Akufo-Addo had better sit up and pay attention to those hurting at home

Thu, 18 Apr 2019 Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

He has been admirably and studiously focused on Making Ghana Great Again (MAGAGA), at least since the First Republic’s Nkrumah-led government of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), in spite of the legion problems vis-à-vis the wanton human rights abuse of Nkrumah’s major political and ideological opponents. And that may partly explain the fact that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been evidently relatively lax in his response to other tragedies and disasters back home, including the imperative need for the President to have at least tweeted heartfelt messages of condolences to the family members, relatives and friends of recent victims of road accidents and floods around the country.

Nana Akufo-Addo knows, as well as every mature adult-Ghanaian citizen, that these are basic formalities that come with his job description; and the Communications Department of the Akufo-Addo Presidency had better sit up and pay attention by constantly drawing the old man aside and promptly alerting him to some of these duties and responsibilities. I am also, of course, directly addressing the Protocol Division of Jubilee House. You see, Ghanaians are as studiously culturally oriented as we are religious, in particular Christocentric; which is partly why I have staunchly backed and continue to back the proposed construction of our own indigenous type of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, which was recently gutted by a fire whose origin is still been investigated by the French authorities. And which was also why it came naturally for him to tweet his message of condolences – I believe in both the English language and the French language – solemnly commiserating with President Emmanuel Macron and the warm and hardworking libertarian people of France.

For those of our brothers and sisters who may not be aware of this fact, President Akufo-Addo spent a remarkable span of time working for a Wallstreet firm in France years ago, in France’s capital of Paris; so, he is quite familiar with the historic location of France’s oldest and foremost Christocentric landmark. We must also quickly add that as a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, in President John Agyekum-Kufuor’s government, Nana Akufo-Addo is expectedly steeped in diplomatic protocol, which also explains why he was that lightning quick to dispatch his messages of condolence to the French people and their leader. Of course, the preceding honorable gesture in absolutely no way excuses his apparent lack of an equally and fittingly swift response to some of the most recent incidents of tragedy and disaster that occurred back at home.

I am also thinking that, maybe, if our leaders markedly moderated the general spate of their globetrotting lust, as in wanderlust, they could be more effectively focused on problems and difficulties – both preventable and inevitable – at home. It is also worth noting that the Notre Dame Cathedral disaster, occurring barely a week after Ghana became recognized as a full-fledged member of the Francophone Alliance, historically centered around French imperialist nationalism, left the President with absolutely no choice or alternative but to promptly demonstrate his solidarity and fraternity with the people of the French-speaking world at large, in much the same manner that he would have promptly reached out to Britain’s monarchy and Westminster, if any of the historic monuments or landmarks in the British capital, such as one of the famous London cathedrals had been torched, in spite of the fact that, personally, I felt that the Notre Dame Cathedral disaster – some prefer to call it a tragedy – offered the people of France, in particular, but the erstwhile European imperialist nations at large, a slight but, nevertheless, a vintage and historically critical taste of how Africans must have felt during the long open-season of the massive looting of classical indigenous African arts and crafts, as well as the wanton destruction of African civilizations, cultures and humanity.

Still, the human being in me inspired heavy-heartedness or sadness and even sorrow and sympathy for the people of France. For, at the end of the day, what we all witnessed in the apocalyptic conflagration that heavily damaged the Notre Dame Cathedral, had our collective ingenious imprints as humans in it. Besides, Ghanaians need to remember, if most of us already do not know this, that the Patron Saint of France, to wit, Saint Maurice, is decidedly an ugly Black-African (tongue-in-cheek) who sports quite a slew of face-deforming tribal marks. In short, Saint Maurice could readily have been mistaken for a Yoruba, Hausa or even a Mamprusi/Mamprugu adult-male from the West African sub-region, if one closely looks at some of the existing portraits of the man.

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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.