Monday, July 29, 2013

CEOs for the Assemblies: The President still doesn’t get it

Monday, July 29, 2013
My good friends, I have had cause to complain about the manner in which the Presidency is handling the nomination of CEOs for the Metropolitan/Municipal/ District Assemblies because of the tension and street demonstrations and vandalism that it has provoked.
I have drawn attention to the negative impact of such an approach and suggested that the President should reach out to the aggrieved people in the various communities to settle issues amicably. Dialogue and consultation are the best means to resolve the impasse. Even before the dust could settle, the government has come out with a statement and a directive that will definitely not stabilize the situation. Let’s know why.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The NPP’s intentions exposed: No genuine desire for electoral reforms!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013
My good friends, as we wait for the addresses to be delivered by the counsel for the petitioners and the respondents, respectively, we should continue to examine issues with the view to preparing our minds for what they will say in summing up their arguments. 
We all have a stake in the matter and should not detach ourselves from it. After all, we have been monitoring developments and know how the tide flows. We are capable of scrutinizing issues and should do so, even if we rely on the 9 Supreme Court judges to end it all.
The main argument raised by the petitioners and their supporters is that the petition is good because it will lead to electoral reforms. I refute that porous argument because there is nothing to support it. Nowhere in the various versions of the NPP’s petition is anything said to that effect. Everything is centred on the demand for reliefs based on the annulment of over 4 million votes and Akufo-Addo declared as winner of the 2012 Presidential elections. Whom are these NPP people trying to deceive but themselves?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Taxing the private universities is not good

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Our Parliament has come to notice again for doing a very bad thing. I have on several occasions pinpointed it as one institution that hasn’t helped us move the country forward and our MPs as being more interested in seeking their own interests than assiduously performing their legitimate duties to justify the huge expenditure made on them.
They may claim to be doing their best, but that best is our worst, which is amply confirmed by their latest move to amend the Internal Revenue Service Act for the removal of private universities from the tax exempt category.
Simply put, our Parliament has imposed taxes on private universities, which will invariably worsen the plight of those institutions, students, and the country at large. We have already heard complaints and protests from several quarters that this tax is uncalled-for. Parliament isn’t paying any attention to such concerns to warrant any shift nor is the government interested in any return to the drawing board. In effect, what Parliament has come out with is the fait accompli.
Hip… hip… hip… Hurray!! More money for development projects!! Election 2016, here we come!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What about the NPP makes it attractive? (Part II)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013
We continue our discussion of reasons why some elements in the society will prefer to align with the NPP and not the NDC, as is evident in the allegations from the NDC quarters against leaders of identifiable civil society organizations for hiding behind their organizations to do politics in favour of the NPP. We have identified some factors to buttress our arguments on those allegations.
4. Other factors
There are many other factors, some of which have to do with the very militant nature of the NDC (of course, tracing its origin to the military savagery that brought it into being under the Rawlings euphoric governance style), which repels some sections of the populace. Victims of the “unprecedented revolutionary action” of June 4 and 31st December are still nursing their grievances and infecting others with their anti-NDC sentiments.
The practical reality of the situation under which some have suffered adversely as a result of the government’s draconian policies scares other segments of the population away from the NDC’s cause.

What about the NPP makes it attractive? (Part I)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Once again, we have heard something to the effect that certain personalities are doing politics against the NDC/government, using the auspices of their institutions. They have been accused of hiding behind the smokescreen that they have turned their institutions into and are provoking public panic or anger against the government.
Dr. David Percy (a member of the National Reform Party and a board member of the National Service Scheme) has condemned the National Peace Council (NPC), the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), and the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) as “fronts for the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Speaking on Radio Gold on Monday morning, Dr. Percy said that last Friday’s national summit on Peace, Justice and Reforms, an initiative of the NPC, the Manhyia Palace, the Civic Forum Initiative (CFI) and the IDEG, was to further the agenda of the NPP. He said it would be reckless and dangerous to lull the people into thinking that those institutions were disinterested parties in the on-going election petition case. (See http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=280250).

