Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Azorka Boys, Boko Haram in Ghana, and threats to national security

Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Folks, we want to turn attention to issues regarding national security following happenings involving a Tamale-based group of NDC militants called “The Azorka Boys” at the 8th NDC delegates’ congress in Kumasi. You must have read news reports that 9 members of this group were arrested by the police in Kumasi for acts that were in direct contravention of laid-down procedures. The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, Kofi Boakye, had warned that those seeking to upset the system would not be spared. And his “men” did the job, arresting those “Azorka Boys”. Good job done!!
The presence of this group and others now emerging raises very serious concerns that I want to comment on in this opinion piece. These groups are a major threat to us and must be dealt with. They must be eradicated now before they grow to become intractable. Is anybody listening?

Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings has wings but can’t fly

Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Folks, hardly has the appeal by former President Rawlings sunk than his wife has sprung up to create the impression that she still doesn't understand or know what is at stake. Speaking at the 8th national delegates’ congress of the ruling party, Rawlings had urged his wife to consider returning to the NDC fold: “Let us invite our mother Nana Konadu to come back home… I hope she can hear us, I hope she can see us,” he had said.
But Nana Konadu has shot down everything. She is reported as stressing that she won’t ever return to the NDC and that she has turned down the invitation. According to her, the main reasons why she walked out of the NDC to be an integral part of the National Democratic Party (NDP) still remain.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Nana Konadu needs the NDC more than the NDC does her

Monday, December 22, 2014
Folks, the call by former President Rawlings to his wife (Nana Konadu) to return to her political family (the NDC) provides material for my second opinion piece on happenings at the just-ended NDC delegates’ congress in Kumasi.
Rawlings had said that Nana Konadu played a cardinal role in the founding of the NDC and helped it win elections. According to him, while no one could begrudge his wife for deciding to break from the NDC owing to happenings at the time, he thought Nana Konadu was better off returning the fold of the NDC. (See more at: http://graphic.com.gh/news/politics/35793-nana-konadu-must-come-back-home-rawlings.html#sthash.n0jKI3ir.dpuf).

The CPP’s Greenstreet hurts feelings but opens eyes

Sunday, December 21, 2014
The 8th delegates’ congress of the NDC has just taken place at Kumasi, producing very intriguing issues worth our bother because they carry weight. Although many issues cropped up, we cannot engage all of them and will settle on only those that have dire implications for our democracy. These issues can be categorized into two: those that affect the collective interests of Ghana/Ghanaians and those that have particular implications for the NDC as a political party.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Over-expenditure by the Presidency reflects fundamental weaknesses of our democracy

Friday, December 19, 2014
Folks, news reports about the over-expenditure of funds by the Presidency may be shocking only for partisan political purposes. In reality, the happening confirms fears long held by some of us that despite all the commitments made by Ghanaians to sustain this 4th Republic, the kind of democracy being practised isn’t fit to be depended on to solve their existential problems.
This kind of democracy serves the purposes of the wily politicians who are adept at pulling strings and manipulation it to personal advantage. That is why I find issues with the vitriolic reaction of the anti-Mahama elements to the news report.
If our democracy were functional, why would the Presidency overspend public funds with impunity and still not apologize to Ghanaians after being exposed as such?  Why won’t Parliament take decisive action to punish those responsible for this errant misconduct?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Where is the hand of President Mahama in this?

Thursday, December 18, 2014
Folks, I have said several times and insisted on saying it whenever possible that Ghana is still in the doldrums because of the negative attitude of Ghanaians, not necessarily because of the inadequacies of national leadership, especially the President.
In our time when much has been heaped on the “poor head” of President John Dramani Mahama (affectionately called by some of us as “The Lion of Gonja”) to create the unfortunate impression that he isn’t providing the effective/effectual leadership to move Ghana out of the woods, some of us have rushed to his defence to say that he is not Ghana’s problem. Instead, Ghanaians themselves are the real problems to solve. It is all attitudinal. Ghanaians are more adept at creating problems than solving them. It’s a fact that must be faced.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Will Goodluck Jonathan's Nigeria sacrifice these 54 soldiers for nothing?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Folks, my heart is bleeding profusely for 54 Nigerian soldiers just found guilty of mutiny and sentenced to death by firing squad. Their offence is couched in the military terminology of MUTINY but it simply boils down to their refusal to fight the Boko Haram insurgents because they lacked the logistics to do so.
They had made it clear that the Nigerian army was too ill-equipped to face Boko Haram and that sending troops to the battlefield without their being adequately resourced would amount to a needless slaughter. And they followed the dictates of their conscience not to engage Boko Haram. The nasty consequence is what has been announced by a court martial: death by firing squad for mutiny!!

The United States embraces Cuba: The greatest event of the century?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Folks, there is something to chew on. The United States says that it will restore ties with Cuba in the coming months and open an Embassy in Havana (Cuba) in about 18 months’ time. Celebration time for those persistently opposed to the US’ hostility to Cuba for more than half a century? Anguish among the Obama critics?
Whatever the case may be, this new development adds a different complexion to the kind of relationship that has existed between the US and Cuba since Fidel Castro led the masses against the Batista administration to establish Cuba as a state to be centrally controlled (Call it socialism or communism).

The NDC Congress in Kumasi: My take

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Folks, a lot of water has already passed under the bridge regarding what the NDC is to do in Kumasi on Saturday, December 20. Some “old faces” are bent on either retaining their status as party gurus or resurfacing as trustworthy custodians of the party’s values. Need I categorize them any further?
The Congress will take place at a critical time in the history of the party, situated within the context of the huge problems facing the government. Never has the party been pushed to the wall as is the situation now. Although the government is doing its best, that best seems to be the enemy of the good that the citizens don’t see happening!! That is why this Kumasi Congress is expected to yield results to prove that the party is still formidable and can remain the hinge for governance.
Of all, the two most important positions on the line are that of the National Chairman and the National Organizer. Much is known about the contestants for these positions, especially how the incumbent Dr. Kwabena Adjei (National Chairman) and Johnson Asiedu-Nketia (General Secretary) are being pushed to the wall.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Nothing wrong with "selling" the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG)

Saturday, November 29, 2014
Folks, the removal of William Hutton-Mensah as Managing Director of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and his re-assignment to the Ministry of Power/Energy by President Mahama has provoked some kind of public discourse and angered a cross-section of workers of the ECG.
Apparently, those objecting to the President's action are raising reasons to suggest that the President's action is misplaced, uncalled-for, and vindictive (because of allegations that Hutton-Mensah couldn't see eye-to-eye with the government on how the ECG should be managed). The cross-section of aggrieved ECG workers have even threatened to take to the streets to register their protest and to hammer home their demand for Hutton-Mensah to be reinstated. President Mahama hasn't budged and won't do so. I respect him for that doggedness as the fount of authority in/of Ghana acting to make change happen.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Imposing a 17.5% petroleum tax on the country is unacceptable

Thursday, November 20, 2014
Folks, there is every good reason to condemn the government for imposing a 17.5% tax on so-called selected petroleum products, especially at a time that the cost of living has worsened because nothing is adding up well for those managing the economy.
I strongly oppose this imposition and support the Minority in Parliament for refusing to support it. I haven't been keen on walk-outs or boycotts but its use by the Minority this time is justifiable. The bill imposing the tax was presented under a certificate of urgency and passed into law today. The president of Ghana would be waiting to assent it when passed, Minority MP, Mark Assibey Yeboah, Minority MP and a member of the Finance Committee, said.
Reasons given by some members of the Minority are reasonable and supportable: Dr. Assibey Yeboah, has expressed serious disappointment about the 17.5 percent tax on petroleum. He described the tax imposition as “criminal” and vowed to “resist with my blood”.
(See more at: http://www.myjoyonline.com/business/2014/November-19th/govt-imposes-175-vat-on-petroleum-products.php#sthash.lNDPkhnz.dpuf).

