Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My “New-Year Message” of hope and optimism

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
My good friends, as we bid farewell to the year 2013, it is my wish, hope, and prayer that we will look forward to 2014 and beyond with optimism and the resolve to pursue our objectives to the best of our abilities.
Indeed, 2013 came with its challenges and is leaving us with more to ponder as we take the next step into the unknown future. Will we say that we have learnt the lessons that 2013 taught us, even as it challenged us and took some of us to the breaking point?
Fortunately, we didn’t “break” and are still on our feet, bracing up for more challenges as 2014 rears its head.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Justice for the Ya-Na is good but...

Monday, December 30, 2013
Former President Rawlings is still stridently insisting that Justice be done for the Ya-Na (Yakubu Andani II) and 40 or so of his loyalists murdered in March 2002 during the Kufuor era.
According to him, "this is the time for the people of Bawku to demand justice on the death of the Ya Na, as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will not be in power forever".
Addressing the people of Bawku at the 26th Anniversary of the annual Samanpiid festival celebrated by Kusasis in the Kusaug traditional area of the Upper East Region, ex-President Rawlings questioned why the people of Bawku have gone quiet on the issue of the Ya Na.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Lack of guidance and counselling: The main bane of formal education in Ghana

Thursday, December 26, 2013
My good friends, thanks to Providence, we are celebrating another Yuletide season and wishing each other "all the best that life offers". Good to go that way because as human beings, we are gregarious and should ensure that group interests are protected. But beyond that is the individual interest too to realize.
Here is the catch. Our celebration of the coming and going of seasons won't place us where we want to be unless we take steps to turn the table in our favour.
"Life is war", as we say in Ghana, which is why it is important for us to know where to pick the pieces and why picking the pieces should place our country where it should be so we can stop complaining about the dire circumstances in which our people live.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Hourly minimum wage is the answer

Monday, Dec. 23, 2013
Friends, as agitations by organized labour for better remuneration continue to sour the relationship with government/employers, any suggestion aimed at streamlining affairs should be carefully assessed.
That Ghanaian workers have lousy work ethics is not to be disputed by anybody who has carefully monitored the labour scene.
Let it rain at dawn and in the morning and the Ghanaian worker takes a self-appointed vacation from work; let there be a problem with transportation and the Ghanaian worker is happy to play the truant and expect to be paid full-time.

South Sudan—Another failed experiment in self-rule?

Monday, December 23, 2013
Folks, by now, you must have heard of the turmoil in South Sudan, the world’s newest country and Africa’s 55th.
It all began sometime before July this year when in-fighting within the ranks of the SPLM government exploded with President Salva Kiir dismissing his Vice (Riek Machar) and the entire Cabinet in the hope that his authority as the head of state would stay intact. Nothing seemed to have happened immediately thereafter to endanger his government, the country, and the citizens, even though the under-current was strongly being felt that the country was sitting on a time-bomb.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The government has no moral justification for blaming Akufo-Addo

Saturday, December 21, 2013
Folks, I have for many years now been insisting that the Ministry of Information (in its former and current configurations with the addition of "Media Relations" to its name) is irrelevant to the contemporary Ghanaian system of governance.
I have also called for its abolition, simply because it is not serving any useful purpose. Whatever public/media relations work that the government needs can be done by the Communications Directorate at the Presidency if the requisite calibre of people are employed there to rake in public goodwill and not contempt or scorn for the government.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Rumpus in the NPP: Why is Kennedy Agyapong so bitter and daring?

Friday, December 20, 2013
Folks, we can't do without returning to hardcore national politics. After all, we have a huge stake in how our country is governed; and nothing is more pertinent than the internal workings of the major political parties. So, here with go with another look at what is happening in the NPP.
It is obvious that the under-current propelling the rumpus in the NPP is more robust than we have known so far.
Right from the moment that Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie rashly urged the NPP supporters to take to the streets and churches in white to celebrate Akufo-Addo’s victory at Election 2012, I knew something would happen to tear apart this political camp.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

This IMANI shit-tank is at its wit's end indeed

Thursday, December 19, 2013
My good friends, I have had good cause to comment on the veiled partisan politicking being done by the shit-tank called IMANI. And i have been monitoring its public statements and posturing ever since it caught my attention as a shit-tank and not the think-tank that I had expected it to be at is formation.
Of late, the comments and outings by its leaders, Franklin Cudjoe and Kofi Bentil, have cleared all doubts about their real political motives. Shouldn't a proper think-tank be more interested in proffering ideas and strategies for national development than setting itself up as a reactionary force that is always alert to verbally attack the government for anything it does?
And who knows what the leaders and functionaries of this shit-tank are doing covertly to sustain the Mahama-loathing agenda that they have put in motion all this while? No day passes by without anything coming from Franklin Cudjoe and his team to confirm their notoriety as politically mischievous characters. I have no respect for such characters.

