While on my way home, tired as I usually am after work, sitting on a bus nearly dozed off, I eavesdropped on a hilarious, but serious conversation between some Ghanaians. They were discussing the ongoing unpalatable developments in Ghana in general, and particularly, Asantehene, the traditional leader of the Ashantis. They were bemoaning how the current Ghanaian leadership is taking Ghanaians for obvious rough ride quite detrimental to the collective well-being of Ghanaians and how Asantehene is to be held partly blameable for the country's present socio-politico-economic predicament.
As they kept talking and arguing among themselves, I could hear one of them, although all unknown to me, say, "Anyway, Asantehene is number 1 (no. 1) in everything" In an attempt to reproduce part of their conversation where I was probably paying particular attention to, as best as my retentive memory can carry me, I shall give these four conversationalists names as Ms A, B, C & Mr D.
Ms A: Asantehene is indeed no.1 in everything. Let us give him the credit for that.
Ms B: Don't make such spurious statements. How can he be no.1 in everything?
Mr D: But being no. 1 in everything does not necessarily mean he is the best in everything. It could simply mean taking the lead in many things. Such leads can be bad or good. To me personally, he does not portray himself as a leader who really cares about his subjects. He only cares about himself and how he can acquire immense wealth through questionable means.
Ms A: How dare you say that, Mr D? If he was selfish and did not care about people, how could he have introduced Otumfuo's Education Fund to assist needy but brilliant pupils/students? At any rate when you hear him speak English, you will think a White Englishman is speaking.
Ms C: Afua stop that nonsense. Don't be childish. How does speaking English with the Whiteman's accent make him or her no. 1 in everything as you keep chirping annoyingly into our ears? You seem to be one of those Ghanaians who sadly believe that the knowledge of English is the criterion for a man's great learning. You have been living in England and you still believe in that stupid Ghanaian notion. How good is your Asantehene, a crook as he is?
Ms B: Connie, everybody knows how Afua can oftentimes act childishly; behaving as though she has not enough grey matter in her skull. She looks beautiful but very unreasonable. This reminds me of a certain father who once came to our elementary (middle) school in the early 1970s. When we saw his son who was my classmate but now deceased, in a meticulously ironed school uniform, one of the girls said, "Yaw Ghana enne dee wa hye so" (meaning Yaw Ghana today you have properly ironed your uniform). His father replied, "Wa hye so kwa, ne ho bon ma" (meaning he has only ironed his uniform, he stinks).
Ms A: Why are you attacking me? You are quick to judge and to rebuke. When I say Asantehene is no. 1 in everything, I do employ it sarcastically. Am I not a Ghanaian and do I not know his alleged involvements in dubious acts? Is he not the one who has plunged Ghana into her present hopeless state by colluding with, or influencing, some Supreme Court judges to declare Election 2012 presidential election petition in favour of John Mahama? Is he not the leader sitting on his ass while his best friend John Mahama disrespects and side-lines his subjects and region during recruitment and distribution of essential developments? He is no.1 in everything that brings pain to people. Is he not alleged to be influencing some judges to twist the truth, especially in the Kumawu chieftaincy dispute as we always read on Ghana news websites?
Mr D: Sorry to have misunderstood you, Afua. Yes, he is not a role model for other chiefs to follow. He is too greedy. I dislike him. He is a disgrace to Asanteman. Look at how people disrespect him. He has tarnished the reputation of the post of Asantehene.
Ms B: One wonders what he does with the royalties accruing to him from mining gold at Obuasi. Does he not keep it as his personal wealth instead of using it to develop Obuasi and the Ashanti region? Even look at how he craftily fleeced those having their landed properties in Kumasi on plots that have their leaseholds expired long ago. From some he took billions of Ghana Old Cedis and from others hundreds of millions. What did he do with all this money? He has kept it for his personal use, probably sleeping around with female University students and dishing the money to them. What a shame!
Ms C: Why is Charlotte Osei behaving as if she wields absolute power over Ghanaians? She thinks she owes service and allegiance only to President Mahama and the NDC hence ready to do as they wish but not what the majority of Ghanaians demand of her.
Before any of the other conversationalists could share their views on Charlotte, I had arrived at my station so I came out of the bus. I incessantly kept looking back at the bus trying in vain to figure what the others were saying about the new subheading, Charlotte Osei, the Chair of the Electoral Commission.
I wish to always come across Ghanaians showing interest in their country, discussing the ongoing problems, advancing alternative solutions to make Ghana better for all etc.
Many Ashantis are peeved at the intransigence and the seemingly corrupt behaviours by Asantehene that are increasing debasing Ashantis with the likelihood of dragging the image of the Golden Stool through the mud.