Sunday, 4 January 2009

Underneath our beautifully peaceful veil...

I write with mixed emotions. Had a wonderful afternoon, spent it watching "Unhappy wives & Confused husbands" at the National Theatre. It's a comedy play by James Ebo Whyte, about relationships and we all had several good laughs. It's so nice to find cultural Ghanaian activities, I hope we get more of that in 2009! Our only regret was that we made it a girl's outing as we all agreed our partners could have learnt quite a bit about relationships from the play.

Came home and as I was preparing for the first proper working week of the year, Virgo got a call informing him that an NPP supporter has been murdered by NDC supporters today. How tragic! Where the need for members of the winning party to impose violence and death on those of us who lost?

I have thought long and hard about covering this issue in the blog, but decided not to, especially after seeing the seemingly peaceful celebrations in town yesterday. But I feel it must be mentioned: the fact that we are somewhat held hostage by the fear of potential violence by NDC members. I am not in any way claiming that this is violence condoned by the NDC party itself, but it is well-known that had NPP won, it would not have been 'accepted' by their members, whatever the implications of not 'accepting' are. IN fact, the majority of NPP supporters were relieved when we heard the results yesterday as we knew the only way we'd have peace in Ghana would be if we lost.

Dr. Ohene, who was a polling agent in the Volta Region, is still alive, with one eye almost ripped out.
Since run-off last Sunday I have found it very sad that we have been unable to see a single NPP flag or sticker on a car, while NDC flags and stickers are displayed all over vehicles, everywhere. Among friends, we've laughed at the fact that we deciphred the code of the Ghana flag. If you look around I can assure you that every car you see with a Ghana flag is hiding an NPP supporter who knows that were he to display his party associations, he is putting himself at risk of having his windows smashed in. Meanwhile NDC flags are riding high on their supporters' cars, as it should be!

I hope I don't regret writing about this, as I like to keep politics out of the blog, especially when written from a partisan angle, but with the very fresh memory of three NPP polling agents murdered in the Volta Region last Sunday and what happened today, I felt the issue could not be ignored. Hopefully nothing of this nature will happen again and we can continue seeing happy celebrations from the NDC and good 'losership' from the NPP.

8 comments:

Abena said...

Hi Maya,
It is a real tragedy that an NPP person was killed by NDC supporters after the election. It almost seems part of the threats of retribution that were made. I had thought naively thought that the NDC's celebrations had only been restricted to loud music, burning of some NPP vehicles in rural areas, bizarre funeral parades and flogging of elephant effigies.

One thing this election has exposed is the frightening mob mentality in the Ghanaian psyche. I just spoke to someone whose house was inexplicably beseiged during the run-off by an angry mob searching for ballot boxes..This was actually shown on Metro TV. Indeed, if the NPP had been declared winners I can imagine that I would be sifting through the charred remains of my house right now! I kid you not.

You are so right...the NPP colours are in fewer cars but yesterday we saw two cars following each other around East Legon flying NPP flags. They were getting cheers of appreciation from everyone on the side of the road and other motorists. It was actually refreshing to see.

posekyere said...

It is really sad that a human being, a fellow Ghanaian, can be killed just because he is of another political party.
This sort of savage barbarity should be condemned by by all well-meaning Ghanaians. We should not keep quiet while these criminals run amok killing innocent people for exercising their democratic and human right in supporting a party of their choice.
It is my opinion that the perpetrators of these hideous crimes chose to "celebrate their victory" in the recent elections by slaughtering NPP supporters as a way of announcing to us all that they are now in charge,and so they can do as they please.
It is my wish that the president-elect will attend the funerals of these NPP supporters as an expression of his abhorrence of the unacceptable thuggery in our country.
May these blood-thirsty monsters be rebuked into perpetual vagabondary by the Creator!

Maya said...