Appraisal of Ministers of State: Matters Arising

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
My good friends, we are monitoring how the appraisal of Ministers of State is being done. We have already agreed that the exercise is a novelty in Ghanaian politics and welcomed it for all that it seeks to do: to confirm to the appointees that they are in office because they are trusted to help improve governance and that they are not tin-gods that will not account for their stewardship. 
They were told at the time they were being inducted into office that such a review exercise would be done for them to prove their mettle and for the appointing authority to determine (based on the outcome of the review process) whether they are fit to remain in office as Ministers or be shown the exit. The appointees themselves knew about it and are ready to be put on the spot. Fair enough.
Now, here is the catch: The President's Office says that it will release for public consumption the outcome of the exercise. Simply put, the government wants the exercise to be as transparent as possible to prove that it has nothing to hide as far as its administration of the affairs of state is concerned.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

As President Mahama appraises his appointees…

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
The headlines screamed: “Mahama reviews performance of Ministers”, and we were informed that President Mahama has started an appraisal and review exercise of the performance of his Ministers. The appraisal is being done by a policy unit set up by President John Mahama at the Flagstaff House.
Being the first of its kind in the country, the exercise may surprise some or excite laughter in others, depending on where one sees issues from. This performance review process is expected to feed into the president’s decision to terminate or renew the mandate of the sector Ministers. 
I welcome it, even though my candid opinion is that some reputable “outsiders” could also have been co-opted to assist in the evaluation instead of its being limited to government functionaries. When birds of a feather flock together, it is difficult to sift seeming from being. It risks becoming a matter of taking turns to scratch backs.

Nigerian politics on test: Any lesson for Ghana?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Friends, it is no exaggeration that Ghana and Nigeria share a common fate when it comes to many issues regarding nation-building and politics. As former colonies of Britain, their destinies have been linked together in many ways. Wonder why whatever happens in one country is replicated in the other? Just go down the memory lane and you should find the explanation.
But now, there is something else cropping up in Nigerian politics that may open the eyes of Ghanaians and make them wonder whether if a decision is taken and institutionalized to make the positions of CEOs for the Metropolitan/Municipal/District Assemblies elective it won’t rub salt in any wound on the political scene. Or whether it won’t better shape our democratic path.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ghanaians indeed have a short memory!!

Monday, December 16, 2013
Fellow Ghanaians, President Mahama has said something worth unpacking to cast in the proper perspective the reality of the Ghanaian situation. And why it is difficult to move the country forward.
He says that “Ghanaians have a very short memory,” which makes them easily forget about the achievements made by his administration.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Is Arthur Kennedy painting the true picture of Akufo-Addo?

Monday, December 16, 2013
My good friends, it is not for nothing that anything happens. Our people say there is no smoke without fire. The current issues emerging from the camp of the NPP are threatening to assume dimensions that their originators might not have prepared themselves for.
Clearly, all is not well in the NPP cabal. No matter how some may want to colour issues, there is something terribly happening that is likely to endanger well-being if not tactfully handled.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Attorney-General’s Department is “sick”

Saturday, December 14, 2013
Here is this story about a terrible happening in Cape Coast that clearly exposes the Attorney-General's Department as either incompetent or blessing criminality:
A Cape Coast Circuit Court on Wednesday struck out the case of rape against a priest of the Anglican Church in Cape Coast, Reverend Father Emmanuel Quartey, acting on the advice of the Attorney-General’s Department.
The AG’s Department contended that the victim actually consented to having an affair with the priest, explaining that the victim was not able to shout in the hotel room to draw the attention of the workers there for the necessary action to be taken.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Does the NPP now trust the Electoral Commission?

Friday, December 13, 2013
Folks, we all know how the NPP members, led by the pee-wee Akufo-Addo, took on the entire Electoral Commission to disgrace as a useless institution not fit to organize elections in Ghana. That was when they lost the 2012 general (Presidential) elections but won’t accept defeat as the direct upshot of their “book politics”.
They narrowed everything down to Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, the EC Chair, and went to all lengths and breadths, cursing him, describing him as the devil, and calling on God to kill him. Dr. Afari Gyan survived all the personal attacks and has remained firmly entrenched at post, still doing what he is over-qualified to do.
These NPP people virtually dismembered the EC and its Chair just because they couldn't bring themselves to face reality.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Is the NPP’s “books politics” catching up with it?

Friday, December 13, 2013
Folks, I have been following closely the developments at the NPP front, particularly the exchanges going on between Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku and all those bent on retaining Akufo-Addo for Election 2016. Also on the sideline is the allegation against Dr. Amoako-Tufuor of destroying the NPP’s chances for Election 2016. Interesting exchanges that tell me how the tide is flowing in the camp of the elephants.
First things first. Dr. Apraku was Akufo-Addo’s campaign manager for Election 2008. Akufo-Addo lost the game. In the campaigns for Election 2012, Dr. Apraku didn’t participate as vigorously as he did in the previous ones. Some accused him of misappropriating (or embezzling funds provided for the 2008 elections, which he has denied).
Now, he is out in his element, pitting his political strength against that of Akufo-Addo and his followers. Of course, he had twice contested the flagbearership and lost. This time, he is geared up to attempt it again, but not without under-cutting Akufo-Addo whom he had supported previously.

As the government fails, corruption takes over the Judiciary

Thursday, December 12, 2013
Folks, when the New Statesman revealed that steps were afoot by the government to “tamper with” the salaries for 49 Circuit Court judges and 145 Magistrates, we glossed over it in our discussions. The matter is too serious to be neglected. It has a negative sequel and must be understood in context.
According to available information, the government claimed that “a mistake was made in increasing their salaries.” Thus, in a letter to the Controller and Accountant-General, Finance Minister Seth Tekper requested that the payment of the new salaries be stopped and that the judges and magistrates will refund the “excess payment.”

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Why will God punish Rawlings for the NPP?

Thursday, December 12, 2013
My good friends, I have said it several times already that these NPP people are so steeped in "book politics" that they don't know what to do to outwit their political opponents, especially the NDC.
Admittedly, the NDC has made some fundamental mistakes in governing the country and created the impression that when it is in power, the money doesn't circulate freely in the country.
If you doubt it, ask Bishop Duncan Williams and many others who are crying that "money is not flowing".
There are many other shortcomings that create the unfortunate impression that the NDC gets political power but doesn't know how to use it. But at Election Time, it is voted up and the NPP voted down. 
It is all because of the NPP people's "book politics", which really irritates people and easily reveals their true nature. What good will come from the “Mate Me Ho” clan?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Why are the NPP people now afraid of Justice Apau?

