Before I discuss the main points of the headline above, let me quickly pass some brief comments on – one: the sad death of Dr Niyi Alabi, who was a Political Science scholar with specialization in International Relations, a French interpreter, and a fellow journalist; two: GFA’s laudatory resolve to employ Akwesi Appiah, a Ghanaian coach; and three: IGP Paul Tawiah Quaye’s determination to clampdown on electoral violence!
Dr Niyi Alabi’s death, as reported on the radio last three days, really cut me to the quick, and the pains still reverberate in me; for, he was a good friend of mine, especially when both of us were columnists of ‘The Mirror’ newspaper between 1998 and 2004. However, I joined The Mirror much earlier. Whenever both of us met in the Mirror editorial, we sat down and discussed some burning political issues, and we often disagreed or agreed, amidst jovialities. Both of us were political scholars, with specialised interest in International Relations, and both had read French literature, even though he had done that to a higher level, and was much more refined in discussions on Le Cid, Le Misanthrope etc. Again, both of us were journalists, and whenever he expressed admiration for my English style, I jokingly explained to him that it was God’s gift enhanced by my Exegitical training in theology. My admiration for his excellent scholarship was unending; but unfortunately, we lost contact with each other when his mobile phone was reportedly stolen. Unfortunately, I often forgot to request for his phone number in this my column. Yes, Dr Niyi Alabi, was a great young French scholar, and people close to President Kufuor (he was an interpreter to the President) often hailed his oratorical style in speaking pure French which manifested his high education in Paris.
At age 59, Niyi has died too early, and he would have done much for Ghana if he had lived beyond that. My sincere condolences to his wife, children and to his larger family members. C’est au revoir a toi, mon bon cher ami. Au revoir!
Next is GFA’s commendatory decision to employ a Ghanaian coach, Akwesi Appiah, after chairman Nyantakyi’s agreement to boot out that good-for-nothing Serbian coach Goran Milosovic. My precious readers can recall how in my articles on soccer, I pressed and pressed for the outright removal of that Serbian coach. Thanks be to God, my repeated calls, and those of other soccer enthusiast fortunately reached the ear of chairman Kwesi Nyantakyi and his executives, and they have admirably responded to the wishes of many Ghanaian soccer lovers. This act shows the greatness of Nyantakyi’s management abilities which I often applaud- responsiveness to the concerns of the people. May God bless Nyantakyi and his executives all the time for expelling that Serbian coach, and without hesitation, employing Akwesi Appiah who actually deserves that position as Black Stars coach. I wholeheartedly express my support for Appiah. My doors are open to him whenever he wants to discuss some little spiritual and coaching points with me. He can obtain my phone number from the Editor of this paper or the Receptionist of the Daily Guide. Akwesi, try to let us be in contact with each other, and God will bless you richly.
Another moot point is the appointment of Akwesi Appiah’s deputy. There are suggestions that coach Maxwell of Asante Kotoko should be the person. Without doubt, I, for one, endorse that proposal.
And lots of people agree to that. If we can observe how coach Maxwell has consistently guided and trained Kotoko to chalk victory after victory which has made the team become the ‘monstrous’ leader in the current league, we quickly can conclude that he can be a very good assistant to coach Akwesi Appiah. After the two had once worked together to bring home a diadem in the African series, it can be deduced that they can easily work together to bring victories. In fact, I am at pains to call for the resignation of coach Maxwell, for I myself am strong ‘Kotokoran’, and I joined that team as far back as 1951 when Kotoko’s goalkeeper Kwaw Baffoe and Oscar Jasper, the famous left winger and Baba Yara encouraged me as a young footballer, whenever they came to play at Breman Asikuma in the early fifties. If it were today, I would have been drafted into their colt team in order to be graduated into a regular Kotoko player. Thus it’s painful to cause coach Maxwell to go away from Kotoko to also take up the Black Stars coaching job. But this is a greater calling, and Maxwell will have to respond to that rather favourably. Kotoko can find a very good substitute coach, and things will go on very well. Don’t worry overmuch director Dr. K.K. Sarpong, my good friend!
Lastly, I think IGP Paul Tawiah Quaye’s assertion that the police have now been rejuvenated to clamp down on the current spate of violence plaguing this Biometric Registration should be a serious warning to those who want to bring confusion in the country. I wrote about this concern about two weeks ago, and how the IGP has responded to my call is highly recommendable. Such alacrity is a good pointer to a deep understanding of the police work and to a high degree of his scholarship which can quickly demystify bad occurrences and practically shape them to fall into national aspirations. Well done, IGP. Let peace be your watchword forever. We in the country need peace. May God bless you.
Let me begin this controversial Rawlings point by making a correction of the expression; ‘MEET WITH……MET WITH’ as in “Rawlings MET WITH the Volta chiefs at his Ridge office…” This is WRONG. In British English, we simply say ‘MEET’ without any ‘WITH’. So we say ‘Rawlings MET the Volta Chiefs…..” We use ‘MEET WITH’ when we want to express an encounter which was UNEXPECTED. Eg. ‘I MET WITH the thief who stole my watch’, expressing unexpected encounter. But in a scheduled meeting, we MEET friends, we MEET the President etc. The Americans, in this context, say “MEET WITH’, such as: ‘MEET WITH the President’. But we don’t speak and write American English, we speak and write British English in Ghana. Ghanaian journalists should note this very well, and stop writing: ‘MEET WITH’ which is incorrect. And many Ghanaian journalists write this “meet with” to be copied by Senior Secondary School students and University undergrads, who also write that, only to suffer deductions in their exam scores when their papers are being marked.
Now to the Rawlings’s issue. It’s rather unfortunate that in the encounter between the chiefs with the queen-mothers from the Volta and former President Rawlings and his wife, the latter (Rawlings) went the whole hog of expressing a litany of what he considers as failures and administrative deficiencies of Prez Mills, only to dilate on them disapprovingly, and ending by sending the chiefs to find out the veracity of what he was saying and to tell President Mills to make changes that would meet his (Rawlings’s) satisfaction before he can join Candidate Mills’s campaign trail to bring miraculous successes. God damn it! What charisma and what miracles has Rawlings to enable him to conjure people’s overwhelming approval of the NDC, when he Rawlings has consistently and publicly or openly spoken to denounce Mills’s government and very dirtily mired NDC’s image?
When I hear that some people in the NDC are arguing for the inclusion of Rawlings during Mills’s campaign tours, I simply laugh and ask: how can Rawlings, after denouncing the government several times since it came into inception in 2009, have that shameless boldness to turn his tongue to praise the government of Mills so to be voted into power? It’s only mad people, the utterly demented, who can turn round to canvass for the NDC when they have severely damaged its image through unnecessary, open criticisms and denouncement via metaphorical allusions to Yutong driver who was mis-driving; and to Atta, the mortuary man; and to Kofi the carpenter etc. And Rawlings is not med to do that! Even if he smokes ‘wee’ (marijuana), he cannot stand before the crowd and say that the NDC is good so vote for President Mills. In other words he has cleverly divorced himself from the NDC, and if he could form a new viable party today, he would do so. But he is finding it difficult to do just that! Therefore, I wonder why some people in the NDC are yearning for the inclusion of JJ Rawlings in Mills’s campaign coterie? And why they should press upon the NDC hierarchy to ask the Volta chiefs to go to beg Rawlings who has furtively rejected their requests to re-join Mills? Is this a sign of respect to our honourable Volta chiefs? (To be continued next week)
By Apostle Kwamena Ahinful