‘Otiko Djaba Dey Be’

It’s not easy to be a professor. You are human yet you are expected to go by niceties, what is proper and write in decent language.

It is worse if you are expected to profess, know and teach the use of language in the media. How then would you endorse an Otiko Djaba performance at a vetting session, something many, including someone I admire like Sydney Casely-Hayford of OccupyGhana fame, have pooh poohed.

It is hard; very, very hard, especially if you are not a trumpite trumping simplicity that ignores staying as far away from hurting human feeling as a leader should, and is expected to be.

But when asɛm yi di ka (that which needs to be said), as Ephraim Kɔku Amu put it, that asɛm must be said by someone. I guess that is probably one thing a professor ought to be able to do when not expected to.

The songster said ‘Otiko Djaba dey be.’ He did not say Otiko Djaba onaapo. He stopped at the dey be and didn’t add her name to those deserving of onaapo. I do agree with the songman mainly because I also think she probably hasn’t gathered enough life and living experience. She’s probably not too much of a distance from those who cannot pronounce ‘disenfranchisement’ or listed DHP as work experience. Those were still minister but will dare quiz someone else about ministerial competence.

Tell me; what did the Hannahs (Tetteh and Bisiw), their sister poison tongues and babies with sharp teeth (that spoke dirty and bit off huge chunks from the national cake) not do in terms of insulting sitting President Mr John Agyekum Kufuor? Where were all you people condemning Otiko when that happened? Congresspeople, especially their women, lied and insulted to ministerial positions.

Otiko only stated a fact. She spoke the fact of children with disability, the most vulnerable in our society, having their schools closed for want of state funding support. She spoke that heartlessness. People were Dubai-ing bragging they had brought pieces to Accra, as those children suffered. Go Otiko go!

Congresspeople are moral politically rotten to the marrow. They only survive by insulting, denigrating, demeaning and down talking everyone else but them. At any point where they thought people would vote against them, they would steal an election.

From Professor Abraham Adu-Boahen’s 1992 to date, they have been stealing elections. They were outsmarted in their divided front in 2000 and 2004. Then they were checkmated in 2012. Had everyone sat by being nice watching them, they would have ruled this motherland forever.

Ka bi kyerɛ wɔn (give them the appropriate response) is an accepted speech format and behaviour. It assumes the one overstepping the limits be dealt with in similar and cautionary manner. Indeed, diplomatic language was not invented for those like congresspeople who are determined to be undiplomatic about their speech. They operate by action and reaction being equal and opposite. If you allow your action to be diplomatic against their undiplomatic action, you stand defeated.

Great stuff Otiko wouldn’t chicken out confessing or retracting what we all know was a spoken truth. It’s extremely important she called their bluff. After all, according to their own, they would expect her to bribe them for consensus. Consensus does not mean much when the consensus extractor has no regard for the right concern for people’s rights to a livelihood.

The consensus seeker who would steal to prosper at the expense of the most disadvantaged in society is a pretender.

It’s unbelievable they know little (close to ignorance) in their treatment of the national service, its objectives and purpose. The scheme’s original intention was distorted in a decree and has since not been corrected. Those hypocritically trying to enforce it must find out why people now beg to do it when others used to escape it.

The secret to ministerial (as in all other leadership situations) is the ability to listen and listen well. Seek and consider advice seriously from those who would know and not bootlicking cheer gals and pals. You need to be exceptionally compassionate and yet also practice your boss’ value for money dictum. You should leave the ministry with something you can boast of as no one has ever achieved there.

Afisah, before your predecessor, schools for children with disability had never been closed for lack of funds. That should never be repeated. But beyond that, leave structures that ensure even under a callous congress administration, they CANNOT be closed. You would have left a mark. So good luck. Anyhow, it’s despicably and contradictorily unpatriotic for a national service certificate holder looting state resources. Still, I will forgo a ministerial salary for national service allowance if I didn’t have the certificate.

By Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh