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?).