Charlotte Osei EC Boss
Charlotte Osei EC Boss

Another comic relief breaks out.

Charlotte Osei EC Boss
Charlotte Osei EC Boss
And it sounds almost like watching a funny Hollywood movie and, yes, we said a funny Hollywood movie, with legislature and business mogul Kennedy Agyapong finally coming to terms with another of his signature episodes of childlike buffoonery, without so much as even acknowledging let alone doing the right thing, which is owning up to his much-criticized irresponsibility of badmouthing the Chair of the Electoral Commission (EC), Madam Charlotte Osei.

Like a pathological child-thief caught red-handed with both sticky hands in the boiling depths of a pan of soup, who tried to explain away his shameful situation with an awkward reference to a particular fish he once saw in a certain river, and believed, had no business being in the soup, the well-known satirical buffoonery which is no other than Kennedy Agyapong, recently, explained away his sexist calumny about Madam Osei by alleging that his sex-for-job comment was one made in jest.

As a reminder, the morally absentaneous Kennedy Agyapong is reported to have made the following outrageous, almost laughable if not comical, comment on radio nearly two months after his infamous rhetorical gaffe:

“I said a lot of things on that day, even this one, I was joking, I immediately took my seat after making those comments…yes, I was joking…”

Of course, we read this publication with skeptical reservation considering the fact that his interview transcript could as well have resulted from a purposeful media or journalistic slant.

Sill, how this public nuisance could have made a serious jest, certainly a joke in bad taste, of an important public official such as Madam Osei beats our imagination.

Yet the public should not put any such episode of rhetoric deviance past this graffiti-adult man, a paedomorphic grotesque caricature.

Beyond this troubling observational preoccupancy, there was also no traceable instance of teachable remorse or regret in his unpolished tone as he, expectedly, insisted upon self-defense and readiness to provide evidence in support of the said charge should the public force his hand.

Ghana is in a sad state of political tartarology and absurdism because of such public figure’s unsecured open-defecation attitudinal commitment to verbal diarrhea in the particular sphere of public diplomacy. What is more, it is not that the country has never been sick before. It always had, certainly.

What eventually became the Gold Coast, later Ghana, was a bedridden quasi-geopolitical delineation in a moral hospice during the inglorious days of colonialism.

The Gold Coast was practically a madhouse then but it now looks as if its offspring, Ghana, is teetering on the brink of moral insolvency and anomie, to be banished to a weathered hospice warehouse with unrepentant rabid madhouses like Kennedy Agyapong in leadership positions.

Perhaps making womanhood the butt of public joke in the general sense of a stand-up comedy, possibly a pardonable act in this general sense, is one thing but quite another when a male chauvinist makes a widely known respected public official of the fairer sex a laughing cynosure of public scrutiny, especially in Kumasi, the base of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).

And Kumasi, the Asante Region for that matter, like the Volta Region, is a hot zone for partisan politics.

Who did Kwadwo Afari-Gyan sleep with in exchange for the chairmanship of the EC? Rawlings? Rawlings’ wife? Or both? And why must it always be women exclusive of the men who sleep with them? That is, why are women always the culprits in these shameful acts when the behind-the-scenes sexual engagements have always involved powerful men in authority?

And what if a powerful woman in authority rather sleeps with a male who is seeking one form of public favor or another from her?

If not because of our phallocentric or patriarchal culture, sometimes with deep taproots in the backwaters of Islamic and Judeo-Christian traditions, then what exactly is the moral basis for this consistent one-sided criticism of women in authority?

We should seek every opportunity to answer this question if we must.

Well-connected public figures and arrivistes yet also unabashed advocates of partisan and sexist demagoguery such as Kennedy Agyapong, have always had everything in their moral armamentaria to advance the public good, yet, somehow, they have rather chosen parochialism and sensational buffoonery and male chauvinism and patriarchy over serious matters of patriotism, political pragmatism, respect for public decency and for women, and statesmanship.

Even more significantly, all these concerns we are raising here have everything to do with nation-building. Men like Kennedy Agyapong who wear egotheism may not know this fact.

THINKING OUT LOUD

Nation-building is a painfully slow process. No nation in the history of man has been built overnight.

A painful process such as this requires patriotic sacrifices and coordinated efforts or inputs from citizens and yet, furthermore, though the process is an essentially interior one, it has not always been necessarily so due to a number of factors ranging from globalization, progressive naturalization/asylum laws, migration and immigration, international trade, wars and conflicts to slavery. In other words the expressed mechanism of nation-building has external drivers as well.

And institutions define the caliber and character of a body politic, a nation-state. And as well, laws in turn define the operational caliber, character and behavior of institutions. But the common denominator is the human factor, of course an expressed antithesis of perfectibilism.

Though institutions and laws necessarily originate from and exist in the realm of the purely abstract, yet they also have a reified presence or existence in the concreteness of human agency.

By human agency we are directly referring to both man’s actions and inactions in response to his nature, his environment, or rather to the more complex interactions between his spoken and unspoken nature and its myriad manifestations and the resourceful authority of his immanent existence. Here again, we use the masculine pronoun “his” in a more generic sense to connote humanity as a whole.

Still, nations are imperfect by virtue of human imperfections. Institutions and laws therefore take on a material existence as superior co-chaperons of the complex exercise of human choices, acting in behalf of the human factor where the fallibility element reigns supreme.

