President Mills’ director of communication, Koku Anyidoho is being dragged before the privileges committee of parliament – for all the wrong reasons. The minority in parliament complained bitterly to the speaker that Anyidoho had insulted them in a radio interview.

“President Mills will hear but will not pay attention to the bellicose, whimsical and capricious irresponsibility of Opare-Ansah [the MP for Suhum] and his lot,” Anyidoho said in response to minority suggestions that President Mills could be impeached if he failed to name those whose brown envelopes he had refused. “And we are telling Opare-Ansah and co. that they better get ready. This irresponsibility, their bellicosity is nonsense.”

Only a sissy would feel so hurt by words like these. When he went to parliament crying like a baby with claims that he has been dishonoured, the speaker should have told Opare-Ansah to shut the hell up and get on with it. He can’t always get people saying nice things about him and a man should be able to take a few verbal punches. It annoys me that the instead of telling the embittered MP to swallow his pride and find better things to complain about, the speaker decided to refer the matter to the privileges committee, which will from next year be wasting precious time deliberating over Opare-Ansah’s bruised ego.

Few will disagree that Koku is a foul-mouthed bully. Many do not understand why President Mills keeps a man like Anyidoho in his inner circle. I have had my own brush-offs with him and I know for sure that he hates my guts. The feeling is mutual. On this occasion, however, I want to stand with him. This is not to gain his amity. I don’t need it. I am standing by Anyidoho because free speech is under attack. His right to speak his mind – and to do so in the harshest terms possible – needs to be defended.

If a man describes another as “irresponsible” what is the insult in that? If a man tell his fellow that he’s spewing “nonsense”, what’s wrong with that? This is democracy. In the democratic sphere, there are no sacred cows. If Opare-Ansah feels he can’t be described as “irresponsible” he should check into a Buddhist monastery and stay there until his last breath.

Perhaps, Anyidoho was not politically-correct. But when did it become a crime to be tactless? This attitude of forcing ourselves to so carefully choose our words has bred a certain unwieldy complacency among our leaders. We don’t tell them how we feel and in the exact words they need to hear so they think they can get away with anything. It even stifles our vocabulary.

For example, have you noticed that a lot of people like to use the word “unfortunate” when they are expressing their disagreement with what others have said or done?

Question: “Mr. Minister, what do you think about the lack of toilet facilities in Chorkor?”
Answer: “It’s rather unfortunate, but we are going to deal with it.”

Question: “What do you think about President Mills failing to call Koku Anyidoho to order?”
Answer: “It’s very unfortunate.”

There is a very wide vocabulary that that can be used to express varied emotions and sentiments about events and pertinent issues. I am sick and tired of hearing “unfortunate”. And I am glad Koku Anyidoho dared to be different. I am sure if he had said that the minority’s demand for the impeachment of the president was “unfortunate”, Opare-Ansah wouldn’t have gone to the speaker whining.

I don’t see anything wrong with Anyidoho describing the minority as “irresponsible” and full of “nonsense”. What if he had described them as a bunch of “idiots”? That sounds more like an insult to me. Even so, it would have been perfectly within his right to say so.

Politics is not for people with fragile egos and so Opare-Ansah and his friends should develop a thicker skin and get on with it.

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