Monday, November 17, 2014

The NPP’s false alarm politics won’t fly

Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Folks, I have been to Ghanaweb to read a news report in which Dr. Pink Sheet Mahamudu Bawumia was quoted as castigating the NDC administrations under the late Atta Mills and Mahama as borrowing excessively yet showing nothing for it in the country to prove how the money was used. (See the detailed news report at:  http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=335401&comment=0#com).
I won’t tax my brains at all in unpacking Bawumia’s allegations. Instead, I have decided to pick comments from readers of the news report to shed light on the issues. Generally, the comments indicate  that Bawumia should have known better not to go that way. Indeed, this recourse to raising “false alarm” seems to be the most preferred line of politicking by the NPP. No suggestion is given to help us know how any government (especially one under the NPP—May God forbid, though) can do things to solve Ghana’s problems without resorting to the international donor community.

This emerging “trend” is worrisome, but…

Sunday, November 16, 2014
Folks, when I read a news report yesterday that angry residents of Abeka Lapaz-Tabora (a suburb of Accra) on Sunday afternoon blocked roads and destroyed property at the Kwashieman power station over persistent power cuts in the area, I cringed, clearly because I knew that it was an action that would have a rippling effect. True to my apprehensions, something has happened elsewhere to tie in with it.
Angry residents of Odorkor (another suburb of Accra) replicated the actions by consumers in Abeka Lapaz-Tabora. The general complaint is that “the frequent power outages have destroyed their home appliances and made it impossible for them to plan their lives. (See more at: http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2014/November-16th/angry-abeka-residents-destroy-ecg-properties-over-power-cuts.php#sthash.nOTMgRMj.dpuf).
The stage is set, and no one needs to go too far for what will follow or how those seeking to sneak through with their petty political agenda will cash in. No one needs to blame the angry consumers. The blame lies squarely at the foot of the power providers!! So is it with those providing other utility services who are quick at implementing draconian measures to exact their “pound of flesh” but very slow at serving the needs of consumers.

When falsehood dominates our politics, fools prevail as heroes

Sunday, November 16, 2014
Folks, out of happenings reported over the period, two have caught my attention for what they are: either plain political mischief on display or roguery at its best being enacted.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Stoning women to death in Ghana?

Friday, November 14, 2014
Folks, when we are looking for solutions to our country's systemic problems so living standards can be improved for Ghanaians to live their lives in decency and look forward to a bright future, our Parliament raises nothing but fiddlestick.
It can't offer anything sensible to help us. It hasn't been able to do so over the years and can't do so soon just because it is not made up of people who are genuinely interested in helping solve problems. The self-seekers that they are, whatever comes from them is flyblown.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What have all these street demonstrations achieved for the NPP?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Folks, I have been assessing issues regarding all the demonstrations by pro-NPP organizations and others against the Mahama-led administration all these years. Despite these demonstrations, nothing shows that the government has bowed to the pressure being mounted on it to do things differently. Those organizing the street demonstrations have relented and are going about things as if they have no other means to effect any change than such actions. And a critical assessment of the forces behind such demonstrations reveals that it is the NPP that is stage-managing and teleguiding it all. Why are these Mahama loathers so daft? Can they not choose better means to influence the electorate and help us grow our democracy?
Let me be very blunt to say that the systemic problems militating against Ghana’s development are not being solved because of many factors, particularly those based on the negative Ghanaian mentality and attitudes. You already know what the “Pull-Him/Her-Down” syndrome entails. Beyond that is the pervasive tendency of dissembling—those openly criticizing corruption hiding behind smokescreens to perpetrate that very act. Corruption is everywhere and cannot be eradicated because it is the “in-thing”.

The NPP's “Concert Party” is in full swing again

Monday, November 10, 2014
Folks, I continue to wonder why the NPP people think that it is only when they ratchet up their rogue politics that they will prove to Ghanaians what they are worth. It amazes me that in this 21st century, such a party should give room to just anybody in it to say anything at all just for the sake of intensifying the rogue politics. It is no more at the level of "book" politics; that is, doing politics according to formulae (formulas, if you like) and mere, dry and sterile theory. It is ridiculous to have the NPP people so stuck on rogue politics.
What amazes me all the more is the fact that the party does have brainy people whose influence should have been brought down to bear on goings-on for reason and sound thinking to dominate their public utterances/political rhetoric; but they seem to have been either overshadowed by the numskulls and newbie political miscreants whose youthful exuberance is leading them astray on the political landscape. Or is it that the brainy folks in the NPP may themselves have been infected with the disease and are virtually irrelevant and consigned to the backwoods of the Asante-Akyem cabal? Occasionally, utterances from some of them suggest that they are no better, though. And most are lawyers too!!

As Kuwait dumps its “undesirables” in the Comoros…

Monday, November 10, 2014
Folks, for as long as we in Africa cannot separate the trees from the forest, we will continue to be at the receiving end of all kinds of schemes detrimental to our territorial integrity and aspirations in life. We are persistently crying over the scourge of centuries of colonization, enslavement, and exploitation but cannot think deeply enough about issues to solve our existential problems. We continue to jump on each other in a needless and bizarre dog-eat-dog gridlock while those who know how to exploit the situation sneak through to maximize dividends.
For how long must we continue to be the architects of our own plight? Take the massive influx of the Chinese into territories, including Ghana, where they engage in activities detrimental to the interests of the host countries. Yet our governments cannot do anything to secure national interests. They either connive with these undesirables or just sit back, unconcerned at the harm being caused by them.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

This Parliament endangers our democracy

Saturday, November 8, 2014
Folks, two major events have happened over the past few days that should engage our close attention. Primarily, we should condemn them as dangerous and unacceptable because they threaten our democracy.
First, the refusal by Doe Adjaho, Speaker of Parliament to be sworn into office as Acting President. Second, the transaction between the leadership of the Parliamentary Service Board and a China-based furniture supplier. Two very disturbing occurrences to be commented on in depth.
(I hear a similar deal has been signed with a Chinese company for the supply of furniture to refurbish Job 600. Will the citizens act quickly to stop this transaction or wait for it to be concluded before baring their teeth? Truly, much water is passing under the bridge!!)

