Some apology!

George Ayisi Boateng Ayisi Boateng, Ghana

Tue, 7 Nov 2017 Source: Enimil Ashon

The Ayisi Boateng apology letter I read on social media was not on a letterhead, and the signature was execrable, so much like the photocopy of a hen’s footprint that I rejected it as fake.

I changed my mind only when I read it on citifmonline.com.

Even there, I could swear that the apology was not from the heart: it was squeezed out of the man – squeezed by the fear of losing a juicy ambassadorial appointment.

My suspicion is that the fear started getting real for him (and the government) only after Abdul Malik Kweku Baako spoke on Kwame Sefa Kayi’s ‘Kokrokoo’ morning show on Peace FM.

One of two things happened after Baako spoke. One is that someone may have rushed to inform him that that journalist was one of the few sensible commentators governments listen to and that his words were likely to evoke a certain emotion in the President that was not likely to be in his favour.

The other is that the President may have ordered the Minister for Foreign Affairs to call him to order.

Baako’s contribution was a masterstroke, the language of diplomats that calls you a fool in a very nice language. It left the man naked.

Incidentally, this is the language the man, though a diplomat, did not know how to use; hence, his faux pas.

It exposed him as a man unfit for that office – like a certain man in America.

Some apology! First instinct was to reject it and continue to bay for his blood.

But I am a Ghanaian, ever so forgiving, the nature in us that has saved us from civil wars but has also left us at the mercy of clever crooks, small men drunk with power, the double-mouthed and the corrupt. Everybody takes advantage of Ghanaians.

The effect of what our Chief of Mission in South Africa was telling me was that to be favourably considered for anything from our High Commission in that country, I needed to have my New Patriotic Party (NPP) membership card in my wallet all the time.

I could imagine myself in the event of a xenophobic attack in South Africa. Where else do I run to but the High Commission! Yet at the gates of Ghana’s mission house, there stands an officer who is on strict orders to open the gates only for Ghanaians who can prove they are members of the NPP!

In what other context am I supposed to read Ayisi Boateng’s words?

Democracy is the rule of the law, the media and civil society.

The Ayisi Boateng brouhaha is a triumph for free press, and I consider it providential that democracy has come to Ghana in the era of social media, particularly this animal called WhatsApp.

Thanks to technology and the media, I can foresee the next five years when corruption, as we knew it in the Acheampong era (late 1970s-mid 80s) and the last three years in Ghana, would be totally or partially non-existent.

Did I read somewhere that some people in Ghana were threatening street demonstrations to demand the reinstatement of Ayisi Boateng if the President should sack him?

What is happening to our humanity? Our very essence as a thinking race is fast becoming questionable – has been since 1992.

What did it matter if the man was an NPP financier?

Without suggesting that Ayisi Boateng has crooked financial sources (I don’t know him from Adam), I invite you to imagine what I can do for my party if I succeed in landing safely in Europe or America with even a matchbox of crack cocaine.

In the new culture of Ghana, I will overnight become noticeable at party headquarters and qualify to be a board member or an ambassador.

Yet, besides foolhardiness or the irrepressible desire for wealth and fame, one doesn’t necessarily need brains to do drugs.

While at it, isn’t it worrying that people to whom we have credited a modicum of wisdom, Ghanaians to whom we have accorded respectability and who have impressed us with degrees and accomplishments are suddenly turning their backs to all of these in preference for wealth that comes from being notable for lies on morning radio?

We are losing our humanity as a people. Once upon a time, you could swear that the Ghanaian would not do or say this or that. Well, that was in the era where you could be wealthy yet shunned because your source of wealth was doubtful.

In Essikado, where Nana Nketsia now reigns, there used to be a multi-storey apartment in the early 1960s which nobody wanted to rent. It was not a haunted house.

Rumour was that, it was built with juju money. The owner had no friend; she walked alone. We, the children, turned down her gifts and tips. Friends tell me that this used to be the culture in other parts of Gold Coast/Ghana.

Not anymore. In the name of politics, and to keep our party in power or to force our way into power, we would lie without scratching the head.

Truth? Who eats truth? The Ga will exclaim, “Anokwale po!” and the Asante will sing, “Yenom nsa a wo se shirt”.

We are fast approaching an era when God may not matter when politics beckons.

For fear of politicians such as George Ayisi Boateng, people (especially contractors) keep two party cards – NPP and NDC. Ghanaians will do anything for money.

Columnist: Enimil Ashon