I enjoy debate. Especially healthy debates that are held within the confines of decorum, where almost everyone involved makes his/her points strong without hitting below the belt. Or better still without drawing blood. The botched attempt by 23 year old Nigerian to blow up an airline on the eve of Christmas has provided the platform for all of us to say something.
So here I was sitting at a lounge inside Frankies (is popular eatery at downtown Accra or the so-called Oxford street) with my buddies Mantse Aryeequaye, Sionne, Dedo and her cousin from Canada. They had already squashed some bottles of soft drinks when I walked in.
I had barely spent two minutes in my seat when the waitress at the bar put before me the menu. I did not even take notice of it because I was busy hugging Sionne who, at the time, was busy tucking into a bowl full of salads.
“How are you doing Anny,” Sionne said with a broad smile.
“I’m good at least so far as I don’t have any bombing devices in my underpants,” I said and everybody laughed.Sionne, myself as well as Mantse have a very funny way of addressing ourselves.Sionne loves the word and that’s how we’ve been addressing ourselves for more than a year now.
The mention of the bomb sparked the debate.
Mantse’s response was that the whole bomb thing is hoax hatched by ‘certain’ elements within the global security system to demonise a particular country.
His opinion was not shared by any of us, though we all agreed that both the US and UK ought to look through their own security networks and admit they failed.
We stepped up the debate and looked at the dynamics involved and ate around the other openings of the report.
Again, we also agreed that the inclusion of Nigeria in the list of countries to be profiled by
the US and Uk is unfortunate.
All of us agreed Nigeria’s inclusion was unfortunate.
The tempo of the debate moved into another gear when Akeffah
and Mantse slammed Obama
for doing nothing to justify the many expectations people had
invested in him.Especially Akeffah wondered how on earth Obama would be given a Nobel Peace Prize just when he appears to be moving troops to Afghanistan.
She mentioned the Abu Gharib prison to support her point that Obama is just continuing Bush’s policy.Suddenly Mantse came in to say Obama is just a ‘coward’ who is refusing to admit he hasn’t got the balls enough to end the Middle East crap. He again slammed Obama for his reticent stance towards Israel’s poor human rights record in Palestine.Sionne was not pleased but said nothing.Akeffah might have realised she had scrapped Obama’s political ball too hard and which didn’t go well with Sionne so she apologised. However it was Mantse’s comment that Obama is just a figure head working for ‘white supremacists’ within Capitol Hill that got Sionne to jump react strongly.
She disagreed with Mantse and insisted that though she did not agree with most of Obama’s policies, she does not think he is not the man in charge. Prior to that we had waded into the ugly past of Zimbabwe and both myself and Mantse agreed that most of the happenings in that country could be blamed on Britain.
I made the point that the Land re-distribution was a good thing and even made reference to the Lancaster Agreement which supported the need for the lands to be reverted back to most of the blacks in the country, after independence. I made the point that Mugabe can’t escape blame for the mess created but added that Britain must also take part of the blame.
Again, I also said the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is not committed to the welfare of ordinary Zimbabweans. The MDC is in two parts: Morgan Tsvangirai’s side and that of Arthur Mutambara. The two fell out soon after moving most of their activities into South Africa ostensibly to escape persecution from marauding supporters of the ruling ZANU-PF.
Mantse again stirred another controversy when he said most exiled Zimbabweans just made things up to get comrade Mugabe in the bed light. Akeffah sprang off her couch and strongly objected to Mantse’s assertion that most of the exiles just made things up. Akeffah said she knew of friends from Zimbabwe who are now refugees. She cited the situation of a single mother with seven children to buttress her argument. Mugabe, according to Akeffah, started very well as a president but has now become paranoid.
The tempo of the debate slowed down a bit as we gradually moved the topic round and examined, again, America’s involvement in breeding dictators especially in Africa. The likes of Mobutu, Gnassingbe Eyadema, Savimbi and even Obiang N’guema of Equatorial Guinea are creations of the US. The latter continue to plunder the resources of his own country and yet America is happy with the leadership.
After three or so hours Dedo signalled it was time for us to leave. The last issued we talked about was the climate change summit in Copenhagen and how African leaders allowed themselves, unsurprising though, to be bullied into agreeing to ridiculous pointers in the final texts.
Myself and Mantse also took issues with some of the journalists who followed the president to the summit. Honestly speaking most of our colleagues need to educate themselves move on issues and even how to report events. With all the happenings around the summit, all that a reporter could tell Ghanaians in a report was that the ‘weather’ is ‘cold.’
If that is not ineptitude and foolishness what word is there for me to use?