Even as President Mahama loses sleep for Ghana’s sake, his opponents cry wolf

Thursday, November 6, 2014
Folks, there is no mistaking or gainsaying the fact that a lot going on now in the country can lead to only one end: either progress or retrogression, depending on how Ghanaians approach issues to support the government in its efforts at nation building or to resort to empty fault-finding and apathy. No two ways about it.
Those of us commenting on happenings have our inclinations. Mine is not difficult to fathom. I have been a keen supporter of President Mahama and will continue to be so until he leaves the scene. Even when off the scene, I will cherish him for what he is. I have done so for the Great Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah (whom I didn’t meet personally but whose accomplishments have endeared him to my heart) and Jerry John Rawlings (whom I physically met, shook hands with and exchanged words of encouragement with) and the late President John Evans Atta Mills (whom I met in the heat of electioneering campaigns for Election 2000 and later at the Illinois State University when he came to deliver a talk on NEPAD. I still gloat over the pictures that we took). Those I haven’t bothered my head over are in my dustbin of history. Good selective amnesia here!!

Here comes the NPP with its rogue politics of lamentation

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Folks, I have persisted in saying that with the kind of "book" and "rogue" politics being done by the NPP, there is ample reason to conclude that political power will continue to elude it.
True to my expectation, they have put into motion their well-rehearsed politics of lamentation and rabble-rousing. If you doubt it, just pause to assess the direction in which they have been moving and will continue to go as Election 2016 approaches. Nothing to prove to Ghanaians that they have better policies and strategies for rebuilding the country. It is either plain insults or bragging. Political power can't be won that way.

Workers’ pension fracas: Still, the government has questions to answer

Sunday, October 26, 2014
Folks, the impasse over the management of the second tier of workers' pension funds drags on as the striking workers dig in and the government struggles to offer credible explanations to resolve it. Clearly, the government's approach to handling the impasse falls short and raise eyebrows the more its spokespersons attempt clarifying issues or justifying the government's unilateral decisions/actions affecting the interests and the after-service lives of hundreds of thousands of workers.
Not until the government comes out with something convincing and reliable to allay the fears, doubts, and concerns of the workers, I don't think that the impasse can be resolved amicably. No court action against the workers and their leaders will solve the problem. Neither will any high-sounding, bombastic, but useless public utterances that lack substance. And that substance is unmistakable: how much have the workers contributed toward their pension so far and where is the money? How secure is that money to guarantee that a worker who retires will get his/her pension promptly?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Strike by organized labour: For every worker, a good future

Friday, October 24, 2014
As usual, folks, the perennial ritual of strikes have begun being performed all over the country as organized labour obeyed the voice of the leadership of the TUC to lay down their tools. All over the country, then, the industrial action is in full swing.
This time, the motivation for the strike is not salary-related nor does it have anything directly to do with working /service conditions. It has a lot to do with pensions! The news report citing the TUC leadership as supporting the workers’ industrial action revealed the cause:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Democracies grow when truth prevails in governance

Sunday, October 19, 2014
Folks, the news report yesterday about what happened to the United States President, Barack Obama, at a restaurant came as a huge surprise to some of us; but it threw more light on why the kind of democracy being practised by the United States is relevant to that country's development agenda.
If you missed that news report, here it is in full (as carried by the BBC) under the headline "Barack Obama's credit card 'declined':
"President Barack Obama's credit card was declined at a restaurant in New York City last month, he said. "It turned out I guess I don't use it enough," Mr. Obama said. "They thought there was some fraud going on."

Friday, October 17, 2014

Who says that Akufo-Addo is neither corrupt nor can’t corrupt?

Friday, October 17, 2014
Folks, don’t make any mistake to believe that any human being is above corruption, especially if we define corruption in a wider sense than the very narrow and simple one that characterizes happenings in Ghana. Corruption is corruption when somebody does something to unduly influence another for an advantage. It is not done for its own sake!
We in Ghana are very much aware of how corruption in public office, among our politicians and the clergy, not to mention the traditional rulers, security services, and almost every sector of the population has ruined our moral fibre and thrown governance into disarray. In one way or the other, someone is corrupting another or is being corrupted.
Some elements in the NPP have raised Akufo-Addo to a high pedestal, claiming that throughout his tenure in public office, he hasn’t been corrupt nor will he corrupt anybody. In other words, he is CLEAN and far above reproach, for which matter he stands far taller than all others stained by corruption.

Our democracy encourages waywardness in public office

Thursday, October 16, 2014
My good friends, I want to stick my neck out to say that Ghana can never be (re)built with the kind of “democracy” in place that is not being used to solve problems but to reinforce the inadequacies characterizing governance in Ghana or those making this 4th Republic a laughing stock.
Why am I being so brazen? Simple. There is too much theft of public funds without any prompt action being taken to punish the culprits or to institutionalize preventive mechanisms, which angers the citizens. Make no mistake. Public funds are the livewire of democracy; and when public funds are so easily stolen, the democracy itself is endangered.
In Ghana, theft of public funds is second nature to those with access to the national coffers and their dependants motivating their waywardness. So, appointment to high public office is a green light to theft of public funds; and whoever succeeds is lionized. It is inescapable. What a sick country to live in!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Can ex-President Kufuor ever be neutral in the NPP?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
I want to wonder aloud: Why should ex-President Kufuor swerve both Kyerematen and Akufo-Addo?
As has been reported, “Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has revealed that he will not vote for any of the candidates contesting the flagbearership race in the national delegates congress of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Sunday. Kufuor, who was president from 2001 to 2008, refrained from voting in the party’s super delegates congress in August, stressing the need to preserve his neutrality.
Speaking to Citi News, the spokesman for the former President, Frank Agyekum, said Mr. Kufuor believes the best thing for him to do at this point in time in the NPP’s scheme of things is not to cast his vote, but rather stay behind and give his support to whoever wins.” (See: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=330326)

Who is helping Woyome not to bear his cross?

Monday, October 6, 2014
The Supreme Court gave an order that Alfred Agbesi Woyome should refund the 51 or more million Cedis to the national coffers. It is past many months now and we don’t know what has happened to that court order. Has Woyome yet refunded the money to the state?
If he hasn’t why hasn’t he? What is preventing him from doing so? Is he willfully flouting the Court’s order and still going strong just because he hasn’t yet relinquished as the financier of the both the NDC and the NPP? (After all, being a clever thief, he knows how to play his cards so he can still be favoured whether it is the NDC or the NPP that is in power. If you doubt it, just do a quick tracing of the steps that he took to win goodwill within the NPP camp while at the same time using his substance to nurture the NDC. Such clever thieves really endanger our democracy).

