Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Why Hon. Albert Kan-Dapaah & Hon. K. Osei-Prempeh Are Wrong To Censure The Chief of Defence Staff

The Hon. Albert Kan-Dapaah, a former minister of defence, and the Hon. K. Osei-Prempeh, a former deputy minister of justice, and deputy attorney general, have jointly written an open letter to the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Marshall Michael Samson-Oje.

Their open letter is published below for the benefit of this blog's many readers.

I don't know much about the Hon. K. Osei-Prempeh. However, I do know that the Hon. Kan-Dapaah is indeed an honourable and principled gentleman, who loves his country and is a committed democrat.

I have no doubt that he is well-intentioned in his missive to the CDS.

However, it was a misguided move. It seems to escape the Hon. Kan-Dapaah that military men and women, just like their civilian family members and friends, also want Ghana to remain a peaceful and stable democracy - and will do everything possible in their power to ensure that.

Be that as it may, if all Ghanaian politicians were as mature, tolerant and committed to democracy as the Hon. Kan-Dapaah is, the CDS and the heads of the other security agencies, would not have to worry about tomorrow's elections ever becoming violent.

Sadly, however, that is not the case. Unfortunately, verbally-aggressive and intolerant individuals with extremist tendencies, now have powerful voices in both the two major parties in Ghana.

Their violent tendencies and intolerance make
nonsense of the claim that the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the main opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), are committed  to liberal democracy.

When decent individuals like the Hon. Kan-Dappah allow their parties to be hijacked by ruthless and intolerant individuals, for whom the end always justifies the means, their parties end up  becoming mere vehicles for Machiavellian individuals to use to ride to power.

It is said that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

With respect, it is a foolish general who allows politicians who by their actions and inactions show clearly that they do not actually believe in democracy, to invoke the principle of civilian control over the military to shut him or her up - when keeping quiet will put the lives of the men and women he or she commands at risk unnecessarily - in a situation that  calls for plain-speaking to make it absolutely clear to irresponsible political actors that they will not be allowed to get away with formenting trouble on polling day.

Let it be noted that Britain's Chiefs of Defence Staff have over the years spoken out publicly against cuts in defence spending by various UK governments. One is yet to hear any British politician complaining that they are violating the principle of civilian control over the military and pose a risk to British parliamentary democracy.

So why should the Ghana Armed Forces' CDS be diplomatic in the face of overwhelming evidence that lawless elements could destabalise the country during polling day - when being resolute and projecting that resolve during a pre-election press conference  will make potential troublemakers think twice when paid to cause mayhem during polling day?

Who cares about the sensibilities of corrupt and unprincipled politicians at such a time?

In such situations the loyalty of the CDS should always be to ordinary people and their homeland Ghana - not to selfish politicians invoking the principle of civilian control over the military to get away with election violence.

Noble though the intentions of the Hon. Kan-Dapaah and the Hon. K. Osei-Prempeh were,  in writing an open letter to the CDS, they were wrong to censure the CDS for his plain-speaking to warn potential  polling day troublemakers.

We can all read the writing on the wall. Ordinary Ghanaians want peaceful elections at all costs - and they applaud the CDS  for his plain-speaking to warn our mostly irresponsible political class on our behalf that they will not get away with plunging Ghana into chaos. Bravo to him. Period.

The said open letter to the CDS written by the Hon. Albert Kan-Dapaah and the Hon. K.  Osei-Prempeh follows below.

Please read on:

 "Dear Air Marshal Oje,

I did not have the benefit of listening to your Press Conference held on Friday, 25 November 2016, but I have read the reportage as captured on Ghanaweb the same day and to tell you the truth I was not amazed. You will recall that I had the great honour of serving my country as Minister of Defence and in that capacity I worked with you and many distinguished servicemen and women.

I got to know you personally during that period and as you are aware I have tremendous respect for your high sense of professionalism and patriotism. I think that some of your pronouncements and indeed posture at the press conference were an attack on some of the values that the military hold dearly.

I have since taken the liberty to discuss it at length with my friend the former Deputy Attorney General, Hon. Kwame Osei Prempeh and we have decided to send to you this Open Letter. We do this not out of malice but because we believe that certain principles must be protected.

Our first concern is that your pronouncements at the said Press Conference pose a threat to the Liberal Democratic  path (a hybrid of the US/Westminster systems) which we have embarked on since the beginning of the fourth republic in 1993 and this must be of concern to all well-meaning Ghanaians.

The concept of civilian control of the military has been dealt a big blow. Coming from the CDS and considering the timing, we think that this is rather unfortunate and should be a matter of great concern to all of us – politicians, including the ruling government, civil society groups, the Council of State and the public at large.

Secondly, we are of the opinion that considering your position as the CDS, especially your mentoring responsibility, your posture was too aggressive and your choice of words and patronizing manner as you delivered your warnings to your compatriots (including His Excellency the President) left much to be desired of a top military officer in a liberal democracy. Not surprisingly, many people have commented that your attitude was akin to military dictatorship or the authoritarian democracies that are gradually emerging in our part of the world.

Certainly your posturing did not suggest to many observers that as the head of our Armed Forces you would want to submit yourself to civilian control. Did the Chairman of the Armed Forces Council or the Minister of Defense authorize you to come up with all those policy statements which have serious implications for the security of our country?

You stated that you have assessed the security situation in the run up to the election and you see enemies of state everywhere who are hell bent to disturb the peace and stability of our dear country and that such law breakers or “warmongers” would be crushed on election day. But, if we may ask why not before? Why do you want to wait till the day of the election? Again what would happen after the so called warmongers have been crushed on the day of the election?

Thirdly, two fundamental issues arise out of this conference and must be answered.

Did you as the CDS, hold the press conference on your own initiative without the approval of the Commander in Chief or his representative, the Minister of Defence?

Did the President and the Commander in Chief or the Minister of Defence approve the press conference and thus the plan to crush unarmed law breakers on Election Day with military force?

An affirmative answer to either question has serious implications not only on civilian control of the military in a liberal democracy but also the use of military force in any   internal security operations.

Fourthly, we find it strange that you as CDS took the centre stage at a joint press conference with the Inspector General of Police in a security operation in which the military must only play a supporting role. Any wonder that some members of the populace have argued that  the purpose of the press conference was to create fear and panic  with a view to intimidating  voters who want to exercise their franchise?

Our humble advice to you is to tone down the rhetoric and also reduce your public pronouncements. Such public pronouncements should be led by the Minister of Defence with the CDS in support to explain operational issues, if necessary. That way, the Minister takes responsibility for any lapses and shields the CDS from public attacks which have the potential to erode confidence in the military.

If indeed, you had the permission of the President to embark on this media blitz where you threatened to use the full force of the military on unarmed civilian protagonists in an election in which the Commander in Chief himself is a candidate then this must be worrying.

Equally disturbing is the moral question of using the military force against one’s own citizens in an election disturbance which the civil police should ordinarily be able to handle.

Furthermore, it raises the issue of unwittingly inviting the military into the political space. We must at all times insulate the military institution from politics and public attack and ridicule.

It is important to emphasise that civilian control of the military in a democratic dispensation is all about the civilian authority being the ultimate decision maker in as far as the use of  military force is concerned .The military then carries out the execution of the assigned tasks professionally and  without much interference from the civil authority.

Our humble plea is that at this point in time we must focus on finding solutions to all issues which have the potential to trigger violence even before the elections on 7th December 2016. We do not have to wait until Election Day before we “crush” the warmongers so to speak. That will be too late in the day and in any case, what happens after we have crushed the warmongers? The unintended consequences are too dire (including military takeover) for us to contemplate.

At this stage, permit us distinguished CDS, to ask you to join us to admonish the major actors during this election season as follows. The main actors in this election are the political parties, the Electoral Commission, Civil Society groups including the media, Ghanaians, our security agencies and most importantly our President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces who is also a candidate and has the responsibility of controlling the security agencies.

We appeal to all the actors to exhibit professionalism tinged with a high sense of integrity and selflessness in discharging whatever duties are expected of them.  In particular we urge you to advise the President not to get the military involved in any contentious election duties (such as keeping ballot boxes  in its custody) in order to avoid dragging the military into any quagmire.

The current arrangement whereby the military plays a supporting role to the police in election security should suffice for now if we are to avoid embroiling the military in any election dispute. The military is so vital an institution whose image we must all protect.

All political party leaders should urge their members and supporters to refrain from any acts of provocation that can lead to violence. Whereas it is the responsibility of the governing party to ensure there is peaceful election, the opposition parties should also note that they cannot achieve their aim of effecting a change in government if the election cannot take place due to violence.

They both have a shared responsibility of peaceful co-existence and therefore must exercise restraint even under extreme provocation.

The Electoral Commission (EC) has a very herculean task. The success or otherwise of this election rests squarely on its shoulders. There will always be provocation from the political actors.

The EC’s ultimate goal is to deliver a free, fair and transparent election.

The professional abilities, integrity, selflessness and above all the emotional intelligence of its staff will come into play if the EC is to succeed.

The Commission has a rich history of delivering credible elections and we recall the wonderful work of Justice Abban (Electoral commissioner in the 1970s) who fearlessly refused to change the people’s verdict to the wishes of the then military government during the UNIGOV referendum in 1978. How we wish we could return to those good old days when the value of integrity and selflessness of state officials was the norm rather than the exception.

Our final advice to the security agencies is for them to discharge their responsibilities to the best of their ability bearing in mind the timeless values of Service and Integrity.

We assure you, our distinguished CDS that we have published this Open Letter without any malice and we hope that you will carefully consider the suggestions and pieces of advice contained in this letter.
With assurances of our highest esteem, we remain,

Hon. A. Kan-Dapaah, Former MP and Minister of Defence

Hon. K. Osei-Prempeh, Former Deputy Minister of Justice & Deputy Attorney General."

