April 24, 2024

“…it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment…” Hebrews 9:27.

For us Christians, this is a constant reminder that our positions and possessions, as well as our dreams and aspirations are vanity upon vanity. Somehow, this truism seems lost on some people. Especially, those who find themselves in positions of authority or happen to be rich, whether ill-gotten or sweat-acquired.

For the highly placed people, they do not hesitate to pose the question, ‘do you know who I am?’ whenever their authority or status is challenged.

For the rich, they look at the tattered clothes, dirty shoes or ugly physical features of an antagonist and wonder how that nonentity dare contest them in any way. They would ask, ‘do you know who you are talking to?’

This year, two incidents have kept me thinking about why such people think so highly of themselves when in the end, no matter who you are, you will die.

The MCE and the “ugly” Police Officer

First it was the Metropolitan Chief Executive of Secondi-Takoradi, Abdul Mumin Issah, who posed that question to a dutiful Police officer in February this year. His, was a slight variation though- “You don’t know who you are dealing with!” he asserted.

It all happened when the Police officer prevented the MCE from using the side road to beat a traffic build up. Here is an excerpt of a story I wrote when the incident happened:

“A careful review of the video and audio recordings on the incident that involved the embattled Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of the Sekondi-Takoradi Municipal Assembly, Abdul Mumin Issah and a cop, indicates that the MCE is very abreast with Ghanaian street language.

This is because, aside threatening to transfer the Police Officer to Enchi (213km from Sekondi-Takoradi), Mr. Issah retorted, “Apuu!!!” when the Police officer referred to himself as ‘a whole Police officer’ in reaction to a “stupid” remark by the MCE.

“You are insulting a whole Police officer as stupid, someone who has been mandated by the Constitution to protect you?” To this, Mr. Issah retorted, “you, a whole Police officer? ‘Apuu’!!!

Also, at a point in the fracas, the Police officer told someone who introduced himself as an Assembly Member of the area, therefore intervened and requested the former to allow the MCE to go, that he would not. “I’m going to charge him for dangerous and careless driving. Insulting a Police officer in uniform that he is stupid, if I was angry and insulted him back, what would have happened?” the cop queried.

Mr. Issah upon hearing this remark, quizzed, “you would have insulted me? I would have beaten you to death.” It was at this point that the MCE was heard ordering someone to, “go and take the gun.”

Earlier, the MCE pulled out his phone to snap the officer. “You can snap me, I am a nice and handsome Police officer. You can take the pictures and video”, the cop said. In response, Mr. Issah stated, “you are ugly.”

The Police officer then told the MCE that the Police patrol team was on the way to pick him up.

It was at this point that the Sekondi-Takoradi MCE said to the Police officer: “Patrol team, coming to take me? You don’t know who you are dealing with. You will come begging tomorrow. I’ll send you to Enchi.”

Clearly, it was as if the position that Mr. Issah occupies possessed him like what we call in Ga- ‘Gbeshie.’ He could not imagine for a second, that a ‘mere’ Police officer (Who is way down the hierarchy, considering that Hon. Issah is the Chairman of the Municipal Security Council-MUSEC), would have the guts to get him to do the right thing.

Fortunately, as was expected by popular request, he was suspended and prosecution commenced. The power-drunk mayor was charged on three counts of; Assault of a public officer, offensive conduct conducive to breaches of the peace and disturbing the peace in a public place contrary to Sections 205, 207 and 298, respectively, of the Criminal and Other Offences Act of 1960, Act 29. Upon hearing this news, my joy knew no bound.

Strangely, instead of apologizing, Mr. Issah wrote, “it is not over until it is over”. A clear indication that because he knows where he derives his power, the arrest and subsequent prosecution, were much ado about nothing. True to his convictions, in August, news broke that President Akufo-Addo has reinstated him.

“I wish to inform you that H.E the President of the Republic, in response to recommendations by the Western Regional Coordinating Council has given approval for the reinstatement of Mr Abdul Mumin Issah as the Metropolitan Chief Executive for the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly,” the Minister for Decentralisation and Rural Development, Mr. Dan Botwe wrote in a letter addressed to the Western Regional Minister.

Since then, there has been no news on the prosecution of the case and the fate of the Police officer. I can only hope that the threat to transfer him to Enchi has not been effected.

Mr. Issah may seem to have won the fight, so to speak, due to his political influence. But one thing is for sure, he is not more human than the Police officer. Because in the end, six feet at last. Now I hear it is even less than six feet, because they are economising the land. So people are buried on top of each other.

The National Service Director and the “envious” nurse

Secondly, the National Service Director in the Ashanti Region, Mr. Alex Opoku-Mensah’s decision to insult a nurse at the Manhyia Government Hospital, as we say in Twi and Ga- “basabasabasa,” got me all worked up.

His reason? The nurse spoke to his daughter (a house officer), on phone in a manner that he was not happy with. The nurse had called Mr. Alex Opoku-Mensah’s daughter to suggest a change in prescription because what the latter prescribed was unavailable at the pharmacy.

From the reports, the house officer happened to be in the company of her father when she spoke with the nurse on phone. As such, Mr. Opoku-Mensah was enraged by what he heard, thus accompanied his daughter to the hospital.

Upon reaching the health facility, ‘macho man’ Opoku-Mensah is reported to have stormed into the surgical ward, where the nurse was, to ‘give it to her well-well’.

