Onion Sellers In Town

Hajia Fati

This week has been full. Opana has mentioned that J. B. Danquah can be described as the founder of the University of Ghana. The other day when he said that the University of Professional Studies was founded by one Nana Opoku-Ampomah, ‘there norrr’, the name of the university was changed to Opoku-Ampomah University of Professional Studies. So, this one too, well, I don’t know…

I am not sure if I am going to be the only person with a different view on the slapping incident that has occurred. Hajia Fati of the NPP has slapped Adom FM reporter, Ohemaa Sakyiwaa Ahwenepa, for daring to take pictures of her, claiming that Ohemaa looked like an onion seller, which is why she slapped her.

I am not sure, really, if I qualify to comment on the violence situation itself, especially since it has to do with slapping. As someone who grew up on the beach, we are born into violence and giving and receiving of slaps are almost a commodity exchange in our world. We are typically encouraged to be violent. Growing up, it was part of our training and subculture, and in some of the extreme instances, we were deliberately conditioned to act violently; always in self-defense, even when you were not under any threat, for it was a mark of manhood.

But as we grow into civilized environment, we shed our primitive taints, clothing ourselves with whatever tolerance that comes our way. That is why, of course, I condemn Hajia’s slapping action in its entirety, believing, that, whether Ohemaa looked like an onion seller or a carpenter, there is no civility in such slapping action.

As we all condemn this violent attacks, as well as condemning all those violent situations visited on Journalists in the past, we will have to take a step back to reflect on our country as it is evolving into a certain disorganized animal farm where the lion rotates with the bear in keeping the farm.

What is it that has brought us this far, in waging war against each other at the least provocation? It is all about the winner takes all kind of democracy we are practicing. It is all about who takes the better part of our tax resources. It is all about who gets which of the contracts. It’s all about who controls the state resources. It is never, ever, about giving the country what we have – we are all living an open lie, wanting everyone to believe that we are fighting for power because we want to give to the poor – straight lie!

On the same premises of the NPP headquarters were a number of violent attacks visited prior to the 2016 elections – NPP members attacking NPP members – we all treated it as an internal matter. There was a looting overnight at the offices of the party allegedly perpetrated by the supporters of the then National Chairman, Paul Afoko. The NDC was then in power. It was within their capacity to arrest the perpetrators. But no, they rather celebrated, in deepening the cracks within the party.

The response was that the NPP formed its own army – the Invisible Forces, the Delta Forces and all those other forces, to protect their party and their party officials. The police were repudiated; giving way to self-defense – spewing lawlessness in the process.

Hajia Fati certainly being skilled in the internal security affairs of the party, knows no bounds in ensuring that she watches her own without ceding space, and if Sammy Crabbe, a palpably unqualified person attempts to pick up nomination forms to contest a National Chairmanship of the party, when the same person is already on suspension, and when the same person is still in the media fighting against the party on whose ticket he wishes to contest, then a party fanatic who does not believe in our justice system would be left with no option than to physically violate everyone who stands in her way.

It looks as if we have added bullying to the “winner takes all” system that we have imposed on ourselves. If your government is in power then you can take the money, you can take the contract, you can take the positions, and when you are done, you can also slap, you can steal, you can even kill and still walk free, as your party will do everything to use the state resources to protect you.

If your party is in opposition then you are the one for whom the laws must work. Opposition elements become aliens in their own country. They become victims of themselves, as the laws which never worked on them when they were in power, certainly begin to work extra time on them at the least infraction.

And as the opposition elements keep becoming victim of the law, their counterparts in power continue to enjoy protection, flaunting their impunity to the world. That is why we keep having lawless youth destroying state properties without any consequences.

We saw a glaring example of Stan Dogbe destroying recording gadgets of some Journalists. We saw the killing of some party supporters at Agblobgloshie and nothing happened to them. Party supporters set fire on state assets, they seized toilets, markets, lorry stations, they did everything wrong to prove that their party was in power. And they were right; they were never arrested.

This is a country where party supporters could march to the office of a public servant, get him ejected, beat him up, and march to the courts to free themselves and caused our judges to flee for their lives. Yet they walk on the streets as celebrants.

The winner takes all. The winner is powerful. The winner is a god unto himself. All the rest of us have one duty: to continue to pay our taxes dutifully so that the winner would use the taxes we have paid to suppress us and to support the foolishness of the winner who has taken all.

Today too, I am predicting; nothing will happen to Hajia Fati. Her party is in power. She saw an onion seller and slapped her; that is all there is to the matter.

Simpa Panyin has said nothing oo! All I am waiting for is for the world to come to an end; then I will be gone – wherever that ‘gone’ will take me to. For it is too frustrating to live in this world. It is too stressful to continue to wait on Opana, expecting him to look different from all those in whose wake he has come.

The NDC is reported to be building an internal security force called the Hawks. We are all watching sheepishly as the threat unfolds. We are seeing it as a mere counter to the Invisible Forces and Delta Forces as we blind ourselves in partisanship. Very soon the toilets that the NPP seized would be taken back, violently, by the Hawks, in retaliation to what the Invisible Forces did.

One day, and that day will soon come, the Invisible Forces, the Delta Forces and the Hawks will storm the airport and seize the airplanes, taking over from the pilots, they will seize the air traffic control rooms and they will seize the weather reading equipment and they will fly the planes into the air and into the sea.

As we witness the weakening of the Invisible Forces, as we see the Delta Forces continuously disappointed, a responsible state security institution would have begun to block the flow of these forces into the Hawks and would have stopped the Hawks from coming. That should be the beginning of preventing the onion sellers from being attacked.


James Kofi Annan