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Is Ekwow Spio-Garbrah really arrogant?

Friday, October 3, 2014
Folks, some Members of Parliament are of the opinion that Ekwow Spio-Garbrah is arrogant, which they consider to be a major flaw. The news report on proceedings in Parliament prior to his being approved as Minister of Trade and Industry says it all:
Minister-designate for Trade and Industry, Mr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah has been counseled by Parliament not to exhibit arrogance in the discharge of his duties and to also accommodate the views of personalities who may not be on the same level of intelligence as he is.
It does appear that the attitude of the nominee even at the committee was one that appeared to be bereft of modesty and lack of accommodation for diversity. If you are a leader, you must accept that not everybody will be at your level. A major part of leadership is to coach and bring people along in building a team…” (See: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=328868)

Friday, October 3, 2014

OYIWA: NPP wins case to proceed with October 18 Congress

Friday, October 3, 2014
Folks, when I said in a post a few days ago that the suit against the NPP by two of its members protesting against the October 18 date for the national delegates congress to choose a flagbearer for Election 2016 would be dismissed, some NPP buffs dismissed me as a troublemaker. Some even dared tell me that by my political coloration, I risked losing my credibility.

Here we are now: NPP wins case to proceed with October 18 Congress. Judge Mustapha Logoh of the Accra Fast Track High Court awarded Ghc5000 cost against the plaintiffs. And the reason given by is as lame as I can’t imagine: “the two (plaintiffs) should have engaged all mechanisms within the party before heading to court for redress”. (See: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=328767)

What a farce!! One expected something more “legalistically tenable” than this sorry apology of a reason. In the first place, there was nothing wrong with the suit because the plaintiffs sought nothing but that the court would direct the National Council (of the NPP) to grant more time for the congress.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ex-President Kufuor is lying through his teeth!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Let's hear him: “Busia would’ve made Ghana a ‘fantastic’ nation”—Former President John Kufuor has said Ghana would have been a better country than it is today if former Prime Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia (late) had been allowed to carry through with his policies when he assumed power in 1969. According to him, the private sector agenda which was being promoted by the late prime minister was imperative for the development of the country.
Speaking to Citi FM on the 45th anniversary of Busia’s assumption to power, Kufuor said: “His ideas would have been fantastic for this country. The man believed in the private sector, under him a host of businessmen, all the big private sector people had a place under him. He understood the private sector and their role in providing infrastructure.” (See: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=328423)
MY COMMENTS
I wonder what purpose Kufuor sought to achieve with this sorry utterance, 45 years after Busia had entered office only to be booted out 27 months later by the Acheampong coup d'etat because of obvious inadequacies.

Of Christianity, Character, and Influence on Society

Saturday, September 27, 2014
Folks, we have for many times now been discussing matters arising from the lifestyle, public utterances, and claims about gifts of prophecy that continue to raise serious questions about Christianity in our contemporary times, especially as practised in Ghana and Nigeria. I have been particularly strident in condemning the “Men-of-God” who always catch public attention with their prosperity messages and prophecies of doom. It’s all meant to throw the searchlight on goings-on in the church to prove that Christianity is a lifestyle to be lived and not professed by word of mouth.
Living Christianity as a lifestyle enjoins the Christian to be above reproach so his/her lifestyle can positively influence the world and win more “souls” for Kingdom business. After all, the Great Commission is still relevant and can be fulfilled only if Christians can live and do things that separate them from those they seek to proselytize. Otherwise, if the would-be converts don’t see any difference between themselves (what they are or how they do things) and the so-called Christians (what they do or say), they will not be willing to be converted. And they will have a good cause not to become Christians.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

So, President Mahama should have wept at the United Nations, eh?

Thursday, September 25, 2014
My good friends, I continue to see those vainly criticizing anything and everything done (or not done) by President Mahama as doing "rogue" politics and making themselves the butt of public ridicule.
Here is a classic example of one of them: "Head of the Political Science Department at the KNUST, Prof. Amoako Baah, is not impressed about President Mahama’s appeal to the international community to help combat the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa. According to him, the president in his appeal should have been “dramatic and emotional” to enable them [international community] “jump into action”.

Does Ms. Lauretta Lamptey of CHRAJ still have a conscience?

Thursday, September 25, 2014
Folks, I am perturbed by the stubbornness of Ms. Lauretta Lamptey, head of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ). She is doggedly resisting urgent appeals to her conscience to act honourably by resigning and seems to be overflowing with arrogance too!!
Her attempt at dousing the fire that she has herself lit to burn her out of office and public confidence has failed. She is no more credible to remain in office and should have advised herself by now to step down; but as of now, she hasn’t listened to the urgings of her own silent voice, which is conscience. From her own assessment of issues, she thinks that she has done nothing wrong and won’t heed any call to resign.
She has now chosen silence to be golden for her and isn’t responding anymore to anything about her malfeasance (misappropriating public funds for her personal comfort or, simply put, for abusing her office). Not even the petitioning of President Mahama to remove her from office can soften her stance. She has dug in, daring everybody to act against her if anybody can. A daredevil of a public servant she must be!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

These African First Ladies are really wagging their tails

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Folks, I have already written an opinion piece to complain bitterly about the manner in which the wives of African Presidents have constituted themselves into an Association of First Ladies and assumed power and authority to do things as if they have anybody’s mandate to act and talk as they wish. They have constituted themselves into potentates and are acting to be recognized as such. The "She" that must be obeyed. Unacceptable!!
Of course, there is nothing wrong with a President’s wife accompanying him on trips or doing things in tandem with him as he exercises the mandate of the electorate to govern the country.
But I find a lot wrong with the manner in which these wives of African Presidents are doing things. They seem to be arrogating too much power and authority to themselves and pushing buttons here and there in the limelight.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Are the forces of Nature now working against TB Joshua?