And laws, too, are not always perfect in every given conceivable expression of the human factor by virtue of the intrinsic imperfections in this factor. Thus, it is when some form of a compromise is finally reached between the general public and the institutionalization of these laws through active regulatory enforcement that a society can gain on a semblance of peaceful existence with itself.

It is also not all rosy in the general scheme of things. It is that in many locations from around the world laws are generally if not specifically friendlier toward persons of a certain class of political and judicial and commercial influence and advantage, of wealth and birth, of race and ethnicity and religion and gender, in order words of a certain pedigree for short.

This is probably one of the major reasons behind the political softness with which the leaders in the judiciary dealt with the men and women who were caught on the secret investigative cameras of Anas Aremeyaw Anas taking laughable bribes and setting hardened criminals free.

The same explanation probably goes for a cabal of well-connected men and women in possession of huge illegal judgment debts, persons who flaunt their illegal wealth in the public eye without fear of prosecution.

Impunity has become a public or social asset rather than a stifling debit or liability in our duopolistic body politic.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

We probably have not come to the realization that undue attacks on “innocent” public officials are direct attacks upon our “democratic” institutions.

Thus, unjustifiably subverting or thwarting laws and institutions tend to reinforce the fallibility aspect of the human factor and this brings the name of a nation into disrepute, eventually weakening the moral fabric of that body politic.

Unfortunately, political patronage and extreme partisan politics are diseased parts of the body politic, so much so that thinking in patriotic nationalism terms is far from permissible in our duopolistic culture. This is exactly where our body politic and its institutions begin to fumble.

Thus enforcing laws and punishing law-breakers in order to banish impunity from a body politic are key to building strong, healthy societies.

Yet this approach also calls for strong leadership, even strongmen, who will act in behalf of a body politic, a position contrary to President Obama’s famous speech in Accra where he said in part:

“Africa doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions.”

Edward Snowden has shown that President Obama is a “hypocrite” and a “strongman,” a man who may not necessarily be of his word. Wall Street, most conservative evangelicals, corporate America, racists, and the pro-life movement see Obama in no other terms other than “strongman.”

No less an influential liberal public intellectual in the person of Cornel West has mounted a stiff opposition to some of the major policy decisions of the Obama administration, thereby prompting a public feud between the former and Eric Michael Dyson, another influential liberal public intellectual and a Georgetown University academic, both African Americans (see REFERENCES).

But Snowden is not Kennedy Agyapong by any stretch of the imagination. The former is more strategically thoughtful and prescient and smart, the latter rather bumptious or foolhardy. It takes gumption to assume the character traits of Snowden insofar as the acquisition or possession of political intelligence is concerned. This also requires intellectual and moral investment in statesmanship.

Statesmanship (public diplomacy) on the other hand requires a high level of emotional intelligence, strategic and tactical caution in rhetorical assertiveness, an informed conviction in one’s worldview and balance in perspectives, political correctness, ability to read one’s friends and enemies with the third eye, wisdom and skill, strategic and tactical respect for one’s enemies and so on.

As a politician Kennedy Agyapong, an unabashed phallocrat does not seem to possess any of these “noble” qualities, a sad case in and of itself. This is the more reason why Madam Charlotte Osei should consider teaching this phallocratic buffoon some hard lessons in statesmanship.

Unless Madam Osei herself has something to hide from the public, this position of ours probably appears to be the best option she could take in order to bring some closure or finality to this hanging mystery. Taking legal against this uninformed and ill-informed psittacine largiloquent, thus, should be the way forward. She must use the courts to force her accuser to produce his evidence.

Finally, and this is extremely indispensable, Kennedy Agyapong has a responsibility to ensure transparency in the bureaucracy and therefore producing this evidence will go a long way to show that, indeed, qualified men and women rise to covetous, meritorious positions in the bureaucracy by dint of hard work and not through these scandalous sex-for-favors conveniences. The burden of proof, we may add, squarely lies with Kennedy Agyapong and not the other way round.

It is not the moral responsibility of the public to force his hand before he decides to release it. He owes it to his conscience and the nation at large to release this purported incriminating evidence on his own volition. Hiding behind the Iron Curtain of the public to make lame excuses will not cut it.

In the end, we may have to remind Madam Charlotte Osei that forgiveness is not always a necessary moral virtue one should aspire to. And the fact is that forgiveness has sometimes weakened what should have passed off easily as viable democracies, a special case being the moral and political arguments Wole Soyinka advances in his book “The Burden of Memory, the Muse of Forgiveness,” against certain aspects of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

Certain instances of forgiveness come after the law has taken its natural course in dispensing justice. Of course, whether or not Madam Osei takes to the courts for redress s a personal decision she must make at her informed convenience. On the other hand ours is merely a suggestion and by no means an imposition on her, for she is too intelligent to weigh the matter as she sees fit.

Unless, of course, Kennedy Agyapong did not actually make the statement the media attributed to him, which is that his calumny about Madama Osei was made in jest. Regardless, we have his original two-month-old allegation to go by. As a matter of fact we need not go further that this.

REFERENCE

Ghanaweb. (2016, August 9). “Sex For EC Job Comment Was A ‘Joke’…Ken Agyapong.” Aug

Eric Michael Dyson. (2015, April 19). “The Ghost of Cornel West: What Happened to America’s Most Exciting Black Scholar?” New Republic.

Barack Obama. (2009, July 11). “Remarks by the President to the Ghanaian Parliament.” Retrieved from https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-ghanaian-parliament

Source: Francis Kwarteng

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