Lunatic fringes of partisan idiocy
There is an Akan saying that "se yennka nni wiakyi a wose agoro no ye de". To wit, if the music is not after you, you applaud the beat. That is one thing with our politicians, some of whom sometimes carry to lunatic and idiotic levels, their obsession and approval when matters of discipline and morality are brought to question, because the butt affects an opponent. Again our elders inform us that the lizard says it is not at war with the one who shoots to kill it but the one who commends his killer as a great marksman.
We were all in this country when some students of the Chiana Senior High School recorded their open verbal assault on the President. Since they knew what they were doing, they not only recorded their actions but went further to put their angst and despicable conduct on social media. There were no political commentators, especially at the local level. Our religious leaders equally kept quiet.
This week, we woke up to learn about the response of the Ghana Education Service (GES) to the deviant girls who have suddenly realised that they acted in bad faith and that their education has come under stress. They maintain they were only joking and did not know that their conduct would be on social media even when they deliberately published their actions. Simply in logic, they are appealing to emotions just like the deviant ward who murdered the parents and pleaded for support because he or she is an orphan.
Suddenly, some of us intoxicated by crass partisanship have risen to offer our unalloyed and unflinching support to the wayward girls and we are hailing them and crucifying the GES, denting the image of the just appointed Director General, whose appointment was unjustifiably and ill-informedly challenged by teacher unions, as a first major policy activity.
Definitely, sacking eight final year students from school, for what may appear to be a misdemeanour, in the face of strong gender advocacy which is biased in favour of females, could excite debate, but no one should make it look like the girls have been dismissed because they are loyal and fundamental members of a political party.
More important, any well-meaning Ghanaian, and one who was brought up but not reared, must not suggest at one moment that what the girls did must be condoned and that they must not and cannot be punished for disciplinary reasons. That is why statements from politicians and political parties must seek to strike a balance, admit that the girls were wrong but that justice must be tempered with mercy.
It is on that note that I find as partisanly cynical the suggestion by Notsie Kotoe that the girls must be presented before the President in Accra. If he rewards his deviant children when they openly insult him, that kind of masochism cannot be accepted as part of the norm, moral or culture of any of the ethnic groups in the country. The story, even if the prodigal son cannot be appropriate, in this instance for the girls to be so honoured.
But of all the comments, what is most irksome and irritating to me and a few others I have consulted is the comment by no mean a person than a former Director-General of the GES, Charles Aheto-Tsegah. In commenting about the decision of the GES, Mr Aheto-Tsegah described it as that the decision was a "political dismissal". Was the behaviour of the girls political or social? Indeed, it would be more intolerable if some political nitwit deliberately misled the girls into doing what they did. So, the decision of the GES is social simplicities. Reducing that to politics may be a revelation of a public officer who saw his appointment as motivated by nepotism or politics but not informed by capacity and hard work and thus at all times, he must show gratitude.
When he was the Director-General of the GES, if he had gone to any school and had been greeted with insults and vituperations not even close to the nature of what the Chiana girls did to the President, if the students had met him with placards with any derogatory inscriptions, torch wood, the school would have been closed down and the students dismissed.
Retired public and civil servants must, at all times, stand above political partisanship because it is their capacity and accomplishments that politicians exploit to build the nation. If anything at all, it is the politicians who must be beholden of such distinguished individuals. No matter how the politicians are fond of such individuals, if they do not have the capacity, competence and educational qualification, they will never be appointed to such public offices.
Such former high-level public officials must create and make their own history. They must not compete to play second fiddle and become appendages of politicians whose worth can never reach the level of those public and civil servants.
By all means, we should all get together and plead for the eight Chiana Senior High School girls, but we should not condescend in the name of crass misinformed, ill-informed and malinformed politically partisan posture to suggest that punishing them is partisan with hunt, and which party do the girls belong to? For if they are registered party members, then it means they are registered voters and if they are registered voters, then they are adults, for which they must take full responsibility for all their actions.