Yes Abena, Saturday gave me so much hope because I only saw happy NDC celebrations, to the point where my cousin and I could joke with a trotro (with an NDC flag on his mirror) in traffic, when he tried to go ahead of us, that we are moving forward, so he should stay behind with his 'change'. We all laughed (and of course went before him!) and it gave me so much hope. But it seems violence was unavoidable considering the calibre of some NDC supporters.

Even your observations at East Legon are somewhat bittersweet. It's so nice that the two cars were cheered,hopefully by people of different political backgrounds, but sad that such a scene is a unique one in our 'changed' Ghana.

Maya said...

So true Posekyere, I also fear that this is a preview of how several of those who voted for NDC intend to exercise their election victory.

I hope Atta Mills does as you recommend, attend the funerals and distances himself from these actions. It is disgraceful that in our Ghana with its humanitarian reputation, there are rogues who act like this.

novisi said...

Maya dear,
The word is TRAGEDY! I'm with you Abena!
Posekyere, I feel your emotions!

but to the particulars:
i heard about a clash b/n ndc and npp in accra, i think agbobloshie or kantamanto or so (not sure of exact place) and that one npp guy died as a result! that is sad. [not sure if that's what you're referring to].

i see that occurrence and any other such as a loss of HUMAN LIFE (not even just Ghanaian but HUMAN life)! and that for me is tragic!

NOW,
i think that in as much as we must condemn such criminal and barbaric acts we must do so across board and not present the picture as if it's only one political party that is suffering such nonsense!

and like you said, i'm also not saying you're saying the ndc is condoning anything...just an aside.

THE FACT IS THAT MEMBERS OF BOTH NDC and NPP ARE SUFFERING FROM SUCH FOOLISHNESS BEING PERPETUATED BY BOTH PARTIES.

QUESTION IS: are we so partisan to decide to CHOOSE FREELY which criminality or murder to condemn and which NOT to condemn???

so much so that now we have npp murder and ndc murder???? i think violence is violence is violence and it has no collour no matter what we may choose to paint it!

Maya, at this juncture, i would LOVINGLY URGE you to REGRET writing this piece...not because it is political! but BECAUSE it is sadly SKEWED however so sweetly and freely chosen!!!

unless you want to tell me like some talk that i'm naive and so do not know that politics is a dirty game...

in between the lines, any objective person can easily read the omissions of torture of ndc folks all over the country!

for example, Nana Konadu, the former first lady got her fair share of harassment in the Ashanti Region. it's well reported that Dr. Amoako Nuamah got her vehicle burnt...Several others got beaten and some also got hopitalised!

Volta Region:
The region has definitely become a "devil's den" thanks to the picture being painted by some npp officials including Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo himself who claims to believe in Ghana(???) Yet the last time i checked, The volta region is part of Ghana!

If you check the daily graphic of today, page 12, you would find in a small space a report by one Tim Dzamboe that the volta regional police commander, Mr. B. Dery "has dismissed rumours of allegations of cases of death of some party agents in the volta region..." as part of the story is a picture of the 'shameless' IGP who i believe Kufuor should have sacked long ago due to a number of cocaine cases against him!

I have personally heard Dery on radio dismiss this allegation that is being peddled by the npp! Yet the npp has up till now not given any evidence of the death of any npp member in the volta region! so where is the confirmation that poling agents were killed??? Maya, i urge you to regret this write-up!

meanwhile tapes played on radio gold point to folks like Malik ploting to liter the volta region with dead bodies from okomfo anokye hospital to prove their case! my question is have they challenged the those tapes played and the names mentioned so we know the truth??? hmmmmmmmmm!