Monday, December 9, 2013
Folks, the NPP people are really scared that their house of cards is collapsing on them. By their daily utterances and public posturing, they make it abundantly clear that they are desperate. And they continue to confirm my poor opinion of them and why it is difficult for them to outdo the NDC at general elections. They seem not to know that they are streets behind the NDC when it comes to facing reality.
One such reality is the scourge of the judgement debt payments that has taken the centre-stage in public discourse on national affairs. When the lid was blown on what Alfred Agbesi Woyome gained, the NPP did much politics with it, creating the impression that it was all because the NDC government (under the late Mills) was either incompetent or had orchestrated a grand scheme to loot the national coffers.
They went to town with all manner of claims and exhausted energy painting the NDC black and gearing up to reap the electoral capital at Election 2012. The big bang hit them hard. Well dodged!!

Why are Ghanaian politicians so wicked?

Monday, December 9, 2013
Folks, one major pitfall in our contemporary politics is that the Executive branch, as constructed under  the 1992 Constitution is too over-rated.
A major drawback of our constitutional democracy is the enormous powers vested in the President by the 1992 Constitution, especially concerning the appointment of public office holders.
The President is enjoined to appoint such office holders (sometimes on the advice of the Council of State and other times using his own discretion).
If we are complaining about laxity in our system, especially regarding negative tendencies such as cronyism and nepotism, we shouldn’t go far to know why.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Fighting corruption in Ghana: Who leads?

Saturday, December 7, 2013
Folks, there is so much public concern about corruption in Ghana as to make me wonder who at all can help us eradicate that vice from public service (not to talk about what happens in private).
No matter how one perceives issues, corruption is endemic and will continue to be so unless something drastically revolting happens to shake up the system and make it unattractive anymore. But when will such a moment dawn?
Over the years, public office has been turned into a goldmine of bribery and corruption to be exploited by those in authority who know where to go for it.
With the “professionalization” of politics in our 4th Republic, bribery and corruption have calcified and become so entrenched as to defy definition or eradication.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Why will President Mahama be Ghana’s loneliest President? (Part IV)

Thursday, December 5, 2013
The only issues that may portray President Mahama as not enjoying the “company” that Kwesi Pratt envisions may be his inability to act firmly to give us a clear direction in which the government’s implementation of the NDC’s agenda of “Social Democracy” is moving the country.
For far too many times, policies have whittled away benefits meant for the people and created the impression that the government is insensitive. There is no clear departure from the past, which is unfortunate. Should policies lessen the pressure on the citizens, perceptions might change.

Why will President Mahama be Ghana’s loneliest President? (Part III)

Thursday, December 5, 2013
Now, to the two surviving former Presidents. John Agyekum Kufuor hasn’t been lonely all through his life and wasn’t so when in power. He has had all the trappings of life to make him what he has always wanted to be. Even out of office, he isn’t lonely. Probably, he knows how to cut his steps to not be lonely.
The junketing alone that he did in office (going on almost 200 foreign trips in 8 years) should be enough to pave his path in live with gold. Only he can tell whether he is also lonely now out of office and counting his days. Of course, he created and nurtured the cabal that will always cushion him.

Why will President Mahama be Ghana’s loneliest President? (Part II)

Thursday, December 5, 2013
Ask those who spontaneously hailed Jerry Rawlings when he shot his way into the limelight only to turn against him, and they will give you reasons that you won’t believe. Some even worked with him only to turn round to denounce him. Ask ex-President Kufuor and he should leave you slack-jawed. There are many others who will quickly point gossipping fingers at him and leave themselves out of whatever inadequacies might have characterized the Rawlings’ movement.
Can we say that the other leaders were lonely in office or thereafter? May be; may be not, depending on how one conceives “loneliness”.

Why will President Mahama be Ghana’s loneliest President? (Part I)

Thursday, December 5, 2013
When I read the news report quoting Kwesi Pratt as saying sometime last week that President Mahama risked becoming the loneliest President that Ghana would ever have had, I dismissed it as the product of a fetid imagination. I haven’t changed that impression.
I didn’t immediately respond to that claim by way of any formal writing, but having thought issues over to date, I have found it proper to react to that claim.
There is no justification for such a claim; and I state categorically that President Mahama entered the Presidency a happy man, is happily and assiduously performing his constitutionally mandated functions, and will end his term a happy and contented hero.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Ghanaian politics has no room for an NDC and NPP coalition

Thursday, December 5, 2013
It is amazing to be told that there are intellectuals in Ghana today who still cannot separate apples from oranges to know what is what. Both are fruit(s) but don't mix and cannot be forced to mix.
The NPP and the NDC can never mix in any political combination to move Ghana forward; but here is a suggestion from a scholar that horrifies me completely:
"Dr Kwesi Jonah, a Political Scientist, on Wednesday urged the two major political parties – National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) to agree to set up a coalition government.