Monday, September 22, 2014
Folks, the Nigerian “Man-of-God (Temitope Balogun Joshua) has featured in numerous discussions regarding the conduct of the “Men-of-God” in contemporary times. His loud claims of authority to heal all manner of ailments and the frequent flashes of prophecy from him have kept him in the limelight to create the impression that he is a strong force to be reckoned with in Christendom. No wonder that his following is increasing by the day, even though the records show that he began his ministry in the early 1990s with a paltry 8 members. I hear today he has more than 20,000 ardent followers who see him as a Prophet and will do anything to validate his ministry. Good for them while it lasts.
But what is bad for TB Joshua and his followers is just in the offing and emerging and unfolding with threatening implications. Those of us who have taken on TB Joshua for various reasons and ridiculed him for indulging in “religious crookery” have been condemned by his followers; yet, we remain undaunted because of our conviction that he is taking Christianity to a whole new level that may end up bursting his own balloon of self-confidence and self-possession. He is over-extending himself and heading toward the landmine that will likely blow him off his elements. Forget about his philanthropic work because it is to be expected that with so much wealth, if he doesn’t spread his generosity across the field, he won’t be worth the poor people’s attention.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

With the CHRAJ and Co., our democracy remains doomed unless…

Friday, September 19, 2014
Folks, in response to the controversy raised by the huge sum of money paid on hotel accommodation for Ms. Lauretta Lamptey (head of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, CHRAJ) a contributor made an insightful contribution to an opinion piece that I wrote a few days ago:
“Not only CHRAJ but these too, NMC, Energy Commission, PURC, NPA, and many others... their duties and functions can be done by a Supervising and Monitoring Directorate of their related agencies... What are the Parliamentary Sub-committees there to do if not to check any excesses by these state institutions?”
This opinion is rich and needs a thorough discussion. Thus, I have expanded the contributor’s ideas to come up with this prompt to guide us as we continue to explore issues regarding our democracy. I hope you will add your voices to our good friend’s and mine as well. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

As the Christian Council touches raw nerves…

Monday, September 15, 2014
Folks, the politics of attrition is in full gear. Critics of the Mahama-led administration are relentlessly chastising it for various reasons while the government itself continues to insist that it is on course, in total control of the situation, and is doing all it can to solve national problems, especially the depreciation of the Cedi. True, the Cedi seems to be gaining some strength these days, even if marginally, and the government is pursuing its development project agenda and promising to complete all abandoned projects for the people to have their money’s worth. To the government, then, there is no cause for alarm. Its critics think otherwise and hear nothing but the alarm bells tolling about a bleak future for the country.
The battle lines are clear: those opposed to the government won’t change their minds no matter what happens; and the government isn’t prepared to bow to the pressure that they are mounting on it (whether through street demonstrations, unsavoury public utterances, or threats against its electoral chances). These critics think that the government has failed and are poised to ratchet up their criticisms and predictions of doom and gloom for it (and the country). The latest to toe this line is the Christian Council of Ghana, which has ruffled feathers. In a communiqué that it issued after a meeting on Sunday, the Council alarmed the government with its claim that “majority of Ghanaians have lost confidence in President John Mahama and his government”.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sacking Black Stars Coach, Kwasi Appiah, isn't right

Thursday, September 11, 2014
My good friends, I am saddened by the news report carried by Myjoyonline that the Black Stars coach, Kwasi Appiah, has been removed and replaced with Serbian trainer Milovan Rajevac as head coach of the Black Stars.
Here is the news report in part: "Black Stars coach Kwasi Appiah has been relieved of his position as head coach of the senior national team. The decision was reached today at a board meeting of the GFA. Mr. Appiah is being accused of bad faith after he granted a radio interview in which he said that he had not asked for a technical assistant, contradicting the position of the GFA.

Akufo-Addo’s Pyrrhic victory, the NPP’s woes at Election 2016

Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Folks, the rampaging going on in the NPP to the advantage of Akufo-Addo doesn’t surprise me at all. As an outsider who has been keenly observing the goings-on in the NPP over the years, particularly since the emergence of Akufo-Addo as a potentate exercising maximum stranglehold (call it “chokehold, if you may) on the party, I have not missed any opportunity to comment on what piques my curiosity. I have made it clear that the NPP isn’t as stable as its praise singers will have us believe.
Goings-on confirm my stance; and events leading to the August 31 super delegates’ congress buttress it all the more. The synchronized and choreographed manouevres that ended up giving Akufo-Addo a whopping 80.78% of votes are enough to confirm that those seeing him as the “redeemer” of the NPP will do all they can to silence opposition, even when the man himself is out and about saying that he welcomes competition.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Here is Akufo-Addo for you again

Tuesday, September 9, 2014
"Ivorian President, 70, is 10 times better than 55-year-old Mahama", says Akufo-Addo.
 (See: http://www.myjoyonline.com/politics/2014/September-9th/70-year-old-ivorian-president-10-times-better-than-50-year-old-john-mahama-akufo-addo.php).
By this claim, we can see that Akufo-Addo is justifying and rationalizing his own age factor. He turns 72 in 2016 when the Presidential elections will be held. For the records, Akufo-Addo’s father (Edward Akufo-Addo, Titular President of Ghana in the Second Republic) died at 71 as an accomplished lawyer and politician.
True, the age of Methusellah has nothing to do with the wisdom of Solomon; but it takes more than wisdom to provide the leadership needed for nation building, at least, in our kind of democracy. The assumption is that wisdom comes about with ageing, even though I have come across some old men with gray hair whose asinine or bovine stupidity left me slackjawed.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The deadwood called Ghana’s Missions Abroad

Saturday, September 6, 2014
Folks, a country that doesn’t have good expertise in doing productive foreign relations work can’t impress or attract other countries to do business with it. And without any productive relationship with other countries, how can such a country sell itself? No amount of re-branding ventures will serve its purposes. That is why countries establish foreign missions and spend huge sums of money maintaining them. By their fruit will they be known. Ghana’s missions abroad are nothing but deadwood.
Ghana is known for its penetration into other parts of the world, establishing links with any country at all that it sees as a likely productive partner. The missions so established are expected to do much for the country’s benefit. Some missions are regarded as more important than others. Take the missions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, for instance, and you will know why those appointed as Ambassadors and High Commissioners there regard themselves as more “powerful” or “luckier” than their colleagues assigned to Burkina Faso, South Sudan, Nicaragua, Panama, or Lesotho.
For reasons best known to the appointing authority, choosing Ambassadors and High Commissioners to do Ghana’s foreign relations work is demanding. How about the intensive lobbying going on and the need to put in place those who can do the bidding?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Why is Arthur Kennedy “slaughtering” Akufo-Addo so soon?

Friday, September 5, 2014
Folks, the heat is already being turned on Akufo-Addo from within his own party. Dr. Dr. Kobina Arthur Kennedy, a leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) who is also the former Communications Director for the NPP at Election 2008, is jumping on him, making very serious allegations, indicting him, and virtually re-opening the can of worms to dim Akufo-Addo’s light.
Dr. Kennedy worked closely with Akufo-Addo at Election 2008 and later wrote the searing account of why Akufo-Addo lost the elections (_Chasing the Elephant into the Bush_). He wasn’t given any frontline role at Election 2012; and he seems to have discovered ways of “slaughtering” Akufo-Addo. And as an Akufo-Addo aide (Mustapha Hamid) put it the other day, Dr. Kennedy is on a mission to destroy Akufo-Addo. Why should he do so?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Do our politicians ever know their bounds?

