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Opinion | Feb 18, 2019

President Ogwanfunu Is Only Clutching At Straws!

Daily Guide
President Ogwanfunu Is Only Clutching At Straws!

“Sincerity makes the very least person to be of more value than the most talented hypocrite” — Charles Spurgeon.

A drowning man, they say, will clutch at straws to ensure survival. The idiom ‘clutching at straws’ originated with Thomas Moore’s ‘Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation (1534)’. It indicates desperation.

Ever seen a person drowning before? I have witnessed such a scene and I can tell you it is not a pleasant sight to behold. The struggle, the gasp for air and the swinging of arms in a desperate effort to clutch at anything in order to survive are the last actions of a drowning person. It is indeed a pathetic sight to behold!

I have narrated this story before but will repeat it today to jog your memory. At age 15, I remember going to the Mensah Guinea Beach behind the Independence Square one fine Saturday with my friends. Being my first time, I was intimidated by the gargantuan nature of the sea, so I decided not to swim. I was thus made to keep watch over my friends’ clothing, while they went in to swim.

A few minutes later, we saw two boys far ahead of the rest of the swimmers. It was obvious that the duo was engaged in a swimming race. A strong tide swept through the sea and made one of the blokes to lose balance. Before one could say Jack, the boy was seen gasping for breath and desperately struggling for survival.

Oblivious of the predicament of his competitor, the other boy continued swimming. The yelling and desperate calls from onlookers finally drew his attention to the pathetic plight of his colleague. But in the frantic struggle to gasp for air, the drowning boy had gulped in considerable amount of sea water and became heavy as a result. He got swallowed by the bowels of the sea before help could reach him.

The shout and desperate calls for help soon turned into shedding of tears and prayers unto ‘Mawu’ to save the boy. The wailing and lamentations continued until the disfigured body was washed ashore about an hour later. It was a very pathetic sight indeed!

I felt compelled to recall this sad story in order to give Abusuapanin and other members of the ‘abusua’ a vivid mental picture of the actions of a drowning person and compare to the desperate actions of the man who once referred to his compatriots as ‘those engaged in useless lamentations’. The man who once proudly referred to himself as ‘a dead-goat’ is now pretending to care for his compatriots so he could be given another opportunity to sit on the presidential throne.

The president who superintended the beating and maiming of innocent political opponents during a by-election at Talensi cannot turn around and claim to be the anticipated messiah under same circumstances. The president who saw, heard and spoke no evil when his Interior Minister propounded the ‘violence begets violence’ theory cannot deceive his compatriots into believing that he is a patriot. The president who saw nothing wrong with police brutalizing innocent demonstrators cannot make a u-turn today to claim same is wrong. The president who rejoiced when security personnel damaged an innocent demonstrator’s eye cannot pretend to be sad when same security personnel shoot another’s leg.

I’ve heard, read and seen many condemn President Ogwanfunu for showing his own version of the Ayawaso West Wuogon violence to the diplomatic community. I will not condemn him because I understand his situation. The man is desperate; and desperation can make a very decent and shy person engage in indecent and shameless acts.

If anything at all, President Ogwanfunu rather deserves our pity. The man is drowning and is only trying to clutch at straws to revive his dying political career. So please cut him some slack!

As for the diplomats, they will not swallow everything hook, line and sinker if they have a little ‘efie nyansa’. 'Efie nyansa' will make them ask some probing questions and also wonder what President Ogwanfunu did when similar things happened under his watch. It will also make them realize that at least the current President has set up a commission of enquiry to unravel the mystery behind the violence – something President Ogwanfunu never did.

I wish Mr Dead-Goat would listen to these words of wisdom from Douglas Horton, “Desperation is like stealing from the mafia: you stand a good chance of attracting the wrong attention.”

See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo volente!

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