We’re each entitled to an opinion as private citizens, but once you become the leader of a nation; your opinions are no longer yours. Whatever you say reflects the wishes of the people you lead and often the danger comes in when you fail to make the distinction.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo this week rolled back his government’s efforts at uniting the society for the past 11-months after he gave the indication that same-sex marriage could be legalized in Ghana.
The known human rights lawyer told Jane Dutton on Qatar-based Al Jazeera homosexuality could be legalized if Ghanaians hanker for it.
His comments, as normal as it may sound in his ears and that of his appointees, has disrupted months of thawed relationship with religious groups in the country, creating disaffection for the government.
The Christian Council of Ghana has drawn its sword, threatening hell if the government went ahead with plans to regularize the status of gays in the society.
The Muslim community has been equally peeved by the President’s comment, registering its discontent.
But all the groups that condemned the president failed to point out to him that his unprovoked comments amount to a major betrayal of the conscience of Ghanaians, especially those who voted for him on December 7, 2016.
He has demonstrated that he can’t be trusted to protect the sanity and sanctity of the Ghanaian culture. It was apparent from his comments that he can be compromised at any time, unlike his predecessors who showed the readiness to side with our customs and traditions.
When the then British premier David Cameron had threatened to cut funding to Ghana over the non-legalisation of homosexuality, late president Professor John Evans Atta Mills had laughed it off. He told Cameron to mind his own business.
Ex-president John Mahama had done same after he was disgraced during a visit to Scotland. Some Scottish MPs had asked our president to be thrown out from their Chamber because of Ghana’s failure to legalise same-sex marriage, but Mahama was unfazed. He told Scottish media Ghana will not support gay marriage.
But president Akufo-Addo has damaged his reputation in Ghana, not international, because of what he said.
There are few things that can compromise a president to jilt his beliefs for a foreign one, with harsher consequences for his people and the promise of giving one’s country free money to implement major programmes is one of them.
Whoever prepared the president for the pathetic interview has to be blamed for failing Ghanaians, but Akufo-Addo disappointed himself and his government.
But a leader, who can’t be trusted to seek the interest of his people at all times, is a threat to the society. His very words are death to his people because he is a messenger of death. That is who he is.
The author, Austin Brakopowers is a Broadcast journalist at Joy99.7 and views expressed here are exclusively his and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Multimedia Group Limited or Myjoyonline.com. You can reach him via Brakomen@outlook.com
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