“Silly Season”

Sat, 20 Dec 2008 Source: Danquah, Joe Aboagye

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“Politicians are like monkeys. The higher they climb, the more revolting the parts they expose”. – Gwilyn Lloyd George (decd.), British Liberal Politician.

Fellow country men, lend me your ears. Silly season is here!!! It crept up on us after we absorbed the results of the December 7, 2008 presidential polls. Silly season, thankfully, is rather short. It is actually only about three weeks but most of the silliness takes root only by the beginning of the second week. When Agya Afare announced the results, I knew instinctively that a lot of weird stories would emerge between that date and December 28, 2008. Its happening thick and fast. I have always held the opinion that in Africa, the politician always does something silly when he realizes that power may be slipping away. Many people act rather weird during the silly season. It’s not worthwhile trying to rationalize most of the actions within the silly season. This applies across the board to most of the big men in the society. Silly season is a time when people who frankly ought to know better do not mind embarrassing themselves at all in a desperate bid to win the mandate of the people. My medical friends tell me that in the initial moments of shock, some people can act basabasa. They also say that certain levels of euphoria could also lead to the same weird behaviour.

We have been here before, haven’t we? In 2000 during the silly season, the NDC became unsure whether to hide Papa Jay and Maame Konadu or allow them on the campaign trail. These are critical decisions during the silly season. Unfortunately for the parties involved in the season’s activities, there is a very tight timeline, essentially only about 14 days to really act silly. Let me take you through a few that have popped out so far.

The Ashanti DCOP is more of a gangster than a policeman”. Ha ba! Why would you say that to a police boss? But it’s the silly season. Silliness begets more silliness which begets crass buffoonery among mpanyinfo! If a police man sees a man assaulted but rather arrests the assaulted man and grants him bail and then denies the assault, a silly return is the gangster rap that is flowing from Pap Jay’s camp. Then the champion of human rights Osagyefo Nana A.D. Akufo-Addo (remember the name is not spelt with a double f) is reported as having witnessed the assault on a photo journalist but did not intervene to save the poor guy. Can it be true? The Venerable Sir John has come out to say that they were nowhere near the fracas and it involved another person completely unconnected with the campaign team of Nana. A clear case of show me the evidence! Don’t expect Nana to say anything on this. There really isn’t time to waste on such little things as a small matter of some slaps and kicks. In the silly season, our credentials don’t matter when we have to go back to our strongholds to beg them to prevent the impending Armageddon.

Then there is the other matter of Pap Jay’s bodyguard or minder or bootlicker or macho man who chose to use a handkerchief as a holster in Manhyia. The story is that he pulled the gun in the presence of the Venerable Yewura. What was he thinking of? Then it gets really silly. Yewura’s men had AKs. Guess what would have happened if they had not acted professionally. And oh, Pap Jay says leave my man with me and am going to bring him to DCOP, Ashanti later. The same gangster? Then the national government says that no borders will be closed during the elections. It was a calculated lie by people tasked with the highest responsibility of governing the entire land. Boom! Two days before the elections, the border of Ewe-Togo land is clammed shut! Ebei, NPP, is that how you are? Now, all ewes as far as Timbuktu are reporting well before Christmas and they wont go anywhere till after they have cast their vote. The silliness unites a people who already don’t like you!

It can only get better! I hear Christine Churcher was on TV kneeling down fiili-fiili in Simpa, begging the people and the chiefs to vote for the Osono. Oh, me nkrofo Central Region, look at what you done to the holiest people in the land. Antie Christine, whom I needled a long time ago in the underground at St. Augustine’s by having the guts to tear into her girls verbally, on her knees? On national TV? Probably on ghanaweb? I hear Yewura himself was also pleading in Oseikrom that if the NDC comes to power, they will deal with certain people in the party. Ebei, is that the reason we should stand in the sun and vote? To prevent a government from dealing with people? I pray the people in Ashanti become contrite as fast as possible because at this rate, if by the final week it is perceived that they are still stubborn, oh, Yewura, his sons, the chief apostle, myself and all the others who are suddenly afraid of the same laws they have been superintending and applying liberally will have no choice but to call a nationally televised medias conference and weep till you are shamed to go and vote to prevent Armageddon.

