Appearing before the Parliamentary Vetting Committee (PVC) recently, the Deputy Youth and Sports Minister-Designate (now the substantive Deputy Youth and Sports Minister), Mr. Joseph Yamin, claimed that his two attempts to enlist in the Ghana Armed Forces were rebuffed primarily because of the color of his skin (See “I Was Disqualified from the Army Because of My Skin Color – Yamin” 4/17/13).


I in absolutely no way doubt the fact that his Arab-looking demeanor may well have been used against him by some enlistment officers in the Ghana Armed Forces; but there well may also have been other quite critical factors that Mr. Yamin may not have felt comfortable to reveal to the members of the PVC; and it is the fact that one’s personality profile is also taken into account when being considered for enlistment into any national security institution or establishment.


I, therefore, find it a little bit hard to accept the allegation that Mr. Yamin’s rejection by recruitment and/or enlistment officers of the Ghana Armed Forces was purely and primarily based on the color of his skin, because I am also quite certain that since his alleged rejection the second time around, some five, six or seven years ago, there have been enlisted Ghanaians with a complexion that is strikingly identical to that of the now Deputy Youth and Sports Minister.


What is also interesting here is that the subject of purported racial discrimination claims to have been raised in the military barracks in Kumasi, otherwise known as the 4th Battalion of Infantry. The implicit assumption here, of course, is that at least one of his parents was a member of the Ghana Armed Forces. In the news report of his appearance before the PVC, Mr. Yamin also claims that he is a Ghanaian whose mother is “a native of Sankana [village/township] in the Nadowli district of the Upper-West Region.”


Well, we ought to promptly point out that Sankana is located in about the same vicinity that Mr. Alban S. K. Bagbin hails from. What the retired professional goalie does not tell his audience is his paternal provenance or origin. I am assuming here, therefore, that his father was other than your stereotypical Black African. Maybe an Arab, or even a Fulani, for example, though either of the latter affiliations, should one of them turn out to be accurate, would still be patently irrelevant and in no way either negate or even vitiate Mr. Yamin’s bona fide Ghanaian citizenship.


What is relevant here is that if, indeed, the former Asante Regional secretary of the National Democratic Congress had a parent, or even a guardian, who was a member of the Ghana Armed Forces, what had really prevented Mr. Yamin from prevailing on the aforesaid parent to intervene on his behalf, if, indeed, his enlistment rejection was one of a clear case of ethno-racial discrimination?


Needless to say, his notoriously barbed tongue may well have cost him his sheep, as Akans are wont to say. Not very long ago, for instance, Mr. Yamin had the effrontery and temerity to call former President John Agyekum-Kufuor “a wicked man,” because in the rather bizarre opinion of Mr. Yamin, the former had failed to put Asantes and the Asante Region ahead of everybody else on his development agenda while in office (See “Kufuor’s Man Fires Back At NDC Yamin… Mills Does Not Love Ashantis More Than Kufuor” The (Ghanaian) Chronicle 3/30/13).


Clearly, this is a man who is pathologically steeped in the politics of nepotism and therefore ought not to have been appointed as Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, in the first place. In essence, what I am unabashedly suggesting here is that if, indeed, it is true that Mr. Yamin had twice been flatly rejected from enlisting into the Ghana Armed Forces, very likely, such tandem rejections were squarely based on the alleged victim’s character more than anything else.


You see, enlistment officers often tend to be expert psychologists and psychoanalysts; and they well may have aptly determined the mindset, or temperament, of Mr. Yamin to approximate that of a clinical basket case. It is also strange that a man who appears to have fairly enviably acquitted himself creditably in association football, or professional soccer, in the country to the delight and pleasure of legions of Ghanaians, would so shockingly and ungratefully be denied enlistment into the Ghana Armed Forces.


And, if, indeed, he had been accused by enlistment officers of being on the societally ruinous mission of assaying the vainglorious Rawlings path to cheap and bloody score-settling and naked robbery, then, of course, the enlistment officers may well have saved Ghanaians from suffering another pseudo-revolutionary setback. The man is simply too loud and aggressive for his own good, as well as our collective good.



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