“A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech about conservation” — Adlai Stevenson I.
I was taking a nap last Saturday afternoon when my phone rang. I was surprised to see the number of my septuagenarian friend whom I told you about a few weeks back. I was surprised because his call had come too soon since we had only spoken few days earlier. After exchanging pleasantries, he told me he was attending a funeral in a nearby town and would love to check on me. I responded in the affirmative because every encounter with him was a learning moment for me.
He did not need any direction because that was his third visit. He soon arrived with his beautiful granddaughter who happened to be his chauffeur for the day. My elegant wife served his favourite Hausa delicacy ‘fura’, which he drank as we started our political discussion.
I could not fully concentrate on the discussion because his granddaughter kept stealing glances at me, which I involuntarily reciprocated. I told myself the ‘son of Adam’ would not allow the ‘daughter of Eve’ to lead him into temptation. So I quickly suggested that the old man and I continue the discussion in the library to spare the two ladies the boring political talk, and he obliged.
My friend’s only concern was the Elephant’s naivety in its dealings with the eagle-headed Umbrella. His lamentations centred on how the Elephant had allowed itself to be lured into believing that the Umbrella was in favour of a ‘YES’ vote in the upcoming referendum. He said the sudden U-turn by the Umbrella was a deliberate action to ensure the failure of the referendum, so they could make political capital out of it.
I told him he had echoed my sentiments because even a political neophyte could have anticipated Zu-za’s diabolic actions. I went on to explain to him why the Elephant’s desire for political correctness could end up being its political nemesis.
It was only six moons ago when Mr. Speaker and his bunch of honourables announced the decision to build a new chamber at the cost of $200 million. Both sides of the House, Majority and Minority, made the decision. But the Minority Leader and his ilk cleverly found a reason to be absent when it was time for the leadership of the House to meet the press. The Majority Leader and his party were thus made to carry the cross.
We all saw the bad press it attracted for the party and government. As the ‘drop the chamber’ campaign raged on, the Minority sat back and watched with glee as the Majority muddied themselves with unpardonable comments. Hon. K.T. Hammond’s “MPs cannot sit under trees” easily comes to mind.
Clearly, the Majority did not exhibit political wisdom in this instance. They allowed the Minority to play on their political intelligence as they were deluded into believing they were fighting for a just cause.
Yes, the plan to build a new chamber was eventually dropped. But at what cost? Can you imagine the political cost as the ‘insensitive’ tag was firmly placed on the Nana Dee government?
Same scenario was played out recently when a Member of Parliament (MP) and his family were held at gunpoint in his house for three hours. The MPs on the Minority side started screaming , “Security for MPs.” Without pondering over the matter, the Majority MPs also joined in singing the chorus.
I couldn’t help but wonder if the Majority side had any political wisdom as they led the crusade. Do they not realize that the Minority side is only shouting ‘insecurity’ in order to make the Nana Dee government look bad in the eyes of the electorate? Have they bothered to ask why the then Majority did not scream ‘insecurity’ when Hon. J. B. Danquah Adu was stabbed to death at his Shiashie residence?
You see, the tsetsefly’s head can never be rid of blood. Those under the Umbrella may claim to support the Nana Dee government. But it is a pretense because their only prayer is for his government to fail so they could be seen as a credible replacement.
Did I see you shake your head in disagreement? I’m sure you saw Zu-za’s reaction when the Sinohydro deal was first announced. They laughed it off and said it was a phantom agreement. When the agreement was eventually sent to Parliament, they wrote to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to stop the deal. When that failed, they taunted that the cowries would not come because that was the nature of the Chinese. Now that the cowries are in and the green light given for some of the projects to begin, I wonder what they would be saying next.
As for the referendum, my hunch tells me it is doomed to failure because it would be very difficult to get the 75% approval. But whether successful or not, the Elephant must know the opponent it is dealing with and avoid being too politically correct because that could be its undoing in 2020.
See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo volente!
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."
Reproduction is authorised provided the author's permission is granted.