End of culled open letter by the Hon. Kan-Dapaah and the Hon. K. Osei-Prempeh to the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Michael Samson-Oje culled from Ghanaweb.com.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Why A Vote For Nduom Is A Vote For Uniting Ghanaians And Securing Ghana's Future

This election year, Ghanaians  must elect a new leader who will unite their country, and secure its future.

Alas, the challenge we face, is that the personal philosophy underpinning the actions and inactions of the vast majority of ordinary Ghanaians - when it comes to politics - is neatly encapsulated in that nation-wrecking phrase: "My tribe, my party, right or wrong!"

It is unfortunate that so many Ghanaians are still unable to comprehend the fact that if we do not have radical change on Wednesday, 7th December, 2016, our homeland Ghana will be doomed for a  very long time to come.

Simply replacing the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), with the New Patriotic Party (NPP), as presently constituted, will not change Ghana, unfortunately. That  is a dead-end-path we must not opt for at this critical juncture of our nation's history.

For, whiles in the political wilderness, the NDC will definitely pay back the NPP with the same slash-and-burn tactics the NPP's extremists employed in carrying out their long-term strategy of sabotaging the nation-building effort during the NDC's 8 years in power, to make it unpopular and bring about regime-change that way, whiles the NPP was in the political wilderness itself.

It has obviously worked a treat for NPP extremists such as Bernard Antwi-Boasiako and Kennedy  Adjapong MP - but that nation-wrecking long-term  strategy's effects have been detrimental for our nation and its people.

As most discerning Ghanaians  are aware, the NDC/NPP duopoly that has dominated our nation's politics since  the 4th Republic came into being, is made up of two big political parties the dissembling-hardliners of which are specialists in the dissemination of fake news about each others' parties', through never-ending propaganda on the airwaves of television and FM radio stations across the nation - and  both parties are structured to collaborate with the selfsame vested interests sucking the very lifeblood out of our country: for their mutual benefit.

That is why as things currently stand, if elected to govern Ghana again, the NPP will simply take over the present system, lock stock and barrel - and replace all those grasping and mostly-incompetent NDC regime-cronies appointed to upper-echelon positions in public-sector entities,  by President Mahama & Co, with their own set of NPP square-pegs-in-round-holes.

It is called Kokofu-football-politricks.  In other words, the brutal gang-rape of Mother Ghana is set to continue if the NPP comes to power again, after the presidential and parliamentary elections. That will be disastrous for younger generation Ghanaians - who therefore ought to consider their collective future: and opt instead for an Nduom presidency to protect that future.

The question they must ponder over is: Why has the NPP's presidential candidate, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, deftly struck alliances and kept dissatisfied party members, in line, by reminding them that there are hundreds of upper echelon public-sector positions in the gift of Ghana's president?

With respect, is the cynical implication of that statement not an indirect way of saying that they could be appointed to any of those positions if they don't rock the boat -  by not expressing dissent publicly: to enable the NPP (in reality a party riven by personal animosities amongst its leading lights) come to power by presenting a seemingly united front to the world?

Is that not the selfsame kind of machine-politics resulting in the horse-trading and cynicism  destroying our nation today?

Ghanaians must never forget that like Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, the late President Mills, was also an incorruptible leader - yet his regime ended up being so corrupt it spawned the create-loot-and-share judgement debt scandals: including that of the GHc51.2 million paid unlawfully to the super-scoundrel Woyome.

That is why this blog boldly predicts that if the NPP is returned to power again, after Wednesday's presidential and parliamentary elections, high-level corruption will worsen from 7th January, 2017 onwards. And many disappointed Ghanaians will regret not plumping for Nduom by casting their votes to help elect  him into office as President of the Republic of Ghana.

This blog has no doubt whatsoever that the new NPP regime will  gradually evolve into  a lucrative  family business - controlled by the greediest  of the incorruptible  Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo's blood relations. Their iron grip on party finances is the writing on the wall - and a harbinger of things to come: their family's golden age of business.

It will put the golden age of business for the perfidious Kufuor & Co's blood relatives and regime-cronies in the shade for sure.

That is why the question that younger generation Ghanaians must  ponder over is: Why do the John Boadus, Freddie Blays, the Bernard Antwi-Boasiakos and the rest of them, refuse to publicly publish their assets and those of their spouses before the elections - and why it is that they are so adamant that they will also not reveal the sources of the NPP's campaign funds to the world?

Additionally, this blog also predicts that if the NPP comes to power, as sure as day follows night,  the Akyem Abuakwa  State Council will grow wings and become insufferable  and incredibly arrogant - as  its acolytes roam parts of the Eastern Region laying claim to vast tracts of registered land held in private hands. That will definitely lead to violence in such areas.

Younger generation voters who are educated, and are capable of independent-thinking, ought to realise that simply turfing out the NDC regime of President Mahama, and replacing it with an NPP regime poised to take over the system and exploit it for the benefit of its key members, and their cronies, is not real change that benefits our country and its people.

In that sense, voting the NPP into power, will rather be a retrogressive step. It will not be change for the better. Yet a change of government is a must this election year.

Nduom is the real deal for the change we actually  need: He will help create a new Ghana in which hard work always pays and gives one a better life - not personal advancement secured through party affiliation and whom at the top of society one knows:  which the NDC/NPP duopoly's egregious nepotism represents.

In a Ghana under an Nduom presidency, all honest and innovative entrepreneurs - running micro-scale; small-scale; medium-scale; and large-scale businesses - will be able to thrive and prosper.

That is because for the first time Ghanaians will have as their president, a very successful businessperson, who knows the exact conditions needed by private-sector players to enable them create wealth that remains in the country, and generate jobs galore that will enable young people to have the opportunity to earn a decent living and save for their individual futures.

Under an Nduom presidency, the most honest and principled Ghanaians, and the nation's best minds - irrespective of their party affiliation - with solid track records of individual achievements, will be brought into government to help transform Ghana.

That is why a vote for Nduom is a vote for uniting our nation and securing its future. Amongst all those standing for the presidency on Wednesday, December 7th, it is only Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, who will be able to bring about the radical systemic change needed to transform Ghana into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia. We rest our case.


Saturday, 3 December 2016

Open Letter To The Chief of Defence Staff, The Inspector General of Police & Heads of Ghana's Secret Services

Gentlemen,

I shall go straight to the point: In light of the bellicose noises being made by a number of  verbally-aggressive politicians, you ought to meet with all the presidential candidates, and their national and regional party chairpersons, as soon as practicable.

During that crucial meeting, you must make it absolutely clear to all of them that as last-line defenders of our constitutional democracy, you will not tolerate any violence perpetrated by political party supporters that will tip Ghana over the precipice, on polling day, 7th December, 2016, and in the days in its immediate aftermath.

Gentlemen, in an age of global terrorism, you must delve into the bottom of the allegation that the military has seized an arms cache in Kumasi - the selfsame city in which an unregistered female Chinese "arms trader" was exposed not too long ago.

The latest arms cache said to have been seized by the military in the Kumasi home of a known member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), is reported to have been delivered in vehicles with Nigerian registration plates. If true, that is simply intolerable: How did those vehicles get into Ghana with arms and ammunitions in them?

With regional terrorist groups such as Boko Haram extending their footprint across the west African sub-region,  you must be vigilant: and ensure that they do not use power-drunk and power-hungry political actors to gain access to our sovereign territory: and cause mayhem here on their behalf.

Who was behind the planting of the improvised explosive device said to have been discovered near the residence of the deputy regional minister of the Ashanti Region, not too long ago? Perchance, was that incident a dry-run for more of such terror attacks, going forward into the future, after the elections?

It is said that coming events cast their shadows. You must always be conscious of the fact that we have a political class made up mostly of "professional politicians" - unprincipled and amoral characters: who see political office as an opportunity to amass wealth by stealth: and for whom either winning power or holding on to it is a matter of life and death. Literally.

Gentlemen, you owe it to the ordinary people of Ghana - in whom sovereignty resides under the 1992 Constitution - to protect them from such vile and despicable individuals, for whom politics is a lucrative business: and who arrogantly think they can use violence as a political tool to advance their selfish interests.

Keep tabs on all verbally-aggressive politicians - from across the spectrum - from now until the days in the immediate aftermath of the presidential and parliamentary elections, when the results are officially declared by the Electoral Commission.

Let your Special Forces deal ruthlessly with those of them that incite violence amongst their parties' supporters - wherever such incidents occur in Ghana. The NDC's Naaba Abdulai, Robert Owusu and Solomon Nkansah come readily to mind.

Above all, ignore the outrageous remark reportedly  made recently by Hackman Owusu Agyemang of the New Patriotic Party - a fine gentleman who ought to  have known better if true - that a Chief of the Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces had commented publicly on the prevailing tense  political climate and that that was unprecedented. Pure nonsense on bamboo stilts.

Gentlemen, what is unprecedented in the history of Ghana's  4th Republic,  is the egregious arrogance of a regional NPP chairperson, the uncouth and verbally-aggressive Bernard Antwi-Boasiako,  'ordering' security agency personnel to disobey their superiors, and a sitting NPP member of Parliament, that barbarian and loud-mouthed Kennedy Adjapong, publicly urging party supporters to lynch security agency personnel protecting polling stations, under certain circumstances, on polling day. Imagine that.

That leading figures in a political party can be so irresponsible and still remain influential party members is beyond belief in a civilised country such as ours. That is why for the sake of the ordinary people of Ghana, you must deal ruthlessly with all those amongst  our mostly amoral, unprincipled and corrupt political class, who will forment trouble during polling day, and in its immediate aftermath.

Clearly, under the circumstances (with such cynical and ruthless individuals exerting considerable influence in their parties), that is the only way to protect Ghanaian democracy: whose last-line defenders you command  - during polling day and in the days following the declaration of the results of the presidential and parliamentary elections.

Gentlemen, always remember that Ghana is not the private property of any group of politicians. Neither is leading the nation as President of the Republic of Ghana the birthright of any politician - such that our country must burn because he or she is  dissatisfied with election results.

