Re: ‘Mills is blind, can't read anything – Nyaunu’

Sat, 28 May 2011 Source: Badu, K.

I would like to state categorically that this rebuttal is not because of my affiliation with any political group or a display of sheer proclivity. Suffice it to say that I am disgusted by the content of an article published by ‘Ghanaweb’ on Thursday 26 May 2011, with the caption: ‘Mills is blind, can't read anything – Nyaunu’.

In the said article, the Campaign Coordinator of the Konadu for 2012 team, Michael Teye Nyaunu, was captured on tape telling NDC Party delegates that, “President Mills’s failing sight has allowed the people surrounding him such as Ato Ahwoi to take control and act like the ones truly running the country”. The MP for Lower Manya constituency is heard explicitly telling delegates that “President Mills is virtually blind and incapable of running his Government.”

It is rather unfortunate that a supposedly educated and no lesser person than policy maker (Nyaunu) can boldly and ignobly resort to euphemism through his mudslinging, and thereby stereotyping against visual impaired people indiscriminately. What Mr. Nyaunu ought to grasp is sightlessness does not necessarily make someone shiftless. In essence, Mr. Nyaunu did not display beneficence in his incoherent remarks. Candidly, I am struggling to grasp the syllogism in his misguided exposition. I do not think there is any deductive reasoning by suggesting that President Mills eyesight has deteriorated over the course of his presidency, hence he has become slothful. In other words, Mr. Nyaunu is implying that all people with visual impairment are indolent or incompetent, thus President Mills who is perceived as sightless, is lazy. Isn’t this an ignoramus view point?

I shudder to accept that someone like Mr. Nyaunu can resort to such bigotry and thereby needlessly discriminating against multitude of innocent sightless people because of political proclivities. It is important for Mr. Nyaunu to note that sightlessness does not negate leadership qualities one holds, In other words, if President Mills was a ‘transformational leader prior to his alleged sight-loss, he will not cease to be so, because of his sightlessness. It is important to note that one does not need eyes in order to become a paradigmatic leader. In practice, leadership is about thinking strategically, providing passion, vision, optimism and enthusiasm. Mr. Nyaunu, do eyes matter here?

Let us consider someone like David Blunket, the erstwhile British Home Office Secretary. He is a blind person; nonetheless, he seized the opportunity that was accorded him by the British society, and rose to arguably the second highest position in the British Political arena. Needless to say, Mr. Blunket is probably more astute and competent than Mr Nyaunu. Biblically, Moses was not “hundred per cent fit”, nonetheless, he exhibited paradigmatic leadership. We see in Exodus that he was a shepherd - a rather unpretentious beginning for the man who would speak to God. He kept watch as thousands of sheep grazed the fields. Moses noticed that one sheep was missing and went off to look for it, finding it at a distant apart. When the sheep had finished drinking, Moses lifted it onto his shoulders and carried it back to the flock. When Jehovah God saw this, he became aware that Moses was a man of reason, empathy and selfless devotion, a man truly worthy to lead His people; a man who would put his empathetic qualities at the disposal of the needs of his subordinates.

As elucidated, Mr. Nyaunu, one does not need eyes before he/she can be adjudged as a competent leader, but, one rather needs leadership qualities and/or cognitive skills.

K. Badu, UK.

Columnist: Badu, K.