"Underneath our beautiful peaceful veil...":
Maya, your title is apt... but the issues are too skewed...

i have always maintained that we should stop thinking we are some special breeds who are just peaceful by nature compared to some others....even within Ghana is a funny and me think foolish picture of the people of the north being seen as violent while all the rest are peaceful...foolish... THAT JUST CAN'T BE TRUE...not so easily...

human beings are dynamic...we respond to situations as we may deem fit...with peace or with war or with barbarism.....if you think i'm lying recall in your memory the true state of Ghana as it was last Tuesday when companies started closing in Accra by midday! recall how the public mostly responds to thieves in the streets...>lynch???

npp flags???
personally i'm not interested in any party paraphernalia!!! [i belong to no party] even Ghana flag i hardly fly...but...

the npp flags are going down...i have noticed too...while the ndc ones are going up! and t-shirts!

if you recall, in the year 2000 when we kicked out the ndc for playing foolish on our lives, the ndc flags went down while the npp ones came up.....and in addition Tony Aidoo, the one who epitomised arrogance to the full was given a nice slap in traffic by an npp supporter in Accra...

That should just tell you we have a sick society! and we must all take part of the blame! as for me i'm ready everyday to admit my part for being part of this sick society...how about you???

so what we ought to do is to shine the light in our little corner...sooner than later the shine would reach far to serve as a guide to others...

and while we do that we must put pressure on our leaders to make sure they condemn such violence....for example, Akufo Addo should have condemned the beating of JJ's camera man in Kumasi by his [Addo] body guards...Mills too should have condemned the torture of Dr. Ohene...

but i have seen a lot of npp T-shirts and flags...only i'm SURE a number of those are likely to be ndc doing some teasing...Today at lunch the only party thing i saw was npp...

last tuesday, a friend who made the mistake and used the road leading to the EC's office had to face the nonsense of ndc blockheads...and then on wednesday we were all told of the npp blockheads who stormed town destroying anything ndc...

I just hope that sooner than later we all find space to express our political affiliations without being victimized...and for those like me who choose to remain without any party's card or flag to have the respect to be!

....aside....it's just sickening when even my own friends (both ndc and npp) choose to label me as being either npp or ndc as it suits them...shame on all those who can't respect a persons 'very personal' choice!




AS FOR POLITICS,


i'm told by... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_(disambiguation)

"Politics is the process observed in all human (and many non-human) group interactions by which groups make decisions, including activism on behalf of specific issues or causes."

Therefore, i see no reason why one we should shy away from it!

i mean if you write about the play 'unhappy wives & confused husbands' by Ebo Whyte...you may be sharing and wanting us to appreciate art...but also 'underneath' that is a cause which which is political...definitely!

it's just like food which we need...only you must make sure you eat the proper food at any point in time and the how to must be proper as much as humanly possible!

Burial
as for the call for Mills to attend the funeral of the murdered npp folks...i wonder if that need be since it's become clear that nobody died! but of course that would have been deep...and deep too it would be should Akufo Addo pay a visit to any of those ndc folks who we taken to hospital!

Maya dear, i hope you find at least some sense in what my crazy head told my typing fingers...

but most importantly i urge you dear, to regret with a deep sense what you have written because it's skewed by omission...!

lov to Y'all!

Maya said...

Novisi,

I have been waiting for your comment all day, but find it disappointing.

Your comment makes me feel happier than ever that I wrote this piece. As for it being skewed, I disagree. I write of the facts as told and proven to me, as I have not been given any reports of your allegations. I have never denied that there is violence between the parties but I am yet to hear of any NDC members being killed by NPP supporters. So far what has been reported has been on an equal level, which is why I've tried to avoid the topic. However, when lives are taken and people of one party only are afraid to show what they believe in, it is time to speak up. And the NPP flags disappearing from the roads happened immediately after the second election, long before we could tell who had won. This would not happen in a country were both parties could at all times freely declare their partisan associations.