Thursday, July 18, 2013

President Mahama, listen to the cries of your own people (Part II)

Thursday, July 18, 2013
The President is enjoined to make such appointments in accordance with Section 243(1) of the 1992 Constitution and Section 20(1) of the Local Government Act 1993, Act 462. Nobody doubts the enormous powers vested in him by the Constitution. He can exercise these powers as he deems fit, but it will be politically suicidal for him to think that he can exercise such powers without recourse to the barometer reading concerning the sentiments of his own party’s members. After all, he is in office because those party members put their shoulders to the wheel to mobilize support for him at the elections. These are the very people not to annoy.
Apparently, Sarpong might be so full of himself and be over-bloated with the political power injected into him by his being appointed and shifted around as a Regional Minister. But at the end of the day, he and the appointing authority cannot enjoy their status without the total backing of the very people being undermined. What irks me the most is that these are the very people that they will rush to at election time to do the dirty work for them to remain in office. And in office, they think they are on top of the world.

President Mahama, listen to the cries of your own people (Part I)

Thursday, July 18, 2013
Our democracy may still be regarded as young and pardoned for not helping us move our country out of the woods, more than 20 years of its adoption; but our leaders cannot be pardoned for failing to use the opportunities provided by the democracy to improve conditions in the country. That the 4th Republic has survived so far is more adventitious than carefully orchestrated, I daresay.
Certain happenings confirm fears that our leaders do not have the tact and commitment to help us grow our democracy. Thus, we continue to deceive ourselves that the ritualistic holding of general elections every four years to put a President and Parliament in office is a mark of success. Or that the election of two-thirds of District, Municipal, and Metropolitan Assembly Members is an accomplishment to thump our chests over.
These political rituals are a mere window-dressing and don’t sustain democracy. Just as one swallow does not make summer, so do these rituals not constitute any advancement in democracy to celebrate. A democracy is acknowledged as viable when it helps put in place feasible parameters that function to serve the needs of the people and country!! The existence of a mere shell doesn’t confirm the existence of life therein. Unfortunately, that is what our democracy has been all this while.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Away with these prophets of doom!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Folks, as is to be expected, the prophets of doom are doing overtime as part of their politico-religious Ministry to create needless panic and fear among peace-loving Ghanaians. They are not satisfied that Ghanaians are living their lives in some measured comfort after Election 2012 and are stoking the fire to suit their political agenda, hiding behind their calling as Men-of-God and their veil of Christianity.
Two instances have so far emerged; and I expect more in the next few days as the hearing of the NPP’s bogus petition by the Supreme Court moves into another gear, drawing close to its end for the party’s sad fate to be confirmed and sealed till Election 2016.
Yesterday, it was Mensa Anamua Otabil who babbled that his heart was full of something ominous for Ghana. According to him, “something evil may befall the nation in coming weeks.” This prime-moving message of doom from none other than this General Overseer of International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) has added to the pre-Election 2012 collection. Rev. Otabil said last Sunday that he could sense evil befalling Ghana within the next one month if Christians did not wake up and pray for the country.

Friday, July 12, 2013

What is worth celebrating about Atta Mills’ death?

Friday, July 12, 2013
The Funeral Planning Committee has lined up a series of events to celebrate the first anniversary of the most tragic event ever to have hit Ghana—the death of a sitting president in the person of Professor John Evans Atta Mills. That event occurred at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra.
The country stood still in grief, even long after he had been buried on Friday, August 10, 2012, in an area near the former seat of government at the Castle, Accra. That place now goes by the name “Asomdwee Park”—a fitting memorial for the interred former President who had endeared himself to many as an “Asomdweehene” because of what stood and fought for.
The clash of antagonistic political interests notwithstanding, we have remained intact as one people. Despite petty partisan political differences and anti-social activities in many parts of the country, Ghanaians have withstood the pressure to sustain their democracy. All too soon, one year has elapsed and his death is to be celebrated.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

When Kofi Jumah becomes a hero in Ghana…

Thursday, July 11, 2013
The evergreen William Shakespeare reminds us that in this life, “some (people) are born great; others achieve greatness; and some have greatness thrust upon them”. I don’t doubt the wisdom in Shakespeare’s maxim because it clearly reveals some intriguing aspects of our human existence.
The NPP’s Maxwell Kofi Jumah, popularly called “Kofi Ghana”, says he wants to become a hero. Which of the three pathways (as revealed by Shakespeare) is his? Was he born great? Will he achieve greatness? Or will he have greatness thrust upon him? How? In his own words, he wants to become a HERO (that is, to be great) on account of confronting the government of the day and being imprisoned for it. Thus, he wants to use the route of an ex-convict to achieve heroism. A very cheap and nonsensical shot; not so?
According to him, “all those who suffered political persecution (such as Kweku Baako Jnr., Kwesi Pratt Jnr., and lately, Kenneth Agyei Kuranchie) suddenly became heroes after they were released from jail”. (See http://politics.myjoyonline.com/pages/news/201307/109289.php).

