Matters of the moment

BY: Daily Graphic
Matters of the moment
Matters of the moment

One is not necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We cannot be kind, true, merciful generous or honest.
— Maya Angelou

Sometimes politicians act in ways that are detrimental to their profession or vocation and when the public capitalise on their own conduct to lampoon and make derogatory comments without exception, they turn round to beg the question by saying that if politicians are not treated with respect, it would be difficult for honest people to go into politics.

By all means, the nature of political party ideology and policy create the tendency for partisanship at times, but if parties outside government criticise everything that government does for the sake of making their voices heard, without measuring public opinion, they undermine and shoot themselves in the wrong foot.

When the National Democratic Congress under Prof John Evans Atta Mills, took over the governance of the country in 2009, it was clear that if there was any opportunity for the removal of Chief Justice Theodora Wood, it would have been done. What happened with the ‘Montie Three” clearly suggested very restless party loyalists who did not understand why the woman should continue to hold office? However, because the hands of the woman had not been soiled, nothing could be done against her and she had to stay on until the constitutionally mandated period.

Thus if Mrs. Charlotte Osei had not been involved in any unacceptable conduct, there is nothing that anybody could have done to remove her outside the constitutionally prescribed method. If for nothing at all, the series of allegations she made against her deputies and what the deputies exposed about her are enough to get all of them out. What is even baffling for some of us is the fact that although all the three were appointed under the NDC on the same constitutional terms, the party seems to be interested in only the chairperson, as if she was an electoral commissioner when in real terms she was only one of the members of the commission.

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In King Lear, Shakespeare has a contradiction of some sort about things that happen to human beings either out of their own doings or as undeserved punishment. He notes that “As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods, they kill us for their sport” and then upon reflection notes contrarily that “The gods are just and of our evil deeds make instrument to plague us.”

Is the NDC suggesting that the constitutional path for the removal of the three executive officers of the Electoral Commission undeserving and if so, was it proper that former president John Dramani Mahama removed the chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative justice, Ms Lauretta Lamptey on similar evidence of financial impropriety?

What about the baseless accusations of partisanship levelled against Mrs Jean Mensa? When President Mills appointed her to the Constitutional Review Commission, what party did she belong to? Political parties outside government must not keep quiet, but they must gauge public opinion and allow that to inform their judgment otherwise they would always run against the tide and present politicians in negative and dysfunctional terms in the eyes of the public.

On the bestial and sadistic policeman who battered a hapless mother at the Midland Savings, it is good that he has been interdicted, but he must be prosecuted. He must not suffer alone. The management and staff of the bank who authorised and encouraged him to maltreat the woman to cover up their internal weaknesses must equally be prosecuted. The offer of compensation by the company must not be the end. Consumer conscious groups should rise up and engender resentment against the bank including the possibility of customers withdrawing their deposits.

Turning to the government policy to enroll two streams of students at the senior high school level from next September, I recollect that about 40 years ago, at an inaugural lecture at the university of Ghana, the then Director of the Regional Institute of Population Studies RIPS, one Prof Okonjo, recommended that we admit two streams of students if the policy to eradicate illiteracy was to have meaning. He went further to suggest that university students could be employed to ensure that quality human resource in adequate quantities and qualities were available. He posited that while such a policy would facilitate the eradication of illiteracy, it could equally offer employment to the university students and that would be at a reduced cost to the state.

I wish the University of Ghana and especially RIPS could search for the document and review it to guide the implementation of the double track of SHS intake. If anybody had listened to Prof Okonjo at the time, there would have been clarity and certainty by now. There should be no turning back.