Unemployment joke by Akufo-Addo’s aide backfires, but it’s pardonable

If there’s any nonsense that must not be carried into 2018, it’s the way some Ghanaians twist every issue – private and public – within the prism of politics.

Today, we can no longer joke in public because we fear our comments might be misconstrued by even our friends who’re affiliated to opposition political parties. And also, those who belong to the ruling party, can’t freely discuss any issue with their close friends anymore because that conversation could be made public.

Now that’s the nonsense that must stop right about Now!

As a result of the intrusion of needless politics into our social lives, we’re losing our families and friends to this kind of nonsense.  And this explains why social media has gone crazy over a Facebook post by presidential staffer Napaga Tia Sulemana as part of the last minute 2017 craze.

“Those of you who usually meet me at events and immediately want to submit your CV for employment, this nonsense should end in 2017,” she wrote. But it went bad for her.

Napaga Tia Sulemana’s supposed insult

But harmless as the post might seemed, Napaga Tia Sulemana has been roundly ripped over what many, including me, thought was avoidable. Now that’s part of the nonsense that must stop before January 1, 2018.

I think if she had been a little thoughtful and sensitive, she would not have sanctioned the issue she chose for the joke that has exploded in her face.

Unemployment continuous to be a major security threat to the development of Ghana, despite the highfalutin promises made by her New Patriotic Party (NPP). Truth is, president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been pathetic at job creation in the last one year.

The only jobs the president has succeeded in creating are the ones for his aides like her, family members and cronies.

Already, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has pegged the country’s unemployment rate at 5.20 percent, a little lower than last year’s.

A 2017 survey by the Institute of Statistics, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) revealed only 10 percent of graduates from our tertiary schools, secure employment after their first year out of school.

But the 90 percent spends more than 10 years to find jobs due to the lack of employable skills. She is lucky to have secured a place at the Flagstaff House, but the majority of the youth are still hanging on the promises made by her boss.

Clearly, if she had made this analysis or listened to wisdom, I think she would have chosen obvious things like the apparent corruption under her government such as Trades Minister Alan Kyerematen’s cash-for-seat scandal or Special Development Initiative Minister Hawa Koomson’s chop-chop budget.

While I find her choice of issue unpardonable, I believe we can forgive her for being insensitive to the unemployed youth, including her own party youth. She is young, so the last thing any young person will expect from people who belong to that segment of population, is insult.

She erred.

I don’t know her and she doesn’t know me (I care less), but I feel she is not what many people think she is. She might not fit into the disrespectful character, so let’s drop that.

My good friend Bening Ahmed wrote on Facebook Friday, “We need to rise above mediocre politics. I believe Napaga Tia Sulemana just like every Ghanaian is allowed to have fun and make statements with humour.”

“It’s sad how we try to politicize every thing in this country. Let’s have some humour in our discourse,” he concluded.

Now while the substance of his comment echoes my position, I think the NPP which he also belongs and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) are to blame, for the absence of objective conversation in our body politics.

Napaga Tia Sulemana has apologized and we need to forgive her for what she did.

“With the benefit of hindsight, my post wouldn’t have read same. I didn’t intend to cause any disaffection. It was purely for humour, but I must admit that it’s a joke gone bad,” she apologized on Facebook.

I’ve heard some people say she isn’t a recruitment agency and so those pestering her in public over jobs should stop. I will tell them to shut up. That’s nonsense. If she is in the position to help her friends what’s wrong with that?

But beyond her apology, I insist this nonsense of reading political meaning into people’s comments, must stop going forward.

Let’s be who we are, but we need to be sensitive and read the mood in the environment before saying anything.

The divisive nature of our politics is hurting our national solidarity and we need to change that right now.

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Disclaimer:

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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3 Comments

  1. To err is human indeed. Even u Brakopowers made an error by stating Hawa Yakubu instead of Hawa Koomson. But if a politician did that, it would have been unheard of. Anyway we pray for more grace in 2018 as we make Ghana a better place.

  2. Won’t we be the same people who will point fingers of conflict of interest if she uses her position to help friends????? Lol wat a funny people indeed. #whateveryoudopeoplewilltalk

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