May 24, 2005
The past few weeks have made me realize that it’s not easy to be a father. It’s even more difficult when you are in a responsible position. The Bible says that the iniquities of the fathers will be visited upon their sons. But in Sikaman the opposite is rather happening.
This realization started dawning on me when I heard that Asenso Okyere’s son had engaged in serious examination malpractices at the University of Ghana. The allegation is that Asenso Jnr was an examinations merchant. He bought and re-sold examination papers and he appears to have made quite a fortune out of it. His iniquities are now being visited upon his father. I personally have asked his father to bow out gracefully or risk a forced resignation.
Alas! Now, am confronted with a similar dilemma. My son – I like to call him Chief – has bought a hotel complex and people are asking me all sorts of questions about whether I played any role in that transaction. I didn’t really want to comment publicly on this matter. I’ve deliberately kept mute over this issue but I feel that those who read my letters, at least, deserve to be told something – to keep their minds at ease, if not for anything else.
Honestly speaking, my biggest fear is getting my butt kicked off the Black Star Stool. It is for this reason that I’ve decided never to sleep at the Osu Castle. Jerry Boom knows every nook and cranny of the Castle and I fear that if I dare to even doze behind my desk in the Castle, he’ll overthrow me. So I decided to stay in my own nice house at the Airport Residential Area and commute to and from the office every day. You know all that already, right? Just when I was settling down into my role as the Excellent One of Sikaman, I saw a tall structure springing up right behind my house. It drove me nuts. That structure gave me several sleepless nights. For months, I couldn’t sleep with both eyes shut – just because the structure (which I later learnt was for a hotel) was standing there uncompleted. It freaked me out. What if some bandits use the structure to sneak into my house to kill me? I always wondered. Then I hit on an idea. I could easily buy the hotel and make it my own, essentially a part of my property. I might not be smart but I know how to protect myself. So I bought the hotel – using my son’s name, of course.
All this was done in secret until some journalist did what I expect reporters to do and decided to poke his nose into my private affairs. He uncovered the transaction and reported it with glee. Even after it had been reported in the media that the hotel belonged to my son, I told Chief to zip his lip and not say a word. He obediently did as I ordered.
But I don’t know what made him allow that so-called spokesman of his to grant an interview to a radio station, apparently in a vain attempt to explain why we bought that hotel. That spokesman turned out to be a lousy liar. The worst lie he told was that I belong to a patrilineal system of inheritance. How can a full-blooded Asante like my excellent self claim to belong to a patrilineal society? His lies were not convincing in the least and now every Sikaman citizen – even the worst stooge – knows that there is something fishy about the uncompleted hotel behind my house. Now, I am left in a fix and some people are even daring to suggest that I should resign – do what I’ve asked Asenso Okyere to do.
For your information, I have no intention of resigning over this hotel matter. No one can prove that I’ve done anything wrong. This transaction was orchestrated so cleverly that even the smartest CIA and FBI investigators cannot prove a case of wrongdoing against me. I might not be ruling this country as wisely as I should but I know how to take care of myself and cover my a**. I’ve been on the Black Star Stool long enough and dealt with so many crooked African leaders to know how to do wrong without getting caught. Furthermore, you know that legally speaking, the hotel does not belong to me. It belongs to my son. He’s old enough to handle his own affairs. I am not his spokesman and I cannot speak for him. I cannot also force him to disclose every detail of the transaction to you. He might be the president’s son but he’s also a private businessman. If anyone has evidence that he’s done any wrong, supply it and he’ll be prosecuted.
I know that this issue raises questions about whether or not I really have “zero tolerance for corruption”. Let me tell you this – I don’t care. I repeat: I don’t care ooo ton! My government is corrupt but you voted for us again because you knew that we were less corrupt than Jerry Boom’s bunch. Don’t be naïve and expect me to be holier than Angel Gabriel. I can’t sit down and watch money crossing my sight “waawaaawaaaaaa” and just decide not to grab some. Who amongst you will do that? You must be grateful that I am not stashing all the money away in Swiss bank accounts. At least, through my son, I am re-investing the money in our country’s economy.
My (son’s) decision to buy the hotel will benefit our country in many ways. Clearly, if the hotel complex is completed, it would employ hundreds of Sikaman citizens? Secondly, the purchase of that hotel will ensure national stability. No coup-plotting idiot can enter my home through that property and kill me. Thanks to my (son’s) transaction, I can now sleep with both eyes shut.
This affords me sufficient rest, which means that I always wake up refreshed and ready to make your problems my own. Finally, the purchase of the hotel means that when I leave the Black Star Stool, I will not be idling like my predecessor is doing. I will have a job waiting for me. I will have a hotel to run and I will become one of Africa’s most gainfully employed ex-presidents. What this means is that I will not spend time rabble rousing like Jerry Boom does.
Please look at the positive side of things and stop trying to paint my family black – aren’t we already black enough? – for doing what’s in our parochial interest and the wider interest of the country.
Future hotel manager,
J. A. Fukuor