In my country Ghana, it is a known fact that the knowledge of English is a criterion for a man’s great learning. Therefore, those with higher academic qualifications like PhD are not only venerated by society but they hold out themselves as demigods. Most of them either see themselves as, or are claimed by the public to be, analytical thinkers, that anyone not their co-equal should not dare challenge the statements exuding from their mouth or the views expressed by them. They hold the finality to everything. However, the writer of this publication, Rockson Adofo, the proud son of Kumawu/Asiampa, begs to differ.
Much as we must respect the Ghanaian academics, we must value and respect more of what they can do with their knowledge so acquired to profit their country and people than the mere highness of their education qualification. Much as I respect the Ghanaian PhD holders, I will never hesitate to reprimand them if anyone of them is found to be deliberately twisting the truth and facts for their parochial interests.
Some people are trying to tell me PhD holders are analytical thinkers that no one should dare challenge their views. This is following from my counter views to theirs as expressed in favour of, or against, Auditor-General Daniel Yao Domelevo. Mr Domelevo feels his office is a constitutional entity, therefore, he has the right to choose when to start his accumulated paid annual holiday leave without anyone having the constitutional right to direct him to. His view is supported by some Ghanaian PhD holders. Nonetheless, I have an opposing view, although we are all quoting the same Constitutional Articles, Labour Law Act, 2003, (Act 651) and Audit Service Act, 2000. Some of these PhD persons are arguing that Auditor-General Domelevo is not bound by the Audit Service Act.
The Ghana 1992 Constitution cannot go into the details of every Article entrenched in it. This is the more reason why it prescribes the creation of Constitutional Instruments (CI), Parliamentary Acts, bylaws and vests authority in the Supreme Court to give final interpretation to the Articles in the event of opposing views as it is currently with the President’s directive to Auditor-General Domelevo to start his accumulated annual holiday leave and the baying of Mr Domelevo and some highly educated Ghanaians.
We have internal company policies specifying in detail the operations of the company, the responsibilities of the employer to the employee and the duties of the employee; terms of contract, procedure for grievances and disciplinary action, etc. All such details cannot be found in the Constitution. A company’s internal rules and regulations are accepted as legal although, their legality is superseded by statutory laws.
How does a PhD holder persuade me to accept that the Audit Service Board’s agreed rules do not bind the Auditor-General because the Ghana Constitution knows only the Auditor-General but not the Audit Service Board? Are they not trying to tell us that the Auditor-General is to be left alone as a “One man thousand” to perform all the functions of his office however he wants?
By the way, how does the Auditor-General come to have, and accept, that he has 44 working days annual paid holiday leave a year since it is nowhere stated in the Constitution? Are the number of the paid annual holidays not given to him by other laws like the Parliamentary Act or bylaws amplified by the company internal policy acceptable to the Constitution? If so, why should the Auditor-General not accept, or be somehow bound by, the Audit Service Act, 2000, which confers some duties and powers on the Audit Service Board?
In not seeking to underrate the intelligence of our PhD holders, let us see from the following if they had better act differently than they did.
1. A PhD holder who was once the head of the Kumasi Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital behaved as follows. Before narrating his story, let the public readers understand that he had a PhD in Medicine and after years of service teaching medical students, he climbed the ladder to the upper echelon of professorship. Therefore, his staff and the public that know him had come to address him as “Professor Doctor Doctor”….(name withheld). He would not accept being addressed without mentioning the full title as indicated to show the world that he has earned a doctorate degree in medicine and also, is a professor teaching medical students.
To save myself time, let me reproduce exactly what I published about him on 14 July 2013. He went to a Commercial Bank branch at the Tech (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology) Junction to withdraw money. Read what
happened. Before narrating the story, let me enlighten my readers on how the banking withdrawal processes were in those days. One would walk into the bank, queue up and wait to be attended to by a clerk sitting behind a glass or metal-wire-partitioned desk or counter.
When it was your turn, your bank account book or cheque was collected, verified by the accounts clerk with a withdrawal or a deposit form filled out indicating how much you were depositing or withdrawing. Then you pulled out of the queue, went back to sit down and waited to be served by the cashier (another person sitting in a partitioned compartment behind the desk or counter).
When it was the turn of this man in question, whose name has just escaped me, a Professor and a PhD holder in Medicine of course, with the prefix “Professor Doctor Doctor” to his name to collect his money, he unfortunately proved himself the biggest idiot of all time. There were many people or customers sitting and hanging around waiting to be served. When the cashier called out say, Professor Asiedu, two or three times with about thirty seconds or a minute interval between each name call out, he would put his book away and start serving others.
The cashier after a while would pick up his book and call out, Doctor Asiedu? No response. Professor Asiedu. No response. Then he would continue serving other customers. At other times the cashier would call out, Professor Doctor Asiedu.
There would still be no response. This continued until every customer was gone with only one person left sitting, waiting to be served with the only bank accounts book bearing Professor Doctor Doctor Asiedu in front of the cashier. The cashier called out again Professor Asiedu. There was no response.
