The wave of blame that has been generated in response to observation by Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, A.S.K Bagbin, that one of the causes of the National Democratic Congress (NDC)’s defeat in the 2016 election was former President Mahama’s appointment of a visually challenged man as Minister for Chieftaincy Affairs, has been dismissed by chiefs.
Nana Asiedu Kweku Donkor, a former ‘Nkosuohene’ (Development Chief) of the Kwahu Traditional Area has said that Hon. Bagbin had been spot on with that observation and that, the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament had not only spoken the truth, but also spoken the minds of many offended chiefs.
“In Ghanaian tradition, Chiefs are not allowed to deal with people who are physically challenged in anyway, including people who suffer blindness, and so Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin had spoken the truth when he said the appointment of somebody like that as Minister for Chieftaincy Affairs had courted anger from the chiefs.”
Nana Kweku Donkor had made the statement during a funeral reception at Kwahu Mpraeso on Saturday. The funeral had been for his late mother, Maame Abena Afi, who had died at a ripe old age of 110.
Hon. Bagbin, who had been invited, graced the funeral as a special guest of honor and was mobbed by enthusiastic fans, supporters, and townsfolk, who had apparently thronged the funeral grounds to show him support in defiance of a backlash over his recent observations in the Volta region.
Many people in the NDC, especially those from the Mahama faction of the party, have been condemning Hon. Bagbin over his observation that one of the causes of the NDC’s massive loss in 2016 was President Mahama’s inappropriate appointments.
Among others, he had said that the former President’s appointment of Dr. Seidu Danaa, a visually challenged man, as the Minister for Chieftaincy Affairs was a decision that had courted hatred for the NDC from Ghanaian chiefs, since in Ghanaian tradition, chiefs are not allowed to deal with visually impaired persons.
Hon. Bagbin had observed that Dr. Danaa was a very respectable and learned person who could have fit into any other Ministry, apart from the Chieftaincy Ministry, since his appointment went against Ghanaian culture.
Observing this appointment as one of the many miscalculations of former President Mahama, the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament had said that even though President Mahama meant well, the appointment of Dr. Danaa had ended up courting anger among the chiefs for the NDC government. This contributed greatly to the unprecedented defeat of the NDC in 2016.
The observation was quickly met with attacks from the Mahama faction of the NDC, and by admirers and former beneficiaries of the Mahama government, such as scandal-prone comedian, Afia Schwarzenegger, who insulted Bagbin with unprintable words.
It is while this brouhaha is still ongoing that a royal has come out to tell the whole world that the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament had spoken the plain truth.
“I am not NDC, I speak as a Ghanaian. Hon. Bagbin spoke the absolute truth. In this our part of the world, we, excuse me to say, do not appoint people who are disabled as chiefs, neither do we allow our chiefs to associate with them,” Nana Asiedu Kweku Donkor said.
A close associate of the Asantehene, Otumfuor Osei Tutu ll, Nana said the appointment of Dr. Danaa had offended Ghanaian chiefs and the national House of Chiefs, but that the chiefs had kept mute over the issue because it is not in the character of chiefs to openly lament.
Hon. Bagbin’s statement therefore, he said, has been a vent for the Chiefs of Ghana. According to the Nkosuohene of the Kwahu Traditional Area, Bagbin deserves to be commended rather than condemned, adding that Ghana needs honest people like the Nadowli-Kaleo MP.
Another prominent chief at the funeral who prefers to remain incognito said “ex-president Mahama’s followers should understand Jesus Christ’s comment with regard to the truth. Jesus said, speak the truth, stick to the truth and die with the truth, truth is the foundation and super-structure of all relationships that is why John 8:32 says the truth will set us free, I have interacted with a lot of chiefs on phone and many of them hailed the brilliant and principled second deputy speaker of parliament, in fact, such a person must rule this nation at all cost for the betterment of the country”.