Praise where praise is due.

Author:Ankomah, Baffour
Position:BAFFOUR'S BEEFS - Column
 
FREE EXCERPT

The current traditional king of Ghana's Asante people, the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II celebrates 20 years on the Royal Stool. His conduct is in sharp contrast to that of the now-deposed Sudanese ruler, Omaral-Bashir.

For once, in a long while, I am going to do something journalists don't normally do: give praise when praise is due. Our professional calling enjoins us to point out wrongdoing most of the time, and therefore we unwittingly get stuck in that groove, forever whining and whinging about wrongdoing and never seeing the good the land has produced. God should forgive us, for it is a sin that modern journalism, especially its African version, has honed into an art form, to our eternal shame.

Thus, this month, I am going to break tradition and give praise because praise is due to one individual --a traditional ruler in Ghana --who has conducted himself and his high office with such aplomb that he deserves acclaim.

I am even more inclined to do so because of two recent events. The first was the shameful manner in which Sudan's recently-dethroned President for 30 years, Omar Al-Bashir, finished his tenure (sorry, was made to finish his tenure) and carted away into prison--with the whole of his cabinet and government members in tow--like cattle on the way to market.

It spoke volumes that, as the trucks carrying them drove away, Bashir and his lot were stoned and had sand thrown at them by a cross section of the people they had so badly ruled for 30 years. It must be a lesson for other African leaders.

What did it for Bashir & Co was the widely reported discovery of an obscene amount of money hidden in his residence. According to reports, the money amounted to a disgraceful $351m. 6.7m [euro] and S5bn [pounds sterling] (the equivalent of $105 million).

When I first saw the report in the Sudanese publication, DabangaSudan, I thought it was a mere propaganda stunt. But there were photographs of the cash in 20-kg sacks. How can one person want to have all that money in a nation where millions of people could not afford the increased price of bread, which led to months of demonstrations that finally truncated Bashir's long reign?

But contrast Bashir's end with that of another ruler of 30 years-Japan's monarch, Emperor Akihito. As Bashir and his officials were being carted away like cattle, Emperor Akihito was handing over royal power to his son Naruhito. The ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne was so seamless that the new Emperor...

To continue reading

REQUEST YOUR TRIAL