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