Finally, should the need to do so ever arise, please stand up to our political class, on behalf of the ordinary people of Ghana,  on polling day - and in the days following it. This is our only homeland and we do not want to end up becoming refugees elsewhere.

No politician or group of extremist individuals must be allowed to turn the lives of ordinary people in this country upside down, and destabalise our nation, and get away with it. Please make sure that that never happens.

Thank you.

Yours in the service of Mother Ghana,

Kofi Thompson.


Thursday, 1 December 2016

After The Elections Should We Not Have A National Conversation About A New System For Ghana That Will Unite Our Country?

''An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all."
                                  - Oscar Wilde (1854-1900).

At the heart of all our beloved country's problems, is the fact that this continues to be a nation pandering to an institution underpinned by inherited privilege - the greatest enemy of meritocracy - that is also the bastion of tribal-supremacism in Ghana: Chieftaincy.

There are some  in this country who are of the opinion that Ghana will never progress if it does not rid itself of the Chieftaincy institution.

To such Ghanaians, it is significant that India, which got rid of its Maharajahs, has, despite the  sizeable proportion of its population mired in poverty, at the beginning of its post-independence history, succeeded in becoming a globally significant economic power that has lifted hundreds of millions of its citizens out of poverty and created a large  and prosperous middle-class on top of that.

They point out the fact that Indian nationalist leaders - such as Jawaharlal Nehru -  who fought to end Britain's occupation of their country, and free their people from British colonial rule, understood clearly that they could not continue to maintain the privileges of India's Maharajahs, in an independent India, and possibly hope to modernise and transform their country successfully.

The same applies to Ghana. The Chieftaincy institution is a bastion of tribal-supremacism - the source of the miasma of backward thinking and divisiveness  that has enveloped our homeland Ghana.

Tribal-supremacists exist in all the ten regions of Ghana - and everywhere they are to be found, the palaces of Chiefs are the focal points from which their Dark-Ages-worldviews emanate, and are spread from.

The plain truth about tribalism, is that the foolish and arrogant assumptions behind  it, have been shown to be fallacious: scientific research shows clearly that we are virtually the same people - who more or less share the same DNA. In other words, in 21st century Africa, no tribe on the contingent, is superior or  inferior to another. End of story. Case closed.

If we are so attached to the Chieftaincy institution, because we feel that it is the fulcrum around which our traditional culture revolves, then as a people, why do we not  replace it with an elected monarchy, in which - on the basis that all Ghanaian citizens are royals - any Ghanaian who meets certain basic minimum requirements, can be elected to become  King or Queen of Ghana, and serve for an initial period of five years in that august position (with a maximum of two five-year tenures)?
 
Naturally, it will require a new Constitution, which will abolish Chieftaincy in Ghana, and enable ordinary Ghanaians to finally rid themselves of the baleful influence of today's tribal-supremacist progeny of the pre-colonial ruling elites - whose forebears' effeteness and lack of gumption led to the catastrophe and abomination that European and British occupation of our country in the colonial era, represents.

The question is: Now that we are a free people, living in a constitutional democracy, should ordinary Ghanaians not welcome the opportunity to write a new Constitution that will underpin an elected monarchy, which will unite the nation as never before,  and abolish the present tribalistic Chieftaincy institution?

Why continue tolerating a corruption-riddled straightjacket - the 4th Republic and the 1992 Constitution underpinning it: that after all are the twin legacies of a brutal military dictatorship, I ask?

A key benefit of opting for a new Constitution, aside

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

A Rare Gem Tigo Ghana Ought To Earmark For Accelerated Promotion

Every older generation Ghanaian, who is a patriot and loves this country passionately, invariably cares a great deal about the future of our homeland Ghana's younger generations.

That concern for the welfare of our nation's young people makes such older generation Ghanaians take an interest in brilliant young people they come across - as it is they who will take up the mantle of leadership: and shape the destiny of Ghanaians in the coming decades.

A personal concern of mine is that my generation does not compromise the future of our nation's younger generations, by our actions and inactions.

In light of that, I have an abiding sense of shame that my generation has been responsible for the trashing of what is left of Ghana's natural heritage.

The incontestable evidence is  the decimation of our  nation's forests by illegal loggers and dishonest legally registered timber companies, and the poisoning of soils, streams, rivers, as well as the groundwater table across vast swathes of the Ghanaian countryside, by both illegal galamsey miners and legally registered gold miners.

Today, it is now clear to me that I  obviously did not do enough to stop a prediction I made in the late 90s coming true: that  our nation would be importing timber within a decade and a half if we did not halt the gang-rape of our forests by  greedy and selfish individuals.

And it is also obvious that despite all the noise one makes, one is failing to make an impact in ending the impunity of the wealthy criminals behind most of the illegal gold mining in Akyem Abuakwa, in particular, and across Ghana generally.

(Yet, it has become pretty obvious that a major consequence of the egregious destruction of the natural environment, across the nation, is that it will lead inexorably to Ghana becoming a water-distressed country in less than a decade and a half, if it is not halted now.)

For that reason, and as a way for me to make amends for that abject failure in my writing on the subject not having any impact whatsoever on halting environmental degradation in Ghana, I have always sought to befriend the brightest and the best of younger generation Ghanaians I come across, and share what little experience and knowledge I have, with them.

(My hope being that those of them who are caring individuals will see that being compassionate does have its own rewards - it helps make life a little more bearable for the vulnerable in Ghanaian society: and contributes to making ours a more caring nation, the citizens of which live in harmony with each other, and with Mother Nature.)

About a couple of months ago, for example,  I came across an amazing young man, Mr. Bright Kofi Hagbevor, a Tigo employee at the Mallam junction Tigo customer centre - a real gem of an employee for any company that actually cares about the well-being of its customers.

To my amazement, he went to great lengths to ensure that I could access a Tigo mobile app fintech service, which I was having a little local difficulty with, so to speak.

After listening to my problem, he actually left his desk, went with me across the Mallam-Kasoa highway,  to a cross-platform mobile money  agent opposite the Tigo customer service centre, to take particulars from the agent, whom I had gone to, to gain access to some mobile wallet cash.

He then returned to the Tigo customer service centre across the road to key in the information obtained from the agent into his computer.

Having done that he then crossed that busy road yet again, to  the opposite side, and came back to the agent and gave him the information that finally resolved the matter for me.

Surprisingly, he refused a tip I offered him - and instead apologised profusely to me that I had had such a difficult time: and said I was always welcome to their Tigo customer centre if I needed any issues resolved.

In a nation that is a byword for poor customer service - in which many of those who serve the public often treat customers with utter disdain, when approached,  especially if those customers don't look prosperous enough - Tigo Ghana definitely ought to earmark Mr. Hagbevor for training that will fast-track his rise to the top in the company.

He is an excellent ambassador for Tigo - and certainly  has leadership qualities that will help Tigo Ghana enhance its brand yet further, going forward into the future. This blog wishes Mr. Bright Kofi Hagbevor well. He is a rare gem Tigo Ghana ought to earmark for accelerated promotion. He is also a credit to his family and his generation.

Monday, 28 November 2016

President Mahama's Administration Has A Fiduciary Duty To Cancel 'Agreement' Between Woyome's Anator Holding Company Limited And The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority

The minister for transport, the Hon. Fifi Kwettey, must move swiftly to cancel the so-called 'agreement' purportedly entered into between his predecessor, Dzifa Attivor, and Alfred Agbesi Woyome, on 28th August, 2015.

Ghanaians ought to be grateful to the activist group, OccupyGhana, for unearthing this dubious and shameful deal - which is a clever attempt to get Woyome to successfully take advantage of a state-owned entity's sundry  revenue streams to facilitate his return to financial viability again.

The said  'agreement' apparently covers an MoU between Woyome's Anator Holding Company Limited, and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority - to, of all things, build deep sea ports, industrial parks and green cities. Wonders. Imagine that.

That sod has such barefaced cheek. Under no circumstances must Woyome be allowed to lead Mother Ghana up the garden path, yet again, by the the top echelons of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC). Ever.

Have those responsible for this shabby deal with Woyome  no sense of shame at all? Why sanction such a  commercial monstrosity, I ask? This abominable, unspeakable and unpardonable outrage cannot go ahead - and must not be allowed to go ahead.

One now understands the fears of the former transport minister, Dzifa Attivor, that National Democratic Congress (NDC) members like herself, would be jailed, if the New Patriotic Party (NPP) comes to power in 2017.

Perhaps she said so, because unbeknownst to most Ghanaians, she  had already midwifed a deal that made possible the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and Anator Holding Company Limited - on top of her unethical dealings with Smarttys Management and Production Company that led to the bus-branding scandal: a scandal over which she voluntarily resigned from her ministerial position.

Anator Holding Company Limited apparently belongs to the scoundrel Woyome. It is clearly the rip-off-vehicle of choice that he is now deploying, in his latest attempt to manipulate politicians in power, to enable him rip-off Mother Ghana, yet again.

Yes, it is true that no one can stop any businessperson from carrying out legitimate business in Ghana, as long as he or she follows all laid down proceedures, rules and regulations governing the sector of the economy they register their businesses to operate in.

However, any politician who is principled and honest, approached by Woyome to sanction a deal between a company owned by him, Anator Holding Company Limited,  and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, would flatly turn down that absurd  request, on the spot.

The 28th  August, 2015, so-called 'agreement' purportedly signed by Dzifa Attivor, and Alfred Agbesi Woyome, is a classic example of how our vampire-elites exploit our nation, when in power - in sundry "Chopping-Ghana-small" rip-off 'agreements' with regime-cronies that are not in the nation's best interests.

The hard work of the management and staff of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has turned  their organisation into a thriving public-sector entity, which is globally competitive, and generates considerable annual revenues for our nation.

