately, however, local politics and our fledgling democracy allow for occasional expressional slips from overzealous politicians.
Recently, the Chairman of the People's National Convention (PNC) with very strong affiliation to the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Bernard Mornah, took issues with the President for – in his rather amazing opinion – not doing enough about the situation in neighbouring Togo.
Bernard can be pardoned for not having adequate comprehension about the rather complex world of diplomacy; a terrain where the reckless use of expletives is regarded as untoward. He would not have descended to the depth he did had he a grasp of the subject.
We do not know what he would have wanted the President to do when the demonstrations were at their peak in that country. Certainly, he would have been breaching protocol had he organised a counter demonstration as some politicians sought to do here, including him, but were stopped by law enforcement agents. His query of the President and subsequent sulking could have originated from the failed demonstration.
Mature adults, even outside diplomacy, do not just wade into affairs when it is not the time to do so.
That appropriate time is nigh and the activities of the President are being felt on the international comity of the civilized and mature.
Exuberance has no place in decent and acceptable politics especially when proxy protests are imported into the country.
The reversal of stance by Bernard when he recently gave a thumbs-up to the President for his heightened activities in the Togo imbroglio shows that he is now learning and seeing things differently. Indeed the President's Togo action has nothing to do with Bernard's reprimand. The President is guided in his actions by the dictates of the regional economic block – the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and his own cognition.
Today, the President Akufo-Addo's magic has witnessed a major turnaround in Togo where the previous hard-line position of the feuding parties has given way to an agreement to talk to each other and to, above all, suspend demonstrations which were nearly bringing the country to its knees.
Although President Akufo-Addo told the Togolese that he had come to Lome not with a solution to their crisis but to counsel them on the importance of peace, he nonetheless won a bipartisan respect. The road to peace, he told them, was on their bosom and nobody else's.
He appeared to have set the tone for the amicable solution to the seeming intractable challenge that has enveloped the country.
So those who pass judgments must do so decently and soundly.