I have written on this subject before and hereby repeat the same.
As long as Ghanaian leaders make the flagrantly insensitive and irresponsible habit of trooping abroad for medical check-ups and treatments, the health system of our country will not be qualitatively upgraded anytime soon.
Maybe the Asantehene ought to have taken an exemplary cue from the immortalized former President Nelson Mandela, by seeking treatment from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), or any of the other major health centers and facilities dotted all across the Asante Region.
His using of our local hospitals would enable him to better appreciate the imperative need for the government to effectively budget for and prioritize the ministration of health services in the country. It would also afford him the requisite first-hand experience to enable him to directly dialogue with the key operatives of the government of the day, in order to significantly raise the standard of healthcare throughout the country.
It couldn't be that the Asantehene never heard of the rather tired old maxim that "Cleanliness is next to godliness." If our own healthcare system cannot be upgraded to the level of the envy of the West African sub-region, at least, then, really, all this grandstanding by President Mahama about Ghana leading the way to a progressive and unified Africa would just be the hallucinatory pipe-dream that it continues to be.
At any rate, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu I may be aptly envisaged, with some justification, to be his own worst enemy. He ought to have been savvy enough to have appreciated the fact that anytime that any Ghanaian leader ships himself out of the country for a medical check-up or treatment, particularly to countries like South Africa and the United States, tongues are bound to wag stentorian over the gravity of his/her state of health. It is part of the price that public figures like him have to pay.
And it is not necessarily such a bad idea; it simply means that His Majesty's well-being and welfare mean quite a lot to both his admirers and detractors.
If Otumfuo feels in his heart of hearts that he did absolutely nothing wrong to prejudice both the outcome of the 2012 presidential election and the Atuguba-presided Supreme Court decision handed down some seven protracted months later, in definitive resolution of the electoral impasse that ensued, then, of course, Nana Osei-Tutu II has naught to worry about. Indeed, it goes without saying that there is bound to be some disgruntlement from at least one of the parties involved in the dispute.
On the other hand, it may also be quite necessary for the Asantehene to critically examine and/or review the extent of his involvement in that epic constitutional crisis, with a view to adequately and constructively informing himself on how best to deal with such highly controversial matters without bringing his name, status and the dignity of the Great Osei-Tutu Stool into disrepute.
What is more, if the Asantehene sincerely feels that his principal obligation as unarguably the post powerful Ghanaian paramount king is strictly confined to the territorial boundaries of Asanteman, or the Asante Nation, or sub-nation, to be certain, then he had better exercise his monarchical powers and authority as such. Which is not to say that he is not obligated, as the most significant Ghanaian monarch, to playing the progressive role of a statesman.
By: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
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