Little big things

Akufo Addo President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Tue, 9 May 2017 Source: Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh

When a president has to run a whole motherland, economy, politics, religion, culture, societal issues and all, it is easy to overlook little things. Indeed, when a president is busy trying hard to ensure his compatriots are healthy and well educated (and not just schooled) his priority is not whether the number one symbol of the motherland flag is hung upside down.

To avoid an embarrassment by little things, and to make sure a president, who is in a hurry to fix his motherland, is not that distracted, hordes of hands are employed to assist and support him.

By all means, one such hand was responsible for hanging the sacred motherland flag upside down in the presence of a visiting first citizen of another motherland.

Even as I write, if you were to travel along the ceremonial Independence Avenue, you would see hung on electricity poles (for people obsessed with flagstaff hanging flags on electricity poles) at half-mast or half-staff. Flags fly at half-mast they say, for ‘respect, mourning or distress.’ I can’t see which among the three is the case.

I am not comfortable with a Flagstaff House being cursed. Osagyefo was nearly murdered there by Ametewee. Eventually, Kotoka, Afrifa and others smashed its gates to smoke the man’s family out while he was away seeking peace for others far away from the motherland. He was never allowed to return to the Flagstaff House.

When Emmanual Kwasi Kotoka chose to live there after throwing Kwame out, his underlying captain ended up marching him to the airport to shoot him dead. I don’t know if as the living quarters for the head of the armed forces (before Roman Ridge), Major General F.W.K Akuffo ever lived there. Neither do I know if Major General Odartey-Wellington ever lived there. I know, though, both didn’t die natural deaths. That Flagstaff House sounds a Waterloo.

I, therefore, feel strongly that the place’s temple of doom nature should be exorcised by changing that name. For me, it is not for anything that we decided to construct a place befitting in residence, the first family. Luckily, it happened in happier times for the motherland, celebrating a golden jubilee. It beats my imagination why anyone would have a beef with naming it Jubilee House.

The last time I drove past, sometime in the last week of April, my friend in the passenger seat drew my attention to a well-curated frontage grass lawn. Not long ago, the people who had sworn to convert it into a chicken coop were busy allowing that grass to grow into a savannah type. It persisted even after they had decided

to govern from there, and were, actually, working from there.

It’s heartening water was available on labour day. That’s a welcome improvement. But I have been searching without useful results for the impact of long versus short speeches. I don’t know why some preacher people want to go on and on with spoken words thinking anyone is listening, sometimes they don’t even hear, each and every one of those words. I wonder whether the impact of short presidential speeches would be less than the long, long ones speechwriters bore audiences with. I always remember the 15-minute burial preaching by a Methodist Minister at Adukrom many years ago. It’s my best so far. I also remember many guests abandoning a winding wedding service preaching.

On labour day or based on the relevance and auspiciousness of an occasion, the diversity of an audience must be taken care of. Everyone must feel included. But I want to think you can include so many in one sentence. So you get a few sentences that would include everyone. Maybe I am a dreamer.

One little thing; anytime I hear some money has been recovered or saved from deleted ghost names on payroll, or someone settling debts or a loan renegotiated, I feel like transparency must talk. A version of transparency action is indicating what exactly the saved funds would be used for.

It would be easier to track the disbursement of such monies if they were put into some escrow accounts and not the consolidated funds. We all know AFRC Account 48 was stolen from the state.

That’s my point. Tell my compatriots the accounts and they can follow the monies’ movements.

There are many areas to direct the recovered or saved sums to. A quick one would be the uncompleted Blaa Kutu baby care building at Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital. I have pleaded with the women and children’s affairs minister to ensure schools for children with disability never get shut down again. An account for that, the money invested and the accruing interest used to run those schools would be transparently expended on creating a critical mass of human capital for accelerated development.

Columnist: Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh