Ghana had the opportunity to host the biggest personality in the World at the moment and arguably (because some people will want to argue) the most powerful man on earth, along with his family. With his arrival was accompanied by euphoria and excitement – Obama fever or Obamamania. Obama came here ‘some’! [And President Mills came through for us by speaking very carefully, hurray!!]
But now that he has gone I want to say something...
Before that, I hope we all heard what Barack Obama said oooh. One of the things that I felt was most poignant was what he said about Africa’s future depending on Africans! [Amazing how he had to come all that way to tell us that, huh?] I’m sure those who were expecting millions of dollars to be carried out of Air Force One and shared were quite disappointed at that. Guess we have to quit looking for a saviour now, because we have to look to ourselves. He did promise the US would partner us in our efforts though, and I have no doubt Mr. Obama will honour his promise. Ghana has been given a great assignment, and we have a lot to do to make sure that we can help to point the way forward for other countries. The four key areas he mentioned in his address were democracy; (creation of) opportunity; health and peaceful resolution of conflict...enough about that.
I was already very embarrassed by the state officials who behaved like toddlers about to meet Father Christmas at the Airport. I didn’t feel better watching the parliamentarians clamour to shake Obama’s hand. The front row suddenly quadrupled in number as they virtually climbed over each other, stretching from many feet away and shaking vigorously when they got hold of him. It’s true though that he is such an inspirational and charismatic leader that he inspires such responses from people. I do wish they, dignified members of such an august house, had exercised some restraint...or should I say decorum. But I’ll forgive them because it is Obama, but if they do that again, they will see. After all even JJ had a camera and was taking pictures, though he didn’t seem amused. I’m sure he didn’t like what the MPs were doing either.
The people who upset me the most though were GTV, station of the nation with their coverage. Their angles were terrible and the picture would shake at times. Was is my TV or would the colour lose its temper and leave? Hmm. The commentary was horrible; I don’t know where the commentators/panellists came from. Some of the topics the commentators chose to talk about were simply baffling. [I would like to say kudos to Metro TV, for empanelling the best panel on TV the night that Obama landed on Good Evening Ghana]. We kept hearing people talking in the studio background “Look at JJ” “Kuffour is giving an interview”. Oh! Asem ben kraa ni? Did this have to happen while the whole world was watching? I hope after this they are given new equipment and some training sessions. Who knows who will decide to come next now that Obama has come and we were mentioned at Michael Jackson’s memorial?? Madonna might decide to come and adopt from here too. Ghana Police too will have to be given lessons in super-security measures for super stars and world leaders, in case they don't bring as many of their security personnel like Mr. Obama.
I also wondered if blocking so many roads was the best way to ensure Mr. Obama’s safety and security. I am almost 100% sure that no Ghanaian wants to kill him. The road blocks caused such a wide array of inconvenience for so many people. One woman interviewed on TV3 said she had left the house early but still ended up being late for her exam; one man had to carry his sick daughter to a hospital. I guess some things cannot be helped though. It's good to be important oh.
Well, so he's gone...a few roads have been given facelifts [he should have been given a tour round Accra, that would have fixed a lot of roads oh; some hawkers were ejected and some rubbish cleared. A few places in Cape Coast are looking great and Cape Coasters are happy.
So now what???