Agoo Nana. I just have to take a pause, or two, to talk to you about some things going on at Sikampoano. I will be quick. Then we can continue with the education matters. Do I have your attention? Thanks Odehyieba! What is it that I am chipping in here? We shall see soon. Let us kindly proceed.
It seems in this town the scale of truth is being tilted as and where we want it to be. Ok, let me make it simple, there are varied graduations to truth. Truth is now dependent on who is talking and what is being talked about. The thing can be red paaa when Asekum is talking about it, but strangely, it will be seen as green if Oboadum is the one having a say about it. Don’t get it twisted, please: the ‘thing’ being talked about is the same; the atiefo audience is the same. The only variance is the speaker. Oh dabi! it is not about the Cathedral, no. You know my stand and principles about religious discourse, Agyaaku. The people of Sikampoano are gradually shifting from the values of their forebears. The truth no longer stands, it is floating! And now depending on the speaker, they are able to shift the ‘floating truth’. So today it can be red, tomorrow it becomes blue or indigo because the speaker changed. Thus, like Lucky Dube said, if you want to stand by the absolute truth, you will stand ankonamly alone.
I will not take you far, Nana. You remember the abaayewa lady who was interviewed some time ago by Sii En En? Oh yes, the one who is endowed, front and back. Let us call her Moseswaa. You are right, Nana; the one who said most ladies nowadays have to sleep around with men before they can make decent living in Sikampoano. Yes, Sikampoano of all places! Hmmmm…. Come and see the uproar and rage. People really gave it to her paaaa. They crucified her on their own Golgotha, with every type of crucifixion they got. From the onyina cross to wawa cross, she was crucified especially by her own: women. Thank God for raising her from the ‘dead’ through her own apology. A truth standard was there and then set! We all applauded that. Then fast forward, just few days ago, there was something similar that happened. Another kotokurodu-looking front and back endowed lady is reported to have said, and I quote, “I’m also tired of dating guys who can’t take care of me. All I keep hearing is ‘I love you, I love you’, I want more than that. I need a man who can spend on me. That’s the duty of a man”. We can agree to call her Single, Nana. Culturally, or customarily, there is some truth in what she is saying: men provide for women, or? Oh sorry, I forgot about Beijing Conference and the Pepper Dem that came with it. God bless our women!!! There are more she is reported to have said. So Agyaaku, how different is Single’s statement from that of Moseswaa? But wait ooo, Nana! This time all the wawa and onyina trees needed for the crosses are nowhere to be found. The women ‘carpenters’ have lost their hammers, screws and nails too. Lady Single was not crucified. Never! Her ladyships are on ‘judicial vacation’, perhaps. Is it hypocrisy? Ask the Sikasem Minister.
Oh why should we ask the Sikasem Minister, you asked? Well, some weeks ago, the Minister for Sikasem made a comment about the go-to-high-school-free policy being implemented in Sikampoano. Oh it’s a noble policy! The policy has made it possible for people from all economic and social backgrounds to go to high school. From Nyameani to Ohiamadwen, everybody going to high school from the year of implementation does not need to pay a pesewa. Awesome! And what a relief it gives to the have-nots. Then bang, bombshell! The Minister in charge of Sikasem, yes Finance, says some should be made to pay, it is reported. Mowuo!! I quickly searched for the video. I watched the video fiilifiili and listened with rapt attention. Ah! That was not what the man meant, I came to a conclusion. How relieving it was. Oh so my people are being hypocritical with everything? Nananom should come and see how we are behaving after they left to Asamando. The graduation of truth is being applied to the minister’s call for data-assisted segregation of beneficiaries under the go-to-high-school-free policy. Fact is, he said those who can afford to pay for their wards fees, like himself, should be made to pay. Simple and tietia. That would save Sikampoano some money to prosecute other development agenda. But to do this, you need to have a comprehensive data on the populace to know the economic capabilities of each and every individual. Such data, the Minister says, and as we all know, does not exist! Meaning you cannot segregate those who can pay from those who cannot in the current scheme of things. Hence? Everybody should go to high school free, until we get the data to do the segregation. So is it hypocrisy that made some people pick and choose the ‘old testament’ of the Minister’s speech without complementing it with the attendant ‘new testament’? Did we forget that a plant is made up of a root system and a shoot system? And it cannot be complete plant when one of the systems is discarded. Hypocrisy? Perhaps we can confirm from the 3rd –In-Command (3IC) of the parliament of Sikampoano.
The 3IC of Sikampoano parliament has been in the august house for a very, very long time. He has seen four presidents come and go. He is seeing the 5th president rule Sikampoano now. Recently he made a statement which even his political family dissociated themselves from it as fast as a sniper’s bullet. The statement took a swipe at people with disabilities. It is distasteful to denigrate disables. Such denigration is, and should be, unwelcomed in any society. Disability can meet anyone anytime and anywhere. Let us thread cautiously as such. Nana, Mr 3IC is reported to have said that a certain minister was not fit to handle a certain ministry. Why? Because that minister is visually impaired; he cannot see. Ebei, Mr 3IC! But tell you what Agyaaku? The said minister is a testimony of ‘disability is not inability’. He holds a PhD in law. How many abled persons can rise to such academic heights? Nana, as you may be aware, most people especially those with disabilities took the 3IC on. People really took him to the cleaners. Woomu horoo no papaapa. Ah! Is the blind minister not a Sikampoanaian? Why can he not head ANY ministry as a minister? As a Sikampoanaian, he should have the right to head any institution or ministry, especially with his qualification. Not rightly so? But did Mr 3IC say something bad? Is his statement something anew to our Sikampoano country, society, culture, traditions and customs? But is the 3IC not being hypocritical? Why did he not mention it when the man was nominated? Mr 3IC was part of the parliament that vetted and approved the visually impaired minister. Did he alert his colleagues who did the actual vetting about the ‘shortfall in the man’ as to why he cannot head the ministry he was assigned to? More so, the 3IC was part of the three wise men appointed in the previous administration, to advice the Omanpanin at that time. Did he bring it to the notice of the then Omanpanin who was the appointing authority? Ah well! I do not have answers to these questions.
But Koo Munini, the Transport Union chairman, is from Sikampoano. However, he can never be accepted as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Obiri Komfo’s Teaching Hospital. He can also not be the Cocoa Board’s CEO, can he? Why? Is Koo Munini not Sikampoanian? And are those entities not public owned? You remember the man who messed himself the last time we went to a marriage ceremony at Akwasiase? The men’s section of the KVIP public toilet was full, the women’s section was almost empty, but he was not admissible to the women’s section, hence his unfortunate predicament. The KVIP is Sikampoanaian public owned. The man was Sikampoanaian. He could not use a section of it, though that section was almost empty. One more thing, even at the church, for instance the Catholic Church, one cannot be a celebrant of a Mass Service unless he is a Catholic Ordained priest. I am also yet to see a female Imam leading Islamic prayers or Salah. So even though we may all be Sikampoanaians, we are at times segregated against.
Now, Nana let us bring it home. Over several centuries the people of Sikampoano have had their own way of governing themselves long before Akwasi Broni arrived. They have had kings and chiefs that ruled and still rule them. They have waged wars to consolidate lands and properties, and even captured more of such. Throughout their history, their customs and traditions have frowned on a disabled being their leader or ruler. Why? Because they believe that you cannot lead them to war or protect them when you are a disabled person. You need to be an abled person before you can sit on a throne down south, or a skin up north. Lots of things have changed with time, but that condition still remains and continuous unabated. Why don’t we direct our energy towards changing that convention or condition instead of using same to attack the 3IC, hypocritically? We do not go to wars anymore. There is agreement over boundaries of kingdoms and paramountcies or chiefdoms, even if same transcends regions or goes into other countries. So why is it that we are still hooked on to that tradition that a disable cannot be a chief or king? Agyaaku, until we change that, it will be unfair for us to vent our anger on people like the 3IC who may only be pointing us to what we are, and have been. Else even though we are all from Sikampoano, we are not the same when it comes to occupying certain positions. The institution that the visually impaired minister was assigned to does not allow persons like him to be a member. So how do you think he would be received, respected and collaborated with in his line of duty by the people he was presiding over, Nana? And why should that be the situation? Agyaaku don’t you think it is time to re-look at it and make modifications to that institution instead of attacking people who only act as a mirror to show us who we really are?
Agyaaku, I am sorry that this epistle has been longer than I expected. So here is the tofa, Nana. From women sleeping around to make a decent living, through our floating or graduated truth on data backed segregation on free high school, to disables not allowed in traditional ruling, we need to cast away our hypocritical cloak and face reality. No need to crucify people like the Moseswaa, the Sikasem Minister and the 3IC who dare to remind us how we are, or what it is with our society.
Agyaaku, I would sign off here with the song ‘Aku Sika by Nana Ampadu’. Like Aku’s hidden golden arm, the disabled have hidden attributes that they can bring on board in our traditional governance, for the benefit of us all. Disability is not inability, but hypocrisy can be an inability!!!