Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Martin Amidu and the official oaths of office and secrecy: The cost of loose talk

Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Martin Amidu’s public statements of late betray him as a bitter and frustrated politician. His effusions suggest nothing but a revenge mission spurred on by many factors, the most prominent of which is his dismissal from office as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice. He comes across as the government functionary with the most short-lived service at that Ministry.
His removal from office might be caused by his own miscalculation or an orchestrated measure by the Presidency to get rid of him before he could cause any further embarrassment. Through his unguarded but strident pronouncements, Martin Amidu had rendered himself vulnerable and suffered the consequences of shooting his mouth in a matter that had shaken the government and threatened its credibility.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Rawlings surfaces in Nigeria

Saturday, May 26, 2012
Current political developments in Ghana and Nigeria indicate that the former military leaders in both countries have found the civilian leaders as sitting ducks to be easily picked and tormented at will. Ghana has Rawlings doing so and Nigeria has Muhammadu Buhari, although Ibrahim Babangida also came to notice as such some few months ago.
What is it that makes these former military dictators so resistant to and contemptuous toward the civilian leaders chosen by their own people to rule them?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It is time for steel to cut steel

Thursday, May 24, 2012
Where are the real patriots of Ghana? Join me to say a very big “kudos” to the Government of Ghana for demonstrating the guts that might have eluded it all this while in its response to matters concerning its political opponents.
The government says it will not sell the controversial state land and bungalow former Minister and NPP Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, is said to have bought (Myjoyonline, May 24, 2012).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

If the law is an ass… What are the courts and judges? (Part II)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
We insist that the Supreme Court’s ruling that the NPP’s Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey did no wrong in acquiring a state bungalow is appalling. It is disappointing and will go a long way to encourage thievery at the highest level and to the most frantic extent unless something else happens to curb it. The verdict has set a horrendous precedent that we must explore further.
Bad Precedent Number Four:
And here comes the most annoying aspect of the decision, which says that “the former erstwhile Kufuor appointee did not abuse any law of the land by purchasing the house.
Of course, the Supreme Court might be focusing on “abuse of law” but it is obvious that we have no such law against acquisition of property. Fair enough. But what makes sense is that a government functionary occupying a state property must not use his position to acquire that property. What will happen if all government appointees rush to acquire state property at their disposal? Does the country have the resources to provide such property? And should public property be so (mis)appropriated at will?

If the law is an ass… What are the courts and judges? (Part I)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
The Supreme Court’s judgement, legitimizing Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey’s acquisition of a state property (bungalow) is bad. It flies in the face of decency and sets a very horrible precedent that won’t encourage good citizenship for the benefit of our democracy.
Let’s be bold enough to tell those judges whose decision favoured Obetsebi-Lamptey that they have given Ghanaians a backhanded slap in the face. And we won’t take it without question.
Those simpletons who have already politicized the case and seen the verdict through an NDC-NPP dichotomy are sick in the head as well. This case is not a loss for the Mills government and a win for the NPP. It is a matter of public conscience and how the Supreme Court has harmed it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sekou Nkrumah and the Ghanaian jinx

Friday, May 18, 2012
When a Ghanaian politician behaves like a butterfly and flits about as the pendulum swings, he makes me laugh out loud. Carpet crossing is usually motivated by something in the politician’s character.
I am reminded of a former classmate of mine at the completion of the “O’ level programme many years ago who went for his testimonial and had the following from the Assistant Headmaster:
“An incorrigible character. His employer may employ him at his own risk for further study of his character before giving him a permanent employment.”
I don’t know what became of him after that. Some people doing politics in Ghana deserve a testimonial of that sort. One of them is Sekou Nkrumah who has just announced his marriage of (in)convenience with the NPP with the sole aim of propagating anything he can to discredit President Mills and work for his defeat at Election 2012.

Friday, May 18, 2012

When a hen eats its own egg…

Saturday, May 19, 2012
Indeed, Nature is inscrutable. As human beings, we may tap into it to improve our lives but if we think that we can know all about it and bend it to suit our personal desires, we will be deceiving ourselves. Truly, Nature provides numerous opportunities for us to learn from it so as not to run fools’ errands in life or swim against the current toward self-destruction. But some choose otherwise.
I will use only one example from Nature around which to weave my opinions in this article. It is about the domesticated hen and the lesson that its life teaches.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Akufo-Addo, your “Zongo Development Fund” politics sucks!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012
As if he has just woken up to the reality that bad leaders are elected by poor citizens who do not vote, the NPP’s Akufo-Addo is on a campaign of sorts, dubbed as “Restoring Hope,” to move the electorate to vote for him in the December elections.
But he seems to be digging his own grave more than uplifting himself to the vantage point. I will be brazen to say that he is not restoring any hope but rather dampening it.
He has so far not said anything new to restore anybody’s hope that he has what it takes to outdo the incumbent or previous governments whose visionlessness hasn’t taken us out of the woods yet. All that has come from him is either promise-making or a scathing attack on President Mills and his government.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rawlings brings himself again!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Former President Rawlings is in the news again; and, as is characteristic of him, he is in for the wrong reason.
Speaking at the 30th Anniversary ceremony of the 31st December Women’s Movement, he was angry at what he called “unprecedented monetization of the political space,” being perpetrated by members of his own party in government (MyJoyOnline, May 15, 2012). He was reported as mincing no words in describing those government functionaries as “traitors who have betrayed the ideals of the National Democratic Congress.
To him, the government has “enviably lost the sense of political morality and demeaned itself in a crass manner.” He said the NDC is now faced with fighting two enemies—traitors and the perceived enemies. Thus, “We cannot fight these two enemies… one must go.”
In political terms, such strong, pejorative words (“traitors” and “enemies”) connote a lot of dread. I am not surprised they are coming from Rawlings because that’s the true reflection of his psyche. Need I say more?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Woyome, AFAG, and the ugly side of our judicial system

Saturday, May 12, 2012
The inadequacies of our justice administration system have once again been brought to public attention. The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) has issued a press statement decrying the circumstances surrounding the trial of Alfred Agbesi Woyome over the huge judgement debt paid to him.
The substance of the case and the fact that the case is before court notwithstanding, AFAG’s concerns should be shared by all well-meaning Ghanaians.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Democracy is not just about development projects!

Friday, May 11, 2012
A careful assessment of the government’s campaign strategies indicates that President Mills hasn’t learnt any lesson from happenings in this 4th Republic to prepare adequately for Election 2012. The government is boasting of infrastructural development and staking its electoral chances on it, which is a huge gamble.
The reality is that it takes more than infrastructural development for a government to win the trust and confidence of the electorate and have its mandate renewed or to be voted into office for the first time. The message (as the NPP sought to convey in 2000) is that electoral victory doesn’t depend on development projects alone. In a broader sense, then, governance entails more than an obsession with infrastructure.
There are some people who will not appreciate such projects, no matter how much the government does for their communities. Such people may not necessarily be ungrateful but just concerned that other variables have not been factored into the government’s handling of national affairs. And they are right.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Nana Konadu claims the NDC Logo: What next?