Thursday, September 4, 2014
Folks, I apologize for my absence from the forum over the past one week or so. I got caught up in many issues, all tumbling over each other for maximum attention. I just relocated in a more convenient area of New York City and immediately turned attention to academic issues at the start of the fall semester. Life is back to “normal” (call it normalcy, if you may); and I can now pick up the pieces. And many things happened within the period.
So, the government bent back to satisfy the demands of POTAG and UTAG, which has paved the way for the polytechnics and universities to re-open. Good news that academic work will begin soon while we wait for the dust raised over the book and research allowance conundrum to settle. I am not surprised at the government’s back-tracking, apparently because it lacks bite, after barking and baring its weak teeth.
The fact that nothing concrete is being done to establish the foundation for its proposed National Research and Innovation Fund says it all. So, what will become of it? A whiff of promise with ugly implications? By bending backwards, it has ceded the momentum to POTAG and UTAG and they will definitely dig in and oppose anything coming from government henceforth that they consider as inimical to their interests. The government has hamstrung itself on that score. Pitiable.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Election 2016 is two years away; why the HASTY prophecies?

Saturday, August 30, 2014
Folks, we all saw what happened before Election 2012 when all manner of “Men-of-God” and leaders of other religious sects (Imams, traditional African religion, etc.) flooded our ears with prophecies that turned out to be false and became the foundation for resistance and ugly behaviour by those who genuinely lost the elections but won’t accept defeat. Some of those prophecies even verged on treason but were overlooked. Others turned out to be the motivation for more false prophecies regarding the death of President Mahama and many others.
Nothing happened, even when it became clear that the scare-mongers were indeed operating as lackeys of the politicians that they conspired with to discredit the winner of Election 2012 (President Mahama) and the Chairman of the Electoral Commission (Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan. They and their evil schemes fell apart as the dust settled; but a year after the Supreme Court had confir4med and sealed Akufo-Addo’s fate as a sore loser, he himself still can’t come to terms with that reality, saying yesterday that the NPP won’t allow itself to be cheated  again. By making such porous utterances, he continues to prove that he hasn’t learnt anything useful from his fate to present a better image of himself at Election 2016 if he is chosen to lead the NPP again.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Another idiotic utterance from the NDC camp

Thursday, August 29, 2014
Folks, our politics continues to be watered down by personalities who should have known better than they have demonstrated so far. While happenings in the NPP are indeed troubling and indicative of the likelihood of an implosion unless cleverly handled and the tension defused to prepare the party for Election 2016, the problems being created by the Mahama-led administration as it continues to sag under the load of governance have continued to detract from its worth.
At least, considering the street demonstrations (even if politically motivated), the industrial actions by organized labour, persistent complaints against the high cost of living, and the unstoppable depreciation of the Cedi (with its attendant negative backlash to worsen the economy), we can say that the going is really tough. The electoral decisions to be made by the voters at Election 2016 will be informed by their experiences more than any other factor, even though internal happenings in the political parties or the nature of the Presidential candidates will also play a role.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Too many c(r)ooks are spoiling the NPP’s broth

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Folks, the manipulation of the situation in the NPP to favour Akufo-Addo is too glaring to miss. And it has been done in a calculating manner but will have a nasty string of repercussions for the party unless the miraculous happens.
The NPP is really at the crossroads, even as its aged pillars are counting their days and praying hard that the new generation of supporters will be guided by the ideals of the Danquah-Busia political culture, dating back to 1947, and the failed ambitions of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC). Those who think that there is a “Dombo” component of this Akan tribal cabal had better think twice because it is an appendage well-thought-out by those seeking to exploit Northern Ghana sentiments. The “Dombo” hue in the party’s complexion is infinitesimal.
That is why a political neophyte like Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has become a captive of the “Yen Akanfuo” cabal and is doing their bidding, regardless of how much harm he is doing to his own professional image in the process. In truth, Bawumia stands to gain a lot more as an economist (even if his perspectives are often debunked). Does he have eyes to see things clearly or a mind to delve into the deeper layers of the kind of politics being done by those manipulating him? Where is Mustapha Hamid too, known to us as an Akufo-Addo aide, today?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dr. Arthur Kennedy pokes Akufo-Addo's eyes

 Thursday, August 21, 2014
Folks, by now, you must have read the opinion piece written by Dr. Arthur Kennedy in which he minced no word by saying a lot to suggest that the rumpus in the NPP can be traced to the wiliness with which the Akufo-Addo camp is doing politics within the NPP.
(See: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=322289 and the rejoinder from the Akufo-Addo camp at http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=322295).
In fact, Dr. Kennedy blamed Akufo-Addo as the main brain behind all the hooliganism and wondered how such a person can be entrusted with the responsibility of managing Ghana's affairs. He sang the very song that I have been singing all this while, especially in questioning Akufo-Addo's leadership skills if he can't bring his influence to bear positively on the NPP's internal politics to solve problems. Indeed, Akufo-Addo is the main problem for the NPP, apparently because of his insistence on going again to the general elections, mobilizing pliant forces within the party, and using them to intimidate his challengers and their followers.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Matters arising as the NPP continues to teeter and totter…

Thursday, August 21, 2014
Folks, some NPP friends have expressed optimism that the current rumpus in the party is just a “fad” and that it will help know the weaknesses and strengthen the party for Election 2016. They have been quick to compare the crisis to what befell the NDC when Jerry Rawlings’ stranglehold was being fought against. To them, then, if the NDC could withstand that internal conflict and even go ahead to win the 2012 elections, there was no reason why the NPP can’t. They are certain that the current happenings will open new doors for the NPP leaders and members to rebuild the party and prepare it for an electoral victory at Election 2016. I disagree with them and laugh them to scorn.
What is happening in the NPP has taken a different direction altogether that makes it difficult to equate its fate to that of the NDC. In this sense, the NPP is really facing a more serious crisis than the NDC did before springing the surprising victory at Election 2012 that confounded the so-called political pundits and nay-sayers.

Where is Akufo-Addo while the NPP burns?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Folks, in any human situation where bad blood reigns, it takes only one word from a peace-maker to calm nerves and build productive relationships. Such a peacemaker may be old or young, well-endowed intellectually to dissect causes of the problems and find solutions to them or be or naturally gifted with leadership skills to bring heads together and not knock them against each other for personal advantage. The NPP is at the moment in dire need of a unifier to prevent it from crossing the Rubicon.
And none other than Akufo-Addo, who is acclaimed by those endorsing him all over the place as their preferred Presidential Candidate for Election 2016, comes to mind. What is he doing to put his own house in order? Don’t tell me that unlike other political parties, the NPP doesn’t have a founder or leader and that Akufo-Addo shouldn’t be the one to tackle the challenges posed by the ongoing rumpus in the party.
He has issued a statement that some have been quick to dismiss as either belated or ineffectual. (See: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=322012&comment=0#com) Others have read a deeper meaning into that statement to suggest that he is being mischievous, accusing him as the force behind all that is happening. So, is he really doing anything to improve matters?