Monday, July 8, 2013

Piri-piri-piii: The Supreme Court versus Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie

Monday, July 8, 2013
Fellow country men and women, have you yet booked your front seats at the ringside? If you haven’t, do so immediately because a major boxing tournament will soon begin in the dark chamber of the Supreme Court. The pugilists will be the Supreme Court and the NPP’s General Secretary (Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, also known as “Sir John”). The long overdue bout—the fifth in the series between the Supreme Court and those infringing the criminal contempt clause—promises to be more than fascinating.
The alarm bells at the Supreme Court are already tolling loudly, beckoning Owusu Afriyie to the dock to answer for his comments that have nettled the 9-member panel hearing the NPP’s petition concerning Election 2012.
The Supreme Court says it has taken judicial notice” of “some potentially contemptuous comments” made by him and that it intends “advising” itself on the matter before the end of today’s hearing.
Will he be “man” enough to dance to the tune that he has stridently called? Or will he seek refuge in some big shots to avoid being humbled? Will anything happen Nicodemously to put the lid on his case?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

If the evidence is in the pink sheets…

Sunday, July 7, 2013
We have heard this buzz phrase from the NPP camp: “The evidence is in the pink sheets”; and we have been given an overdose of the message that the pink sheets assembled by the NPP leaders constitute the pith of their petition. And they have written a 200-page book on the pink sheets to launch one day soon.
In other words, no pink sheets, no petition for the Supreme Court to hear. Fair enough.
We are all Ghanaians seeking the best for our country. None should think that they are more patriotic than anybody to take us on any rough roller-coaster ride as has been the case over the years when some imposed their will on the country for political and economic advantage. The ongoing election petition hearing bears me out.
Definitely, for any challenge to an election to hold, it must be focused on the primary document that facilitated voting (the ballot papers), not a secondary document (pink sheets) being used for mere administrative purposes. The pink sheets can’t determine the winner of elections. It is the ballots that do so!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

When “liberal democrats” undermine the Supreme Court…

Saturday, July 6, 2013
The Supreme Court’s efforts to clamp down on public comments detrimental to the performance of its legitimate function in hearing the NPP’s petition regarding Election 2012 has brought into sharp focus some fundamental peculiarities that separate the NPP from the NDC at several levels.
A scrutiny of public reaction to the Supreme Court’s moves suggests that the NPP is poles apart when it comes to discipline and political maturity. Its functionaries are more invested in undermining the integrity of the Supreme Court than warranted by the offence for which the Court has imposed custodial sentence and “punished” the errant commentators infringing the contempt of court clause in our legal code. They have come to notice as the only group of people stridently critical of the Supreme Court instead of seeing its moves as appropriate. Why is it so? And why are they leading the pack to create disaffection for the Court?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Hoodoo: A book on PINK SHEETS to the NPP’s rescue!!

Friday, July 4, 2013
News reports have it that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) leaders will launch a 200-page book on “pink sheets” on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, at the British Council in Accra. Come one, come all to see “book politics” in full gear!!
This piece of news does not surprise me at all. I have known all along—and expected too—that they would carry their desperation to a whole new level of public ridicule and earn nothing but concentrated contempt. At a time that the Supreme Court’s hearing of their petition (which is based on nothing but pink sheet exhibits), what can be more unconscionable and imprudent than launching a book on the very substance of the petition before the Supreme Court? Truly, their “Concert Party” shows cannot end in midstream; not so?
Thus, this book launch is that next level of political and legal miscalculation. I expect more to follow, especially when their sad electoral fate is reaffirmed by the Supreme Court very soon. No contempt of court intended here, please!!