By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Folks, when I wrote the two-part opinion piece to condemn Kweku Baako for insulting chiefs appreciating President Mahama for providing development projects to enhance living standards, some people strongly disagreed with me, in some cases, using intemperate language to downgrade my integrity.
The opinion piece received wide coverage in the Ghanaian media (both online and print) and attracted diverse responses. Those who chose to condemn me thought I was being unreasonable and doubted my intellectual abilities, not to talk about my academic worth. I have stood my grounds since then, knowing very well that the reality will sink to prove me right. And has it not sunk all too soon?
Kweku Baako is reported to have apologized to Ghanaian chiefs for insulting them. Here is the substance of his apology: “The editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, has retracted comments describing traditional rulers, who openly declare support for sitting presidents, as unwise.
“First of all, I did not single out any particular chief, but of course some chiefs have been talking, so, I expect people to have been looking at those chiefs. If people think my language, choice of words, the kind of language I used, [were] offensive and hurt their sensibilities and sensitivities, I sincerely and humbly apologise for the choice of words,” a repentant Baako said. (See http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Baako-apologises-for-unwise-chiefs-comment-433238).
Oyiwa!! A repentant Kweku Baako? We note that his earlier stentorian defence of his goof went further to worsen his problem, which was why he had no other option but to turn tail. If he knew that he was right in taking on the chiefs, why did he have to apologize to them? Being wise only after the fact? Otweea ara!!
Folks, he has already harmed the interests of Akufo-Addo whose ventriloquist he has made himself at the media front and is all over the place making utterances aimed at highlighting Akufo-Addo’s pursuits while persistently whitewashing his negative aspects. In that bid, he is constantly blackening President Mahama and the NDC.
What he has turned round to do now—even if his apology (premised on the conditional “If”) isn’t genuine, it tells me a lot to know that his handlers are quick to know how the tide flows against them in the light of his unguarded utterances against the chiefs. Now, he knows that he should have used a “diplomatic language” in reacting to the genuine feelings being expressed by the chiefs on how President Mahama comes across to them!
Those of us who pick on issues to write about know what we are about. We do so with a clear understanding of what is at stake and hammer on everything to expose the underbelly of the mischief makers. In this instance, Kweku Baako and his handlers have quickly known that his insult has backfired. What to do but to “force” him to swallow back his own vomit? Will doing so damage Kweku Baako’s own public image all the more? Yes!! Don’t ask me how.
Even before the dust settles, we know what will happen next. The handlers will send delegations to interact with the identifiable chiefs and apologize profusely to them. They will also grease palms. Trust the unconscionable Ghanaian politicians in that sense.
The truth that these NPP people and their lackeys in the media cannot know is that the chiefs are ready to work with any government in power, which even underscores their appreciation of the good work being done by President Mahama.
Remember that the chiefs vote too and know how to do so. What I know them not to be doing is to be mounting political campaign platforms to solicit votes for the incumbent. They don't even "incite" their subjects to vote for their preferred candidates. Whether there are some behind-the-scene arm-twisting moves cannot be confirmed. Our chiefs are influential but don’t hold sway over their subjects when it comes to making electoral decisions. That is why it is absolutely wrong for them to be denigrated as done by Kweku Baako and others who cannot separate the truth from their own misperceptions of political necessity in Ghana in this 21st century.
It must be clear at this point that the chiefs are political animals too (even though the Asantehene has said that he is a-political, which I strongly repudiate!!). No human being is ever a-political. Let's listen to Aristotle to learn sense thereby.
What is politics but the issue of power—how to get it through decision-making and to use it as such? In every human affair, the need for decision-making arises. Why, for instance, would choose to wear a particular attire at a particular time or to eat what food when? It's all about the power to make decisions, which decisions may affect not only the one making them but other human beings or just anything, including the environment too!!
The chiefs are free to express their viewpoints without being so horrified by insulting comments from nonentities of Kweku Baako's type. But for access to the news medium, how could Kweku Baako make a name for himself in public discourse? In which department of life is he respected as much as our chiefs are?
My message to those who rashly take us on whenever we write about Akufo-Addo and happenings involving him is that they should do a sober reflection on their sacred cow and those issues before shooting their mouths.
I am certain that Kweku Baako and his handlers read my opinion piece (especially on Ghanaweb) and saw more to deflate their ego. Next time, let them tread cautiously. We don’t hate them; we only are not happy the way they are doing politics as if without them, Ghana will collapse.
For as long as they shoot themselves in the foot, we will continue to take them on. They may initially bare their teeth but later developments will force them to see eye-to-eye with us. They had better do so if they want to be relevant to our democracy as an opposition (because that is what they deserve to be in my lifetime). I pause here.
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