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Opinion: “Yesterday, I Sent Krobo” And Denial Syndrome
 
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17-Mar-2010  
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There are three ways of dealing with broken promises. They are acceptance, confrontation and denial. Acceptance is an aspiration not a strategy.

If you boldly accept that you have not been able to keep your promise, you sooth wounds and get another chance to mend broken hearts.

Those you deceived easily forgive you. Confrontation means putting the promises at the centre of your life; learning as much as you can about how to honour the promises, vigorously exploring alternative ways of making the promise realistic, campaigning for funds or whatever you need to make it possible for you to keep your promises.

Denial means letting the problem of not keeping the promises affect your life as little as possible. In fact, it means pretending as best as you can that you did not even make any promise at all.

For me, the best way of dealing with broken promises is denial, and I will defend denial at the risk of my life. In choosing denial, you are only guilty of 'self hatred' like a Jew or an African American putting on Wasp airs or – worse – to pass as a white Christian.

If you fool yourself skillfully enough, you can banish thoughts of not keeping your promises but retain a liberating sense of urgency.

So I recommend denial and defend it as a legitimate option. To work effectively however, denial requires secrecy, and secrecy pretty much requires deception.

It is simply easier to go through the day not thinking about the promises you made to people. What you do with yourself in the privacy of your head is nobody else's business.

On the other hand, deceiving those around you, particularly a whole people living in one country, is more troublesome and heart-raking if not heartbreaking.

MILLS' DENIAL
And so there he stood as the President of Ghana, delivering his State of the Nation Address to Parliament. Hear him: “Often a time, I hear people saying I promised putting money in their pockets.

I can't remember ever making this promise, but I know those who made the promise”. This denial, to me, is a legitimate option and I will defend it always.

The man says he can't remember and so what can you say? Our elders say the memory of a hungry man is short. Professor Mills was hungry for power, having lost the bid on two occasions, and in his attempt to grab power he made uncountable promises to the good people of this nation in order to win their sympathy.

How can he remember all the promises he made when he was desperately making them “by heart”, even as a professor of law?

Now that he is in power he has come to realize that the promises he made are not attainable because he made so many of them, and as at now he cannot remember all of them. What do you expect him to say rather than deny?

Keep on denying and 'sit your somewhere' my brother! After all, was it not the language Ghanaians wanted to hear? Prof., don't worry, if even they call you a pathological liar because you did so to get what you want. The rest is history.

KUMBOUR'S APOLOGY
He is the Minister of Health in God's own country. The President of the Republic of Ghana told us that he will make sure we pay the National Health Insurance premium once in our lifetime.

In other words, when we pay once we will not pay again till we die. In fact, the ruling NDC party even included it in their Manifesto.

During his swearing-in ceremony, the President was optimistic enough to repeat his promise of one-time premium payment. We were eagerly expecting the promise, but it was not forthcoming.

Minister Kumbour traveled outside the country for an assignment, and in his place, his deputy; Mr. Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, was invited to Parliament to answer some questions.

A deputy is a person appointed to undertake the duties of a superior in the latter's absence. And so Rojo's presence at the august house that day was very much appropriate.

The assumption is that he met with the Chief Director at the Ministry of Health before going to Parliament. He couldn't have just packed his portfolio with documents and rushed to Parliament to face the august house knowing very well that the men and women in there are hard nuts to crack.

Answering a question on the one-time premium payment of the NHIS, Rojo told Parliament that an actuarial report he had showed that those between 18 and 29 years would pay 678 Ghana Cedis; those between 30 and 49 years would pay 589 Ghana Cedis; those between 50 and 59 years would pay 355 Ghana Cedis and 60 years and above would pay 214 Ghana Cedis.

The man was reading from a script which indicated that he might have prepared his information in his office or was briefed by his Chief Director.

Minister Kumbour comes out to deny flatly that what Rojo told Parliament was not true as he went on to apologize to Ghanaians. That denial by Kumbour too, to me, is a legitimate option.

Remember “Yesterday I sent Krobo Edusei”? Those who were old enough during the CPP regime will surely remember this one. During those days, anytime Dr. Kwame Nkrumah wanted to test the pulse of the good people of this country on certain dicey issues, he would first send Krobo Edusei to broadcast to the nation on the issue.

When people lauded the idea, the Osagyefo would keep quite and take the credit. But when feelers reached him that Ghanaians were not in support of the idea, the Osagyefo would make his usual dawn broadcast. He would begin his speech this way:

“Yesterday, I sent Krobo but sadly he misrepresented the whole idea……. blabla blabla”. Then he would go on to tell Ghanaians what they wanted. The Osagyefo was smart, you know.

What Kumbour did was similar to what the Osagyefo used to do to Ghanaians. Dr. Kumbour knew the report was true but not good for public consumption and wanted to test the pulse of Ghanaians.

He cannot tell Ghanaians that he was not aware of the actuarial report. If even, as he claimed, there were other actuarial reports, the fact still stands that what Mettle-Nunoo read was one of the actuarial reports. If it were to be in a country like Britain or the US, Rojo himself would have resigned honourably.

But this is Ghana, where the word shame has been expunged from all our lexicons. The man is still at post after being forced by his employers to admit that he deceived Parliament, and for that matter Ghanaians, even though he knew what he told Parliament was nothing but the truth.

But because the truth is bitter, Dr. Kumbour was not ready to swallow it, hence his denial.

The multimillion dollar question is: how long can this government succeed to continue to lie and deny? Take the issue of petroleum products for example.

The Vice President, John Dramani Mahama, traveled to Libya and Nigeria and returned to tell us that he had brokered a deal for the supply of crude oil from those countries.

We waited and waited but the deal that he said he had brokered was a mirage.

Then the President, John Evans (Atta) Mills himself, traveled to Nigeria and Venezuela and returned to tell us that he had also brokered a deal for the lifting of crude oil from those countries. It also turned out to be a big and naked lie. What are these people taking Ghanaians for?

The Johns like John the Baptist, Apostle John, Pope John Paul, John Kufuor and John Rawlings are not known to be liars, but as for these two Johns…!?*!*?*!. Est-ce que ce temps va durer? (Is it going to stay like this?). Only God knows.

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Source: Daily Guide/Ghana
 
 

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