Ghana: Instead of flogging the dead “Asomdwehene”…
By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
As is to be expected, those who have no concrete solution for solving the country’s problems are still fouling our air with their useless political rhetoric. They are still making utterances to annoy us.
Sekou Nkrumah is one of such idle-talkers whose presence on the political scene clearly confirms the shortcomings of contemporary Ghanaian politics. Let me say it for the umpteenth time that Sekou Nkrumah is an idle-talker who hasn’t made any concrete contribution toward solving Ghana’s problems and has no moral justification to continue making his presence felt. He is a nuisance.
Yet, he has had the impudence to make scathing comments to continue denigrating ex-President Mills. We don’t doubt his hatred for the ex-President; but we doubt his ability to help us solve our country’s problems.
Even before the dust settles on the departed President, Sekou is reported to have picked up the pieces again, this time, bad-mouthing ex-President Mills as being a “good man” and not a “great leader.”
Speaking on Joy FM’s news analysis programme, Newsfile, on Saturday, he said, “we have heard…people say Professor Mills was a great leader and honestly we don’t speak ill of the dead, that is our culture, we respect that and I think we gave Prof the due respect but again it doesn’t mean that we should go out of our way to say things that are not true.”
“Professor Mills,” according to him, “can never be described as a great leader but [he] was I think a good person who severed his country well. He got caught in politics; he made the choice to accept to become a politician and had to play the game of politics, rose to the highest of the land.” (Myjoyonline, 8/11/12)
This is the most annoying utterance to have come from such a moron in Ghanaian politics! An empty rhetoric based on a useless game of semantics.
Had Sekou broken issues down to itemize the characteristics of “a great leader” as against what a “good man” could be, I would have spared him this vitriol. But he didn’t, which leaves him open to what I have taken him on to do. He is a moron!!
And to imagine him talking about “our culture not allowing us to speak ill of the dead”! As a hybrid, which is the “culture” that he is referring to? The Ghanaian one, which he is not qualified to be associated with? Or the Egyptian one that he is equally unfit to be lumped up with, having not fully been integrated into that system as well?
He is a bat—neither a bird nor a mammal—which he demonstrates in his political life as well, flitting from one political camp to the other and virtually rendering himself an anathema.
Unlike ex-President Mills who stood the test of Ghanaian elections and passed, Sekou hasn’t contested any election to determine whether he is electable into public office or not. How dare him judge others, then?
Without any doubt, he has already spoken ill of the dead President. So, what is the point in what he attributes to “our culture” in this sense?
Whatever qualities the ex-President had to make him qualify as “a good man” in Sekou’s estimation were the very personal characteristics that influenced his politicking. These were the very traits that shaped his worldviews and motivated his politicking to such an extent as to stand out as a “Man of Peace.” These were the very characteristics that endeared the former President to the hearts of the millions who grieved at his death. And this is the legacy that we expect our politicians (every Ghanaian in public life) to emulate!!
Can one be a “great leader” without being a “good man”? Or what is a good man like that deprives him of being seen as a “great leader”? What is Sekou’s understanding of the adjective “GREAT,” though?
Indeed, nowhere in his political life did the former President crave for the title of a “great leader” to be recognized and accorded due respect as such. He didn’t project himself as such. Neither did he ever see self-aggrandizement as an attraction; nor did he uphold himself as a paragon of truth and justice. He endeavoured and succeeded in acting as a fallible human being who needed God’s guidance in his efforts to register his mark on Ghanaian politics. He chose to use his God-given talents and capabilities to serve his country to the best of his abilities. And he died as such.
He never sought to think that nation-building was a “one-man show” to make him want to hog space or do it all by himself. Great leaders act that way. Yet, Sekou doesn’t see such a move as praiseworthy.
Nothing can be more irritating than such comments made by narrow-minded characters of Sekou’s ilk who can’t even rub shoulders with the ex-President in any department of life. In truth, the former President’s career spanned several departments of life, culminating in his being elevated to the highest office of the land as the President of Ghana. He had risen from the lower level to that apogee in his political career—not because he wanted to be perceived as a “great leader.”
In fact, unlike others, ex-President Mills never bothered Ghanaians with his personal accomplishments as a trump-card to win their votes or goodwill. He concentrated his efforts on what needed to be done to develop the country and improve living standards. He might have made promises to that effect but he didn’t base those promises on so-called personal interests or self-conceit as others are known to be doing all over the place.
I want to make it clear at this point that viewpoints of the sort expressed by Sekou reinforce the fact that most of those who haven’t seen anything worthy of praise about President Mills’ politicking are part of Ghana’s problem. The ex-President has played his part and is being remembered as such. How does Sekou think he will be remembered if he dies today? A piece of clod?
To all intents and purposes, the former President’s manner of politicking made a huge difference for those of us with eyes to see as a major positive break from the single-handed “strongman mentality” that has been the bane of Ghanaian politics all these years.
Obviously, the ex-President’s laid-back approach to managing the affairs of his government and this country put him streets ahead of his predecessors, including Sekou’s own father, whose dictatorial and brash manner of politics created more enemies for them than needed and worsened the country’s plight.
What Sekou and those short-sighted detractors have failed to appreciate is that every historical period produces its own calibre of leaders whose governance style suits the exigencies of the particular situation in which they find themselves. In ex-President Mills’ case, he emerged to serve purposes other than what Sekou and those thinking like him might imagine.
Those of us who recognize the genius that ex-President Mills was will continue to cherish him and uphold his calling as an “Asomdwehene.” If for nothing at all, that’s his accolade, which he lived as a lifestyle and died with. As he rests peacefully in his grave at the “Asomdwe Park” in Accra, we will continue to remember him for all that he stood for and died accomplishing.
He is gone and must be cherished for his contributions to national development. He didn’t serve Ghana because he wanted to be recognized as “a great leader.” He did so because he was good enough to warrant the people’s trust and confidence to be given the mantle to play his part in national development.
The millions of people who grieved at his death don’t really care whether the morons functioning as his relentless critics want to draw any line between his being a “great leader” or “a good man.” Instead of flogging the dead “Asomdwehene,” people like Sekou should find better ways to redeem themselves and serve Ghana better than the ex-President has done.
Whether a “great leader” or a “good man,” ex-President Mills played his part and has already had his name indelibly written in the annals of this country’s contemporary history. May he rest in perfect peace and his name continue to ring loud in our ears!!