But it is not over yet! The best one is the bit about the Attorney-General ordering prisoners out of jail. I hear the Deputy A-G said that he had no clue that courts were applying a non-law until a close relative was also jailed. I may be dumb but in all my years of curiosity, I have never come across such a move. If Efua Abakoma gets canned by a Judge who is asleep, fed by prosecutors who are all asleep, sadly joined by lawyers who ought to have known better but chose to sleep for some "no ko fio" and the Ministry of Justice who woke up after many people have been jailed, I can go to Nsawam, knock on the door of the prison executives and tell them that there was no legal basis for the jail terms so they should release her for me! That is the sure cream on the silly season so far. Ghana is a land of beauty! The Ghana Bar Association may be unaware of the silliness being perpetrated. Since when did an Attorney-General have the power to release persons who have been jailed by a court of competent jurisdiction, WHETHER LAWFULLY OR OTHERWISE? But if you do not do this within the silly season, when?

A word to the NDC. Stop being silly! You claim that you want to have power because you are ready to govern. Why all these explosive statements which just go to stoke the fire. No matter the issues you may have with persons or institutions in the governance structures, remember that if you win, you will inherit the self-same structures and indeed some of the same persons like the gangster in Kumasi. How can you work with a gangster? Please tone down the rhetoric and focus on your core message. Look for your votes without threatening fire and brimstone. Uncle Fiifi has already set fire among the Osono and her bum is burning. Please do not denigrate government so much that everyone begins to see government as really that bad. Remember the Osono is in this mess because of words not matching up to deeds.

To the Osono, words! I beg, you are embarrassing yourself. Nana, please get some ice cold water and wash your fine face. Get some of the really bad guys who have actually caused this debacle away from the limelight and market the essential you. Why are you abiding the destruction of the very principles of the party in your bid for power? Remember the NPP told the people that the NDC stole opipipipiii and they have no respect for fundamental rights. Your claim to fame is therefore a fundamental distinction from them. I cannot understand the panic. Speak your mind, remain true to yourself and let the silliness end. Going round the country begging people just debases everything you represent. It may be true that begging is an acknowledgement that you have goofed big time. It’s a risky strategy because Ghana is big and you will not have enough time to convince everyone. Some people who share your platform would be elsewhere if the law was applied fairly and equally. It was Walter Mondale, former Vice President of Obamaland who said “ political image is like mixing cement. When its wet, you can move it around and shape it, but at some point it hardens and there’s almost nothing you can do to reshape it”. Osono, just pray the cement has not hardened yet!!!

Before the silly season arrived, some folks spoke dismissively of the importance of Pap Jay accepting to hand over to Yewura. Now due to Osono silliness, we now see how painfully difficult it was for Papa Jay to hand over power to his arch-enemies. As avowed democrats, I expect the NPP to be better prepared to manage a handover than Papa Jay. So why the mad panic? Please chill! If you have not stolen any monies or messed yourself up such that Tsatsu becomes a nightmare scenario, you have no cause to act silly.

Before I sign out, I have heard the latest move in the silly season. If you are a public servant and the government inadvertently pushed some unearned millions your way, I hear all deductions have been halted. That’s not good enough. If you really want to earn a vote with that kind of silliness, you have to go the whole nine yards. Just say that we wont ask you to pay again. That’s your "chobo" for the eight years. If its not wiped off, this Ghanaian voter will be told by your arch-enemy that he should not smile because immediately they vote you back, you will come back for your money. The it really gets tricky because you may then not have the vote which may then mean you may not win which may them mean you will have to answer for all the …… which may then mean you will have to go to ,……….. and then all the silliness comes to naught! Please don’t give them the chance to say “me gyimi a, enka mo pe paaaaa!!!!

Fellow countrymen, enjoy the silly season while it lasts. It may be the lull before the perfect storm!!!

Relax, all! Go and vote on December 28, 2008! Protect the ballot! Remember silly season aint over yet! The fuel price will sink lower!

God Bless Our Homeland Ghana

And Make Our Nation Great and Strong!

JOE ABOAGYE DEBRAH Esq. www@osimidiaries.blogspot.com

Columnist: Danquah, Joe Aboagye