Opinions Fri, 15 Dec 2017

RE: Kwame Sefa Kayi slams defence minister for attacking Mahama

In the 9th December publication of the Ghanaweb online news page is an article captioned "Power is transient" and written by Mr Kwame Sefa Kayi, one of the finest journalists Ghana is privileged to have.

In fact, from my enclave somewhere in Europe l often listen to Kwame on different platforms especially, on Kokrokoo which he also is the host. And l believe all will attest to the sense of professionalism he always tries to distinguish himself. Kwame gives credit where and whom it is due.

Similarly he doesn't fail to use the whip against the one that deserves it. It's for reasons such as this that make it difficult for most of Kwame's listeners including me find it difficult to criticise him. However, it is believed, people that embrace secondary 1from from others that are in the opposition tend to become the best in whatever they find themselves doing.

I, therefore, find myself in a fixed as l pen down this piece in criticising one of Ghana's media personality whom l so much respect and cherish. I only pray this writings of mine will be received in good faith because l don't harbour any bad intentions either than speaking against what l believe are some of the social problems coming from those that are supposed to know better and to distinguish themselves as role models for the rest of the populace to learn from the good examples that they ought to set.

Chairman, l am not comfortable in part of your response to Mr Nitiwul, the Defence minister's in respect to publicly alleged that the former president, John Mahama has encroached into a parcel of land belonging to the defence department. From your submission the manner Mr Nitiwul addressed the issue is not right especially, overtly making the complaint in public. l presume your decision has been arrived on the basis that Mahama was once a president and that for Mr Nitilwu to do what he did was tantamount to disrespecting the former President and the office he held. And it's on this point in particular that l seem to have a problem with you.

Kwame permit me to argue that your suggestion that the Defence minister should have dealt with the situation in a much better way is somehow misplaced. Sir, we live in a country where every now and then we struggle with law and order. It has been this way because we seem to lack leadership by example in Ghana. Our leaders misbehave with the public properties and yet they are worshipped as thin Gods Where lies the onus in regard to fighting corruption as well as canvassing for a law abiding Ghana when just a section and of course the poor in the Ghanaian societies are the ones sidelined for punitive measures for petty offences they commit; while those sucking blood of the nation go scot free?

What would have been the situation if an ordinary Ghanaian had committed the offence the ex president is being accused of. Why do we always assume that the president and others in top governmental positions are untouchables. In fact, we cannot build a decent country where the laws work if the citizens are treated differently; thus preferential and stringent laws to rulers and the ruled respectively.

In so doing Ghana is nothing different from events in George Owell's novella 'The Animal Farm' which he writes against social injustice. Honestly, l am not asking that our leaders including the ex-president, parliamentarians, Electoral Commissioners, the Chief Justice, senior citizens our traditional leaders etc should not be accorded the respect due them.

No this is far from my believe. And l must admit that l never affirm to insubordination of any form. What l rather dislike is a society where some people are more equal than others and hence different laws are applied for different set of people depending on where an individual or groups are pegged.

In building a law abiding Ghana it is time we bring into public domain peoples being dishonest and have them subjected to public ridicule irrespective of the level they stand on the social ladder. A

fter all the law if is to apply fairly must not have respect for any one. Why then are Ghanaians not being measured with the same yardstick in regard to the laws in Ghana. In fact it is not for nothing our president(s) and the rest of the leaders are paid fatty salaries not to mention attractive fringe benefits.

Common sense will attest to the point that they are given such treatments in recognition to the difficult responsibilities reposed in them. Moreover, and importantly, the huge salaries and other benefits are meant to prevent our leaders from indulging in any disgraceful behaviours that are also precursors to problems that are most likely to affect the entire citizens including the unborn generation.

Why then should any fraudulent and illegal practice of our leaders be drawn under the carpet or addressed covertly like you (Kwame) seem to express in your critique of the Defence minister. Like an adage in Akan goes (s3 kokuram anf3re s3 w)b3t) wohyene mu a wo nso mf3re s3 wode asaawa b3tare so). To wit, if people do not feel ashamed to misbehave they in the same vein should not be bothered when they are made to face the rhythm of their bad utterances. Wherefore is the better way Mr Nitiwul is being asked to have addressed the alleged illegal occupation of government land by the ex President (Mr Mahama).

Would there be any land left for future developments if outgoing leaders are allowed to build on parcels of lands they know are reserved for future purposes. To the former president in particular, he appears to be too greedy, sorry for my language if it appears too offensive. l seem not to find any better word that's synonymous to the one l have just used to explain myself.

The other time it was about trying to convert a building officially mandated to serve the Vice President as his personal property. And there are a number more instances that are already known by the Ghanaian people and hence there is no essence repeating them. Nevertheless, the ex President is aware his action is improper and against the law.

As a nation we need to argue well and arrive at a concrete policy decision in regard to what our ex leaders could be given. And let me emphasise "what they could be given." Not what they can choose to have, else it will not be a surprise for Ghanaians to hear one day that a certain out going president has been given the Flagstaff/Jubilee House for his/her ex gratia because that's what they have chosen to have. Again as a nation the time also is ripped to hold the president in particular to do the right thing.

That's opposing all manner of amassing wealth and properties fraudulently, illegally and unnecessarily. Until the president is bring to reproach and find culpable when found in wrong doing there is no doubt they (presidents) can reprimand people they appoint to serve in various portfolios. After all the president and appointees are all stealing.

The political situation in Ghana has always been this way. If l am wrong how on earth the sports minister (Elvis Afriyie Ankrah)and aids including Kwadwo Adu Asare (Hon. Swagger) be set free after they were found cunningly stolen from the state during the 2012 Fifa World cup competition in Brazil.

Yaw Osei Bimpong Milton Keynes, UK

Columnist: Yaw Osei Bimpong