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Opinions Sun, 11 Sep 2011

Asem yi, edika, edika …. Hena beka?

Mr President’s tirade against Ashantis is dangerous!

O Yes, “adze wo fie a oye”. The lion runs and looks back. What does it signify? That it is afraid? No, far from that. It looks back because it wants to know the distance it has covered. Thus utterances of public figures go a long way to reveal the policy direction of such people should they by chance find themselves at the helm of affairs of their respective Companies, Corporations, Departments, Organizations, Institutions or Countries. That is why I feel saddened at the President’s disparaging remarks against one particular ethnic group in the country.

By taking a swipe at the “Great Ashanti Project” the President was obviously responding to the Alleluia chorus of “adze wo fie a oye”. This was in total denunciation of the “dzi wo fie asem” which was later to be the foreign policy framework of the Mills-Mahama’s administration. In fact, it never occurred to me that the President had a deep seated antagonism towards Ashantis. A colleague once took me to task on this. He said the then Candidate Mills was appealing to tribal sentiments when he accused the then President Kufuor of superintending the closure of cold stores in the Central Region and the Coastal areas whiles building new ones in the Ashanti Region to the detriment of the Central Region which has a lot of fisher folks. To him the President could not be said to be father for all because of that pronouncement. I told him to discountenance that notion because it was “campaign talk”. After all did the Ananias and his wife, Sapphirah who in this case happen to be Fiifi Kwetey and Ama Benyiwa Doe not tell Ghanaians that Kufuor and his Ministers had stolen all our gold reserves and monies which had been deposited into their individual bank accounts? They conjured some fictitious bank accounts in the name of then President Kufuor which most Ghanaians then regarded as authentic. ‘But this one dee, it pass campaign talk oo’. When Candidate Professor, John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills, spat out the venom in his system against Ashantis in a discourse with a “stranger”, I concluded then that the country was and is on the edge of a precipice. I arrive at this conclusion because most of the decisions taken by the man we elected President have not been Ashanti-friendly. Indeed, President Mills hates Ashantis. But Iet me ask “Mr. President, why? What have Ashantis done against you or your family?”

I am an Akim, but I admire the Ashantis for many things. Their respect for tradition and cultural norms is second to none in the country. Ashantis are one singular ethnic group which has preserved our cultural values and elevated the chieftaincy institution to an unprecedented level in the country, the Continent and the rest of the World. I salute them on their giant strides. Love or hate them, but I tell you, you will be compelled against your better judgement to fall in love with their traditional values and culture. In fact, if you cannot beat them, join them.

You see, one other thing I have come to admire Ashantis for is their total disdain of oppression and the “son of the soil” syndrome. Exhibit any of such traits and Ashantis would go to every length to ensure the removal and rejection of such trait. When it comes to fighting a just cause, you will see them evaluating the problem before coming up with a relevant solution.

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You remember the Union Government Concept which was introduced by the late General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong? Yes, Acheampong was an Ashanti, but the core of the resistant movement against the concept came from his own Ashanti Region. Don’t also forget the resistance to the obnoxious and repugnant policies of Nana Akwasi Agyemang also came from Kumasi.

But then, here comes our President with his “dzi wo fie asem” mantra which is greatly at variance with the Charter and Ideals of the ECOWAS, the AU, the UNO and other International Organizations. But very often he forgets himself and dabbles into the affairs that do not concern him. Can the President spare us a minute to tell Ghanaians what Ashantis have done against him to warrant such a verbal tirade against them? Or per chance, it had to do with the turning down of his love proposal by one Ashanti Lady!

I hope you remember how our President attempted to denigrate the high office of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu 11 in the Dagbon crisis. Otumfuo was the Leader of the Committee of Eminent Chiefs appointed to mediate in the crisis between the Abudus and the Andanis.

When Mills became President he made it loud and clear by announcing publicly that he had lost trust in the ability of the Asantehene and the other Eminent Chiefs to resolve the crisis. He went for the legal option and was completely mauled and humiliated by the country’s legal system. He then made a u-turn by referring the matter back to the Committee of Eminent Chiefs. I am happy the Asantehene politely turned down the offer.

A major evidence we have to show that the President indeed hates Ashanti is revealed in his appointment of a tribal bigot, Prof Kofi Awoonor as Chairman of the Council of State. Kofi Awoonor, it will be recalled, has showed his disdain and hatred for Ashantis in his book, the Ghana Revolution in which he makes very caustic and negative remarks about Ashantis. In his infamous book, Kofi Awoonor states amongst other things that the Nkrumah’s Government fell because of the presence of corrupt Ashanti elements in the regime.

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We should also not fail to take cognizance of what the founder of their contraption said about Kofi Awoonor. Ex President Rawlings made a startling revelation by telling is that President Mills appointed an Ashanti to head one public institution, but the tribal bigot, Kofi Awoonor removed the Ashanti man and replaced him with somebody from his (Kofi Awoonor) own tribe. All these go a long way to reveal the disdain Kofi has for Ashantis. And it is such a person the President has found fit to appoint to the highest and reveled office as Chairman of the Council of State. And the saying, “birds of the same feathers congregate together. It is not me saying this oo. These are wise sayings by our elders. You see, both Kofi Awoonor and the President have a common front – A morbid fear and hatred of Ashantis. Kobby Acheampong’s “kokoase kuraseni” and “too much of the ‘Kumasi thing’” also go a long way to confirm the belief in certain circles that the President has a hidden agenda against Ashantis. And in doing that, he clandestinely uses one of their own people to make such ethnic remarks against his own people. In this case, Kobby Acheampong, a native of Atonsu wittingly or unwittingly allowed himself to be used against his own people, thus showing the utter contempt in which he Kobby Acheampong and the President hold the people of Kumasi and cocoa producing areas including he (Kobby Acheampong’s) parents. If truly, The President wasn’t in support of Kobby Acheampong’s flippant verbose against Ashantis and “kokoase kuraseni” he should have stern action against him for bringing his government into opprobrium?

This is in sharp contrast to President Kufuor who knew his sauce and how and when to apply it as evidenced in Wilkileaks *#83* “President Kufuor dressed down the Minister of Interior and National Security in front of all other Ministers for their failure to effectively battle the narcotics flow”. Yes, this is a mark of a real President.

Nii Lante Vanderpuye tribal remarks: “I am shocked a statement of that nature is coming from a fellow Ga man”. What does the hatchet man at the Presidency mean by such a statement? Why does he want to take refuge by seeking solidarity from his fellow tribesman, when he realized that he has lost out? You see, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Why does he want to associate Titus Glover with his tribe? Why not refer to him as a Ghanaian? You see the dangerous and unstable mindset of ‘Al Qaeda and Taliban Nii Lante Vanderpuye. His Ghanaian antecedent means nothing to him. Like Kofi Awoonor, they all think of themselves first as members of their respective ethnic groups before they think of Ghana. And this ‘Taliban’ and ‘Al Qaeda’ ethnic war-lord is a Special Aide of the President! Birds, of the same feathers, we are told, congregate together.

But are you surprised? No, you shouldn’t be for the President has shown his hatred and disdain for certain group of people, and with other ‘Taliban’ like Nii Lante Vanderpuye, they are out to checkmate the “Great Ashanti Project”. That was why the Ashanti Regional Minister had the effrontery and temerity to incite any Ashanti man who is contradicted by another person of a different political persuasion to give him/her a ‘dirty’ slap and he would ensure that nothing happens to the person who did the slapping. Indeed, checkmating the “Great Ashanti Project” is strictly on course, thanks to notorious appointees like Nii Lante Vanderpuye, Fiifi Kwetey, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Omane Boamah, Felix Owusu Kwakye, Baba Jamal, Kobby Acheampong and a host of others. Fiifi Kwetey and Fred Agbenyo’s Anti Muslim Utterance: Fiifi Kwetey should tell us if indeed he is a Ghanaian and if he is what informed him to make such anti Islamic utterances. When Fiifi Kwetey’s was exposed for what he and the NDC truly are, I thought he was going to recant and apologize to Muslims for making such scandalous remarks. But, lo and behold, I was mistaken. On Thursday, 9th September, 2011 during the newspaper review section of “Agenda” on Net 2 TV hosted by Fiifi Boafo with Adomako Baafi and Kofi Jumah as the other panelist, I had the greatest shock in my life when Fred Agbenyo decided to ally himself to his unrepentant ‘partner-in-crime’, Fiifi Kwetey by repeating what his “partner in crime” against Muslims had said – that there is no way a Muslim can become the President of this Great country of ours. And these two belong to the same Nefarious Destructive Contraption which claims to have the interest of Muslims at heart.

Fellow Ghanaians, there is a great task ahead of us. There is a fight to be fought and a battle to be won. The President, by his actions and utterances, has proved that he is not “the messiah” we have been waiting for. He is vindictive, disoriented, divisive, inconsistent, clueless, and presiding over a government of looters of our collective till. He is not sure of himself and that has given room to his appointees to manipulate him like a yo-yo. If you doubt me, play back the utterances of people like Alban Bagbin, E.T.Mensah, Nii Afotey Agbo before they became members of the President’s Cabinet. Ask Party founder, J.J.Rawlngs and his wife, and they will have a story to tell. The President’s vindictiveness manifested itself when his office deliberately refused to allow the plane which was to take Rawlings to Abuja to witness the swearing in ceremony of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as President of Nigeria. Such a thing would never have happened under the NPP administration, and I repeat, it will never. I am therefore entreating Ghanaians to vote for a person with decisive leadership qualities, a person who is ready to learn from his mistakes, a person who is born with the power of the lion, but chooses to walk by the side of the road, a person who genuinely believes in a cause and utilizes his resources to ensure its success, a person who studies every situation with a fine toothcomb before coming out with a solution, and above all a kind-hearted and God-fearing person.

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That person is Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Nana believes in the ingenuity of the Ghanaian to find solutions to most of our problems. He will not take refuge in the “dzi wo fie asem” mantra”. He will not seek to control and manipulate Ghanaians into unquestionable loyalty and diabolical submissions. Under him, all Ghanaians will be part of the decision making process in the country. He will lead and we all will follow. Under him, the fire brigade approach method being applied to all issues, irrespective of their peculiarities by the NDC will become a thing of the past. Pragmatism will be the key word.

To this end, let us all Hail Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, our President in Waiting. He is indeed such a man.

Daniel Danquah Damptey (0243715297)

(damptey_daniel@yahoo.com) (dddanquah@gmail.com)

Columnist: Damptey, Daniel Danquah