HANDLING THE PRESIDENT’S PHONE 22
Yes, last week I was unable to put a piece together. Even if I had, I would not have been able to share whatever I would have been able to write. It was in solidarity with my brothers who were incarcerated in a rather harsh trial on contempt of court.
While a section of the public jubilates over their predicament, those who naturally should stand by them were split over views they considered relevant in the discourse.
While none could be taken to be wrong, none could equally be taken to be right except from the minds that were presenting those views. In this discourse, everyone had taken the right position. Much so because, I have already regarded the ruling from the court as views expressed by the judges.
The only difference is that, their views, unlike ours, are made weightier because they have the backing of the law to execute their views. In the same spirit, we cannot chastise others for taking actions in solidarity with the people simply because in our views, such actions were not necessary.
It must be clearly established, I was part of those who stood in solidarity with the individuals. If my believes also serves me right, a socialist that the president is, he would have solidarized with the people in one way or the other. Before becoming president, he was a politician who became president on the ticket of a political party.
In the spirit of brotherliness to the very core of our tradition, as Africans, some of us were enjoined to stand by the trio in their moments of weakness. They needed every effort geared towards giving them some level of strength even as they serve their jail term.
It must also be clearly established that, so far, from those who stood in solidarity with these people, none had lauded the utterances. Indeed, all who spoke on the platforms mounted at the vigil over the past days, had admitted wrong on the part of the three individuals.
Indeed, these individuals condemned themselves over their comments long before they appeared before the judges for their fate to be determined. What was of much interest to those of us showing solidarity had to do with the severity of the sentence. A four month sentence with a Ghc10,000 fine was huge.
For us to be called nation wreckers by men of God for asking for forgiveness for people who have admitted their sins and apologized, one could not appreciate the reality of the compassion these men of God seek. Indeed, we are admonished by these men of God to show compassion to our brothers and sisters when they offend us even where they fail to apologise.
Again, these men of God, in their interpretation of the good book, enjoined one to admit a sin, ask for forgiveness, and our Father in heaven is ready to forgive. Would it suffice to ask, if calling for clemency on earth, we have become nation wreckers, could we say the men of God who are praying for murderers, rapists, thieves, etc., to gain access to heaven are heaven wreckers?
It was on this basis that citizens who showed solidarity and requested for show of clemency acted. The reality is that, the calls, and the show of love to the people, were all done within the remit of the law.
Before we remain overly conscientized in our politics, we must note one thing; the few who are privileged to be at the helm of affairs, have been worked for by the masses who have no direct benefit from power.
To such individuals, merely knowing their government is doing well is enough to keep their spirits alive. These are individuals who also harbour the pains of insults meted out to their leaders. They are those whose curiosities, desires, and determinations must be safeguarded at all times. They are those whose hopes must be assured at all times by those who have power.
Many a times, we undermine the power and effect of media houses leaned towards our course. Because we assume them on our side, we think no matter what we do, they would always stand by us. To this end, sometimes, we do not even turn our radios to listen to them. We prefer listening to so called objective stations.
What is objectivity when such supposed media houses could be led by individuals who could call the president of the Republic an armed robber? Would you elect to lay your emotions at where they would be tormented or where they would be comforted?
While at that, the masses whom I described as not having any direct benefit from those in power are people whose emotions must be well attended to. To those people, merely receiving solidarity every morning with assurances that the efforts of government at addressing our challenges are in the right direction on friendly media houses, is enough to warrant their continued support.
These masses, mainly get informed through mediums like the one that suffered this recent judicial arbitrariness. Yes, mistakes were made over an issue. Yes, these individuals had over the period, played within the rules to make the administration look good and to allay the fears of the teeming masses.
By throwing them away, you are throwing away the feelings and emotions of the masses invested and reposed in these individuals over the years. The commitments from the people would have been delved a hefty blow. That is what we must guard against.
Yes, we all appreciate your opinions. Just as we equally have our opinions, please, respect them. Many have decided to stand by these people. It is good. Many have also decided to stay away from them. It is equally good. Just identify your position in all of these, and belong appropriately.
The calls on the president to invoke Article 72 of the 1992 Constitution is not misplaced. Indeed, it is constitutional for individuals to plead for mercy for whosoever is incarcerated. We saw similar acts which resulted in the invocation of the said Article in the past. It still remains the prerogative of the president to make use of it or not.
If he does at a certain point in time, we will appreciate it. Just as we believe that is needed, I read a report from Amnesty International adding its voice to such calls. We couldn’t all be wrong. If they are pardoned, they would have learnt their lessons. If they are not pardoned, they still would have learnt their lessons. However, it must be established, if a man would be reformed, it is not about the number of years incarcerated. It is about lessons useful to the person that would cause change.