Monday, August 18, 2014

The NPP is really challenging itself for nothing

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Folks, we know that when it comes to engaging pertinent issues verging on national affairs, the economic challenges that the Mahama-led administration is finding difficult come to the fore. We have acknowledged those challenges and criticized the government for its acts of commission or omission. Even as the situation doesn’t improve and the problems continue to defy solution, the government insists that it is up to the task and shouldn’t be hounded. We will give it the benefit of the doubt. After all, we have nothing to lose in terms of political capital at Election 2016; the government does and should be mindful of how it approaches issues.
One of the pertinent issues that we must not gloss over has to do with the main opposition party, the NPP. We have said several times that our democracy will grow better if a credible and vibrant opposition exists to put the Executive on its mettle as it exposes its inadequacies and offers options for solving problems. So far, the NPP has failed woefully to play that role, having chosen to limit itself to noisy but hollow criticisms, wolf-crying, and plain undermining of everything represented by President Mahama. In effect, the NPP is on the national stage, making its presence felt as an irritant, especially if its rabble-rousing is considered as the major evidence of its presence as an opposition camp.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Deputy Ministers still schooling to become what?

Thursday, August 14, 2014
In human affairs, especially those that deal with development, no one needs under-rate the value of professional development. Much can be achieved if those in charge of affairs upgrade their skills and apply the requisite knowledge and acumen to tackling problems. In addition to that is the element of commitment and devotion to one’s calling. Do we in Ghana value these ideals/skills?
One of the major problems hindering our efforts at tackling the challenges of development is the leadership crisis often cited by any Ghanaian complaining that the country’s abundant human and material resources are not being used to solve problems. The Mahama-led government is particularly being criticized because of its inability to solve problems. Now, we are being told something new with which to assess issues:
“The President of Legal Advocacy Foundation, Dr. Maurice Ampaw, has stated categorically that about 72% of President John Dramani Mahama’s deputy ministers are still schooling in various tertiary institutions across the country.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The “Kwaku Ananse” in Kufuor is still active

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Folks, former President John Agyekum Kufuor says that if he had had his way, he would have decorated his wife Theresa with “State honours.”  I won’t go any further but refer you to the real stuff coming from him:  “According to the ex-president, his “veteran” wife has been helpful in maintaining a decent marital home for the many years they have lived together…
“…We’ve been married for 51 years, so she is a veteran, a real veteran and sometimes I just say if I got the opportunity again I would decorate her with some State honours,” Kufuor said when a former Nigerian leader General Abdul Salami Abubakar paid a courtesy call on him at his Airport residence. “She is my landlady. Now I think there is some understanding, she says I should behave and she would allow me to be”. (See: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=320965).
I am tempted to throw the searchlight on Kufuor within this context because “he has brought himself” (as our Ghanaian soldiers will say). When he was in power, we heard rumours about his incontinence in matters concerning the “sweetness of the flesh” (outside what Theresa could offer him) but didn’t get that much hooked on them because of our feeling that it is the usual Ghanaian thing, where polygamy opens many doors to conjugal infidelity. Power corrupts in every way possible; and absolute power will definitely corrupt absolutely the powers between the men’s thighs too. Hurray to those with such powers!!

The government continues to harm itself

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Folks, those who are quick to label me as an unrepentant supporter of the Mahama-led administration who will not see anything wrong with it make me laugh a lot. I have no doubt that in doing my yeoman’s job of writing on pertinent issues to feed public discourse on our country’s challenges of development, I have covered the terrain, regardless of whose ox I gore in the process. If it has to do with the NPP, I go all out to say it as I deem fit; and for the incumbent administration, I mince no word. Those who think otherwise can please themselves. I write as I like.
I am out to stick my neck out this time in saying that the Mahama-led administration continues to make that hit it hard in the face with huge boomerang effects. Simply put, the government doesn’t seem to be learning any lesson from its numerous failed initiatives that have earned it public scorn. If it does, it will hasten slowly.
Why am I saying so?

Monday, August 11, 2014

The POTAG strike exposes flaws in our democracy

Monday, August 11, 2014
My good friends, in the light of the perennial industrial actions by organized labour (and considering the implications of the one by the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana, POTAG, and the University teachers Association of Ghana, UTAG, in respect of non-payment of book and research allowance), I have been brooding over some issues concerning how our democracy is being run (or how it is not being used to solve existential problems and why the politicians are jostling for attention mostly because of the high stakes that they alone think they have in it).
First, let's take the spate of industrial actions to comment on. It is unfortunate that organized labour has to perennially lay down tools or take to the streets to protest against their conditions of service. What has happened over the past few weeks or months is a clear indication that this ritual of strikes and street demonstrations has been accepted as a necessary "evil" or the only language that employers, particular the government, understand. And that language really hurts productivity when used.
Take the POTAG strike action, for instance. Then, add the UTAG one to it while looking over your shoulders to feel the hot air that the Ghana Medical Association is breathing. Others are also not deterred by anything and will lay down their tools at will just because they feel unfulfilled at their workplaces.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Does Jerry Rawlings own a private plane?

Saturday, August 9, 2014
Folks, former President JJ Rawlings said something about two days ago that seems to be raising a pertinent question as to whether he owns a private plane; and if he does, how he acquired it, when, and why Ghanaians haven't discovered so till now that he would be baring it all himself (whether inadvertently or caught up in a web and compelled by forces beyond his control to say so)!!
Here is the lead that Rawlings seemed to have given to give rise to such a question (in the news report attr9ibuted to Ernest Dela Aglanu and published by Myjoyonline.com under the heading "Stevie Wonder flew and landed my plane safely" at: http://www.myjoyonline.com/entertainment/2014/august-8th/stevie-wonder-flew-and-landed-my-plane-safely-rawlings-reveals.php):
"Former president Jerry John Rawlings has revealed that Grammy award winning musician, Stevie Wonder, who is visually impaired has successfully flown a plane.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Does Ebola discriminate on the basis of race?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Folks, I will ask a simple question: Why are the United States victims of Ebola still alive but not the African victims?
I have a few concerns about this Ebola epidemic that has put West Africa under the spotlight for the wrong reason. The first case in this barrage of Ebola attacks was reported to have occurred in Guinea and quickly spread to neighbouring countries (Sierra Leone and Liberia). Like a wild brushfire, Ebola reportedly spread to other areas (Nigeria (where the victim died) and caused a scare in Ghana (where a United States citizen was said to have died at the Nyaho Clinic in Accra).
Since then, Ebola as a health disaster has become synonymous with West Africa, ringing alarm bells in far-away countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States. The health authorities in the UK are confident that their system can counteract Ebola. So does the United States too, even when a suspected case was reported from the Sinai hospital in New York only to be quickly declared as manageable and not alarming.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

As Ghana re-enters the belly of the vampire (IMF)…

Saturday, August 2, 2014
Folks, the latest development in the government’s search for solutions to the country's ailing economy is to enter the corridors of the International Monetary Fund for “reprieve”. And this “reprieve” will definitely be bound to conditionalities. It is a reprieve designed to come at a huge cost for people already languishing in narrow circumstances. The IMF has no “sympathy” or “empathy” running through its veins, and will always go for the jugular when it comes to imposing conditionalities on those knocking on its door for reprieve.
We are all too familiar with how the IMF and its affiliate (the World Bank) function, especially when dealing with countries in dire economic straits. But if care is taken, some kind of “reprieve” may be forthcoming, granted that those implementing those conditionalities and the citizens can endure the belt-tightening.
Being whip-sawed, the government has no option but to dash to the IMF, some may say. But is the IMF our true ally? Or should the government have done otherwise, depending on home-grown economic measures to solve the problems? Where are own economists and financial experts? Mere empty braggarts parading the political landscape? Or real problem-solvers with reliable acumen?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Ghana to offer arable lands to PUNJABI farmers?