Is Akufo-Addo in touch with the situation unfolding in Ghana?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Folks, evidence so far given the Sole Judgement Debt Commission by many of those appearing before it have drawn circles around ex-President Kufuor and the defeated NPP Presidential Candidate, William Nana Addo Dankwa (Danquah) Akufo-Addo as the kingpins of the stinking transaction involving the sale of the GNPC's drill ship (Discoverer 511).
K.T. Hammond was the first person to implicate ex-President Kufuor when he opened his mouth too wide at radio stations to say that when he sold the drill ship, he gave the cheque to Kufuor. That was even before the Commission could decide where to go in investigating the matter.
As if frightened by the implications of his "okro-mouth", K.T. Hammond quickly retracted that allegation and sought to create the impression that the cheque rather went to a different person.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Mr. President, please save the trainee nurses!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
My good friends, there seems to be too much running around in circles. No day passes by without something coming from officialdom to confirm my fears that the government is spiraling itself out of control and stepping on too many toes for which it will be punished at Election Time.
We are even not talking about the adverse impact on the country itself. Of course, not everything done by the government can be said to be in the national interest. That is why we must sit up to face up to the government, especially when it goes wrong.
So, the latest mis-step is that the government is moving ahead to scrap allowances of trainee nurses too. It is a bad move to be reconsidered.

Is the NPP more “Ghanaian” than the NDC is?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Flashback: In 2001, the NPP administration under Kufuor furtively sold the GNPC’s drill ship and hid the deal from the public. In 2012, the NDC administration appointed the Sole Judgement Debt Commissioner to investigate matters related to the payment of judgement debts.
Now pinned to the wall, those involved in the stinking deal claimed the deal fetched 24 million Dollars and 19.5 million Dollars was doled out to the French company, Societe Generale as judgement debt (the exact amount is even in doubt).
Where did the rest of the money go? That’s the paramount question that the Sole Commission seeks answers for—assuming that what is claimed to have been paid the French company is even out of question yet.
It’s a number of simple questions: Where is the rest of the money? How did the sale of the drill ship serve Ghana’s interests?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Trust an NDC government to ensure national security

Monday, December 2, 2013
Folks, I have no shred of doubt in my mind that when it comes to providing and sustaining national security, a government of the NDC cannot be faulted. History supports my claim. If you doubt it, go back down the memory lane to know what Jerry Rawlings did and passed on to his successors.
Those who mount rooftops to bad-mouth him cannot be bold to praise him for securing national interests. Had Rawlings not invested so much in national security, he couldn't have survived all those years he ruled under the PNDC before metamorphosing into a civilian President with the NDC under the Fourth Republic.
He secured the country and proved to his detractors that he knew the game better than they did. Ask yourself how many coup attempts his administration foiled and why even the "too-known" US subversive CIA activities flopped (Remember the Michael Soussoudis affair and all its entailments?).

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Is China’s rise to power a threat to global peace?

Thursday, November 28, 2013
My good friends, while we in Ghana are engrossed in arguments concerning bread and butter, happenings in other parts of the world suggest something ominous that we must not gloss over. If not resolved amicably, this conflict has the potential to cause catastrophe worldwide.
Our own conflict with the Ivory Coast concerning the Cape Three Points oilfields is worth our trouble; but how many of us even consider it as worth our bother while we engage in this bread-and-butter politics?
At the global level, China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan are locked in an ownership struggle over islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Claiming to be the only superpower in the world, the US has already inserted itself into this conflict.
Unfolding right in front of our eyes is the tension that will likely destabilize global politics and threaten world peace unless sound minds resolve the crisis.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Is this the kind of Parliament to rely on?

Thursday, November 28, 2013
Folks, no matter what we detest in the operations of our Parliament, nothing seems to be changing for the better.
The lethargy that has characterized the work of Parliament is unrelentingly deplorable; yet, our MPs don’t see the need to improve their performance so their bad public image can improve. They seem not to know the urgency of the situation or they have simply chosen to be mindless of goings-on. What for, though?
As they continue to under-perform, they make me wonder whether I shouldn’t support arguments suggesting that Parliament should be scrapped off altogether and replaced with the local government structure, where the various Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies will be responsible for law-making to take care of governance.

Monday, November 25, 2013

More Ambassadors, little for Ghana’s good!!

Monday, November 25, 2013
My good friends, President Mahama has appointed 10 Ambassadors-designate, introducing new faces who have nothing to their credit but political activism and other credentials verging on academic work or journalism and public service. (Source: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=293194)
We don't yet know which country these Ambassador nominees are designated for, but we can tell that some of them immediately evoke mixed feelings that will make us wonder whether anything new will happen at all in Ghana's Diplomatic Missions as far as the non-career diplomats are concerned.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

As our politicians fail, the farmers bare their teeth

Saturday, November 23, 2013
Folks, when the citizens of a country that is naturally endowed with arable land and a good rainfall pattern fail to produce food to feed themselves and others elsewhere (to earn foreign exchange as well), they deserve nothing but condemnation.
And when their various governments don’t help solve the problem, they deserve utter contempt.
Since 1983 when Ghana lost its prime position as the world’s number one cocoa producer, nothing has been done to put it back there. The problems besetting the cash crop sector are known but not tackled—only raised in useless arguments and dirty political rhetoric.

Friday, November 22, 2013

South Africa’s Jacob Zuma confirms Africa’s plight

Friday, November 22, 2013
No one needs fear anything for saying that South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, is a very good example of a very bad African leader in contemporary times. He is self-acquisitive and mindlessly profligate. Talk about the sweetness of the flesh, and you will have him in focus. His life style is on the loose!
Now, he has added another feather to the collections in his cap. He has caused 20 million dollars of public funds to be spent, refurbishing his private residence (See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-25049641).
To worsen his public image, he seems to be manipulating the Establishment to gag the press and prevent that profligacy from being exposed. But he has misfired because the media have published the picture of that house (a house equipped with a helipad and a bunker, among others!)—all for his personal comfort while the millions of poor South Africans supporting his political cause languish in squalor as the country’s economy lags.
Only a lame-brain will support such a project for self-gratification at the expense of the state and citizens.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The government’s irresponsible behaviour hurts…

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Folks, even though some of us have supported the decision of Parliament to raise the VAT rate by a further 2.5%, we are not happy at developments related to this move.
First, taking cognizance of the NPP Minority’s boycott of deliberations leading to the raising of the VAT rate, we are persuaded that the NPP people were just being mischievous in intents and purposes.
Here is why: At one point they complained about the procedures used in passing the law and, at another point, they complained of the tax rate increase. As is already known, they didn’t suggest any alternative measure for raising revenue. Theirs is dirty politics for its own sake.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Haruna Attah slights the NPP: What is his real motive?

