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A Palaver Of Unlike Minds. Critical News, 11th May 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on May 11, 2014

Critical News, 11th May 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Oh, I struggled with this one.  I stumbled into mediation for a couple last week end.  As a rule I never get between couples, but this was very dear to my soul and I have their permission to use their story, definitely not their names.

Paapa and Akosua have been bickering on big, small issues for so long, three children all grown up and left home, they have a whole new set of problems.  Work, girlfriend, attention, fellowshipping etc..  Akosua is an avid Church goer, Paapa is still not convinced that all the solutions are with the Lord on high.  Money wahala too dey inside big time.

Left alone, no children to occupy them, PaaAkosua have resorted to fisticuffs, so bad, we were in the hospital removing stitches from her lower jaw.  A very repentant him was embarrassingly in the doorway, cowering from medical eyes, melding into the recesses of the curtains.

After we gingerly make it down the stairs and back home, I am confronted with a possible suit for assault and battery.  Akosua wants one back for this pain and suffering.  Looking at her face in the mirror, she turns to me and says “Sydney hwe me nim”.

Akosua is very attractive at fifty something.  She was one of the most eye-catching and most chased girls on Legon campus and she could have had anyone of us friends, but she opted for Paapa out of UST.   We gossiped about this for ages.

Now, I don’t know what to do in such circumstances, I knew there was no solution because of the way Akosua was going on, but I suggested that we engage in a “ho’oponopono”.  This Hawaaian word represents a gathering and hearing process and asks that opposing parties stay with the process until an answer is found, no matter how long.

After four hours moderating, I get up and retreat to the door.  In frustration, Akosua bursts into tears and confronts Paapa’s two decades of impotence, that has got Akosua looking outside the gate whenever he “travels” and questions what type of impotence pushes a man to have a girlfriend.  For what reason?

My counseling career out the window, Paapa totally flummoxed (this was never to come out), all we can do is fritter the next hour to agree for Akosua to go sojourn in the US with Afia, the eldest who has offered a ticket.

But we have a compromise for now.  It might not get us anywhere, but we have a compromise and that’s how we leave it.

I made comments on Boko Haram and Islam on the Big Issue, Citifm Saturday, fashioned a lot of direct insults from Muslim sounding names.  The ire of the Islam community was not left to interpretation and I seem to have lost a lot of readers and admirers, because I challenged that I had not heard from Islam’s leaders regarding Boko Haram’s murderous intent in the name of Islam.  And I was very direct.

I say Islam must Fatwa Boko Haram for committing these crimes in the name of Islam.  If it has been done, I have not heard it said in Ghana, although I have listened carefully to much on BBC and other services discussing the Boko and what it stands for.  If it is a religious crusade, killing people to make a point is wrong by any stretch of dedication.

People are not at war with religion, so to raze, maim, abduct, sell and destroy property with the intent of establishing a religious belief is wrong.  The Koran is clear against this, so are Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and all other major religions.

We should not have religious intolerance in any form.  Those who have written to insult me, and it happens every time I make a comment bordering on religion, well I am sorry you feel that way, but the higher deity gave us all free will to think and discuss and challenge.  If you do not believe in this principle, then we are of unlike minds.

Boko Haram is NOT a religious group and that they are positing themselves as such, affronting Islam, must invite louder condemnation from clerics all over the world.  That is the one way we can purge such extremists from our society.

However, post the venomous backlash, I googled issues on Boko and Islam and found this Reuters report published on 10th May.  Even though it condemns the terrorists, it does not call for Fatwa and comes after Boko has “harramed” Nigeria for more than five years.  It is late in the day and the lives of more than two hundred children are now at stake, not counting those killed unnecessarily before.

Yet I also received a lot of commendation and praise for tackling that which others perceive as an inferno.  Maybe I should post these messages and those from Christians when I commented on Bishop Duncan Williams’ foray into “cedinomics”.

Read this BBC report on Boko Haram and what they stand for.  This is not what humanity is about, this is terrorism to the extreme and we should all take a strong stance against it.

And finally, this piece from the Huff Blog of Dr Faheem Younus I think buttresses my point.  It is not about religion, it is about terrorism.  But allowing terrorism to taint your religion by association does not auger well for the faith.

Next week, the National Economic Forum.  The expectation is to leave after five days with a bouquet of solutions to fix a crisis-ridden economy.  There is a starting premise that things are not going well, because if all were ok, we would not gather at the Royal Senchi in Akosombo to Ho’oponopono this agenda.

I went open on this early in the week to say it was not a good idea, but I will be there to offer my pesewa’s worth of knowledge.  In my view when you invite a national consensus and by definition you engage your opponents of unlike minds in a contribution and sharing of ideas, yet one party will be rolling out a combined resolution of both, who will crow the spoils?  Will any side surrender all their ideas and come to the voters in 2016 empty?  Will the ruling government under fair play rules attribute solutions to their foe?

It might be a lofty idea, but it is so un-human-like.  We love to claim ours and mark our territory, show what we have achieved in this lifetime.  This takes that away and gives it all to the party in government who will proffer it in an election of popularity.

It is this existentialism that gave our President concern to say in Kumasi that opposers can never be pleased.

The meaning of what JDM said was unmistakable and I think he has a right to state plainly that some Ghanaians do not see the good in anything he does, and it is true.  There definitely is a hard core of die-hards whose views are fixed with no praise for JDM.

But that the recording was doctored?  We are yet to see what the CID will fathom.  Deputy “defending” Minister Kwakye Ofosu found a doctored tape in the “system” and aired it, devoid of any background noise, even though John President addressed the public open air.  I hear he refused to say from where he got the tape when he was asked on one of the leading radio stations?

I hope the CID have enough funding to do this investigation, unlike CHRAJ who are still stuck with no money to investigate SADA or GYEEDA or any other “da” on the corruption table, because this can be the big one for them.

There is another $3.5million scandal looming from the National Communications Authority.  It will start unraveling next week with a bit of trepidation.  This time someone awarded a contract to do a survey on what Ghanaians think about the Telco’s services.  No one called me, but I could have told them the service is terrible.  On a scale of 1-10, I score 2.

So who are the minds behind all these diabolical shenanigans?  Do we stand a chance of ever finding them and bringing them to book?

I lost another very good friend over the weekend.  Prof. Asenso Okyere died too young.  Second time in as many weeks I am grieving a respected friend and collaborator on many issues.  Kwadwo, damirifa due, due.

And thirty shops in the Kumasi market were razed to the ground yet again.  We still do not have the report by the American fire team to advise on which way to turn.

Ghana, Aha a ye de papa.  Alius valde week advenio. Another great week to come!

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