They must not besmirch that well-deserved  reputation, by becoming entangled with Woyome, at the behest of crooked and unpatriotic politicians.

If Alfred Agbesi Woyome wants to build deep sea ports, industrial parks and green cities, no one can stop him from so doing - however,  he must source project funds and look for partners to realise his personal dreams, by himself: not through state-owned entities.

Under no circumstances must Woyome be allowed  to ride  on the coattails of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority - and use its well-earned reputation and goodwill to approach banks across the globe to source funds  for his grandiose schemes.

That is why the Hon. Fifi Kwettey must move swiftly to cancel what is said to be a non-binding  28th August, 2015, 'agreement' signed by his predecessor, Dzifa Attivor, and Woyome, reportedly Anator Holding Company Limited's  executive chairman. Immediately.

That scoundrel Alfred Alfred Agbesi Woyome, is definitely not a businessperson the Republic of Ghana must enter into a business arrangement of any sort, with, ever. Period.

Those currently in charge of the administration of our country have a fiduciary duty to cancel the 'agreement' between  Anator Holding Company Limited and the Ghana Ports and Harbours  Authority, immediately. Nothing that could endanger and encumber any of the revenue streams of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority must be permitted by our nation's leaders - as it will endanger Ghana's public finances.

At all costs they must  prevent Woyome from approaching any banks (both in Ghana and overseas) to provide that chancer - either in his personal capacity, or on behalf of his company Anator Holding Company Limited - with a loan of US$8.5 million for "feasibility studies", as part of a larger sum to fund projects: doubtless using the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority's varied revenue-streams as collateral.

As an alternative, would it not be far better, for example, for the government of Ghana, to approach the Japanese government, directly, on behalf of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, and offer it the opportunity to enhance Japan's natural disaster resilience strategy yet further - to protect its national economy - by partnering the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority  to build deep sea ports, industrial parks and green cities in Ghana, as earthquake and tsunami insurance: to enable Japan  continue exporting its manufactured products to the world even when severe natural disasters strike it and virtually shut down its manufacturing sector?

This blog has suggested such disaster-resilience  partnerships between the Republic of Ghana and Japan in a number of past blog posts. Woyome cannot therefore possibly  claim it as his patented idea - and seek to prevent the Ghana Ports and Harbours from making such a proposal to the government of Japan, through the government of Ghana.

Woyome is welcome to take the idea to Japan and sell it to the captains of Japanese industry - to  try and get them to partner his new vehicle Anator Holding Company Limited. And this blog offers it to him free of charge - but on condition that he steers clear of all public-sector entities and does not involve the government of the Republic of Ghana, in pitching his ideas there: or anywhere else in the world for that matter.

In light of public disenchantment with the payment of GHc51.2 million to Woyome as 'judgement debt' President Mahama's administration must understand clearly that it has a fiduciary duty to cancel the purported 'agreement' between  Woyome's Anator Holding Company Limited, and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.

Let them leave Woyome to his own devices - and ask him to personally fund his own deep sea ports, industrial parks and green cities, without entangling state-owned entities in any of his dubious schemes. Ordinary Ghanaians are fed up with Ghana's vampire-elites' "Chopping-Ghana-small" deals. Enough is enough. Full stop. End of story. Haaba.

Hmm, Ghana - enti yeweiye enei? Asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.



Saturday, 26 November 2016

If It Wins Power How Will The NPP Fund Its Many Campaign Promises - In A Nation Drowning In Debt?

As Ghanaian political slogans go, "One village, one dam" and "A million dollars each year for every constituency in Ghana",  are hard to beat. Very clever marketing narratives, indeed. Literally.

The question is: How many villages are there in Ghana precisely - and will they all actually have dams built in them: as that New Patriotic Party (NPP) election campaign slogan marketing it to voters seems to imply?

And have those who came up with the idea already worked out the amount of money needed to build  all those dams - and where exactly will the funds to build them be sourced from? Will annual tax increases pay for the maintenance of those dams, for example?

And what time-frame is envisaged by the NPP,  for the construction and completion of dams in all the villages located on the surface of the Ghanaian landmass - from the date when its presidential candidate is sworn into office as Ghana's next President on 7th January, 2017: if  he wins the 7th December presidential election, that is?

One also wonders whether the genuises in the NPP who dreamt up the idea - of forking out one million dollars to each constituency from Ghana's oil revenues annually - intend to use the participatory-budgeting model, whereby all the residents of each constituency, in the country, meet to discuss and decide how to utilise their one million dollars, upon its receipt each year?

Or is it the case that the disbursement  and utilisation of the funds will be egregious examples of the opaque  NDC/NPP duopoly's pork-barrel machine politics in which local party bosses dispense patronage -  designed to create wealthy contractors who supply goods and services to the public sector at profiteering-prices: who will fund party activities?

We live to see the actual outcome of that particular NPP power-grab-wheeze.

Some of us have not forgotten that when it suited the perfidious Kufour & Co - at the time their regime was giving away Ashanti Goldfields for private-greed-reasons - they justified that betrayal of the masses of the Ghanaian people by saying their regime did not believe in governments running businesses (its response to those critising Ghana ceding its golden share in Ashanti Goldfields when it was taken over by AngloGold).

So why is the NPP now proposing to build "one factory in every district in Ghana"? The question is: Does the NPP have a list of all the factories it intends to build across Ghana - "one in every district" of our Republic? Presumably it does - or it wouldn't make it a campaign promise, would it?

Will feasibility studies be conducted before they are built - and who will pay the consultants undertaking them, one wonders? Is that yet another ruse to create an avenue for the enrichment of a powerful and greedy few?

For example, who exactly will appoint the board of directors and managers who will run those factories - and will  such appointments be based on experience,  track-record, competence and qualifications only? And where exactly will the capital for those factories come from, one wonders?

Above all, will those positions be advertised nationwide - or is the idea indeed a clever scheme to provide employment for NPP members across the country: as some of the cynics and conspiracy theorists in our midst insist is the case?

There are far too many contradictions in the case being made by the NPP's leaders to be given the mandate to govern Ghana again.

How can they reconcile proposing tax-cuts, whiles making promise upon promise to spend vast amounts of taxpayers' money on all manner of promised initiatives and sundry policies?

Under the next NPP regime, taxpayers will apparently be bailing out greedy individuals in the Brong Ahafo Region, who lost money when they fell for what amounted to a something-for-nothing ponzi scheme, by the defunct savings and loan company,  DKM.

Furtheremore, taxpayers will also pay for the government to provide "low electricity tariffs"; pay for government to "lower the price of fuel" for vehicles;  pay for the provision of allowances to groups of public-sector professionals, such as nurses and teachers; provide free senior high school education; pay for free healthcare;  pay for the building of auditoriums across the country to serve as creative arts performance venues; pay for salary increases for all manner of public-sector employees holding Mother Ghana hostage through strike actions; etc., etc. Ebeei. Haaba. How extraordinary.

As someone who believes that the most effective means of fighting high-level corruption in Ghana, is to force politicians to publicly publish their assets and those of their spouses, as well as publicly publishing all the sources of their parties' election campaign funds, I simply don't trust most of the members of our nation's political class.

It is therefore pretty  hard for one to resist the view that those who now dominate the NPP have adopted a deliberate policy of making empty promises - just to enable their party  win power.

Who has ever heard the loquacious Dr. Bawumia discussing how to grow a debt-distressed economy - in a nation that foolishly spends nearly 70 percent of its total tax revenues paying mostly unproductive public-sector employees: who are  forever embarking on strike action for yet more pay and allowances, instead of earning their salaries?

Yet, it is an issue that needs addressing by feckless and amoral politicians making endless pledges to spend  taxpayers' money in order to win the votes of people who seldom do any critical-thinking  - and whose motto, when it comes to politics, is invariably: "My tribe, my party, right or wrong!"

Finally, if it wants to convince skeptics like myself that it is not simply making empty promises in order to win power,  the NPP must state clearly and unambigously, how, if it wins power in the December presidential and parliamentary elections, it intends to fund its many campaign promises.

The question we must all ponder over  is: Is the harsh reality facing Ghanaians, not the brutal fact that this is a country with productivity challenges, which is also addicted to the importation of cheap and  shoddy goods from abroad, which, alas, is also lumbered with a massive debt:  that needs servicing regularly regardless of the nation's circumstances - such as this being an African nation drowning in debt that is also dominated by a super-ruthless vampire-elite?

Hmm, Ghana, enti yewieye paa enei? Asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.

Friday, 25 November 2016

We Commiserate With The Late Kwabena Boadu's Family And New Patriotic Party Colleagues

The death has been announced in Wa, the capital of the Upper West Region, of Mr. Kwabena Boadu, an aide to Dr. Mahamdu Bawumia. It is always sad when the lives of brilliant young people end suddenly in rather tragic circumstances.

There is no question that the brightest and best of Ghana's younger generations hold the key to the destiny of our nation - going forward into the future.

That is why older generation Ghanaians must cherish such bright young minds - and encourage and mentor them to serve our country and protect its best interests at all material times: whatever their political leanings

From all accounts, the late Mr. Kwabena Boadu - a strategist who served as a special assistant to Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia,  the running mate of the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party's (NPP), Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo - was a brilliant young man who apparently had a very bright future ahead of him.

It is unfortunate that his life has been cut short so painfully, and tragically, as the NPP election campaign that he is said to have contributed so significantly to, finally draws to an end, in less than a fortnight - with votes being cast on 7th December, 2016.

Media reports have it that he was electrocuted in the bathroom of a  hotel room he spent the night in, during an election campaign trip, up north, to Wa, the capital of the Upper West Region, with Dr. Bawumia.

The question we must pose is: To ensure that  Kwabena Boadu does not die in vain, should the relevant regulatory authorities responsible for the inspection and certification of the electrical wiring of buidings, nationwide, not carry out a thorough investigation into why a guest in that particular  hotel was electrocuted?

