The notion that our political people shamelessly switch their utterances to suit their circumstances is not in doubt at all. It happens so often that quite a number of us are beginning to accept it as a way of life. If this new way of life were to be in the overall interest of this country I would have been equally ecstatic about it. However I feel it is not, and that we are only waiting to change our tongues again when things take a turn to ‘favour’ the other side.
My friend, Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng aptly captured my thoughts when he said this about Otumfour’s trip to Europe aboard the Presidential jet; “… Otumfuo has flown to the UK for a private visit aboard the presidential jet. Please close your eyes for a moment and imagine the banner headlines and sensationalism from the criminal rented press houses had this happened between 2001 and 2008. It is a wonderful world”.
The issue of whether or not any chief can ask for, and be granted the use of the ever controversial presidential jet is not what I wish to discuss. It is also not about the fact that there has been no official communication from government on how OUR presidential jet is used. It is also not about the information minister being in the dark (not for the first time) on matters of interest. It is about the institutionalization of hypocrisy in this country, and the seemingly great pains we go at consolidating it.
We live in a country where our politicians, all of them, have always capitalized on our short attention span and memory to play us like chess. Just as Rodney pointed out, if the Asantehene had been allowed to use the Presidential jet between 2001 and 2008, there is no doubt my friends in the NDC would have been screaming themselves till the mummies in Egypt arose from their state of embalmment.
Will they not have accused the NPP of favouring the Asantehene because he is Ashanti and is King in the NPP’s stronghold? Will they not have said that it proves the Asantehene is NPP? Will they not have said that no chief has any right to use a state facility, especially one meant for the use by the executive? Will they not have tried to stir undue ethnic sentiments damning the consequence all in the name of making political gains? I am cock sure that had Awomefia been the first to fly in ‘JM’s Bird’ my friends in the NPP would have done the same thing I just spoke of.
That is the sort of hypocritical society we have for ourselves, and it transcends to all facets of our lives. It is shameless, despicable, but we condone it with opened arms.
Some months ago I did a piece I titled ‘duka dai’ which in Hausa means ‘all the same’ or something like that. In that piece I reiterated that “Politicians, I have said before, are only different in so far as the names of their party’s differ. Some claim all kinds of fanciful and generally meaningless ideologies that they claim they believe in and practice but in reality you and I know they are all the same. Forget about the gibberish about some party been left-to-the-right or right-to-the-centre or right-of-the-left-of-the- middle-of-the-centre or whatever nonsense they may want to claim. As far as I am concerned they are all a bunch of lying and thieving men and women who are foisting terms like ‘Honourable’ before their names even though their nothing but it. Oh yes there are a few decent ones who are out to truly serve and not be served. But they are in such a tiny minority that it feels they are not even there to begin with”.
See, we should, as a people try to live the truth especially as it pertains to our nation. Lying to ourselves and the millions of party foot soldiers who cheer and jeer without knowing exactly why does not do us any good. What is wrong is wrong, regardless of who is in power and who is in opposition when that act was committed; comment was made, or not made. If we are to start moving forward again then that should be one of the key things we do as a people.
The NDC is in power now and is doing what it feels is right, cool. If we collectively believe that they are right in these national matters, then there is no political reason why we should denigrate some of the ideas.
All these may be like some wet dream on my part. But I do pray and hope that we learn to put Ghana first. It is all we have and I think we have marked time for far too long. If we are to move forward, we should start to do the things that will let us move forward.