On matters of apologies…

By | July 21, 2015

Feature Article of Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Columnist: Tse, Frederick K. Kofi


Mrs Matildà Amissah Arthur has apologised for her “chalk” comment which has been wildely condemned and this pinched my mind on the number of apologies from public figures in this month. She has shown a sign of maturity whère most public figures, and even some of us lay people (including you and I),have been failing–we hardly apologise. And this culture of arrogance is feeding on how we define democracy in the Akan parlance ; “Kabi ma min Kabi”, which means speak your mind so I too will speak my mind. By this definition one gets the support of one’s supporters whether s/he makes sense or not.
I hope the public takes her apology seriously and forgive her, seeing that she has been generous to the said school many times.
She did not allow the pride that comes with political life to go So much into her head.
Though the political class has let us down,they often hurt our emotions the more with unpalatable comments and other times, hate speeches.
Do they apologise ? No! Their supporters and handlers quickly rush to their defence and belittle the thinking of those whose votes they depend on to push them into the Flagstaff House; and there by betraying their own intelligence.
We have no one to blame but ourselves. We gave too much power to the political class so much to the extent that we do not question insulting comments and instances that smack of corruption–we reward them, rather, with disgraceful sycophancy. This is pitiful!
Advisors of presidents and the Council of State (both past and now) have let us down. They have proved to be bootlickers, in that they failed to advise the wives of Presidents to manage power as non-elected and ‘non-vested’ persons at the presidency. Now, power has cascaded down to Second Ladies who move in V8 motorcade. Soon, it will be wives of District Chief Executives who will be all over the place in convoys.
Loyalty to a leader is important and no one is advocating for one to break loyalty by scolding one’s leader.
However, our leaders need to be told the hard truth ,particularly, when their comments/ actions are against noble reasons.
In fact, we cannot apologise for everything especially when unqualified apologies tend to serve selfish interests of those calling for apology rather than lasting core values of the larger society such as peace and humility.
We should impress upon our leaders to understand that apologising for mistakes made adds to leadership credentials and is not a sign of weakness.
We have had many journalists and public speakers described the apologies tended by Black Rasta and Prof. Dodoo before the previledges commitee of Parliament as cowardice. Just how do those commentators mean? I mean how? One cannot fathom whether they expect Black Rasta and the Professor to keep arguing their ‘unfortunate’ comments in front of the cameras while children were watching. While I believe Prof. Doodoo was right in stating his expert opinion, I do not see why he should maintain the “ignorant” position before the commitee. Can you imagine the scene of ‘ignorant’ MPs and an ‘arrogant’ Black Rasta? What lessons would our children not learn from that?
My hope is that our disappointing leaders in both NDC and NPP will learn from the actions of the Second Lady, Black Rasta and the Professor to render unqualified apology when they goof because it adds rather than subtract from their image us leaders.

Frederick K. Kofi Tse
[email protected]