“Chiefs should not make new laws when they are angry.” – African proverb
My brother, do you know that the president is angry?
You, since when did you get close to the president to know his mood?
Where have you been all this while?
In Ghana, of course. I have not travel anywhere.
And you didn’t know that the president is angry, very angry. Actually he was so angry that he fired somebody.
No, you kid me now! The president is a very sober-minded person, and he is not likely to go around shooting people up.
You, I don’t mean literally!
Ah, I’m relieved! What type of country would will be living in if the president started firing his gun at random?
I beg you o, I didn’t say that he killed people or fired his gun. I didn’t say the president actually kill people. Do you want them to charge me with treason, sedition, felony or what?
What do you mean, then? You have to explain things to feeble-minded simpletons like myself.
You! But I wonder where you are that you didn’t hear about the great anger of the president.
You and your rumour-mongering, when did you become privy to president’s mood to know that he nursed humongous anger?
I didn’t say that I was privy to the president’s mood. Actually I heard it from the Horse’s mouth.
The president’s horse; didn’t know that the president keeps horses.
You, don’t be so daft! It was a figure of speech. I meant the information came from the President’s own spokesman.
You gotta be kidding! You meant to tell me that the president’s official spokesman told you that the president has been shooting people.
Don’t be so dense.
Me, dense, Is that not what you just said?
You really don’t get it. I said that I was speaking figuratively; the president didn’t go out to kill people. I was just employing a figure of speech.
Can’t you save us all these hullabaloo by getting straight to the point you are trying to make?
I said that the president’s spokesman said that the president was very angry and that this anger resulted in the president sacking the boss of the Kumasi ECG.
What, the boss of the Electricity Company of Ghana at Kumasi, serious?
Yes, that is what the president’s spokesman said.
I cannot believe this of the president. He always looks so calm and collected, and don’t people call him the ‘Asomdwene,’ or prince of peace?
That is why the whole things is so shocking; it is so totally out of character for the president to behave so.
And did the spokesman tell you what get the president so upset that he sacked the ECG boss?
I didn’t say that he told me personally; he announced it on the radio station. He called the radio station and told them that the president was very upset and that he has terminated the employment of the boss of Kumasi ECG or suspended him, something to that effect. The president was very upset, the spokesman said.
Ah, but did he say what got the president’s goat?
Where have you been? Didn’t you see how the whole nation was embarrassed by the light off at the Baba Yaara Stadium in Kumasi during the Ghana versus Lesotho football match?
Wait, wait, the light off at a stadium got the president so upset that he has to sack the Kumasi ECG boss?
That’s what the president’s spokesman said.
Then we are in trouble in this country?
Why did you say that; what do you mean?
We are in serious trouble if light off becomes excuses for firing ECG bosses.
Why, can’t you just imagine the national embarrassment, don’t you think that heads have to roll, figuratively speaking?
That is just what I don’t seem to understand. We have about three or four national black outs this year alone, and I didn’t hear that the president sack anyone. I just try to imagine the total number of man hours lost in our agriculture, mining and manufacturing industries during those blackouts. I just try to imagine the number of deaths occasioned by those blackouts in our hospitals. Yet our president didn’t get so upset as to sack anyone. So, why would he be going around sacking people because of a football match light mishap?
You really don’t get it. Do you know any Ghanaian who doesn’t love football? Do you know of any Ghanaian who doesn’t feel passionate about our Black stars?
All that could be true, but I still don’t understand why mere football matches should be more important than the running of our economy.
You cannot be serious. So, the president is watching his football, maybe with some important dignitaries and , vooom, just like that, EC switches power off. Do you mean to tell me that running economy is more important that causing the president huge embarrassment?
I don’t believe that tale. The presidency does not run on the ordinary national grid, and I cannot believe that the home of the whole Executive President of the Republic of Ghana will not have automatic generator to stand by in case of light off. I therefore find the whole story incongruous, fishy. Something is terribly amiss.
How do I know that the spokesman was not just telling us his own opinion?
But he was quoted as telling us that the president was upset and that head would roll. He then announced the sacking of the Kumasi ECH boss.
I won’t put it past petty officials trying to impress friends or their apushkelekes by using the president’s name. Supposing, just supposing that the spokesman was watching the match with his current affairs and the light went. He tries to impress the lady by grabbing his phone to call radio stations and purported to speak for the president. It looks impressive when you yell down the line and tell people that the president is saying this or that, doesn’t it? Again, if, and that is a big if, the president chooses to relax by watching a game of football, would he not do that with his family and chums, rather than with a spokesman?
But the president hasn’t come out to deny it!
Presidents are very busy people. Where would they find the time to react to every story they read in our news-papers, which are not noted for accurate reporting, to begin with. But that is not why I said we are trouble.
Why did you say that, then?
It simply does not look when people in high position lose their cool and start calling radio stations. We will never know whether or not the president was angry. We will never even know whether the man like football or watch that particular match; that is not the issue. What we know is decisions, especially presidential-decisions, should be made after very deep sober reflections. It does not look dignified when those that speaks for the president turn themselves into serial callers.
Why are you changing the subject?
I am not changing any subject, I’m just telling you what I find disturbing about the whole tale you told me. To begin with, my understanding is that president’s have no power to sack civil servants just like that. There are procedures to be followed in terminating appointments of employees of state’s corporations. Blessedly, we no longer live under military regimes where such things are the norms. So, when someone calls radio stations to announce the termination of people’s appointment, it ridicules the office of the president. That is my main gripe. The second problem I have is that I learn that Kumasi ECG actually is divided into two sections – East and West. A presidential spokesman must always be on top of issues. If he comes out to announce the termination of the appointment of the Kumasi ECG boss, it is the duty of our journalists to call him to order. They should make him look ridiculous by pointing out the ridiculousness of his statement. Secondly, they should have asked him from where his boss, the president, derives the power to play dictator.
“The action or inaction of a chief can destroy a town.” – African proverb