I donât know where to find Agya Koo, the master comedian. I would like to give him this script for him to act a play titled âThe Trotting President: part one and twoâ.Â I can bet with my last cedi that if this play is acted it would be a blockbuster.Â I want to serve notice that anyone who uses this script to act a play without my express consent will definitely meet me at the Fast Track High Court in Accra. I am serious because film making is serious business these days!!!
The President was not seen in public for more than two weeks.Â During that period, fire was burning in Bunkprugu Yonyoo, Hohoe, Ho, Tishegu, Ekumfi Narkwa, Nabdam, Bawku, Wa, Kpassa among other hot spots in the country.Â Serial killings of poor women were taking place in Tefle, where JJ Rawlings lived, and the armed robbery menace was on the increase.
Spousal killings, contract killings and people hanging themselves were the order of the day and the nation was traumatized. People eagerly waited for the president to come out to broadcast to the nation and call for peace to reign but the man was nowhere to be found. The rumour mill started grinding louder and louder that the president was dead.Â In order to kill the rumour, the President rushed to the Kotoka International Airport to catch a Delta Airline plane to the US.Â At the airport, he met media men and told them that he was not dead but alive and kicking.
The President then laced his canvass and started jogging towards the Delta Air plane.Â As he climbed the gangway, he spread out a pretentiousÂ broad smile and waved his feeble hand to say goodbye to those who went to the airport to see him off.Â The door of the plane was closed and the pilot moved the plane slowly to the runway, pulled the throttle, checked some devices in the cockpit and zoomed off to the United States of America where the doctors are more qualified than their counterparts in Ghana.
Oh yes, because the President told us on his return that his doctors in Ghana felt that âfor one or two reasons which require more comprehension, we should go outside the countryâ.
The doctors in Ghana could not simply diagnose the President to find thatÂ he has enough energy for the past, the present and the future; and therefore he should driveÂ to the Castle to do his work.Â Their counterparts in the US were able to do that and since it took ten days to do the check-up, the case indeed, required âmore comprehensionâ
SCENE TWO:Â Â
The president who told the press that he was going for a âroutine medical check-upâ did not tell the citizenry the hospital he was attending but he only told the people that he would be out of the country for a few days and nights.Â For ten days the good people of Ghana waited and waited until they were told one day that the President was flying in after the âroutine medical check-upâ.Â Then there was nationwide organization of NDC party supporters to be bused to the airport to welcome the President who just went for a âroutine medical check-upâ.Â Those who joined the buses were given GHÂ˘20 as a token to enable them buy âice waterâ to quench their thirst as they stood under the scorching sun.
Â SCENE THREE:
At about 12.30pm, a Delta Airline plane was spotted in the blue sky and allÂ eyes were focused on the sky to see whether it was the plane which was carrying the âanointed oneâ.Â As the plane was about to touch the tarmac, an announcement was made to the waiting crowd that the President had arrived after going through a âroutine medical check-upâ.Â Then the drumming, singing and shouting intensified. Â An aid of the anointed one shouted âopen sesameâ and the door of the plane opened and the âblessed oneâ step out majestically.
Foreign passengers who had disembarked from other planes which had landed previously could not believe their eyes when they saw the huge crowd which had gathered there to welcome a President who had just gone in for a mere âroutine medical check-up.â
Â SCENE FOUR:
The ecstatic crowd kept shouting as the President started descending the gangway, holding a miniature Ghana flag in his left hand while smiling broadly to portray his dental formula.
Then the coached crowd shouted with one voice:Â âMete ase ooh, me nwui ooh.Â Onyame adom nti me nwui oohÂ Susum kronto adaworoma nti men wui oohâ.Â And the drumming, the singing and vuvuzela sounded louder and louder as the President started trotting towards the ecstatic crowd in his well ironed suit with a blue tie to match.Â Then he started shaking hands and squeezing the hands of women who had the opportunity to shake his hand to prove to them that he was strong.Â Even though the legs were wobbling, the man kept jogging just because he wantedÂ to prove that he was as fit as a fiddle. One Zongo woman who felt the pain after the President squeezed her hand shouted: âWaaaiâ and told her friend who was standing by her that after all, the President was strong (âWalahi, Atta Milk inade karfiâ).
Â SCENE FIVE:
Even though the President normally travels outside for a âroutine medical check-upâ and medical treatment without any one going to the airport to pray for him, this time around, a man of God saw it necessary to abandon his congregation and rushed to the airport to pray for the President who just went to the US for âroutine medical check-upâ.Â That man of God who offered the prayer was acting as if the President was sick when he was leaving the shores of Ghana.Â In fact, he acted as if the Presidentâs plane nearly crashed on arrival.Â The man of God started sweating profusely after the prayer as if he had carried the engine of a caterpillar from the Kwame Nkrumah Circle to the Tema Harbour.Â These political men of God!
The President mounted the quickly-assembled podium and started to make a speech.Â Hard as he tried, his voice was full of distortion.Â The usual wrong pronunciations were clear as he fumbled with the words.Â Mandatory check-up became âMantory check-upâ; constitution became âcontutionâ and medical became âMenicalâ. As the illiterates among the crowd kept clapping, the President kept fumbling in a âtwist a tongue, twist a wordâ manner and the professor in him refused to come out to save him from the embarrassment. Â Â The mother of all jokes came from the mouth of the man who held the state sword to swear to Ghanaians that he would be faithful to the good people of Ghana.Â Hear him : âThe report of the doctors shows that I have strong energy enough for the past, the present and the future, and therefore I should drive from here to the Castle to do my workâ (sic!!!) as if the work of the President of Ghana is done only in the Castle.
After the short speech, more drumming, dancing Â and jubilations, the presidential dispatch riders lined up in front of the Presidentâs official car, ready to lead the anointed one to the Castle where his doctors in far away America instructed him to âgo and start doing his workâ.
A long convoy followed the man to the Castle and returned to their places of work with gossips in their cheeks.
They had more questions than answers as far as the Presidentâs health status was concerned:Â Is he well? Is he not well?Â Did he go for a âroutine medical check-up or medical treatment?Â âWhy did he choose to trot instead of walk on the red carpet? Is anybody who can trot healthy? Â Will he trot another time when he goes for a âroutine medical check-up?âÂ Excuse me, while I puff my Havana Cigar.Â After all, life is too short and life is, but a dream. (Watch out for Act Two of this drama!!)
Â ByÂ Eric Bawah