For every generation in a political history of a country, there are individuals that make headlines for all the wrong and right reasons. That what an individual do to be tagged as either good or bad also depends on the right thinking members of the society as well as the opinions of the depraved minds. As for the media, it is always there to mirror what society is, the individuals and objects thereof. However, if one achieves notoriety in a particular manner, the media of course, will construct a social reality for that person.
In Ghana, one unknown individual, Honorable Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah, from a tiny village in the corner of Brong Ahafo Regional town of Nsawkaw has through a dent of hard work, sheer luck and notoriety on his part warmed his way to become a powerful political figure in the contemporary national politics. When Hon Asiedu-Nketiah sneezes not only do some people in his National Democratic Congress (NDC) party that catches cold, but opposition parties and the nation at large feels him.
From a distance, Asiedu-Nketiah looks like a nobody, his physical appearance is funny and can be easily underrated. But when you get close to him you will realize that appearance can be very deceptive. Asiedu-Nketiah`s secret power lies in his tongue, calculative slyness and an avalanche of uncanny knowledge of the Ghanaian rural voter`s psychic. To be precise, he understands indigenous Ghanaian politics and how to manipulate it to suit him and his party. It is this mixture of characteristics that makes up his splendid strength and pathetic hubris.
As a two-time wining general secretary of the NDC, Asiedu-Nketiah has suddenly grown arrogant and has been courting unnecessary media attention for all the wrong reasons. He has always been able to find antidotes to repel public dissatisfaction, making use of his country-side (village) antics leaving his opponent to right him off as a stage buffoon or rallying the gullible NDC foot-soldiers and the rented press at his beck and call to defend and attack on his behalf. He is a general with a long proboscis and anopheles stature. He calls himself “General Mosquito” and he fears no one, not even ex-president John Jerry Rawlings and his wife who opened their doors for him to be who is now. But as Fantes say “se w`enyiwatsewbebree a, emaakokoakye” (If you become to all-knowing, you greet fowl good morning),
Honorable Asiedu-Nketiah could not help to advertise his shame in Ghana but decided to go global with his blinking shame, uncivilized attitude and atrocious dressing code, when he wore his wife`s winter coat to Germany as a part high-powered Ghanaian delegation led by President John Mahama to visit German Chancellor Angela Merkel. This shameful wearing of women coat brought serious shame to the Ghanaian government, its citizens and successfully drowned the importance of that presidential visit to Germany. For weeks, the media did not write about the investment drive that the president went to Germany to push for. The headlines was all about Asiedu-Nketiah`s lady`s winter coat. Even BBC was caught by his shameful socially repugnant dressing antics with screaming online headline “Ghana: Senior official wears wife's coat on state visit.”
For the first time in his political life, Asiedu-Nketiah`s attempt to use his bushman life could not work magic to culminate in his exculpation from public criticism and attacks. In his excruciating pain and frustration, he quickly granted interview on Adom FM’s DwasoNsem and admitted that though he wore his wife’s coat to Germany, he did not travel there as a fashionista. As usual, he tried rope opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in for robbing salt on his shameful Germany winter coat debacle by giving unsolicited advice that they must focus on winning the 2016 general elections.
Hear him crying “Yes, I went to Germany with my coat, why must the NPP discuss my issue as though there is nothing left for them to talk about. In fact, they should learn and talk about something better that will develop their party than talking about my coat and fashion. “I am not perturbed at all because I know I travelled abroad on official duties and not for fashion as they are making it look like.”
Clearly, Asiedu-Nketiah`s attempt at deflating his spectacular lady`s winter coat by attacking NPP was a misplaced public relations ploy. It failed because it was not only NPP that spoke about the issue. The entire nation was on it, Ghanaians in diaspora were very disturbed and the world was shocked that a great nation like Ghana that had its independence in 1957 still has a government official who is so uncivilized and primitive enough to wear lady`s winter coat to a public function overseas.
It is the world`s shock at Asiedu-Nketiah`s lady`s wear that aroused the sympathy in Kwasi Pratt Jr., the managing editor of the 'Insight' newspaper to make a rescue attempt by asking President Mahama to sack his protocol officials for allowing Asiedu-Nketiah to wear a winter coat belonging to his wife. In his overzealous attempt to shift blame on the Alhaji and Alhaji show on NDC`s propaganda mouthpiece, Radio Gold, Pratt rightly described Asiedu-Nketiah as a certified bushman who “has never seen winter before…. doesn’t know the difference between a women’s coat and men’s winter coat and so on.."
