A Certain Goat Dies, a Certain President Has a Syndrome

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‘I have seen more demonstrations and strikes in my first two years. I don’t think it can get worse. Such demonstrations are part of strategies by workers to tie the hands of government especially in the election year.’

‘It is said that when you kill a goat and you frighten it with a knife, it doesn’t fear the knife, because it is dead already. I have the DEAD GOAT Syndrome.’

President John Dramani Mahama in an interaction with the Ghanaian community in Botswana had said this in reinforcement that he has endured so many demonstrations and strike actions in his two years in office and that his government will not be coerced into overspending in 2016 by the weight of strikes by workers.

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And that he is as insensitive as a dead goat is – without senses.

He has introduced a new lexicon into the political dictionary; very proverbial, very thoughtful, very funny, but certainly not a good punch line if the government owes you one unfulfilled responsibility or the other! So his defense council and communicators should allow us make a fuss out of this.

Strikes, demonstrations, complaints and the social media noise have toughened him. It’s a good thing and a necessary evil. I particularly dislike it when people take casual statements too seriously.

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Those of you who have sprayed the social media with mirth and controversies must be having no knowledge of Immunology. A fact is that when you are exposed to a new thing like confrontations and oppositions and hostilities, your system first reacts until it naturally adapts, and then slowly recognizes the antigen as normal. Science and immunology say it’s usual to regard trouble as harmless after a long exposure. So Dead Goat Syndrome makes you immune to agitations. This is called desensitization, exactly what the President is undergoing.

Great! That is the kind of leader Africa needs – one who will not yield to blackmails and arm-twisting tactics, legitimately or illegitimately.

He has developed a thick skin. We can without doubt say this syndrome draws such similitude from the case of ‘yentie obiaa’. So basically, what he was saying was that Ghanaians can demonstrate till the cows come home, he doesn’t give a toss either way. The NPP can make the streets their national headquarters and display all the placards, he’s tired of hearing crap!

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We can liken him to a determined wrestler who will not tap out nor wriggle out of an excruciating torture.

The ultimate import of his statement was ensuring ‘fiscal discipline’, a thing much to be desired by the average tax payer.

Fiscal discipline? A very technical economic jargon…

Fiscal discipline, but public workers have outstanding legit claims.  Fiscal discipline, but we are in power crisis. Fiscal discipline, and we spent $5.8 million spent on AFCON 2015 with almost nothing to show off? Fiscal discipline, and your administration has seen indescribably prodigious acts of corruption from government officials? Fiscal discipline, and the Electoral Commission has blown 317 million cedis on the abortive District Assembly elections, and wanting 90 million more to organize it  all again?

Fiscal discipline, when in 2012 you promised not to overspend but plunged the country into having the biggest budget deficit ever.

So paying workers their pension contributions throws the national budget out of gear?

The President’s claim of being impervious to our grumbles for a better standard of living is unfortunate. A total disregard for the Labor Union’s concern is disastrous. See, over the years, the posture of the government in dealing with workers’ agitations hasn’t been appealing. Why not talk the issues, rather than subliming them. Why not prioritize? A display of his fervent unpreparedness to solve the problems in the country will spell doom for us.

Now, members of the opposition are at it again, throwing jabs at the determined, unmoved Head of State. Maybe you guys should put an end to fuelling demos, because the syndrome will not allow him yield to pressures to disorganize the economy.  The problem with Mahama’s exponents and some NDC foot soldiers is that they haven’t been raped before. Every victim of rape will naturally develop a fear of men, a fear of sex and fear of walking alone at night.

But in this story, we have a rape victim who is daring! We have a rape victim who is flirting with some crazily sex-starved gang of men. Mahama is daring Ghanaians!

We protest against poor conditions, economic hardships, power crisis, non-payment of benefits and you develop immunity.  We call on you and you play dead? We are drowning and you look elsewhere, impassive? You are poking our eyes.

Well, guess what? The thing about immunity is that a single exposure anytime can cause an anaphylaxis, which is life-threatening. So things can really get worse, contrary to what you think.

So what killed the goat? What made it numb to the knife’s cut? It’s us! We will take all the blame for giving it an opportunity to live in the first place. We will take all the blame to giving it a second chance to live, and we will take all the blame being boring with one approach.

How can we as a nation consolidate our efforts at emerging from our deepening crisis when we have a proverbial dead goat at the helm of affairs? At a moment when we have tonnes of issues on our hands, why would a communicator of his caliber invite skirmishes at this time?

What do people do to contacts on their phones they hardly call? They delete them!

What do people do to infected, corrupted files on the computers? They delete them, go into the Recycle Bin to clear them, check into a repair center to format it, just to make sure it doesn’t show up!

What do people do to dead goats? Tough question!

Tough because not all Ghanaians will have one way of handling a dead goat. Some bury it because a dead goat stinks, some burn it, some illicitly dispose of it, some ignore it, some even challenge its state of lifelessness but a lot of us eat it.

So whiles the President hardens himself in the newly found vegetative state, we will be gathering some spices to make a good soup – hopefully to be served in 2016

Author: Patrick Fynn


Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickFynn


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