Sefwi Omanhene Supplicates; President Plagiarizes Speeches And Projects

President Nana Akufo-Addo

“Even in your first and second terms in office, if you decide not to do anything for the people of Sefwi, but construct only our roads, we will forever be grateful”

Okatakyie Kwasi Bumagama II

IF YOU ARE LACHRYMOSE, and for that matter, your eye ducts are quick to fill up in tears, you cannot help but weep over the lamentations of the people of Sefwi. What do they want? Roads!

Oh, and are there not the roads the former regime touted as some of their major achievements? And the Omanhene of Sefwi is entreating the NPP government to provide them with nothing else if it would give them only roads!

During the campaign times, Nana Addo went to those areas and saw that “the roads were bad”. Meanwhile, John had said there “was unprecedented road infrastructure in Ghana”. Unprecedented? Ghana comparing herself with herself! Who will be around to give us the co-efficient formula for this?

Nana Addo returned to Accra and commented that he could not “see the unprecedented road infrastructure in the Western Region because wherever I visited, the roads were in a deplorable state”. But instead of John eating humble pie, he told Ghanaians that Nana Addo “was sleeping” on the way so he could not see the roads tarred, bituminized, asphalted macadamized. Sleeping or dozing or snoozing? Nana Okatakyie Bumagama and his people, in this instance, could be said to be better informed than either of the two “warring, factions”, because he who feels it knows it (apologies to Bob Marley). Oh, Judgment! You will not get it, for ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’.

But while Nana Addo was at Sefwi seeing (somebody will say: fiili-fiili) the road network in Sefwi, John was in the Volta Region in his usual lop-sided ‘Unity Walk’, throwing missiles at the President. No, not missiles, but rather bullets and rockets!

At Aflao, in Ketu South (one of the NDC’s ‘World Bank’), he posed a teaser: “I thought they are only good in (at) plagiarizing speeches. (I) didn’t know they are good in (at) plagiarizing projects too”. How did president Nana Addo “Plagiarize” NDC’s projects?. The ‘sod’ that had been ‘cut’ for the Phase 2 of the Kumasi International Airport construction had again been ‘cut’ by President Nana Addo, John lamented:”…the contractor had already moved to site and started work when I cut the sod for it in December, 2016. The NPP asked the contractor to hold on for a review, only to return to cut another sod for the same project about a week ago”.

To John, it was ‘petty’ for the president to re-commission (re-inaugurate) the Ridge Hospital. In the words of John, his “…heart bleeds for the Eastern Corridor road. However long it takes, I assure you that the NDC government will come and finish that…” The question is when? For how long can we wait for the NDC to redeem their pledge of coming back?

But we thought “plagiarism” had to do with (only) “literary or artistic theft”. The dictionaries talk of “plagiarism” as a wrongful appropriation of existing literature without acknowledgement of the author. This is “academic dishonesty” which violates the copyright laws, but there are no stringent laws either in Civil or Criminal Codes to incriminate the plagiarist.

Or did John use the words ‘plagiarising projects’ as ‘functionally shifted words’ to take on a new syntactic function’? Perhaps, so: for John is known (or presumed, or assumed, or opined) to be an astute communicator; so he should know what he is doing: playing on words- ‘punning’ or ‘spoonerism’. The word ‘pun’ (possibly from Italian  ‘puntiglio’ of the 17th century) is the use of words or phrases to exploit ambiguities and innuendoes in their meaning, especially for humour. Thomas Hood wrote: “Ben Battle was a soldier bold, And used to war’s alarms: But a cannonball took off his legs, So he laid down his arms”.

“Spoonerism” is a verbal error in which a speaker accidentally transposed the initial sounds or letters. In the early 20th century, Reverend W.A. Spooner (1844-1930) was noted for making such errors as: “He hissed the mystery lectures”, for “He missed the history lectures”.

Or should we say “plagiarising” as used here falls under ‘supposition’ to imply that the issue under discussion (projects) was mutually known by the speaker (John) and the addressees (participants at the walk). Or did John mean the design of the projects were plagiarized?

Meanwhile, as we quibble over the use of words, the roads in Ghana remain deteriorated. It is hard to believe that the road infrastructure left by the NDC would be damaged by the NPP within the less than two years in power. Why would everybody be crying over poor road network?

The FM stations in Kumasi have started a very educative programme of bringing the damaged roads (and streets) in Kumasi and Ashanti to the forefront. The patronage to this programme is overwhelming. The awareness is unique, and the timing, very timely and timeous.

We should, of course, be grateful to the Almighty for petty grace: the ‘problematic’ roundabouts lying between Ejisu and Kumasi are being removed. Halleluia! The ease of traffic that entails will make my shuttle between Kumasi and my village, Kokobra, now take me less than ten minutes. How I wish work on the dual carriageway between Asuoyeboa and Abuakwa will be continued to ease traffic in that part of Kumasi. What about the Ahinsan to Esreso stretch; the Nhyiaeso area; the Patasi community; et cetera.

How I wish all the roads in Ghana will be improved – to fulfill NPP’s campaign pledges, and to ensure smooth path to progress and development in Ghana. We make a ‘ceteris paribus’ (all things being equal) assumption that given the caliber of the two Ministers, Honourable Kwasi Amoako Attah and Honourable Kwabena Owusu-Aduomi, in the Ministry of Roads and Highways, our hopes and expectations shall be fulfilled. Proverbs 23:18 says: “For surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off”. Like Oliver, we shall always cry for more, but we believe, like Pip in Charles Dickens’s ‘Great Expectations’ all our demands shall be satisfied.

‘Cry no more’ Chris Brown will tell the people of Sefwi. Your prayers shall be answered.

As the President noted, “…the people know who was not telling the truth”. Nana Okatakyie Bumakama II, we believe you will have the roads and more. Who does not know the resources of the Western Region, and who does not know the deprivation that has been the lot of that region. Watch and pray.

Africannus Owusu – Ansah