Thursday, November 14, 2013
Folks, in Ghanaian politics, there is no certainty except the strong conviction among some of us that the Ghanaian politician is not to be trusted to sacrifice personal interests at the expense of the national one. 
When it comes to self-serving, what is on the mind of the Ghanaian politician is nothing but making hay while the sun shines (Or as my Nigerian friend puts it: Making HASTE while the sun shines---because the sun won't shine forever!). 
Thus, when Ghanaian politicians decide to go into one political camp, we don't expect them to stick there, especially when there is the likelihood that no condition will be permanent therein. The Ghanaian politician can't afford to miss the gravy train.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

President Mahama doesn’t need a Communication Team at the Presidency

Sunday, November 10, 2013
One problem that dogs President Mahama’s administration is the unsatisfactory work of the so-called “Government’s Communication Team” at the Presidency. I am being bold to say that he doesn’t need such a unit; instead, he needs a Press Secretary and a Press Secretariat to coordinate efforts and meet all his communication needs.
A Press Secretary is needed to liaise with the press (especially if there is room for a Press Secretariat, where the media are represented) and to openly answer questions and give briefings on anything that the Presidency has to offer for public consumption. Sometimes, even, it is not everything that must be published. What is to be kept off-record may be disclosed to the press corps and labelled as such. It calls for trust, confidence, and respect for ethics and morality in journalism.

Victoria Hammah justifies Right to Information Law!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013
News reports that Lawrence Quayeson, driver of dismissed former Deputy Communications Minister (Victoria Hammah) “says his life is in danger” must wake every Ghanaian up to face reality.
Quayeson, who is a cousin of the dismissed Deputy Minister, claims he had to run away to a hideout Sunday morning to escape house arrest by family members. (See: http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2013/November-10th/i-framed-rachel-vickys-driver-confesses-says-his-life-is-in-danger.php)
In doing whatever he could to expose Victoria Hammah as a fraud in national politics, Quayeson deserves commendation, not personal harm. I urge all well-meaning Ghanaians to rise to the occasion to ensure that those after him are exposed and punished. I trust that the law-enforcement agencies are not conniving with those after Quayeson and will do their duty to protect limb and property.

It is not support that President Mahama lacks

Sunday, November 10, 2013
The problems cropping up to torment President Mahama have a direct bearing on his government’s inability to solve national problems, not the lack of support for him from the NDC or his own government circles. His entire team seems to lack the drive to do what they have been appointed to do. Almost every sector is beset with problems that the Ministers and their Deputies don’t know how to solve. They are talking “chaff” more than doing anything productive. Plain talk.
How is the government implementing the NDC’s manifesto to move the country forward? No one needs any conference, workshop, or summit on the country’s problems. The NDC knew long ago about these problems, which was why it formulated its manifesto to win voter support. Why isn’t the manifesto working? Anybody’s guess!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Are the youthful ones in Ghanaian politics failing us?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
I open this opinion piece with the bold statement that good governance calls for teamwork and strategy!!
The diverse responses to how a Presidential Staffer (Stan Dogbe) and a Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations (Felix Kwakye-Ofosu) reacted to concerns expressed by Alban Bagbin (Former Majority Leader and one of the three presidential appointees responsible for priority projects) about happenings at the Presidency have brought into sharp focus the role of the youth in national politics.
Are the youth really prepared to do national politics in a manner more congenial for national development than what the “old folks” have demonstrated over the years? Obviously, critical comments suggest that the “old folks” have failed Ghana; hence, the need for them to give way to the youth, apparently because “the future belongs to the youth”.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Cyberspace espionage and Ghana’s interests: Fallouts from the Alban Bagbin saga

Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Folks, I am more than concerned at the manner in which President Mahama and his appointees are conducting government business through cyberspace. At least, everything is confirmed by the fact that the most preferred medium for reacting to the charges brought against the President by Alban Bagbin is Facebook, not any other medium.
Why should cyberspace be the favoured medium? Are these government functionaries so unpatriotic and stupidly uninformed about the danger posed to our country’s security by their recourse to cyberspace, where all manner of people and systems troll for intelligence to guide their relationship with countries and people(s)?

Is the government afraid of its policies being monitored?

Monday, November 4, 2013
Folks, Dr. Tony Aidoo , Head of Policy, Evaluation and Oversight Unit at the Presidency, is out again, raising his concerns of neglect to a higher notch for public attention. He is reported to be demanding answers from the government regarding the status of his office. Reasons?
i.                    He and his office are denied “the needed funds to run his office”
ii.                  His outfit has been rendered almost redundant and dormant since the death of President John Atta Mills
iii.                Prosper Bani, Chief of Staff has not shown courtesy to him by failing to acknowledge the letters that he has sent to the government to explain issues for him to know why his office is being so maltreated—in effect, lack of courtesy to him.
It has been reported that “a frustrated Tony Aidoo told the media that problems such as non-payment of salaries of his staff for the last six months were not issues that he would normally put out for public consumption. He, however, said his outfit had been abandoned by the NDC administration for no apparent reason”.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

President Mahama kidnapped by sycophants?

