July 30, 2018 • Featured Articles, Opinions, Politics

“Over the last few weeks, I have been amazed at the number of people who have come to show us love; and I ask myself, is this Ghana? Are all these people in Ghana? Because the maligning, the lies, the treachery, the wickedness, the deliberately changing things so that you could look better than others, the mischievousness. I ask myself, is this Ghana? I ask myself, is this my own husband that people have come to pay tribute to?… ”

Former Second Lady, Mrs. Matilda Amissah – Arthur, on Friday, 27th July, 2018, received high applause for quizzing Ghanaians on the above rhetorical questions at the Accra International Conference Center (AICC) where the final funeral rites of her late husband and former Vice President of Ghana, H. E. Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah -Arthur was underway. I cannot tell from which quarters those applauds came; but at least, one would not be faulted for guessing which side of the political divide those praises were likely to emanate from.

This is not the first time such comments have been made after the death of a person whose status is as high as H.E. Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah – Arthur. The same thing happened after the death of the late President John Evans Atta Mills where some party members of the late professor even went to the extent of attributing the death of the former president to, according to them, the insults rained on him by his political opponents. I concede insults should not be entertained anywhere; but do insults physically kill people?; the most serious myth of our time.

In fact, if not for the sole satisfaction of one’s political ego, I can hardly tell what substance there carried in Mrs. Amissah – Arthur’s questions as a result of which such applauds were attracted. But on my part, I consider the woman’s action a show of ingratitude and ungratefulness towards the same Ghanaians who honoured her, her husband and children with an opportunity to become the second family of the land, an honour which thousands of families would hunger for but will never achieve.

Apart from it being unfortunate, the questions were very untimely as Ghanaians were in a state of mourning a statesman; statesman not necessarily because he and his party performed extraordinarily well in government, but because of the man’s personal character.

Let anybody tell me that the late Amissah – Arthur was not respectful, patient, down to earth, intelligent and above all, God – fearing. But despite all these virtues, his opponents believe that the former Vice president could not bring them to bear on the governance of the nation, especially, the economic matters as he presided over an Economic Management Team which his opponents believe caused great havoc to Ghana’s economy. Is this also not a fair criticism to make by anybody?

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Some people also believe that the man was shieled and was not allowed to do his work by those with whom power resided in his party. Be as it may, his opponents believe that he could not translate his personal attributes into his work as Chairman of the Economic Management Team by breathing some oxygen into the Ghanaian economy. Is it also unfair to say this?

Or was Mrs. Amissah – Arthur expecting their political opponents to start praising her husband anytime they mounted the campaign platform? Was the former Vice President praising his opponents? Wouldn’t it be a mark of insanity to do that? On the contrary, was he not rather always lashing out at the then Running Mate of the biggest opposition party, today’s Vice President, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia?

Former Second Lady, please give us a break since you failed to advise your husband to be principled enough to quit the position just because he was being maligned. Or is it because you two were enjoying at the time? Do you know how many Ghanaians want to receive insults to occupy his position? I guess you were oblivious of the field your husband had chosen, maybe the Clergy, and not Politics. Because if you really knew it to be Politics, you would understand that there was no way your husband would be praised like church members do to their pastors. You wasted a nice opportunity to be thankful to the Ghanaian people.

If for nothing at all, should we forget about the Ghanaian saying that we do not speak ill of the dead? Or if any of our leaders; Rawlings, Kufuor, Akufo-Addo or any prominent politician died today, would their political opponents get the nerves to speak ill of them posthumously? Definitely, everybody’s mind would shift to the many positive aspects of those people, and not the few negatives. Simply put, personal characters of people should be totally detached from their performances in leadership positions and carefully analyzed. One may be a fine gentleman but may not be able to discharge duties deserving of a particular position given him; that does not make the person a devil.

Maturity in politics is one important virtue every politician should possess. One should not be able to die if the person was insulted neither should his ills be pointed out to the world posthumously; that is unnatural. I rest my case.

Felix Nyarko Acheampong writes from – Kibi.

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