In a typical verbal fight usually engaged in by uneducated folk, the highly educated former science teacher unleashed his missiles in Twi. Excerpts from the audio are as follows:

Nurse: You said I envy her. She is a doctor, me too I am a nurse.

Alex: And so what? You are a nurse. Are you her equal party? What kind of behaviour is that? That’s why I asked you what course did you do?

Nurse: I did science.

Alex: Frustrated! Very frustrated!! I would have brought my daughter’s form 2 November results to you. She obtained 8 As. Is Manyia yours?

Nurse: Manhyia is not mine. We are all taking care of patients.

Alex: Has she run away from the patient? You talked to her rudely on phone. What kind of behaviour is that? Even if she has done something wrong, you can say it nicely but, Come to work!, come to work! Is she accountable to you?

Nurse: You said I envy her?

Alex: Yes. Because you are envy her. Is she accountable to you? Learn to be remorseful.

Nurse: For what reason? Am I not a nurse?

Alex: If you are a nurse, are you a doctor? Who born dog? Who are you? Do you know how Manhyia was established?

Nurse: What if I also go and bring my father?

Alex: Go and bring your father.

Nurse: If she does anything wrong, I have every right to question her.

House Officer: What did I do wrong?

Nurse: Don’t ask me any question.

Alex: Don’t use your left on her. Foolish girl. That’s why I said you envy her. Are you mad? Stupid idiot. That your useless nursing you did. That your general arts that you studied. If you pursued science, then you are a disappointed Nurse. Stupid. You are disgusting (Wo hu fuun).

Useless woman (Obaa fuun). Which school did you attend? Do you know who I am? I am the Regional Director of National Service Scheme. Some of you are under me. Fool (Kwasea). Me. I am a science tutor. I used to teach at KNUST before becoming National Service Director. If I had the power, I will never allow any General Arts student to pursue nursing.

 

Well, well, well! It was quite a listening session for me the first time. Clearly, the NSS Director has a sharp tongue. But there is no doubt that the nurse provoked him into his elements.

But should he have gone to the hospital to confront the nurse in the first place? Go to the hospital, yes. But not to assault the nurse in the manner he did. He should have looked for the administrator and lodged a formal complaint. That way, the issue would have been investigated and dealt with appropriately.

However, the ‘big man’ in Alex made him unable to fathom how a ‘mere’ nurse will respond to his queries in that manner so, who born dog?

The consequence is the public opprobrium he suffered. Suddenly, the little gentleman left in him arose. “I understand the disappointment and appreciate the inconvenience my action has caused the general public as well as the Nursing FRATERNITY and Manhyia Hospital.

This has never been my style but for a genuine reason to mediate a persistent issue between my daughter (Doctor) and a colleague nurse who I as well consider my daughter. I do apologise for any mishap and assure all, there shall not be a repetition of such. I look forward to maintaining a cordial relationship between any affected person. Best regards. Opoku-Mensah Alex. NSS Director, Ashanti Region.”

Did you realise that the man is so power-drunk that even in a Facebook post, he stated his designation?

Thankfully, in response to a call by the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRMA) for him to be sacked, Alex’s employers have suspended him.

We can only hope that some deterrent punishment will be meted out to him such that he will become a bit more emotionally intelligent next time he has to go to the defence of his princess-doctor-daughter.

It’s time to go

Just in case you do not know, the infamous Bishop Obinim’s wife is a gospel musician. I love her songs so much. Sometimes, I am driven to tears when I listen to them. Needless to say that she bears the same name as my mum’s- Florence.

One of her songs is titled, ‘Osoro ne yefie’ (Heaven is our home). The lyrics of this song points to our end as humans. It is based on the gospel according to Matthew 6:19-21. From the foregoing, I feel like highlighting the gist of the song here for those who care to hear.

“In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught His listeners the difference between earthly treasure and heavenly treasure, and He emphasized the importance of the heavenly: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Whatever we focus on dictates our actions. When we focus on earthly success and wealth, we will expend our energies on earthly matters. However, when we focus on God’s priorities, our actions will reflect different priorities—and our reward in heaven will last forever”- www.gotquestions.com.

A word to the wise they say is enough. That position and all the money that comes with it, as well as the V8 that makes you feel more human than others, are nothing.

If that is not the case, ask yourself, where are J.J. Rawlings, Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur, J.E.A Mills and Kwesi Botchwey? These were presidents, vice presidents, Governor of Bank of Ghana and minister of state while they lived. Not Metropolitan Chief Executive or Regional Director of National Service Scheme. Mtcheeeeeew!

As we prepare to commemorate the birth of the saviour Jesus Christ this Christmas, it is time for all you ‘super humans’ to remember that even He, sacrificed His life for us. So the least you can do as a person in authority or well to do individual, is to use that God-given status or wealth to better the lot of others. Not to go round asking, ‘Do you know who I am?’ As for me, if you ask me that question, I will tell you that you are a corpse in waiting.

Have a merry Christmas and a happy new year in advance. May God see us through the yuletide safely. Amen.

Hamba kahle – That’s goodbye in Zulu.

Let God lead! Follow Him directly, not through any human.

The writer works at Myjoyonline.com. He is also the author of two books whose contents share knowledge on how anyone desirous of writing like him can do so. Eric can be reached via email eric.mensah-ayettey@myjoyonline.comThe two books cost GHC80.00.

 

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