Saturday, November 2, 2013
My good friends, a wordy warfare is being fought in government circles that will have nasty repercussions for President Mahama.
Former Majority Leader, Alban Sumani Bagbin (who is also one of the three presidential appointees responsible for priority projects) has thrown a hefty punch at the Presidency, complaining of not being able to have access to President Mahama to discuss issues with. How can he do his work if he can’t discuss issues with the appointing authority? And he is considered one of the “three wise men” to spearhead efforts at helping President Mahama accomplish his dream on development projects!!
Bagbin must be complaining about those surrounding the President and making it difficult for functionaries like him to hob-nob with the President. He must be complaining about sycophancy!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Why the stealing of public funds will continue…

Monday, October 28, 2013
My good friends, the daily news reports about the theft of public funds are troubling. Within the past few months, we have been bombarded with such news reports to such an extent as to wonder whether there is any hope for this country at all in the management of its finances.
The problem is all the more frightening for other reasons: the economy is weakening because of low productivity and mismanagement, not to speak of ineffectual official policies, programmes, and measures. Generating revenue internally is an uphill task; borrowing money from outside sources has become a huge albatross threatening the country’s GDP and economic viability.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Brigadier-General Nunoo-Mensah and the “hot kitchen” (Part II)

Monday, October 21, 2013
Being a pillar of the government, the figure cut by Nunoo-Mensah has created misleading impressions and provoked public anger against him for nothing. After all, he has no more power to change anything in the country than I have. Being the National Security Advisor doesn’t empower him to do what the President or his Vice or even (Regional) Ministers or CEOs of the Metropolitan/Municipal/District Assemblies can do. He is at the beck and call of the appointing authority and doesn’t wield the power that he can use to effect any change.
That is why his utterances need not be over-extended to cover the government or to suggest that his viewpoints on this score reflect the thinking of President Mahama. He spoke as an individual and is prepared for the consequences as such.
As he has already indicated in his interview with the BBC, he “owes nobody any apology for comments that have angered Ghanaian workers and some political groupings.” He is adamant, explaining, however that he is not against workers’ going on strike but that they shouldn’t expect to be paid for the period that their strike action covers. This is another important issue to be addressed, not dismissed.

Brigadier-General Nunoo-Mensah and the “hot kitchen” (Part I)

Monday, October 21, 2013
It is rare for Ghanaian soldiers to be well-fated as has happened to Brigadier-General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, National Security Advisor, and former President Jerry John Rawlings. Placed in the circumstances that have shaped and shaved their military and civilian lives all these years, they come across as really plucky beneficiaries of Lady Luck’s magnanimity.
Jerry Rawlings’ journey into the limelight is known and I won’t belabour it. Brigadier-General Nunoo-Mensah’s is mired in inexplicable circumstances. We remember him as a member of the Acheampong-led Supreme Military Council that metamorphosed into SMC II after Acheampong’s overthrow in a palace coup masterminded by his own henchmen, including Joshua Hamidu and Nunoo-Mensah.
When Rawlings and his AFRC stormed the corridors of power, Brig-Gen. Nunoo-Mensah found favour and was “grafted” a member only to resign later under murky circumstances. He resurfaced in the camp of Rawlings’ political opponents and became the National Security Advisor under ex-President Kufuor. It didn’t take long for him to turn coat, which benefited him when ex-President Mills rehabilitated him as the National Security Coordinator to be retained by President Mahama as such. Which other military officer has been so lucky to serve across varied political divides of this sort?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Too much noise already from the Judgement Debt Commission!

Friday, September 27, 2013
Friends, when President Mahama appointed Justice Yaw Apau as the sole Judgement Debt Commissioner, I was quick to find fault with it as a mere administrative hassle that might not help us solve any problem. Why? The judgement debts had already been paid and there was nothing the Sole Commissioner was going to do to retrieve them.
After all, once the beneficiaries were deemed to have qualified for the payments and were duly served, how could anybody go after them many months or years thereafter to demand a refund? And the systemic flaws that permitted those payments are still with us; so, where is the hope that anything fruitful will result from this inquiry?
I was also quick to conclude that Justice Apau won’t accomplish anything to solve the problem. And I haven’t seen anything yet to make me change my stance. Too much noise, no action on any matter so far investigated!!

There is a lot wrong with Ghana’s Missions abroad

Friday, September 27, 2013
My good friends, we have over the years had good cause to complain about the shoddy manner in which our Ghanaian missions abroad deal with Ghanaians living outside the country, especially when it comes to the request for official (travel) documents (passports, especially). And there are many other areas where they are lacking—human/public/working relations, business-mindedness, courtesy, etc.
Just call the Ghana Mission in New York or Washington and hear the irritating response that grates on your ears!! Then, put in a request to hear the annoying answer that is given you!! The staff behave as if working at those Missions places them above all other Ghanaians in every aspect of life. They have no sense of courtesy to display and stand condemned. It’s so in all the Missions. Let someone say otherwise and provide evidence to support it.
In my personal observation of the situation, I am more than persuaded that those working in those missions are not fit to be there because they hardly know how to do things to solve problems that Ghanaians bring to their attention.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sam Okudzeto to install Akufo-Addo as Ghana’s President?

Thursday, September 26, 2013
Everything about Election 2012 is over for most Ghanaians but not the disappointed, frustrated, and hot-headed NPP activists and sympathizers who continue to make ugly noise just for its own sake. And that ugly noise betrays their deep-seated frustration and ignorance about the dynamics of contemporary Ghanaian politics.
But for purposes of placing their tantrums in their proper perspective, one won’t deem their ugly noise as worth one’s bother. That is why I want to respond to pronouncements made by some of those NPP elements at the forum organized by the Danquah Institute.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Isn’t Akufo-Addo more popular in defeat?

Sunday, September 15, 2013
­­Friends, the number of people “trooping” to Akufo-Addo’s Nima residence to interact with him since the Supreme Court sealed his sad fate is worthy of note.
Here is how the pro-NPP Daily Guide newspaper captured it in today’s edition: “The 2012 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his running mate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and NPP National Chairman Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, were on Friday mobbed at the Abbosey Okai Central Mosque in Accra when they turned up at the facility to offer gratitude to God.
The warm reception the trio received was given impetus by the Chief Imam Sheikh Nuhu Sharubutu’s commendation for Nana Akufo-Addo who, he said, deserved prayers.
Good for him.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

So, Afari Gyan resigns and the NPP benefits?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Friends, at this juncture in our national politics, the chips have fallen in place, but the defeated NPP cabal doesn’t seem to know that reality and is still up and about, raising dust for nothing.
We have heard all the ugly noise that has characterized their dissension against the Supreme Court’s ruling. Unfortunately for them, there is no magic or witchery that can overturn what has been electorally and legally (not to say constitutionally) mandated against their aspirations. Their horses ran out of their stables long ago, and all that they are doing now is just a pointless but remarkable confirmation of their dejection.
Oh, how I wish they would look into their political lives to know that when the Ghanaian electorate rejected them at Election 2008 and repeated it at 2012, they did so with a clean conscience, having examined issues conscientiously to know who would best serve their purposes as the President. They went for the late Atta Mills at Election 2008 and John Dramani Mahama at Election 2012, not William Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (what a mouthful of a name?) on both occasions because Akufo-Addo is not what Mills or Mahama is.  What is difficult about this plain fact to not understand?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

NPP politicians now being chased by the wild geese?

Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013
The post-verdict situation in the NPP is a pointer to what lies ahead of the party unless it changes for the better. There is so much fire burning there that one wonders what can settle emotions and help the members redirect their energies to useful deeds for the party’s sake.
Too many of them seem not to know what has hit them, and they are still flexing muscles to fight the wind. Shadow boxing in this sense is a mere dissipation of useful energy. Akufo-Addo has taken events in their stride and earned a measure of goodwill from across the terrain. 
Not so for his lieutenants, especially Obetsebi-Lamptey and Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, who have come to notice with statements either contradicting Akufo-Addo’s stance on the Supreme Court’s verdict or creating misleading impressions that the NPP has already settled on Akufo-Addo as its flagbearer for Election 2016.

Is Akufo-Addo now destroying the NPP?

Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013
The decision by Akufo-Addo to accept (if even grudgingly) the verdict of the Supreme Court slamming shut the door on his ambition to become Ghana’s President is having an unfortunate sequel in his own NPP ranks. Ironic that he who has fought so hard but couldn’t return the NPP to power should now be tagged as rocking the NPP’s boat. Any surprise? Not at all to me.
Nobody needs any special skills for probing into the NPP’s fabric to know how the Supreme Court’s verdict has shaken the elephant family to its very foundation. The shaking has affected fault lines and they are threatening to split open. The chasm/schism may be evident in less than no time if the current happenings change for the worse. Trust me, the little drops of water that are hitting those fault lines will likely become a mighty ocean of trouble for the NPP unless something is done to control the seepage.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Election petition hearing over, no lessons learnt by the NPP camp

Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013
Folks, the hearing of the NPP’s petition brought to the fore many aspects of the NPP leaders and followers’ mindset, posturing, and attitude to Ghanaian politics that either confirms or disproves certain (mis)perceptions of the Danquah-Busia ideology and explains why it is difficult for it to win the 2008 and 2012 elections. Don’t be misled by their recourse to court with all manner of allegations on rigging!
Too many controversies, contradictions, and uncertainties!! First, a fundamental conundrum to lay the basis for my opinion piece. The triumvirate (Danquah-Busia-Dombo) remains questionable to me because the Dombo part is just accessorized for petty political expediency on the basis of exploiting Northern Ghana sentiments whenever necessary. I don’t see it as an integral part to uplift in any critical and honest assessment of the ideological foundation of the NPP. Thus, the dualistic Danquah-Busia remains the big picture of the NPP. Tagging a running mate of Northern Ghana extraction to that tap root won’t change the reality.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Is there any hope for Dr. Bawumia in the NPP’s political cabal?

Saturday, August 31, 2013
The thunderbolt has hit the NPP camp and paralyzed every one of them. The pre-verdict optimism has metamorphosed into a huge ball of fire, burning them from within and visibly tearing them apart on the outside. Akufo-Addo says he is angry at the Supreme Court’s verdict but has accepted it without any thought for asking for a review. The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP (Fred Anto) and the National Executive Committee of the party think otherwise. A committee has been formed to look into the judges’ opinions to help them advise themselves.
Some NPP followers are wondering whether Dr. Bawumia and Obetsebi-Lamptey can dissociate themselves from Akufo-Addo and ask for a review. Too many tastes will surely confuse the palate!!

Is Dr. Bawumia the stink-bug in the NPP’s political cabal?

