Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sodom And Gomorrah Versus A Fencepost Turtle!

by Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro

A rejoinder to: "Sodom And Gommorah – Our Collective Shame", by Appiah-Danquah Kufuor, Ghanaweb, Feature Article of Wednesday, 16 September 2009.

I was engaged with my friend Tunk in a conversation over Sodom and Gomorrah, under my article "Kwsesi Pratt is no Mystery" Ghanaweb, Feature Article of Tuesday, 15 September 2009:

Tunkumuruu adopted the position that what Mr Pratt had done on Vibe FM amounted to "malicious propaganda" against the Mayor of Accra, Mr. Alfred Vanderpuije, because Kwesi is saying: "You don't throw 55,000 people out of their settlement without thinking about the social consequences and planning for them."!

Here is the relevant report he quoted:

Mayor, Minister At War Over Sodom And Gomorrah
By Daily Guide
Mon, 14 Sep 2009 | Print | E-Mail | PDF | Graphics Version
Regional News

Alfred Vanderpuije and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
A silent war appears to be raging over Accra's most notorious slum; Sodom and Gomorrah, as opposing signals are being sent to Ghanaians over the fate of the location by officialdom.

Even before the bulldozers move in, the Deputy Minister of Information, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has suggested that the slum would remain untouched, in opposition to the position of the Mayor of Accra, Alfred Vanderpuije.

Kwesi Pratt Jnr. was reported to have condemned the planned movement when he said that the decision by the Mayor to demolish the slum was an aberration, saying that he was out of tune with reality.

Kwesi questioned the rationale behind the appointment of Mr. Vanderpuije as Accra Mayor, pointing out that whoever appointed him had done a great disservice to Ghana. “Where is this man coming from? Who appointed him as Mayor,” Mr. Pratt yelled on Vibe FM on Thursday night."

I checked with Kwesi yesterday and finally replied to my friend Tunkumuruu:

"My friend, I hope you did not find the joke offensive! There is a minimum of standards even in decorum when the fate of 55,000 poor Ghanaians are at stake!

I just got a quote from Kwesi on this matter. I have not been in touch for some time and I did not want to discuss this article before publication for obvious reasons. I have not even had the time to ask him if he had seen and read the article, but I sent an SMS for his quote on the Sodom and Gomorrah issue and here is his reply:

"My position on Sodom and Gomorrah is simple. You don't throw 55,000 people out of their settlement without thinking about the social consequences and planning for them. Very best wishes - kwesi"

Sender: Kwesi Pratt, Jnr.

My own answer to that was:

If Kwesi is questioning the guy like that then he is probably a "fencepost turtle". I received an e-mail once that explained to me what a "fencepost title" was.

It was about Kufour at the G8 meeting but it applies to many incompetent people as well!

“While stitching up the hand of an 80-year-old farmer, who got cut while
fencing on his property, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to President Kufour at a G8 meeting.

“Well, ya know,” drawled the farmer, “this Kufour fella at the G8 is what they call a fencepost turtle..”

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a fencepost turtle was.

The old farmer said, “When you’re driving along a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that’s called a fencepost turtle.”

The old farmer saw a puzzled look on the doctor’s face, so he continued to explain,

“You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he definitely doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he is up there, and you just gotta wonder what kind of fool put him up there in the first place!"

I think Kwesi Pratt, Jnr., is asking the right question! There are people like that!

I am very happy that for once, I am writing a rejoinder, not to attack the writer but to praise him! Particularly the appeal to Ghanaians to put themselves in the shoes of Ama on whose haed lurks a fencepost turtle!

"If you were a young girl (Ama) growing up in an isolated village, without any basic infrastructure, no education, no job, no t a glimpse of any life-chances – what are your options? You may end up in one of the slums of Accra, hoping against all hope that your fortunes may change. But will it change?"

Nana Akyea Mensah


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