One also hopes that the property is insured by its owners, to ensure that adequate compensation  is paid out to the surviving family members who are next of kin of those who lose their lives through such fatal incidents, when lodging there.

May Kwabena Boadu's soul rest in peace. He will doubtless be in the thoughts of many Ghanaians today - who will put aside party rivalry and look instead to our common humanity for solace.

Many will doubtless also mourn with his family and party colleagues - and share their pain that he has passed away at such a young age.

Alas, death awaits all of us - whatever our station in life happens to be. That journey into the known unknown is one that we are reminded of whenever we hear of the passing away of others.

Very much aware of that cold and lonely end we will all face, one day, too, this blog commiserates with the late Kwabena Boadu's family and party colleagues. On a purely human level we do indeed share their loss: political differences notwithstanding. May he rest in peace.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

For Mother Ghana's Sake Wise Voters Must Reject Both Presidential Candidates Of The NDC/NPP Doupoly

With just a little over two weeks to go for the December 7th presidential and parliamentary elections, it ought to be pretty clear to all discerning Ghanaians, by now, that the elections have literally become a matter of life and death, for the constituent parties that make up the corruption-riddled NDC/NPP duopoly.

The question is: Will voters put the well-being of our homeland Ghana above narrow-minded tribalism and mean-spirited partisanship - and vote for the most suitable candidate to govern our nation amongst those vying for the presidency in the December presidential  election: Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom?

It is extraordinary that so many Ghanaians still do not realise that essentially, both the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the main opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), are political machines structured to exploit political power mostly for the benefit of our ruthless vampire-elites. They are two sides of the same debased coin. Literally.

The plain truth, is that as a result of the machine-politics they practice, the two constituent political parties that make up the NDC/NPP duopoly, are beholden to the very vested interests profiting mightily from the high-level corruption enabling them suck untold wealth out of our national economy, year after year - regardless of which of the two parties is in power at any given point in time.

The question is: Could that wealth being extracted from our  Byzantine system through high-level corruption not be used to improve the living standards of ordinary people throughout Ghana - if only we could rid ourselves of the malevolent NDC/NPP duopoly as well as those vested interests sucking the very lifeblood out of Mother Ghana?

It is a fact that amongst all the candidates standing in this year's presidential election, it is only Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, who is immune to the blandishments of the super-wealthy crooks (local and foreign), who are purloining our nation's wealth through high-level corruption.

That is why he is the only presidential candidate to  commit to instituting probes into all the regimes that have held power since the 4th Republic came into being - without exception. It matters not a whit to Nduom who will be caught in that anti-corruption dragnet when investigations into past corruption commence when he becomes Ghana's next president in January 2017.

Unlike President Mahama, and Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo - the candidates of the political parties that make up the NDC/NPP duopoly - Nduom does not desperately need anyone's money, to campaign for the presidency, with.

He has enough resources of his own - ensuring his financial independence in the quest for the presidency: a situation that frees him from being caught up in the clutches  of the vested interests brutally gang-raping Mother Ghana.

The tragedy for our country, is that those well-connected  thieves robbing our nation blind, have succeeded in ripping Mother Ghana off, over the years since the 4th Republic came into being in 1992 - with the active connivance of the constituent political parties making up the corrupt NDC/NPP duopoly: which are both beholden to them.

Let every voter tempted to vote for the NDC/NPP duopoly's presidential and parliamentary candidates ponder why the leading lights of both parties persistently refuse to publicly publish their assets (and those of their spouses), as well as publicly publish all the sources of their parties' election campaign funds, voluntarily.

The question there is: Why, if persistent high-level corruption is the biggest drawback to Ghana's transformation, are the NPP's John Boadus,  Freddie Blays, Dr. Bawumias, Bernard Antwi-Boasiakos - and the rest of that negative crowd forever talking down the enterprise Ghana's prospects - so adamant that they will never publicly publish their assets and those of their spouses, voluntarily?

Is such public publication of their personal assets, and those of their spouses, not the  best way they can prove to Ghanaians - in practical fashion - that unlike the NDC (whose leading members they daily accuse of being corrupt), they have no hidden wealth-creation agenda of their own, crafted to enable them amass wealth by stealth whiles in office, if they are voted into power in the December 7th elections?

And is it not  an absolute disgrace that the Ghanaian media -  large sections of which are irresponsible,  unethical and infamous for selling their collective consciences - fail to highlight this refusal by the sly and hypocritical John Boadus, Freddie Blays, Bernard Antwi-Boasiakos, Sammy Awukus and their fellow travellers in the NPP's upper echelons, to voluntarily publish their personal net worth, and that of their spouses, publicly?

If those greed-filled and shameless dissemblers  have nothing to hide, why do they not also publicly publish all the sources of the NPP's election campaign funds, voluntarily? Will that not put clear blue water between their confounded party and the NDC?

Enough is enough. We must get rid of the hypocritical NDC/NPP duopoly and end the alternating musical-chairs-Kokofu-football-politricks that secures them dominance of our nation's politics.

Ghana needs a fresh start. If we are to prosper as a people, the necessary conditions must be created, for all those who are self-employed and running their own enterprises (large and small) to thrive.

It is only a President Nduom - leading a government of national unity made up of the most honest and brilliant Ghanaians from across the political spectrum - who has the practical experience  and discipline needed to create the necessary conditions that will enable Ghana's private-sector to thrive.

That is why at this particular juncture of Ghana's history, it makes perfect sense to elect as President, someone like Nduom, who despite the difficult economic conditions prevailing  in the country, has actually succeeded in creating significant wealth - that remains in Ghana instead of being sent abroad into secret offshore bank accounts - and through the subsidiaries of his holding company, Groupe Nduom, has generated thousands of  well-paid jobs across the country.

In light of all the above, wise Ghanaian voters, especially our nation's educated younger generations,  must vote for Nduom and reject the NDC/NPP duopoly's two presidential candidates - who lead violence-prone political parties dominated by amoral and aggressive individuals prepared to see Ghana descend into violence and chaos: if that will enable their parties' to secure victory on polling day. Enough is enough. Period.








Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Ghanaian Politicians Ought To Leverage Some Of The Very Sensible Ideas of Ginni Rometty IBM's Chairperson, President & CEO

Today, this blog is publishing an open letter penned by  IBM's widely-respected Chairperson, President and  CEO, Ms. Ginni Rommety, to U.S. President-elect, Donald Trump, on the way forward for the U.S.

Our hope, in so doing, is that those in the top echelons of our nation's political parties, will take note of its contents - and leverage some of her eminently sensible ideas in their plans for our homeland Ghana.

Above all, we do hope that  it will lead to a conversation amongst Ghana's younger generations,  about how best they can protect their collective future, and the roles they can play today, individually, in shaping that future.

Ginni Rometty's open letter to U.S. President-elect, Donald Trump, is culled from the IBM Policy website.

Please read on:

"IBM CEO Ginni Rometty's Letter to the U.S. President-Elect

Washington, D.C. - IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty this week sent the following letter to the president-elect of the United States:

International Business Machines Corporation
Office of the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
One New Orchard Road
Armonk, New York 10504-1783

November 14, 2016

Mr. Donald J. Trump
Office of the Presidential Transition
1800 G Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20006

Dear Mr. President-elect:

Congratulations on your election as the 45th president of the United States.

Last Tuesday night you spoke about bringing the country together to build a better future, and the opportunity to harness the creative talent of people for the benefit of all. I know that you are committed to help America’s economy grow in ways that are good for all its people.

I am writing to offer ideas that I believe will help achieve the aspiration you articulated and that can advance a national agenda in a time of profound change. I do so as the leader of the nation’s largest technology employer, its leading patent creator, and the company that for more than 105 years has believed that prosperity and progress can be achieved by unleashing the potential of all people. Permit me to offer a few specific suggestions:

Creating “New Collar” Jobs

Getting a job at today’s IBM does not always require a college degree; at some of our centers in the United States, as many as one third of employees have less than a four-year degree. What matters most is relevant skills, sometimes obtained through vocational training. In addition, we are creating and hiring to fill “new collar” jobs – entirely new roles in areas such as cybersecurity, data science, artificial intelligence and cognitive business.

You’ve spoken about the importance of vocational education, and we agree. IBM has championed a new educational model for the United States – six-year public high schools that combine traditional education with the best of community colleges, mentoring, and real-world job experience. The first of these schools opened with IBM’s support 5 years ago in New York; we have hired some of the first graduates. There will soon be 100 such schools across the country. With your support, we could do much more. Let’s work together to scale up this approach of vocational training, creating a national corps of skilled workers trained to take the “new collar” IT jobs that are in demand here in America.

Building Intelligent, Secure Infrastructure

You’ve said we need to invest in America’s infrastructure, and we agree. As we build big, let’s also build smart. The country should focus on infrastructure investments that incorporate Internet of Things (IoT) technology and artificial intelligence to improve performance. And as infrastructure gets smarter, it also increases the need for cybersecurity, so that vital networks cannot be compromised. We recommend that your infrastructure package include incentives for states and localities to build intelligent – and secure – roads, bridges, buildings, and other public facilities.

Healthcare: Applying Lessons from Private Sector Experience

IBM operates one of the largest employer-sponsored health plans in the United States. In 2009, IBM offered 15 specific ideas for how America could save more than $900 billion over ten years through common-sense reforms to the healthcare system, leveraging lessons learned in the private sector. These included using data analytics to reduce fraudulent Medicare claims, improving the exchange of healthcare information among providers, and leveraging the government’s purchasing power to lower the cost of drugs and care. IBM will update its recommendations for the healthcare system and hopes to work with Congress and your HHS Secretary to drive better healthcare at lower cost.

Using Data to Fight Government Waste and Inefficiency

Eight years ago, IBM helped lead an effort to identify $1 trillion in savings the federal government could achieve through using advanced data analytics, data center consolidation, and the use of cloud technologies to improve the cybersecurity of key government systems. As part of the Technology CEO Council of which I am a member, we will prepare an updated set of recommendations for how you could use technology and fraud analytics to save the government more than $1 trillion.