I could give you so many examples of attacks, unnecessary ones, both during the campaign and in election days, e.g. market women being beaten up for wearing NPP t-shirts (one died from her injuries this morning, feel free to add her to your list of 'faked deaths'), NDC men with cutlasses surrounding NPP members about to parttake in a peacewalk (oh, the irony!) on a Sunday morning a few weeks to the first election, NDC landlords trying to evict their NPP tenants, solely based on their party affiliations (have a personal experience myself, unfortunately my landlord forgot he's dealing with a lawyer, who knows how long a tenancy she's paid for), I could go on and on, but have chosen not to for the sake of peace and happiness in Ghana. There is so much many of us choose to ignore in the hope that it will be for the betterment of our future, that is why majority of NPP supporters began to look forward to NDC winning early last week as we prefer that to the civil war that would have erupted if we had won fairly.

To say no deaths occurred, I find insulting to the grieving families, especially as one of the deceased is being buried tomorrow.

If I were to regret anything I wrote, I encourage you to regret the majority of pieces you've written in the past month. After all referring to a NDC supporter like KSM as non-partisan seems skewed to me, as does almost everything you've written. And no matter how you choose to refer to yourself, it is clear where your sympathies lie.

I don't see anything wrong in describing ourselves as peaceful people, it is known all over the world that Ghanaians have a good reputation of kindness and goodwill. It is something every visitor I know of mentions as their stay in Ghana comes to an end. It is something to acknowledge and be proud of in the sort of world we live in. That is why many of us get so upset over what seems to be happening in these post-elections days.

For the sake of peace on my blog and in the land, I intend to leave it here. Goodnight!

novisi said...

Maya dear,

i'm glad my comment if for nothing at all made you happy! besides, what is this life about really? surely not only happiness!

I have read over my own comments after reading yours!

and i must say i was ALARMED at what i discovered in my own conclusions...and i quote myself...
"Burial
as for the call for Mills to attend the funeral of the murdered npp folks...i wonder if that need be since it's become clear that nobody died! but of course that would have been deep...and deep too it would be should Akufo Addo pay a visit to any of those ndc folks who we taken to hospital!"

so i said that nobody died...

and if i put that against your reply and i quote:
"To say no deaths occurred, I find insulting to the grieving families, especially as one of the deceased is being buried tomorrow"

then clearly, if i consider that me, myself and i acknowledged in my same comment the fact that there was some reported death in Accra (i mentioned i wasn't sure whether kantamanto or so---the exact place) I MUST HAVE BEEN SNOOZING OFF FOOLISHLY IN SOME WONDERLAND WHEN I MADE THAT POINT THAT NO ONE DIED! that is surely far from consistency! I REGRET THAT WITH ALL the forces propelling me!

So Maya, you have a legitimate score to be disappointed by my comment! that i respect!

BUT U SEE? i was coming fresh from the comment on the volta region where i stated that confirmation from the Regional police commander with reference (specific) to the Daily Graphic states clearly that there was no death in the region! I got clouded by that and so went on to state that 'no one died'...

So i guess you can see my inconsistency and not just tie me down to my last concluding comment! you could TELL ME I'VE BEEN INCONSISTENT!

BUT SERIOUSLY I ADMIT THE INSULT AND I BELIEVE THAT IS NOT THE KIND OF INSULT I'D ADVOCATE ANYDAY! so my apologies must not be in doubt! well hopefully!

I stated that your comment was skewed 'BY OMISSION'... that i believe is not in doubt at all. if you want to only tell us about npp folks who got maltreated/killed as per reports and confirmation i don't think i'd have a problem with that.

BUT it is clear that in your writeup the npp is only made to look the only sufferer! that i think should not make you happy! it should make you sad!!! especially so that these are HUMAN LIVES...first before party collour!

there in your writeup is the idea that that even if the npp had won fairly there would have been a civil war!

well i beg to differ a bit...even though everything is possible under the sun as typical of me...but i really wonder if that would have been JUST so...from all indications the ndc foolishness started when reports started flying that npp folks were up to mischief in the EC's strong room! especially so when most of the radio stations had given us all the nature of the results and some even went ahead to call it!

