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SHORT STORIES

PRESIDENT (Corona Series, Episode 20)

How does he sleep? Is he like a servant God or in plain terms, like a worshipped and a curse? Why must he satisfy the needs of the rich, the poor, the sick, all faiths, and even animals? How can one find a central point of satisfaction for all these people with multiple identities? Bediatuo asks his mother. She looks at the ten year old and toys around thoughts of an honest discussion or a good distraction, like an allowance or a bicycle competition. She eventually gives in to an honest discussion. Bediatuo, what makes you think of all these questions? The boy looks into the vacant space for a while, goes closer to sit beside his mother in the green sofa. I remember in mid-March, when our president put measures in place to guard this nation from Corona Virus, some people praised him, while others criticized him. Even some of my friends I spoke with on phone, told me their parents said he was just a busy body man who was overreacting. When cases started going up, it seemed the majority of Ghanaians were hailing him. Most of them praised him for his maturity and effectiveness in handling the case. There were even people who explained the meaning of the clothes he wore. Even then, others criticized and insulted him for wasting so much money on fancy hotels for those quarantined. Mama, even I stayed up with you to listen to his State of the Nation Addresses but people soon got tired of it. Poor people on television were complaining of hunger, rich people were and are still complaining of their businesses although they seem to understand the situation, churches and mosques at a point, blamed the president for closing them down during the lockdown. When he lifted the lockdown too, didn’t you see the insults and criticisms from the masses as the poor people jubilate? So how does he do it mama? I wanted to be a president some day but I don’t see any formula that can help satisfy all citizens at every point in time. Why work on dreams which marks you a failure from the start?
Maame Gloria just stares at her son, flabbergasted. She wonders if he truly is ten or a reincarnation of one of her grandparents or her husband’s great great ancestors. Her son has always been this way since he was a child hardly can one answer his questions. She knows she can sometimes hold her own in conversations but her son’s conversations are times she dreaded most.
Bediatuo, in this life, no one can satisfy everyone, even among a small group. It is the reason majority rule mandates a party system in this country. So mostly, decisions are taken based on the number of people who will benefit. If more people will benefit from a decision by the president and his cabinet, they go with it. What I am trying to say is that, decisions are taken for the greater good of the nation. He thinks about what his mother is saying for some seconds before probing.
Then it’ll mean that some section of citizens will find themselves in the minority and always suffer the consequences?
Oh no. Sometimes it is fairly balanced. That’s why the people vote for political parties. The party in power has its followers, so do the minorities. In Ghana, we alternate between two parties and so it gets somewhat fair.
Bediatuo stands up, looks at his mother in a wounded way. Mother, are you saying government takes decisions to benefit people based on their party lines? How fair is that since every citizen somehow contributes their quota to the tax system?
Maame Grace realizes the conversation is doing her in. I’m sorry, I think I’m not well vexed in this matter. Can you please wait to discuss this with your father?
Bediatuo sits disappointed. It must be true that Africans can never grow. Because they criticize the good, hail the bad based on party lines. Political stooges! That’s who most of them are. Why can’t citizens leave party politics aside immediately the election ends in order to work towards development as a nation? Why must there always be opposition at all times?
Maame Grace looks at her son again, wondering if his smart self has not told him he is part of the “they” whether he likes it or not. But she is not interested in embarrassing herself with questions which will give her a fail in her son’s mind. Do you want us to go for a bicycle competition on the compound? You love that. Bediatuo shakes his head, obviously depressed at the thought of adult affairs in politics. So she does the one thing that she knows can improve his mood, call Serwaa’s mother to arrange a play date as Bediatuo retires to his bedroom. Maame Grace thinks through the plight of the president for the first time. It must be hard to live like that, wanting to satisfy all or most people. Living averagely surely is heaven because this is where you have people above taking all the hard decisions and being responsible for them and those below doing all the difficult works to break even. She realizes she just said this outloud, a lame statement but her feelings are true. The presidential seat must be hell, it is a wonder people fight fiercely to sit in that heat. She shakes her head and proceeds to work on her report to meet her boss’s deadline.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © May 4, 2020. This is the end of the Corona Series. Photo Credit: Google Pics.

By amoafowaa

Just a simple Ghanaian trying to find the best in our society. I may be fun, I may be interesting, I may be funny, I may even be foolish or intelligent, but it is all based on the mood in which you find yourself. I believe our minds make us who we are. Know that, pain, no matter its 'unbearability', is transient. Unburden or delight yourself for a while in my writings please. And all corrections, advice and opinions are welcome. Know that you are the king, queen or royal on this blog. :)

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