Opinions Tue, 3 May 2016

How a 52-year-old woman was slapped for President Mahama

Nobody saw what happened. It was quick, unexpected, and a frank one. The slap was delivered in a peaceful manner, I was soon to reckon.

We were in a queue at the Kwame Nkrumah circle, soon to be Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange as the giant billboard read, when a man, in his late 30s, delivered a heavy slap on the right cheek of a woman who could pass for his mother.

"Ta!” went the sound that got our attention.

The man moved a step backward as though overpowered by the cheek of the woman.

“You cannot say such things about the President of Ghana. How dare you?” He fumed and foamed in the mouth.

The woman stood there speechless. I doubt if she heard the "sorries" which were then dripping into her ears like the way the Korle Lagoon drips into the sea at Mantse Agbonaa in Accra.

“You slapped me?” She asked whilst looking into my eyes as though she had mistaken me for the gentleman who slapped her.

I was soon to realize that though it appeared she was looking at me, her focus was on the man. The direction of her eyes deceived me or something like that.

The woman lifted her right hand to reach for the cheek that suffered the fatal blow. In some seconds, she gazed at the hand as though by doing so she would be able to determine the intensity of the slap.

“So sorry madam”, I said though the words never came out of me. They hanged at my tongue as though scared of the woman.

“So you slapped me. Errhh?” she repeated in Twi to her own astonishment because nobody replied her.

I noticed the white background of her eyes had given way to a red color. I was a few distance away from her but I could take count of the thoughts going through her mind. I was sure she was configuring how to outdo the gentleman.

She dropped her bag which I realized added to her weight because she was able to stand straight after she parted with it.

The man had withdrawn from the queue standing alone. His eyes were moving about as if he was scanning his options in the event the woman attacks him.

He would look at the woman and later gaze at the people in the queue, some of whom were hurling insults at him.

She rushed unto the man and before anybody could stop her, she was on top of him feeding his eyes, mouths and balls with blows.

“Mahama is a mistake like some of you hungry people”, she repeated as her right hand delivered the package whilst her left hand and legs pinned the man on the ground.

Finally, three men rushed to separate the scuffle. She was whisked aside whilst the man was lifted up. She attempted to rush on the man but she was unsuccessful because one of the men blocked her with his heavily set right arm.

“Mahama will go for some of you people to go hungry. Ghana is for everyone”, she said gulping for air as though it was rationed.

After ten minutes or more, we had a car heading for Dansoman. As I sat in the car I couldn't help but ponder over the fight and how fierce our political discussions have been in Ghana.

We are politicking as though we are at war with ourselves, a classic description of “Brothers at War”.

"Brothers at War" is the title of the legendary documentary filmed by a Senior Broadcast Journalist of Joy FM, Seth Kwame Boateng, to describe the decade old conflict of the Jamong and the Jafouk families of Bunkpurungu in the Bunkpurungu-Yinyoo district of the Northern region.

The fact is, there are some Ghanaians who wouldn’t blink an eye to remind you of how a baggage of mistakes President Mahama has been at the Presidency. And some of these people will pepper you with arguments pointing to the ills and cases of mismanagement in the country and they are right to do so.

However, this must be done without disregarding the other person’s right to his opinion. Sometimes we pontificate as though we are more catholic than the pope.

I don’t subscribe to the argument that President Mahama has not done anything for the country in the same way I’ll do everything to defend the legacies of former Presidents such as Kwame Nkrumah, Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor, and Evans Atta Mills.

What I know is that in a democracy, as young as ours is, we can all not agree at the same time especially when it has to do with the future of our country. And yes when we all agree on any one decision means that decision is destined to die before implementation. It helps to disagree chiefly when one is convinced of the ‘righteousness’ of his argument.

The beauty and strength of our democracy resides not in our ability to agree with everything our government does, but in our determination to question its activities for the express good of the present generation without compromising the future of the unborn generation.

As we march into the November 2016 general election, let us be mindful that we share the same ancestry and are bound to protect our own.

Ghana should not be on fire because a politician, who is fed, clothed and vacationed by taxpayers’ money, feels Mr. A or B is the right person for the country and without that person the country should not be spared the horror of disgrace and murder.

The life of Ghana is bigger than the life of anyone particular politician who is insatiably motivated by greed to bleed our dear country of its resources.

These politicians, shamefully, send their children to schools abroad, yet are the very ones to question the readiness and quality of graduates produce from the schools in the country.

The parody of mischief of a die-hard politician is one of the things having a kill on us.

My humble question is: When will this madness stop?

Columnist: Austin Brako-Powers