Saturday, August 31, 2013
In discussing the NPP’s petition and its implications, we have glossed over the consequences to Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the second petitioner. We now want to assess his role in this matter with the view to predicting his future political direction, that is, if he will have any at all. Without any reservation, we forcefully say that the negative outcome of this petition hearing will spell doom for his political career. We consequently advise him to take caution and redefine his strategies for survival.
We mince no word and opine that the ruling against the NPP has brought him to the cul-de-sac that will end his political career. He’s been tottering toward the precipice; and after August 29, he will either be forced by circumstances to tumble down into oblivion or regain his composure to face the vicissitudes of Ghanaian politics. 
We are, however, more inclined toward predicting doom for him because of our strong conviction that the end has not justified the means for him. The reality is that he is an outsider in the “Mate me ho” political family but used for political (in)expediency!! No surprise that his name hasn’t even been mentioned so far in this post-verdict period.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A post-mortem of the NPP petition hearing

Thursday, August 29, 2013
So, good friends, all the hullabaloo about Election 2012 has come and gone with President Mahama still at post, despite the cacophony and litany of weird allegations concerning his “illegitimacy” (according to the Gospel of Akufo-Addo). And with this turn of events, the setting of Akufo-Addo’s political sun is certain.
Having lost the case at the Supreme Court he must now be set to lick his wounds lest they fester into what will have a heavy physical toll on his 69-year-old body. Here is the substance that floored him:
1. Duplicate serial numbers of pink sheets: 9–0 [UNANIMOUSLY DISMISSED]
2. Duplicate Polling Station Codes &Names: 9–0 [UNANIMOUSLY DISMISSED]
3. Unknown (Ghost) Polling Stations: 9–0 [UNANIMOUSLY DISMISSED]
4.Voting without biometric verification: 6–3 [MAJORITY DISMISSED]
5. Over voting: 5–4 [MAJORITY DISMISSED]
6. Non-signing of Pink Sheets by POs 5–4 [MAJORITY DISMISSED]

Monday, August 26, 2013

Controlling prostitution: Can Ghana learn from Switzerland?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Friends, you can’t believe what you will get to know about how Switzerland is moving to tackle the challenges posed by the oldest trade or profession—prostitution—which has become a major headache for the government over the years.
Although prostitution and consumption of paid sex are legal in Switzerland and prostitutes are considered as self-employed and are liable for taxation, controlling the spread and intensity of the trade has been very difficult of late.
In an attempt to reduce open street prostitution and to improve security for sex workers, Switzerland's largest city, Zurich, is opening "sex drive-ins" on Monday, according to news reports.

A majority decision won’t place Akufo-Addo in power

Monday, August 26, 2013
Friends, we are gradually enjoying the sneak peek that we are taking into the atmosphere at the Supreme Court regarding the determination of the NPP’s election petition vis-à-vis the out-of-court theatricals and media posturing. As we inch toward August 29, we recognize the self-assurances that influence public rhetoric in the NPP camp, especially.
So far, the NDC camp has been tactically quiet, creating the wrong impression among critics that it is apprehensive of defeat. The atmosphere for posturing has, therefore, been hogged by the petitioners.
Thanks to what has been revealed about Sammy Awuku’s utterances as captured in the secret tape—whether he is vehemently denying them or not—we can tell how the tide flows in that political camp and why the NPP members are bracing themselves up with anticipation of victory on August 29. Oh, how I wish they would tread cautiously!!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Has the NPP’s Sammy Awuku let the cat out of the bag?

Monday, August 26, 2013
Long before the proceedings began at the Supreme Court, rumours had it that the panel of Supreme Court judges had sympathizers or loyal NPP members among the 9. Names flew about and denials came from Justice V.M. Dotse particularly.
I have been inundated with questions from NDC supporters wondering what the fate of the President and the NDC will be, given those rumours. We note that there is always an element of truth in the Ghanaian rumour. Otherwise, wonder why Kutu Acheampong would pass a decree in the 1970s against rumour-mongering in Ghana!!
So, the rumours have rolled along, done many rounds in the public domain, and now given substance by none other than the NPP’s Deputy Communications Director, Sammy Awuku (who was recently grilled and lowered by Justice Atuguba’s panel for contempt of court).

After Nkrumah, who else?

Sunday, August 25, 2013
Over the past two days, two prominent members of the NPP (Prof. Mike Ocquaye and Nii Ayikwei Otoo) have taken the unwise step of slinging mud at Ghana’s Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the foremost leader who put Ghana on the world stage.
Indeed, Nkrumah’s singular pronouncement that the black man is capable of managing his own affairs sent shivers down the spine of the European and American Establishment. For once, the African Personality had its due share of world recognition.
Nkrumah’s development agenda for Ghana and his persistent efforts to prove that the independence of Ghana was meaningless unless it was linked up with the total independence of the whole African continent materialized into monumental accomplishments for which he will remain a “dear” leader to those who value human mortality, mutability, and fallibility. 
He didn’t call himself OSAGYEFO; it was conferred on him by those who appreciated his sterling efforts toward national development. He feared nobody, especially the white folks who were still bent on dehumanizing the African, and he took the fight to them. His image has been looming large ever since he shot into the limelight in 1949; and his renown is unmatchable.

NPP Petition: Countdown to Judgement Day (Part V)

Sunday, August 25, 2013
ITEM 5: Factors that don’t favour the petitioners
The fundamental flaw of the NPP’s petition lies in its nature, form, scope, and intents and purposes. The petition is seriously flawed because of its wrong premise. In every reasonable challenge of the outcome of general elections, the petitioners ask for a recounting of votes, especially in places where they felt cheated as a result of rigging or other malpractices that turned the elections against them.
In the almighty United States, it happened in the State of Florida at the 2000 general elections that helped George Bush clinch victory when Al Gore halted any further challenge. In the recent case in Kenya, the challenger (Raila Odinga) asked for a recount of votes, but lost the appeal eventually.