Friday, Aug. 1, 2014
Folks, how many of you know what Punjab is or where it is located in the world? What will come to your mind when “Punjab” or “Punjabi” is mentioned? I don’t know, but I am more than angry at news reports about what the Ghanaian government wants to do to bring Punjab on board.
For the records, the term “Punjab” comprises two words: “punj”, meaning “five”, and “ab”, meaning “water”; thus, “the land of five rivers.” Punjab is the only state in India with a majority Sikh population.  
You may wonder why I should be bothering you with the name “Punjab”. A very simple response. I have been scouting around to find something interesting to comment on as part of my yeoman’s job to feed public discourse on our country’s development challenges. It didn’t take me long to stumble upon this news report carried by the Hindustan Times  Chandigarh news medium on July 31, 2014, that Ghana will offer (or has offered) lands to Punjabi farmers. I immediately got scared by the report. 
Read it here for yourselves: http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/chandigarh/ghana-offers-land-to-punjabi-farmers/article1-1246835.aspx

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

No democracy can survive in an atmosphere of lawlessness

Thursday, July 31, 2014
Folks, sometime ago, I posted an opinion piece to complain about the “whom-you-know” or “who-knows-you” syndrome in Ghana, which is nothing but a negative attitude to national reconstruction. I complained that our Establishment has too many loopholes that let unscrupulous public office holders off the hook and portray them as “angels” instead of the despicable criminals that they are to be punished!!
The Supreme Court’s verdict against Alfred Agbesi Woyome in the deplorable judgement debt saga ties it all up for us to flush out all those working against the interest of the state. If the economic resources of the state are not protected and used to grow our democracy, there is no way that democracy can be sustained. Thieves, liars, and murderers parading themselves as nation builders should be flushed out as the laws of the land are used to streamline governance. And governance means more than the perpetual acrimony that we see about the NDC, NPP, and all the mushroom political parties whose leaders and functionaries continue to bore us with issues that negate our aspirations.

Woyome here, Woyome there, judgement debt palaver over?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Folks, the long-drawn-out case involving the judgement debt paid to Alfred Agbesi Woyome is over; and Woyome is the loser. He should have known all along that what he received was fraudulently given him because of the loopholes in our system that unscrupulous public officials teamed up with him to exploit. The news is simple:The Supreme Court has ordered business man Alfred Woyome to refund a total of 51.2 million Ghana Cedis judgement debt payment he received between 2009 and 2010. Judges at the highest court ruled the National Democratic Congress financier had no valid contract to be paid that amount of money.
The ruling follows a review of the court's own earlier decision sought by former Attorney General Martin Amidu who insisted that Woyome, like Waterville and Isofoton, had no valid contract to be paid any amount by the state in judgement debt.

African politics and the role of First Ladies (Part II)

Monday, July 28, 2014
I have a good reason to segue to what happened after Nana Konadu had left the scene for Mrs. Kufuor and Naadu Mills. Let's first deal with Mrs. Kufuor, who sought to carve a niche for herself by also exploiting her status as the First Lady. She established a Foundation for Women and Children and made several donations at hospitals, orphanages, etc. She is the unassuming type and satisfied with her personal accomplishment as a nurse. She is not the overbearing type and deserves the right to enjoy peace in her out-of-office life.
Naadu Mills, an educationist, has a sad history to tell the world about her experiences as the First Lady. The events characterizing her relationship with Nana Konadu when she was the Second Lady (her deceased husband Atta Mills being the Vice President at the time) are still fresh in our minds. No elaboration. But in office as the First Lady, she also stepped up the game to use her status for something. Everything has now ended in smoke.

African politics and the role of First Ladies (Part I)

Monday, July 28, 2014
Folks, the wives of male Presidents in Africa are parading themselves about as First Ladies and profiting from it. Of all, Mrs. Graca Machel is the only one to have emerged as the First Lady for two different countries at different times, beginning as the wife of Samora Machel of Mozambique and shifting to South Africa’s Madiba Nelson Mandela.  She has outlived her husbands. The status of First Lady has come to stay, some may say.
It is no news that these First Ladies have constituted themselves into an Association of First Ladies and are accorded whatever respect and privilege that their status fetches for them. It is nothing new to be told that so-so-and-so is the First Lady of so-so-and-so country, meaning that she must of necessity be accorded all that her husband (the Head of State) enjoys in terms of protocol services and submissiveness wrought by status as the fount of authority wherever she shows up.

Monday, July 28, 2014

African politics and the role of First Ladies (Part II)

Monday, July 28, 2014
I have a good reason to segue to what happened after Nana Konadu had left the scene for Mrs. Kufuor and Naadu Mills. Let's first deal with Mrs. Kufuor, who sought to carve a niche for herself by also exploiting her status as the First Lady. She established a Foundation for Women and Children and made several donations at hospitals, orphanages, etc. She is the unassuming type and satisfied with her personal accomplishment as a nurse. She is not the overbearing type and deserves the right to enjoy peace in her out-of-office life.
Naadu Mills, an educationist, has a sad history to tell the world about her experiences as the First Lady. The events characterizing her relationship with Nana Konadu when she was the Second Lady (her deceased husband Atta Mills being the Vice President at the time) are still fresh in our minds. No elaboration. But in office as the First Lady, she also stepped up the game to use her status for something. Everything has now ended in smoke.

African politics and the role of First Ladies (Part I)

Monday, July 28, 2014
Folks, the wives of male Presidents in Africa are parading themselves about as First Ladies and profiting from it. Of all, Mrs. Graca Machel is the only one to have emerged as the First Lady for two different countries at different times, beginning as the wife of Samora Machel of Mozambique and shifting to South Africa’s Madiba Nelson Mandela.  She has outlived her husbands. The status of First Lady has come to stay, some may say.
It is no news that these First Ladies have constituted themselves into an Association of First Ladies and are accorded whatever respect and privilege that their status fetches for them. It is nothing new to be told that so-so-and-so is the First Lady of so-so-and-so country, meaning that she must of necessity be accorded all that her husband (the Head of State) enjoys in terms of protocol services and submissiveness wrought by status as the fount of authority wherever she shows up.