with reference to the EC's strong room incident...i have a sense that what people were not ready for was cheating! so i believe that if the ndc folks had cheated in an attempt to overturn results for all to see, then npp too would have stood up stronger than we witnessed. i might be wrong but i think generally that is what the atmosphere was like! but well how does one measure that really!??

but i find it interesting however so that you say the allegations i refer to are not known to you! well...i think these are easily verifiable!

how about the volta region police commander i refer you to? the Daily Graphic???

how about the radio gold tapes???

you would notice surely that i never challenged the case of Dr. Ohene...in fact if i did not condemn the attack on him strongly enough i do so now and forevermore!

i have largely referred to specifics in my comment which are verifiable. I don't think a case of the former first lady is beyond our noses to even attempt to verify! nor does that of Dr. Amoako Nuamah!!

how about the METRO TV journalist who were brutalised at Akufo Addo's house and the npp HQ???

As for flags and so on i stated my opinion on it...that is personal...

but i won't curse anyone for flying a flag! in fact sometimes i even cheer...i have a boss who is npp and flies his flag and i sit in his car with all jolly! no big deal! but how many people out there are ready to do similar!

that is why i think we have a very sick society and we must all work to heal it! and one way of ensuring healing is never to paint the picture that only one section of the public is violent towards the other! and the records show that CLEARLY!!!

and there's another twist to the flags, there are the cases of the 'stomach politicians' who are quickly changing their collours to suit their belly...that can't be discounted either!

but of course the general case of intimidation must be condemned...the landlords must be warned and prosecuted if need be...i just saw a warning on myjoyonline from the police to that effect!

now my thoughts are beginning to jumble!...anyhow...KSM...is there evidence to prove that he is partisan???...that he's an ndc supporter???...i think there's a difference if one wants to talk about 'perception'... in any case i think what i have said is that he is respected across party lines...the focus there is on the party folks...both sides or all sides...

and personally i've never heard him saying he's either ndc or npp! BY THE RECORDS KSM DID ADVERT FOR NPP IN THE YEAR 2000 for kufuor! that is verifiable! even based on that record...i won't call him npp. I won't call Obed Asamoah npp for endorsing Akufo Addo...that doesn't confirm he's npp! no matter how our perceptions may want to fly! That MUCH respect i duly owe anyone!

and so i ask for similar respect! allow me to tell where my own bias is...but not you tellING me! at least that is just fair...but of course i can't demand that respect so i would just say sad if it doesn't come!

as for me regretting things i've written...well, i might have couple to regret...but largely i believe i've made my positions clear enough! and in that vain, i did not call for the removal of npp just for the sake of it...that can be seen in all the arguments i made for change!

my call for change cannot automatically make me ndc...not at all...neither did my support of the npp in 2000 make me npp!

i don't think this should be a difficult thing at all...for example...most people in 2000 saw kwesi pratt campaign for npp and now he did for ndc...without ever stating that he was a member of any of these two parties...

and the peace thing... yeah...yeah...! we are peaceful... and i just dare say and so are the folks in somalia...that said, there is a beautiful akan saying: "se ento woa, da" something like that which i would translate badly as "if it hasn't happened to you, just sleep" ... hahahahaha...my akan gal friends need to do better surely...more work!

so Maya, i appreciate your concerns but i just hope that you see amidst all your happiness and sadness that my call for you to regret this particular post is a BEAUTIFUL call.

because it's skewed by omission!

and that call must not bring war...not at all...not on your beautiful blog...it's just a call...

i guess you can imagine by now that i'm a talkative...hahahaha!

thank you dearly!

one love!

Maya said...

Hi Novisi,

As mentioned, I intend to put the topic behind me so at this moment I will not even read your comment, as I am sure there are no surprises in it. Was hoping you too could leave the topic. May read it later in the week and if I feel it prolongs the discussion, I'll delete it. For now, I'll leave it for others to read as I am a believer of freedom of speech.

Enjoy your day!

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