If you knew how a flock of chickens would aggressively prey on a helpless lizard, you probably would have had sympathy on the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. From all directions, women – the likes that Reggae legend, Culture, described in one of his songs as seeing them go fight for their right – ‘pounced’ on the president who presumably appeared helpless. Indeed, Nana Akufo-Addo was rendered helpless after continuously receiving the missiles of criticisms right from Canada – where he made a said unsavory comment – to his own country Ghana.
“The other day I saw a ladies war
They were planning to march up to such house, why?
They said they’re not getting any justice within the kitchen
So they plan to make a big war with their big spoon, me God!
I said ladies tell me where are you going?
“They said: ‘I’m going to stand up and fight for my rights’.”
That song of Culture – excerpts above – is titled ‘Tribal War’ and I now know he sang it for the President’s accusers. The Nana Akufo-Addo women carried a ‘big spoon’ of sharp-edged-mouths and poured their frustrations not only to the traditional media but on social media as well.
A story published on Ghanaweb under the headline “Akufo-Addo has embarrassed Ghanaian women globally – Dr Hannah Bissiw”, read, “National Women’s Organizer of the National Democratic Congress, Dr Hannah Louisa Bissiw has stated categorically that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has drastically embarrassed Ghanaian women globally with the comments he made during the ‘Women Deliver Conference’ in Canada.”
The NDC’s National Women’s Organizer was not the only woman who publicly disgraced herself by attacking the President. A host of other women including – notably –former Gender Minister Nana Oye Lithur also cried crocodile tears to score cheap political points.
Nana Oye Lithur, according to Starrfm.com.gh, told GhOne that, “President Akufo-Addo made me cry, I cried when I watched the video. To have a human rights lawyer speak and address gender issues in the way he addressed, very regrettable. He couldn’t even get his data right. Even the representation of women in his cabinet, he couldn’t get that right.”
It is usually a sad narrative when the pot turns around to accuse the kettle of being overly black! Nana Oye Lithur cried? And so? Who cares? Can she mention 10 (ten) dynamic women she engendered as a Gender Minister?
President Akufo-Addo’s criticism in Ghana started moments after he had appeared on a panel in Canada. We are told it was at a programme dubbed Women Deliver Conference. There, the President responding to a question said that: “We are not seeing enough dynamism and activism on the part of those [Ghanaian women] who are seeking [to rise politically]. I am talking about dynamism where it matters…electing people to Parliament, controlling political parties because they are the instruments by which our societies make decisions.”
But, hey, our elders were very much right when they said truth is the first victim of war. Our President said the hard truth in Canada but his plain-talk became the first victim of a needlessly war waged by frustrated and disgruntled women parading themselves as gender activists or whatever.
If Hannah Bissiw and Nana Oye Lithur and the host of other critics really believe they are dynamic politically and could be responsible for a higher political position in Ghana, why did they not contest former President Mahama and his colleagues when the NDC opened nominations for its presidential primary?
I only thought that Nana Akufo-Addo’s accusers ― the frustrated women ― would bury their heads in shame after their unwarranted attacks. But, they are still making buzz in the media. Must I remind these women that they themselves collaborate with others to kill the interest of their fellow women who, in one way or the other, proved to be dynamic in time past?
In February 2019, did the minority in Parliament not walk out of the House together with its women’s wing as they refused to partake in the swearing into office Lydia Alhassan? Madam Lydia Alhassan had contested and won her late husband’s [Emmanuel Agyarko] seat but the NDC called her a ‘Bloody Widow’ probably because she killed the husband or slapped Prampram MP, Sam George, and shot another at the La Bawaleshie fracas.
Where were the hypocrite accusers of Nana Addo? You shamefully say you want women in parliament but would resist Lydia Alhassan and call her a bloody widow? May God soak in kerosene a cane for Hanna Bissiw and her propagandists!
On Wednesday, May 22, 2019, I watched veteran actress Grace Omaboe known in showbiz as Maame Dͻkono interviewed on TV Africa’s programme Obaa Mbo.
She spoke about her acting career and gave advice to the young folks to safeguard their marriages as [her] stardom ruined her first marriage. Yes, she admitted to that. The said interview was revealing and interesting and the part that really caught my attention was when she touched on her arrest in 2009.
“I really had wanted to make an impact in politics but now, my children have sternly warned me. They say I should eat and sleep. That, they will provide all my needs so I need not worry about work let alone go into politics with the intention to help make things better,” I remember her saying.
For those who recall, in 2009, the veteran actress’ arrest by the police became a topical issue in the country. Her crime? It was said that while she was away for holidays in Holland, some three boys [aged six, seven and eight] fingered a two-year-old girl at the actress’ then Peace and Love Rehabilitation Centre at Adenta in Accra. These boys again, we were as well told, sodomised a six-month old baby.
Maame Dͻkono after getting to Ghana from Holland had asked that the orphanage’s officials reported the incident to the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU). That would later lead to her arrest together with one other person. That was understandable. She was the owner of the facility and she needed to be questioned by the police.
Nonetheless, the health statuses of the then two-year-old girl and the six-month old baby were not given as much attention by the police and the media – so I remember – as was given the arrest of a celebrated actress.
In all this brouhaha, however, those who could see through our dirty political prism of needless partisan-politics hinged the arrest of Maame Dͻkono to her previously supporting the New Patriotic Party. Indeed, this was the belief of many including the actress herself and her children. I believe so, too.
If I remember well, the police then said that the Peace and Love Rehabilitation Centre had an expired license. If so, I condemn Maame Dͻkono on that for not swiftly renewing such. Now, can we assume without admitting that the said orphanage fell short of proper care as charges were leveled against it including underfeeding the kids there and all that? What then prevented the previous government from going to support the facility rather than closing it down? This was a single person’s facility taking care of probably abandoned children that [the care] which successive governments have poorly failed to do till today.
There, on TV Africa, was a woman frustrated from nurturing her hope of one day climbing high the political ladder. As previously stated, the saddest part of these stories of women in politics is that their own fellows drag them in the mud when they see them rising. Do people not know persons who frustrated the veteran actress beyond charges leveled against her?
“When a child is maliciously chased from his father’s compound, he’ll run to his mother’s kindred for refuge,” the proverb goes. We do not arguably have ‘dynamic’ women in Ghana’s politics because of the pull-her-down (PHD) syndrome and he who says this publicly must not be faulted.
For me, I only think the Hanna Bissiws and the Oye Lithurs are just as hypocritical as some of the world’s billionaires who quickly donated over $1 billion [in two days] towards the rebuilding of France’s Notre Dame Cathedral after it got burnt. These billionaires claimed they love God. You love God that you have not seen the thousands of people [children in particular] dying of hunger and diseases in Yemen and Syria among other places torn apart by war?
Anyway, my supposedly dynamic women who think they can rise and go to parliament must be reminded that the world is like a goat’s udder. It does not yield any milk unless you punch and squeeze at it. The motto of one of TV3’s coveted reality shows, Ghana’s Strongest, says: “The power to do.” If you believe you have the power, do it without waiting on any man to appoint you into higher office in politics. Walk the road to the Jubilee House when the way is paved next time.
By Solomon Mensah
The writer is a broadcast journalist with Media General [TV3/3FM]. Views expressed herein are solely his, and do not, in anyway, reflect the editorial policy of his organisation whatsoever.