Same script but different casts

Today I’ll shift focus to local political happenings in West African country of Ghana. Freedom of speech has now grown wings – which is good for a fledgling democracy. But certain government functionaries and security operatives are “misbehaving” as if there is no rule in this country where US President Barack Obama has opted to visit against the likes of South Africa and Botswana just to name a few.

Former government officials are being dragged or let me just use the common verb invited to face security panels to account for their stewardship as if they are primary school children. I am not against probity and accountability but there should be some decorum around it to prove to the rest of the world that we are matured. There is no dignity in Ghana politics.

In journalism school I was once thought in Mass Communication: “It is not what you say but how you say it.” The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) might have 100% backing from Ghanaians to ensure the tax payers’ money was used for the right project at the right time but the way they are handling issues smacks of tit for tat or witch-hunting.

Last Sunday, security operatives stopped a former Minister of Information, Stephen Asamoah Boateng, and his entire family (wife and two children) from embarking on a British Airways flight to the US. The verbal exchanges almost degenerated into a disgraceful free-for-all fight. The security guys claim the ex-minister would be needed to assist in investigations into alleged corruption and impropriety against his former deputy.

How come this was not communicated to the ex-minister days, weeks or months back until he had gone through boarding formalities just to be subjected to public ridicule? Is it also not strange for the ex-minister to decide to leave the shores of Ghana (not him alone but with his entire family) just when his former deputy is being investigated by the security. But whatever the case may be Ghana’s security outfits – Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and National Security – need serious surgical operation in a “communication theatre” followed by prescriptions of public relations or communications doses. There are a lot of lapses in communication between them and their “clients”.

The president has been extremely quiet over these spill overs in his administration and should voice out. He needs to tell his “boys” to behave. He must be on top of issues.

Power sweet

But come to think of it, this same ex-minister who is ranting and jumping from media houses to another for the restoration of his human rights, worked in an administration that did similar (perhaps) worse things than this style of invitation for interrogation to officials of the opposition who are now in power. Some even slept in mosquito ridden cells for hours and (days???).

This same ex-minister is alleged to have masterminded the painful dismissal of an immigration officer when they were totally in control. Today the coin has turned. Is it true that we reap what we sow and harvest what we plant for others? Is the law of Karma haunting Asamoah Boateng?

Just a word of advice to politicians in power now – you will NEVER stay in power forever. Even if it takes decades you shall still leave office so mind the steps you take today.

Ghana politics: same script but different casts.


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June 2009
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