Spitting On Former Presidents

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor only scratched the top layer of what continues to taunt us as a national disgrace during an interview with a radio station recently. Respect for those who serve the nation and retire at the end of their tenure was what he referred to in a chat he had with a radio station following the announcement about his winning of the World Food Prize Foundation award in the US. Reverence for past leaders has never been impressive in this country, especially since these persons are demonized by those who take over the reins of governance. The impression we gathered from the interview was that the former President had taken exception to the shabby treatment he was initially subjected to earlier at the hands of the man he handed over to. And why not, given the orchestrated state-organized demonization campaign launched against him, especially by the national security apparatus and some thugs from Osu. Much has changed now, though, he acknowledged, especially given the call he received from President Mills congratulating him for making Ghana proud with the winning of the award. Perhaps, things are beginning to change. We only hope that this gesture would be consistent and permeate other areas such as giving the former President all his entitlements and ensuring that the shabby treatment of former presidents is not institutionalized. Former Vice President Aliu Mahama has had his unfair share of this shabby treatment of retired office holders at the hands of overzealous and unlettered so-called Zongo liaison officers at the Office of Vice President John Dramani Mahama. We can vouch though that Vice President John Mahama is not privy to this clandestine effort of a man who is hell-bent on making former Vice President Aliu Mahama irrelevant at functions involving Muslims. Just what this man seeks to derive from this uncouth and crude conduct is best known to him alone. By this commentary, we do hope that the Vice President would certainly take action to remedy the anomaly being played out by his overzealous �official.� Indeed, many top Muslim personalities have made the observation and frowned upon it. We think therefore that Vice President John Mahama who knows better the worth of Alhaji Aliu Mahama from his days at Ghanasco in Tamale would cut his �official� to size without delay. A certain Baban Lami Sadat is the culprit and he is said to have, time without number, shown disrespect to the former Vice President during Islamic social functions to which the gentleman is always invited, as convention demands, given his status as the first Muslim Vice President in the country�s history. At Alajo, Accra, when a certain Alhaji Usman died, the same so-called liaison officer sought to prevent Alhaji Aliu Mahama from delivering a speech in a manner which baffled many who wondered what the motive of that act of disrespect was. In yet another display of disrespect, the gentleman, during the funeral of the late Chief Imam of Kumasi, ensured that Alhaji Aliu Mahama was denied a seat commensurate with his position as former Vice President. This meanness should not be allowed to become a feature of our country because a people who do not show respect to their retired leaders are themselves unworthy of reverence.