Finally the cashier turned to him and asked, Please are you not Professor Asiedu? He responded angrily, No! I am not Professor Asiedu but Professor Doctor Doctor Asiedu. You have to call out the full title for people to know who I am. I have gone through strenuous studies to come this far so people should know who I am.
I will say what a fool he was! He had wanted those to come to the bank to withdraw or deposit money to know him for the learned one going by the title of Professor with PhD in Medicine (Professor Dr Doctor). However, no-one got to know who he was even by Professor or Doctor by his silly arrogance. Everyone was gone before he finally identified himself as the Professor Dr Doctor. The cheap importance or momentary popularity he was seeking evaded him.
2. A PhD holder placed a publication on the Ghana internet news portal to insult my person and intelligence. I had authored a feature article for publishing by my online publishers. The article had to do with encouraging through reminder, then seeming vacillating Nana Akufo-Addo. Many Nana Akufo-Addo’s supporters could see that without solidarizing with him through encouragement and persuasion, he would not go for the NPP flagbearership a third time following the election 2012 petition verdict pronounced by the Supreme Court that went against him.
How would I send my written article of noble intention that will endear me to Nana Akufo-Addo for publishing by putting someone else’s name to it as the author? Will I not be a fool to do that? All that I could see two days later after the submission of the article to the publishers was a PhD columnist publishing a lengthy article insulting my person, intelligence, style of writing, etc. His point of argument was I had dispatched my article to the publishers in his as the writer. How possible?
I straightaway checked my published article online and it bore my name as the author. I cross checked my email sent items and it confirmed me as the author. I then published an article requesting the said PhD columnist to retract his publication, render an unreserved apology to me. I advised him to go to all the websites to reassure himself that my article has my name to it but not his. He refused, but to continue to act as a macho, sticking to his guns. We ended up publishing a few articles to insult one another.
Any sensible person, an analytical thinker, by virtue of their acquisition of the highest academic qualification, would contact the publishers, draw their attention to the error, if indeed, my article was somehow bearing their name as the author. However, he chose to have time to publish a full article to attack an innocent person all because he lives in America and writes creative English.
Yes, on two occasions I had seen articles published in my name and had quickly drawn the attention of the publishers to it, saying, I am not the author. Once I alerted them to the mistakes, they quickly corrected them. So, if such a mistake had been noticed by him, he could have taken a fraction of the entire time he took to write an article to insult me to contact the publisher to correct the mistake, if indeed, there was one.
Anyway, he was discovered to have had a fight with several columnists for completely absurd reasons. A PhD holder is expected to live above such pettiness.
3. A PhD holder, an avid saboteur of Nana Akufo-Addo by his actions and pronouncements, was happily making a mockery of him on his election 2012 petition to the Supreme Court. He was teasing him, asking him to throw in the towel because he had lost the election, so he should not seek to make excuses by the errors on the “pink sheets”. He went further to boast that he acquired his PhD at the age of 25 years and had not lost any of his school certificates. What has getting your PhD at the age of 25 to do with someone’s court case?
He was probably doing all that because he had a strong hatred for Nana, ignorantly blaming Nana for his uncle, William Ofori Atta, popularly called “Paa Willie”, breaking away from the Popular Front Party (PFP) to form the United National Convention (UNC). This breakaway could possibly have contributed to PFP’s defeat in election 1979. Honourable Victor Owusu, also the uncle to the proud PhD holder, was the flagbearer and presidential-candidate for PFP. Was the PhD holder in this case trying to settle old uncles’ scores on nephews? It seems so. However, there was no known open animosity between the two elderly uncles.
This PhD holder under discussion was once a staunch member of the NPP but now, nobody hears of him. Awash in shame, he has retreated into his lair. By his action, “Se ebek3 goal dee, enko corner”. For him, Mahama had better win instead of Nana Addo. What evil-mindedness! Why would a PhD person seek to cause the defeat of his own NPP flagbearer and presidential-candidate, just because the flagbearer’s uncle had done something politically incorrect somewhere in 1978 to 1979?
4. A group of about 100 Ghanaian University lecturers recently attacked the Electoral Commission (EC) on the compilation of a new voter register. They expressed disagreement with the EC on a number of issues. They wanted the EC to accept the old voter card for proof of one’s Ghanaian identity, although knowing very well how many people used the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card to register for that voter card. However, the NHIS card was issued to both Ghanaians and immigrants (both legal and illegal) found in Ghana. Ghana 1992 Constitution expressly states who is a Ghanaian yet, the lecturers were on a different tangent.
Most of their expressed views in the threatening petition letter were not different from those expressed on a daily basis in public by any NDC activist. Nevertheless, what is shocking is how they criminally included and signed for about two lecturers who came out publicly to announce that they were not party to, or privy to, the said petition. Subsequently, that group of lecturers had to come out to acknowledge that they did not actually contact those two lecturers before including their names in their frivolous petition.
What analytical thinkers they all are!
I am not against anyone for their higher paper qualifications. I am proud of them. However, I am for them applying their acquired acknowledgement in the best collective interests of their country and people. I want all PhD holders to be honest when interpreting the laws as many people look up to them as role models to take decisions in their life.