Bringing Money Home to Invest in America

IBM supports your proposal to make American’s tax system more competitive. Many billions of dollars of American companies’ earnings do not come home because of an outdated and punitive tax system. Your tax reform proposal will free up capital that companies of all sizes can reinvest in their U.S. operations, training and education programs for their employees, and research and development programs. We will support the efforts of your administration and Congress to pass tax reform early in 2017.

Taking Care of Our Veterans – With the World’s Best Technology

All of us at IBM share your gratitude and devotion to the men, women and families who serve our country. More must be done to give our vets the best medical care possible. So we recently announced a pilot program with the Department of Veterans Affairs to help its oncologists treat 10,000 veterans through the power of precision medicine and genomic analysis powered by IBM’s cognitive computing system, Watson. We hope to work with your VA Secretary to expand this collaboration.

Mr. President-elect, IBM’s roots are in the United States. We are investing, hiring, and continuing to reinvent our company for long-term competitiveness. At more than 50 major locations across the country, we hired more U.S. employees last year than in the previous five years. We are opening new innovation centers and business units across the country. We are proud of the work we do here in the United States, just as we are proud of the work we do in more than 175 countries around the world.

In the years ahead there will be issues on which we agree, and issues on which we do not. But as you prepare to take office as our new president, I hope the ideas I have offered in this letter represent ways that we can work together to achieve prosperity that is broadly shared in our society.

Sincerely,

Ginni Rometty
Chairman, President and CEO, IBM"

End of Ginni Rometty's open letter to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, culled from the IBM Policy website. 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Disgraceful Confrontation In Front Of The Home Of The NPP's Presidential Candidate Must Be Condemned In No Uncertain Terms

A most shameful and violent incident occured on the morning of Sunday, 13th November, 2016, in front of  the principal private residence of Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, at Nima.

Incredibly,  according to news reports, in a confrontation between supporters of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the main  opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Nima home of the presidential candidate of the NPP, ended up being pelted with stones and empty glass bottles.

The NDC supporters involved in that early Sunday morning affray -  between supporters of the two biggest political parties in Ghana - had been participating in what was apparently supposed to be a healthy-lifestyle power-walkathon.

The question is: Why did the geniuses who organised it not choose a different route - one that would not have taken them past Nana Addo's residence?

The resulting outrage that occured on Sunday morning, because myrmidon-supporters of the NDC and NPP clashed around the home of Nana Addo, ought to be condemned in no uncertain terms. Such irresponsible and barbaric confrontations ought to have no place in our nation's politics.

Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo  has been in the trenches, in all the battles that have been fought by patriotic individuals, to restore and protect the  freedoms of ordinary Ghanaians from military dictatorships, over the decades.

He does not deserve such treatment. And neither does any other Ghanaian citizen, deserve such treatment, for that matter.

That unfortunate occurence, at Nana Addo's Nima residence, also highlights the daftness and folly of the NPP's continued refusal to allow the security agencies to protect its leaders - as is the case in all the major democracies of the West in an age of global terrorism.

It is that antipathy towards the security agencies by those who handle security matters for the NPP that no doubt made the Ghana Police Service's Nima Divisional Police Command initially hesitant, in  deciding to intervene to contain the uncalled for  violence - lest they be accused by the same NPP of being behind the violence that occured around Nana Addo's Nima residence.

The NPP cannot eat its cake and have it in the matter of the protection of its leaders - it either opts to handle its own security and accepts the consequences of that blinkered policy:  or opts to collaborate with the  state security agencies to ensure the protection of its leaders at all material times.

Its current stance on this issue is shortsighted and extremely foolish.

Be that as it may,  the point needs to be made that political violence has no place in 21st century Ghanaian politics. We are a civilised people after all, are we not?

That is why those who threw stones and bottles, into the compound of the Nima residence of Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, last Sunday morning, must not be left unpunished. They must all pay for the egregious crimes they committed that morning.

It is totally unacceptable that such a provocative incident - resulting from  the sheer stupidity of a number of undisciplined individuals, amongst the memberships and supporters of both the NDC and NPP, could occur in what is a democracy supposed to be underpinned by tolerance.

Nothing can justify what happened that morning. Naturally, we will all get to know the exact chain of events that morning,  in due course, after police investigations into that outrage  are completed. Violent individuals and and violence-prone groups of party supporters must never be allowed to hold our nation to ransom, ever.

That is why it is important that the leadership of the NDC visits the family of the presidential candidate of the NPP, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, today, at their Nima home - which was so shamefully violated by the morons who attacked it -  to sympathise with them and to offer them their moral support. 

And, from that selfsame Nima residence of Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo,  the NDC's leaders must issue a public apology on their party's behalf, for the psychological effects of the atrocious actions of the lawless elements amongst their party's supporters, on Nana Addo and his family. They will find that it will earn them the respect of discerning and independent-minded Ghanaians.

The NDC's leaders must condemn, in clear and unambiguous language, the uncivilised fools who disgraced their party, by acting so irresponsibly and shamefully.

Those who took part in that abominable and unspeakable act of madness - from both political parties - ought to be quickly identified, arrested, charged by the police, and swiftly prosecuted.

Hopefully, they will then be jailed by the law courts, for their reprehensible and  irresponsible actions and inactions - which could have sparked violence right across the nation.  We must never tolerate such barbarism in our nation's politics.

The Ghana Police Service must appeal for evidence - such as video and photographs - from the general public. It will help speed up investigations into the matter.

It will enable them to quickly identify those who hurled dangerous objects into the compound of the NPP's presidential candidate's Nima residence, and also tore NPP banner election campaign advertisments pasted on the fence-wall of the said property.

After receiving and analysing such video clips, and photographs, from members of the general public, who witnessed that abomination, the police must have still images from the videos and photographs of the perpetrators, published in all the newspapers.

The videos and photographs  must also be shown by all the television stations currently operating in Ghana. The Ghana Police Service must then ask all those subsequently identified by the public, to report to the CID headquarters, immediately.

It is totally unacceptable for the homes of the leaders  of Ghana's political parties to be attacked by unruly supporters of  rival political parties

Above all, the NPP security guard, on duty at Nana Addo's home  that Sunday morning, who allegedly pointed a gun at the commander of the anti-terrorism unit of the Ghana Police Service, then pionted it in the air, fired it, and pointed it back again at the commander of the ant-terrorism unit, ought to be arrested immediately, and processed for court as soon as practicable.

If that had happened in the UK, or the US, he would have died on the spot in a hail of bullets fired simultaneously by officers of their police  anti-terrorism units. And quite rightly too. He is a  barbarian, a bloody fool and an arrogant thug. Period.

Such gross disrespect shown to the men and women of the security agencies, who daily risk their lives to keep all Ghanaians safe, is simply intolerable - as was the violence shown by the irresponsible supporters of both the NDC and NPP around Nana Addo's residence at Nima.

 Ghanaian society ought to show its distaste for such egregious acts of violence, and make that abhorrence of political violence absolutely clear to supporters of all the political parties in this country - by demanding the prosecution of the perpetrators.

The time has now come for Ghana's political parties to collaborate with the security agencies to take the necessary steps needed to ensure that the homes of all presidential candidates are designated as security zones.

Public access to such homes ought to be restricted - and entry to them allowed for  a select and approved number of individuals only.

The point also needs to be made that in our Republic, leading our country is not the birthright of any politician - such that  our beloved country must be turned upside down by his or her supporters if they do not win presidential elections.

Both President Mahama and Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo will doubtless concur to that. As will all the other candidates vying for the presidency in this December's presidential election.

After all, to stop their country slipping into chaos and violence, ordinary Ghanaians might very well decide to vote overwhelmingly for Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom - who wants to form a government of national unity, made up of the most honest and brightest Ghanaians, irrespective of their political backgrounds - to become Ghana's next President.

Finally, whatever the immediate cause was, the confrontation between supporters of the NDC, and NPP, in front of the Nima home of the NPP's presidential candidate, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, last Sunday morning, ought to be condemned in no uncertain terms - by all who actually care about the stability and long-term future of our homeland Ghana. Nothing can justify it. Period

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Original Thinking And The Ability To Do Lateral Thinking Vital For Making Ghana A Better Place For All Its Citizens

 "It is the power of thought which gives man the mastery over nature."
              - Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875).

Our homeland Ghana has a very bright future - despite its many challenges - because the vast majority of its younger generations are exceptionally talented in many fields of human endeavour.

That ought to be pretty  obvious to all those who are clear-sighted, and far-sighted, enough, to recognise the possible potential impacts of the dynamism and amazing intelligence, of our country's educated younger generations.

One's hope, is that our nation's political class will be able to have the nous and gumption, needed to leverage the innovative and disruptive technologies, which  are changing the world for the better - and use them to help transform Ghanaian society into a prosperous one.

Towards that end, this blog is throwing a challenge to the leaderships of all the political parties in Ghana: Why do they not think creatively and make our country a global leader in the adoption of some of the world's most disruptive technologies - such as the use of self-driving vehicles - on a wide scale?

In the case of self-driving vehicles, for example, this blog is of the humble view that our ruling elites must be bold to approach companies like Uber; Lyft; Juno; Didi Chuxing; Google;  Ford;  Mercedes Benz;  BMW; Apple;  and Tesla, with a mutually beneficial proposal.

Surely, those companies could be persuaded by our leaders to form a consortium to undertake a feasibility study, on the viability of building  purpose-built concrete motorways from Tema to Paga, and from Aflao to Elubo, for the exclusive use of self-driving commercial vehicles - if the carrot for them will be that Ghana will make income from self-driving commercial vehicles using those motorways, tax-free?

And why do our ruling elites not also put the idea to Facebook that it could  partner Ghana in developing a national ID system using its DeepFace artificial intelligence software and bought-in proprietary  blockchain technology from  industry-class-leading companies such as Blockchain Technologies Corp?