But Asiedu-Nketiah, not enthused at Mr. Pratt’s unsolicited propagandist defense for him as “villager who has not seen a mirror before,” to hurriedly disclosed on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme that he is a well-known cross-dresser and he always shares clothes with his wife. What he perhaps, fell short of revealing to the world is the skeleton in his cupboard that he also wears his wife`s panties, brassiere and other lingeries. This is not stretch of one`s imagination because as a self-confessed “cross-dresser,” who also claims “his wife who lives in Canada knows about his habit of cross-dressing,” nothing stops him from doing all that including wearing sanitary pads. It goes with the package!
The question is, why is this too much public talk and media attention on General Mosquito`s wearing of his wife`s winter coat when there are serious issues like the purpose of the president visit and the general calamitous energy situation as well as overall economy which is grinding to a halt? The answer lies in the political modus operandi ofAsiedu-Nketiah who often introduces useless pranks and communist inferior tactics on his opponents. Since cutting his political teeth, as the a member of Consultative Assembly which drafted the 1992 constitution, Member of Parliament for Wenchi West for 12 years, Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture (Crops) and finally as a General Secretary of the ruling NDC, General Mosquito who is also a professional banker and a farmer, has always find way to make politics dirtier and pedestrian. His first foray into public accusation started in 2004 elections when he accused Kwamena Bartels of having gun and assaulting him. He claimed that Bartels had bruises on his chest and that if he is lying, Mr. Bartels should remove his chest in the studio to prove his innocence.
In 2008 elections, Asiedu-Nketiah locked horns with the then District Chief Executive for Wenchi West, Mr. Joe Danquah. He accused Joe Danquah on Adomfm, for stealing a relief items and hiding it under his mother`s bed. In fact, Asiedu-Nketiah challenged Joe Danquah that he will come with Efia Pokua, the presenter to show the item under bed of his mother at Wenchi. When the D-Day came for the journey to Wenchi, Asiedu-Nketiah was nowhere to be found. That is the kind of politics Asiedu-Nketiah glorifies himself in. Bastardization, gutter-sniping and general silliness in political discourses that shift attention from the most important issues afflicting the nation is the trademark of the “General`s “ personal political green book. He is of the opinion that NDC is a mass party with huge sympathetic following in the hinterland and have no access to the mass media regularly. It is them that needed to be conscientize about the good works of NDC whilst polluting NPP and its leadership by attacking them with all many of lies.
When it comes to the public, the general adopts same strategy of peddling lies and attacking the integrity of his opponents to ensure that valuable information that ought to be spread is drowned by his antics and insinuating cum subtly shrouded insults. His acerbic tongue is no respecter of persons when he sets it on propaganda errands and only a politically naïve will underestimate its efficacy. Those who have dared to challenge or disregard him have met their political waterloo.
NPP`s former general secretary, Lawyer Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie aka Sir John tried to meet the General in dirty and insulting politics, but could not succeed as the world rather saw Sir John as exhibiting a strange behavior unbecoming of lawyer and blurring the difference between NPP and NDC. Sir John lost his general-secretaryship position largely because of the manner in which he combated indecently with Asiedu-Nketiah. Many political pundits believe Asiedu-Nketiah led Sir John into the gutters to tarnish his reputation and making NPP lose its time-honoured decency as a party of sterling qualities.
With such track record, NPP has finally got Asiedu-Nketiah`s antidote to hit him where it hurt most and silence him forever. This must be done tactically. It would be wrong for NPP to describe Asiedu-Nketiah as a villager or uncivilized as Kwesi Pratt had wanted to direct the lay`s winter coat issue. NDC has many supporters in the villages and in the hinterland, any attempt at calling or describing Asiedu-Nketiah as a villager (Kuraseni) will be manipulated by the NDC to their advantage. They will claim NPP is anti-villagers and disrespect people in the hinterland and trust me their propaganda machinery will stop at nothing to make it stuck.
The way forward for NPP to fully exploit this lady`s winter coat wearing shame is to use Asiedu-Nketiah`s own confession that he is a certified “Cross-Dresser.” In his own style, whenever NPP communicators meet him on any forum for discussion, no time should be wasted in asking for further explanation on his “cross-dressing” proclivities.
He must be asked on embarrassing questions like whether he is a hermaphrodite or have had gay tendencies, wears his wife`s panties or bras?
A dose of his own medicine should be administered on him until he loses it. He has already lost it on this epical dressing faux paux and NPP finally have their political sword to slaughter Asiedu-Nketiah.