Thursday, May 10, 2012
The internal crisis facing the NDC has now reached a ridiculously harmful level. Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings is claiming the ownership of the NDC’s logo and has written to warn the party’s leaders not to use that logo for their political activities. She is all out to behead the NDC!!
She hasn’t indicated what she wants to use that logo for or how she intends to preserve it. Probably, as a memento to remind her of the art classes that she took at the then University of Science and Technology, Kumasi?
In any case, her demand is not only weird but it is also mind-boggling for whatever dire consequences it may have for the NDC and its place in our democratization process. One needs no reminder that the NDC is a formidable political force whose contributions have helped define our democratization, and anything that destroys it will have a far-reaching effect on it. Let its opponents sing “Halleluia” but there is a price to pay.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A good thing sells itself, Mr. President!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2012
Vice President John Dramani Mahama’s plea for a second term for President Mills is thought-provoking at several levels, probably excluding his premise that the two Presidents who have ruled since the inception of the 4th Republic had 8 years apiece; thus, President Mills must also be given 8 years.
There is no logic like that in politics. Renewal of mandate depends on accomplishments—how the government has used the mandate of the people to work for their benefit, improving living conditions and demonstrating enough to instill hope in them for a brighter future.
Let us not reduce our democracy to this ridiculously formulaic level, based on an empty precedent of longevity in office. We must base it on nothing but practical achievements. A government that doesn’t help us to grow our democracy (which encompasses all departments of national life—economic, political, social, cultural, etc.) should be kicked out of office. No amount of sermonizing or pleading should be tolerated.
The essential question, then, becomes: Has President Mills done enough to satisfy the electorate who put him in office at the 2008 general elections? If he has, then, he should rest assured that at Election 2012, his mandate will be renewed. If not, then, he must start preparing its handing over notes right-away!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

If President Mills must go…

Sunday, May 6, 2012
Let’s be serious in any discussion of our leadership problems. Here is something to start with (from the great J.E. Casely Hayford’s propositions on Leadership in West Africa):
The story goes that a flock of birds once set out to find a king. And they climbed a high mountain if only they could find him there. And they climbed and climbed until they scaled the topmost peak, and there they did find him. But—he was only a bird!!!
The lesson is clear: the king of a bird is no different from the birds that set out to find him. Disgust, disillusionment, disappointment, and regret? Your guess is as right as mine.
Ghanaians may be looking for a leader of a different kind but are those parading themselves all over the political landscape any different from those we already have? We want to be sure that they are different before we commit ourselves into their hands.

Friday, May 4, 2012

When Akufo-Addo decides to fight the bull…

Saturday, May 5, 2012
The NPP’s Akufo-Addo is, indeed, a man of many parts—a lawyer, human rights activist, and politician, among others. Now, he has turned himself into a matador to kill the mammoth of a bull that Kennedy Agyapong’s hate speech has created.
He is wearing a red shirt to engage this bull, hoping first to hold it by its horns and bulldog it in the end. Mistake Number One: bulls hate the color red, which his shirt has. How tactically prepared is he?
At the first attempt, which he made yesterday (symbolized by the meeting with the chiefs of the Volta Region), he went for the bull’s tail instead. Mistake Number Two: Going for the tail is not the best initial move; the bull will turn round to sweep him off his feet and he should count himself lucky to survive.

Bawumia opens the hornet’s nest and…..

Friday, May 4, 2012
In his first major appearance on a politically motivated event to engage the major concern of Ghanaians (the state of the country’s economy), the NPP’s Mahamudu Bawumia presented a catalogue of critiques that the NPP activists have described as a “brilliant” analysis but which the official response from the Ministry of Finance and government spokesmen trashed as “intellectual dishonesty.”
Instantaneously, Bawumia has thrust himself into a political dust-storm. Let’s see how he will emerge when the dust settles. By taking on the government this way, he seems to have demonstrated enough courage and should seize the opportunity to prove that he is indeed an “economic guru.” The barrage of criticisms and rebuttal of his claims has already begun being unleashed. The hornets are coming for him.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The NPP can’t win elections with an old tune!

Thursday, May 3, 2012
The NPP’s strategy of exposing Bawumia is on course to catapult him into the limelight. That’s why he seems to be playing a frontline role these days and receiving media attention for it. In principle, that strategy is politically viable; but in reality, it doesn’t seem to be the solution the NPP needs to reap the benefits of a Bawumia Running-Mate candidacy.
I say so with hindsight—Bawumia couldn’t get the NPP the Northern votes that it had anticipated in the 2008 elections. Thus, by retaining him for the 2012 elections, whatever might have contributed to his inability to woo voters needs to be neutralized. That’s why the publicity stunt is all about him these days.
But he has joined the “Yen Akanfuo” choir to sing himself hoarse with an old tune that will not help the NPP win the elections. The cacophony grates on the ears—and it hurts too!!