The idea there is to issue all who reside in Ghana with hack-proof digital IDs that work like Facebook's users' "pages" that will enable them to have real-time, two-way conversations with state institutions, such the security agencies; the Ghana Revenue Authority; the National Health Insurance Authority; second-cycle and tertiary educational institutions;  etc., etc.

And could they also not put the idea to Mr. Aliko Dangote, the Nigerian tycoon, that he could develop a new lucrative business, building tolled concrete motorways from Accra to all the regional capitals - and charge motorists to use same for 25 years: after which his company will share the toll revenues on a 50-50 basis with Ghana in perpetuity - till the very end of time? Literally?

And if some of our oil money is used as helicopter-money to empower  entrepreneurs producing  sundry handmade products, with fair-trade value-chains, to access global e-commerce platforms, such as Etsy and Shopify, would that not create wealth and enable hundreds of thousands of SMEs - such as the truly-amazing Fiinas Decor, opposite Kasoa's Pink FM building, which has a training school that trains gifted but disadvantaged young adult females - to create jobs galore?

And since the only way to ensure that Ghanaians can have affordable electricity, is to have 100 percent renewable energy powering our country, why do our leaders not ask the VRA and GNPC to form a consortium with energy companies such as the U.S. energy storage company,  Aqueon, and the world's biggest wind turbine manufacturing companies, Goldwind from China, and Denmark's Vestas,  to produce 10,000MW of  renewable energy, from what will be the world's biggest offshore wind energy farm - with funding from a partnership with Alphabet, Google's parent company?

Ghana indeed has a very bright future - its myriad of problems not withstanding. All that our educated urban elites need - to help them make Ghana a better place for all its citizens, today, and tomorrow - is the gift of original thinking, and the ability to do some  lateral thinking, on their feet.

Naturally, many will doubtless say that the above-mentioned ideas are zany and not worth considering. That is their opinion. Sodden negative-spoil-sports who never see the silver lining in dark clouds. Pity.

The question there is:  As a people, what have we got to lose, by approaching those potential win-win nation-building partners mentioned above, and  having a conversation based on those ideas with them?

In life, is it not  those who dare dream, and fight hard to actualise those dreams, who  invariably win life's many battles? So one's prayer, is that our educated urban elites will be gifted with the ability to do some original thinking, and be able to think laterally, on their feet. Always.  Amen.












Thursday, 10 November 2016

The Case For An Nduom Presidency Is Indeed Compelling

One doubts very much whether there is any  discerning Ghanaian citizen alive today - who is a patriot and nationalist who actually cares about the future of this country - who does not feel that there is  a compelling  case for an  Nduom presidency.

The current political system, in which political parties focus exclusively on sharing the spoils of office, and dispensing patronage when they win power, ignores Ghanaian society's real needs, and fails to protect the national interest when it matters most.

To elect either of the two candidates representing the two constituent political parties making up the corruption-riddled NDC/NPP duopoly - that currently dominate our system - in this December's presidential election, will be to put the future of our country at risk.

Let us be brutally frank: Those two main political parties that have governed Ghana since the confounded 4th Republic came into being, are structured to sell Mother Ghana short - both when in power as ruling parties and whiles in the political wildernes as main opposition parties - in order to fund their activities.

And their long-term strategies for winning power, when in the political wilderness, is for the extremists in their midst to divide ordinary Ghanaians, and actively sabotage the nation-building effort, through slash-and-burn-politricks:  of the Kokofu-football-politricks kind.

Unfortunately, the plain truth, is that for financial reasons, both the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), and  the biggest opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), are beholden to the selfsame vested interests sucking the very lifeblood out of  Mother Ghana, through egregious high-level corruption.

That is why an Nduom presidency will be a fresh-start-opportunity for  the enterprise Ghana: He neither needs money from vested interests to fund his political party's election campaigns and day-to-day operations, nor fund his individual needs and that of his extended family clan. To which one says: Thank God for small mercies. Hallelujah. And, Amen.

If Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom is elected president, it will mean that for the very first time since the 4th Republic came into being, we will have a visionary and incorruptible leader, who actually understands clearly - from a practical standpoint - why Ghanaian entrepreneurs ought  to be assisted to seize the commanding heights of our national economy, by  using the purchasing power of the Ghanaian nation-state to achieve that goal.

An honest businessman, who pays all his taxes, and creates substantial wealth that remains in Ghana - instead of flowing out of the country into secret offshore bank accounts - and also provides thousands of well-paid jobs for young people in a very difficult economic climate (a Byzantine system not withstanding), is the perfect leader for our nation, at this critical juncture of its history.

A man  of unquestioned integrity,  who operates a business empire that is underperpinned by corporate good governance principles, Nduom wants to give back to society - by leading a government of national unity to move the nation forward.

He plans to do so, by  harnessing the talents of the most honest of Ghana's brightest and best minds - regardless of their political affiliations - to help transform Ghana into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia.

For such a noble and patriotic reason alone,  Nduom most certainly deserves to lead our homeland  Ghana as its next president - to be sworn into office on 7th January, 2017: after a surprise Trump-like win in this December's presidential election.

The case for an Nduom presidency after the December presidential election is indeed compelling: As a creator of wealth and jobs he is peerless. None of those vying for the presidency has a track record that comes anywhere close to that of Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom's legacy (as a  dynamic businessman succeeding in an environment many flounder in).

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Are There Dark Forces Trying To Prevent Dr. Nduom From Standing In The December Presidential Election?

The shocking news that the Electoral Commission (EC) has pointed out a further 105 errors in Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom's nomination forms, which apparently ought to be rectified by the close of today's working day, is rather baffling.

If press reports are to be believed, then one hopes that the decision by the Progressive People's Party's (PPP) presidential candidate, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom,  to head for the law courts again - as a result of that strange EC announcement of a discovery of 105  new errors on Nduom's nomination forms - will bear fruit for him.

What exactly is the point in the EC pointing out yet more errors in Dr. Nduom's nomination forms - up from just one error to as many as 105 new errors? It is a development that by any measure is indeed astonishing - and very disturbing in a nation striving to make its citizenry have confidence in all its key institutions of state.

There are many independent-minded, and principled Ghanaians, who are of the view that the EC's new stance, is tantamount to shifting the goal posts - in order to keep Nduom from running for president this year.

For such fair-minded Ghanaians - some of whom have condemnded the more immoderate critics of  the chairperson of the EC, Madam Charlotte Osei, in the past - the EC's new stance amounts to discriminating against Nduom.

It is hard to disagree with those who posit that the EC is exploiting the judgement  pronounced by the Supreme Court yesterday - in the appeal it filed asking the Supreme Court to nullify the High Court ruling asking it to allow Dr. Ndoum to rectify the single mistake on his nomination forms, which led to his disqualification - from standing as a candidate in this December's presidential election.

In pointing out a further 105 "mistakes" it says it  has discovered on Nduom's nomination forms, is the EC not running the risk of being accused by fair-minded Ghanaians,  of going fishing for yet more excuses - in order to enable it justify denying Dr. Nduom the opportunity to contest this year's presidential election?

in a sense, what the EC has done, in the case of Nduom, can be construed by some as evidence of a conspiracy against Nduom. If that is indeed the case, the question then is: Why is the EC so determined to keep Dr. Nduom out of this year's presidential election?

This blog is of the considered view that the EC is damaging its global image - and harming its international reputation as an African electoral body noted for fairness in conducting elections in Ghana - in being so intransigent  in the case of Dr. Nduom's candidacy.

The question we must ponder is: Perchance, does the EC's posture - in its attitude towards Nduom - result from pressure on it by  shadowy figures manipulating the system in order to prevent Nduom from contesting the December presidential election at all costs?

As patriots who love  Mother Ghana, dearly, this blog is of the humble view that Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom is the best candidate, for our country to elect as Ghana's next leader, in the December presidential election - because he dwarfs all the other candidates in terms of their abilities to create wealth and jobs in a very difficult economic environment.

All patriotic Ghanaians, who are indepedent-minded, and fair-minded, must not allow dark forces operating from  the shadows to continue manipulating the system, to prevent Dr. Nduom from contesting the December presidential election.

For the sake of today's younger generation  of educated (and not-so-well-educated) Ghanaians,  and to protect the well-being of future generations of our people,  we must all do everything possible to stop those evil dark forces operating from the shadows, from succeeding in their aim of eliminating Nduom from our nation's politics.

In a nation in which millions worship daily at the alter of the Cult-of-the-mediocre, Nduom - who wants to unify Ghanaians and turn our system into a meritocratic one in order to transform Ghana into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandanavia - is a national treasure we must  cherish and honour.

To protect their own individual futures, younger generation Ghanaians must awaken to the dangers our nation faces, if our homeland Ghana continues to be dominated by the kleptocratic NDC/NPP duopoly - made up of the no-longer-fit-for-purpose, corrupt and opaque National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the equally corrupt and opaque, no-longer-fit-for-purpose New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Ghana does not need the outmoded scorched-earth-politricks,  in which extremist politicians in the political wilderness actively sabotage the nation-building effort, as a strategy to effect regime-change. Its practioners in the NDC/NPP duopoly are even prepared to let Ghana burn if that is what will win them power.

All Ghanaians who can think for themselves, ought to join the fight to put an end to the outmoded and corruption-riddled  machine-politics, of the NDC/NPP duopoly. It is slowly destroying our homeland Ghana.

That is why educated younger generation Ghanaians must join their peers who can see the golden opportunity an Nduom presidency represents for our benighted country - and fight to stop the dark forces trying so desperately hard to eliminate the honest, brilliant, harworking, principled and visionary Nduom from  our nation's political landscape.

Hmm, Ghana - enti yewieye pa enei? Asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa!

