Nana In Town

“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown” King Henry

-William Shakespeare

WE KOWTOW TO OTUMFUO and humbly pray for liberties to make reference to Nana Akufo-Addo, the President of Ghana as “Nana” – not done in any way to demean Otumfuo’s title, but rather to make Nana Addo feel at home and at ease – he being an Oyoko like Otumfuo’s good self. This is being done for literary purposes. Piaaw!

When Nana Addo landed in Kumasi last Friday, his first visit was the Kumasi Airport which incidentally was the arrival point. After inspecting the facility he was pleased that by next year, planes will be able to move from Kumasi and fly directly to London, New York, Paris, Berlin, Kabul (Afghanistan) – an international airport linking the major cities of the world.

Nana’s first place of call from the Airport was Manhyia – courtey call – and he intimated that he would make the maiden international trip with Otumfuo to London in January, 2022. We pray that the said trip would not involve the existing Presidential jet – we cannot afford the news of a calamity to our dear King, only to turn round and lament: “Me huuie a nka”. In other words, we endorse a new Presidential jet, or the hiring of a safer, more reliable aircraft or Airbus. Asiedu Nketia can make a mockery of the door of the Presidential jet and make a similitude of heights but you know America’s President, James Madison, was 5ft 4ʺ?

Nana’s vision gave him a rare opportunity for an interface with the people of Asante. He noted: “I am here to show my gratitude to you (Otumfuo) and Asanteman for your support in the last election. You have supported NPP since time immemorial, and in the last elections, but for your unshrinking support and that of Asanteman to me and the NPP, we would not have been in government. The imperial advice from Otumfuo was terse and laconic: “If you stay in your office, your appointees will come to tell you what you would love to hear. The tour will help you to confirm what you are told… I trust you and I know you will honor Asanteman with developmental projects.” In a heart-to-heart chat, Otumfuo charged: “… continue to be bold and deliver big for the people.”

Nana introduced two Asante political stalwarts who were in his team: Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto and Alan Kyerematen to Asanteman, and hinted amidst laughter that they had an eye on his presidential seat. No doubt, the former had run his Agriculture Ministry so successfully that there is abundance of food: go to Bantama Market, and you can get a bunch of plantain for Gh¢5.00! The latter had championed the 1 District 1 Factory and succeeded in reviving the moribund Darko Farms and the Neoplan Company.

It is now no secret that other people are lacing their boots to test the presidential waters: Dr. Bawumia, Boakye Agyarko, Joe Chartey, Konadu Apraku and Kennedy Agyapong. For us, whoever is selected will be warmly welcomed so long as they remain NPP members! Nana expressed satisfaction with the constitutional arrangement of four-year term and not to hold office for more than two terms. At Kumasi-based Assh FM, he noted: “Using the ballot box has contributed to the stability of our country. People believe that if a leader is not doing well, they can vote against that leader in four years’ time. We don’t need a coup d’état to change someone.”

“Falasifo” (The Pharisees) had tried to drum into our tympanic membranes that despite the massive votes for the NPP by Asanteman, the party (and government) had not done “anything” for us. Oh, you will say! Roads: go from Kumasi to Obuasi, check Tanoso to Abuakwa; or Kumasi to Kuntenase; and the “interior” road network. You can trust Adwuma-wura Amoako Atta, the Road Minister so, you take any project and “they” will tell you: “We started it… we initiated it… we had dreamt about it…”. “They” forget Article 35 (7) of the 1992 Constitution: “As far as practicable, a government shall continue and execute projects and programmes commenced by the previous Governments”. When the “adwe-ngo” turned into oil, NPP did not blow their horn for finding oil; the NPP did not unduly take credit for it.

“Ate yie ma awere-firi” (Good living engenders forgetfulness). Ghanaians have the tendency for taking our peace and prosperity for granted. You see what is happening in Afghanistan? Children aged below 15 hiding in the “belly” of trucks to cross the border to Pakistan. You will weep if you have a child or grand-child within that age-bracket – or you are so hard that human blood does not pass through you. And Haiti: people who had escaped from that country and had stayed in the U. S., Mexico, et cetera as “refuges” being returned to the “forsaken” country. Then Myanmar (Burma): Improperly armed “rebels” seeking to oust the well-armed military regime that had kicked out Aung San So-Kyii. If these countries are far-flung, check what is happening in the African countries whose children are found on our streets: Chad, Mauritania, Sudan… “Why are we so blest?” Praise Moslem Chief Imam Sheik Sharubutu for his exemplary role in addition to all the chiefs and religious leaders for the peace of this country.

In traffic, we saw Nana and his entourage departing Kumasi for the Kwahu Mountains around 1000am on Tuesday. He will be informed about the impact of his visit to Asante particularly the quelling of the furore that had surrounded the confirmation of his nomination of Sam Pyne as the Metropolitan Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA). There had been threats of the rejection of Sam Pyne on the grounds that the KMA had piled up a huge debt over the years, and until it was settled, the Assemblymen and women were not going to confirm Sam Pyne. Nana had pleaded with the Assembly members: “I will appeal to you to confirm Sam Pyne because he has the capacity to do the work… if afterwards the debt is proven to be genuine, then you (assemblymen) should task him to make the servicing of the debt his first agenda in office”. On Tuesday, 06/10/21, Sam Pyne was confirmed as KMA boss with over 90% (55 out of 58) of the votes. Kudos. But he should remember to settle KMA’s indebtedness as a first agenda, just as we were assured by Nana Addo. So should Kennedy Kankam do, for getting confirmed by 100% of the 22 Assembly members of Asokore-Mampong. They should remember: “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown”, and be guided by the advice from Nananom and the Presidency. Hard work! Hard work! Hard work!

By Africanus Owusu-Ansah