Our African tradition frowns on several things either done in private or public, and so anyone who is seen indulging in anything that is frown upon by our culture is seen as uncultured.
For example, when we were growing, we were taught to put our two hands behind us when talking to an elderly person. We were taught to also use the word ‘please’ when talking to colleagues and the elderly.
We were told not to use our left hand to either receive, give, greet or talking to people because it shows disrespect, arrogance. It also denotes bad luck and portrays you as uncultured. There are countless of them but my emphasis here in this article is on the use of ‘left hand’.
I am not making fun of our left handed people across the globe so I am pleading for forgiveness, but it’s a fact that a left-handed person cannot be a chief and everyone can check this. No chief is a left-handed person. I have come in contact with and encountered several chiefs in the country and none of them is a left-hander.
But I was disappointed, shocked, disgraced and felt ashamed when the National Campaign Manager of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Peter Mac-Manu, picked the NPP’s slot for the ballot of the positions on the 2016 December elections with his left hand at the Conference Hall of the Electoral Commission (EC) on Wednesday in the full glare of everybody.
He picked 5th position and I am not talking about the position here but the fact that in the full glare of the world he picked the paper with his left hand.
Folks, I watched the event on our TV station, TV3 with some colleagues in the office and some panel member including an NPP person (name withheld) and the moment the person realized Mac-Manu used his left hand to pick the paper, his facial expression and demeanor changed, indicating he was not in favour of Mac-Manu’s actions.
For God sake, this is Africa. We are not in Europe and America where they use their left hands ‘anyhow’ and they see nothing wrong with it.
Balloting for presidential positions on the ballot papers is one of the most important aspects of every election and as such seriousness must be attached to it.
What Mac-Manu did can bring bad luck to the NPP and I want to draw the entire NPP and Mac-Manu’s attention to it.
We use the left hand to give or receive when the right hand is busy and even with this, the person will say ‘sorry’ before he/she uses the left to accept or give out, but Mac Manu was not busy. He was just relaxing in the chair with the National Organizer who is also the Acting General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu and the Director of Elections, Martin Adjei Mensah Korah sitting on his right hand.
I suggest he should come back and apologize to the entire nation for using his left hand on such occasion.
By Kweku Antwi-Otoo
The writer is a producer for Onua 95.1FM