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Why Ghanaian Voters Must Reject The Machine-Politics Of The Corruption-Riddled NDC/NPP Duopoly

As a patriot and pan-Africanist, who loves his country passionately, it is incredibly frustrating watching our country blithely sleepwalking to yet another four-year-disaster, which is now in the making.

It is all so befuddling: Why  are voters allowing themselves to be tricked into substituting one corrupt  political machine, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), for yet another set of empty-promise-making politicians, from an equally corrupt political machine, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP)?

The question is: At this stage of the game, why is it still not obvious to ordinary Ghanaians that it is dangerous - in a nation in which corruption is endemic - to elect sly politicians riding the crest of an anti-corruption wave now sweeping across the country, who refuse to publicly publish their own assets, and those of their spouses, as well as publicly publish all the sources of their party's election campaign funds?

What are the ends for which  the John Boadus, the Freddie Blays, the Bernard Antwi-Boasiakos, and the rest of them, seek political power, one wonders?

Do they genuinely want to come and serve Ghanaians on a sacrificial basis, as a giving-back-to-society public-service gesture, or do they have secret individual agendas to come to power and amass wealth whiles in office - as so many NDC members are alleged to have done?

Why do the NPP's leading lights refuse to publicly publish their assets, and those of their spouses, as well as publicly publish the sources of their party's election campaign funds - when they constantly  accuse their opponents of being corrupt: and posit that high-level corruption is the biggest drawback to the economic transformation of our country?

What have they got to hide? If ordinary people had had the presence of mind to demand that of John Dramani Mahama & Co, before they first came to power, would we be where we are today - collectively Iamenting the brutal gang-rape of Mother Ghana, by wealthy and well-connected crooks?

It is amazing that it  has not yet dawned on ordinary Ghanaians that if the John Boadus, the Freddie Blays, the Bernard Antwi-Boasiakos, and the rest of them, are adamant that they will neither publicly publish their own assets - and those of their spouses - nor publicly publish all the sources of their party's election campaign funds, then, clearly, they most definitely do not deserve to be given the mandate to govern the Republic of Ghana, yet again.

And do younger generation Ghanaians not realise that in the ICT era of disruptive technologies, they do not have to tolerate such politicians, and political parties - simply because they do not have to rely on governments of the day to create jobs for them?

Does the technology not exist for younger generation Ghanaians of today to actually create their own e-commerce businesses, on online global trading platforms such as Shopify and Etsy,  and fund their own creative projects, by leveraging online crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter,  GoFundMe and Indiegogo, with their mobile smartphones and tablets?

Let no one deceive them: To progress in life, clued-on young people  today, do not have to rely on feckless politicians promising to create jobs - in a nation that foolishly spends nearly 70 percent of its total tax revenues paying non-productive public-sector employees who are always embarking on strike action.

Young people must get this straight: The only way for Ghana to become a prosperous society, and be transformed into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia,  is by limiting the size of government, abolishing personal income tax and making Ghana the nation with Africa's lowest corporate tax rate.

Ditto lowering interest rates to less than 3 percent, making the whole of the agricultural sector - not just cocoa farming - and the ancilliary input businesses in the sector's value-chain, tax free. That is what has made cocoa farming in Ghana sustainable and enabled it to remain a  mainstay of our national economy for decades.

It is creative measures like that which will attract patient investors and impact investors, as well as high net worth entrepreneurs from all over the world to our shores, to set up residence here and live here for at least part of the year, in order to take advantage of the fact that income is not taxed here, and that Ghana also has a low corporate tax rate regime, on top of that.

That is how to harness the intelligence and energy of dynamic human beings to create wealth and jobs in the real economy. Period.

The irritating thing about the philistines who want to govern our country, is that they know the price of everything under the African sun. Yet, they haven't the faintest idea about the value of protecting what is left of our natural heritage - at a time when global climate change is impacting this country so negatively.

Who has ever heard the ever-whining Bawumias talking about climate-change-proofing Ghana's infrastructure, such as  roads, creatively - by building only plastic roads: made by mixing plastic waste with bitumen to build roads that last three times as long as conventional roads; bear  heavier loads; remain pothole-free throughout their long lifespan; and are never washed away by flash floods because plastic is impermeable to water?

Do the doom-mongering Dr. Bawumias not understand the absurdity and futility of pursuing GDP growth, without ever examining what actually constitutes that growth? If they did, they would not give hope to those busy destroying what is left of our natural heritage, and brutally gang-raping Mother Nature, by assuring them that they will "legalize galamsey."

Should all those selfish criminals engaged in illegal gold mining, not rather be prosecuted and jailed, instead of being promised that their criminal activities will be legalised, when the NPP wins power after the elections, I ask?

Are they not decimating the cocoa industry - the very lifeblood of our country and mainstay of the national economy - before our very eyes: as complacent officialdom watches on helplessly with their hands handcuffed by our greedy vampire-elites in the feeble national battle  against illegal gold mining?

The question is why do geniuses like the Bawumias not make that connexion? Is it not because the two corruption-riddled entities that make up the NDC/NPP duopoly are beholden to the wealthy criminal syndicates that sponsor and benefit from most of the illegal gold mining  destroying what is left of our nation's natural heritage with such impunity?

It is their lack of creative thinking that makes genuises like the Bawumias look only to the financial contribution "galamsey" makes to the national economy, and overlook the egregious harm it does to what is left of our natural heritage - the societal underpinning on which the quality of life of all Ghanaians depends:  and the protection and conservation of which will ensure  sustainable economic development that will redound to the benefit of present and future generations,  by providing green pillars to underpin our national economy.

Who has ever heard the loquacious and negative Dr. Bawumias  (imprisoned in the cognitive-straightjacket of "chew-and-pour" rote-learninge) ever talking about global climate change and the imperative need to protect our forests?

And why give Ghanaians false hope about providing them with affordable electricity, when blockheaded  politicians neither have the  nous nor gumption, to focus on planning to switch to 100 percent renewable power with storage, to create off-grid micro-grids nationwide for businesses,  communities and households, to power our national economy - all paid for with helicopter-money from our oil and gas deposits: instead of handing over a million dollars of oil money to each parliamentary constituency annually to be frittered away by cash-hungry political party foot-soldiers?

And who has ever heard the Bawumias - who sadly neither ever do any original-thinking nor lateral thinking -  talking about much-needed land reform,  in which the state takes over all land held in trust by Chiefs for their people, compensates them with long-term government paper - that can be discounted for cash immediately - and redistributes same to tenant farmers and  all those wanting to invest in the agricultural sector nationwide?

Is that not what is actually needed to modernise farming in Ghana? And they want to be given the mandate to govern this country again - when a doer and high-achiever like Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, with a solid track-record of creating wealth that remains in Ghana, who is generating well-paying jobs galore in his private capacity  is offering himself for the presidency? Please.

Yes, Ghanaians need to vote out the corruption-riddled NDC, which has failed to retrieve taxpayers' GHc51 million from that scoundrel Woyome,  from power. However, to replace the corrupt NDC political machine, with the equally corrupt NPP political machine, as the next governing party, will be extremely unwise and perverse on the part of voters. And the height of folly.

Have voters forgotten so soon how unfair it was that as much as U.S.$350 million  went to the E. O. Group, when Tullow Oil bought out stakes Mr. Owusu and Mr Edusei (whom the conspiracy theorists in our midst claim were apparently fronting for our former hypocrite-in-chief - according to bush-telegraph sources at the time) 'owned' in oil blocks off our nation's shores - stakes that should gone to the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) in the first place, but somehow ended up being given to the opaque and shadowy E. O. Group, during the golden age of business for the perfidious Kufuor & Co?

Was that not handy cash, which should have gone to the national treasury, if the NPP regime at the time had not been so very corrupt?

Does U.S.$350 million not dwarf GHc51 million? So why does the mostly-crooked  and conscienceless Ghanaian media, never make that point too, when baying for the blood of the  super-scoundrel Woyome, one wonders?

If voters make the ghastly mistake of voting yet another NPP  regime into power again, this blog confidently predicts that if elected as the next governing party, in the December presidential and parliamentary elections, paradoxically - because it is now led by a financially incorruptible  politician, the selfless Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, who is in politics to serve, not enrich himself - the next NPP regime will end up becoming the most corrupt administration, ever,  in the chequered history of the confounded 4th Republic.

The blunt refusal by the John Boadus and the Freddie Blays, to publicly publish their assets, and those of their spouses, as well as publicly publish all the sources of the NPP's election campaign funds, is the writing on the wall. Voters had better read their tea leaves properly - and revise their notes accordingly.

The refusal to let Ghanaians know the extent of  their personal net worth - and that of their spouses - and to publicly publish all the sources of their party's election campaign funds, is a harbinger of the egregious high-level corruption to come, when the NPP is elected to power to govern Ghana again after 7th, January, 2017.

If they continue to refuse to publicly publish their own personal assets, and those of their spouses, as well as publicly publish all the sources of their parties' election campaign funds, Ghanaians must  must reject both the NDC and NPP political machines, and the sly and ruthless politicians who run them - otherwise they will only be replacing one kleptocratic group of slippery politicians with another kleptocratic group of empty-promise-making politicians.

For their own good, and to protect their own individual futures, younger generation Ghanaian voters in the December presidential and parliamentary elections, must reject the nation-wrecking machine-politics of the  corruption-riddled NDC/NPP duopoly.

(Incidentally, Dr. Paa Kwesi  Nduom, who was easily the most transparent party leader, amongst the candidates who stood in the 2012 presidential election, is the best bet for Ghana's younger generation. Let them pray that the Supreme Court orders the Electoral Commission to reinstate his candidacy. Amongst all those vying for the presidency,  he is the only candidate who can actually transform Ghana - by forming and leading a government of national unity, made up of the smartest and most honest Ghanaians, from across the political spectrum  - not the corrupt NDC/NPP duopoly and their outmoded,  divisive machine-politics.)

Hmm, Ghana - enti yewieye paa enei: asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa!