Sunday, December 27, 2009
The endless negativity of many of the NPP members and sympathizers who take part in current affairs discussion programmes, which are broadcast by Ghana’s many FM radio stations, is that party’s modern-day substitute for the bomb-throwing of its political antecedents in the Akan tribal-supremacist National Liberation Movement (NLM). That, and the many acts of “quiet-sabotage” now being carried out daily, by its sympathizers and members in the public services, is at the heart of the NPP’s grand-strategy for regaining power. If the Mills regime is to succeed in its aim of creating a better Ghana for all Ghanaians, the president needs to make it plain, in the new year, that his administration expects all the NPP’s sympathizers and members, whom the new government decided not to remove from their positions in the public services, when it assumed office in January 2009, to reciprocate that gesture, by continuing to remain loyal to the government of the day. If the Mills regime wants to succeed, it needs to be creative in dealing with those disloyal public servants, who so regret the defeat of the NPP in the December 2008 elections, that they are prepared to help the NPP return to power in 2012, by sabotaging the present administration.
Perhaps employing creativity in dealing with a number of businesses owned by certain powerful and wealthy individuals in some of the sectors in the Ghanaian economy, which are defying the authority of the Ghanaian nation-state, and have refused to halt their operations, in spite of the fact that they have been ordered to do so by the relevant state organs, will give the Mills administration the opportunity to effectively deal with NPP saboteurs in the Minerals Commission; the Environmental Protection Agency; and the Forestry Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana. The question, dear reader, is: At a time of global climate change, when we need to protect Ghana’s natural heritage, how come that an illegal surface gold mining operation is being carried out at Akim Abuakwa Juaso, despite attempts by a deputy minister of environment, science, and technology, to halt that outrage? If action is not taken by the Mills administration in this particular instance, they will wake up to discover that irreparable damage has been caused to part of Ghana’s natural heritage: that provides valuable ecosystem services to our nation, by the illegal actions of certain wealthy individuals, who were untouchable during the Kufuor era, because they were politically well-connected.
The president must get the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to investigate the actions of Sola Mining, the surface gold mining company currently operating illegally in Akim Abuakwa Juaso without a valid EPA mining permit, and using the concession of Kibi Goldfields as "legal cover." In so doing, the government will be able to use a creative method to kill two birds with one stone – and enable it to remove those recalcitrant individuals in the Forestry Division of the Forestry Commission; the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and the Minerals Commission, whose continuing perfidy is allowing the illegal surface gold mining and massive illegal logging being carried out in that part of the Atiwa Range upland evergreen rain forest to go on: and which enables a few wealthy individuals who acquired their vast fortunes simply because they were politically well-connected during the Kufour era, to continue defying the laws of Ghana and damaging the well-being of our country and its people.
A similar investigation by the BNI to discover how come that at a time of global climate change, the fragile ecology of the three northern regions was ignored, when a wealthy and ruthless individual (who so clearly does not care one jot, about the effects of her actions on the natural environment, or on the quality of life of the inhabitants of the three northern regions!), was given the sole right to fell trees in a part of our country, which is suffering the most from the effects of global climate change, will also enable the Mills administration to make the necessary changes in the management of the Forestry Division of the Forestry Commission. Incredibly, as is the case in the illegal surface gold mining going on at Akim Abuakwa Juaso, even though the sector minister is aware of her defiance, the said individual (who was “allocated” the sole right to fell trees in the three northern regions in the dying days of the Kufuor regime!), is carrying on regardless – although all timber firms have apparently been asked to cease felling logs temporarily: whiles a review of timber permits is undertaken. If the government heeds the advice to get the BNI to investigate the actions of this arrogant and ruthless lady in the three northern regions, it will enable it to remove the NPP saboteurs still lurking in the Forestry Division of the Forestry Commission.
Finally, I suggest that the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, contacts his counterpart in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – and review the investigation of the infamous case in which a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer was asked to assist the police as a result of an allegation of the illegal production of cocaine, with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He will find such collaboration very fruitful indeed – as it will provide the Ghana Police Service with institutional knowledge that will enable it deal effectively with the overseas drug barons who are rumoured to be using entities in the Ghanaian pharmaceutical manufacturing sector to hide the production of illegal synthetic drugs in Ghana. The Mills regime needs to use creativity in dealing with the NPP saboteurs in various sectors of Ghana’s public services as it enters its second year in office – and enable our nation to finally rid the public sector of the unpatriotic public servants who are impeding our country’s forward march. President Mills will not achieve his goals if his regime does not remove such individuals from the public sector. A word to the wise…
Tel (powered by Tigo – Ghana’s most reliable mobile phone network!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109 & the not-so-hot and clueless Vodafone smartphone: + 233 (0) 21 976238.
Ms Ohene’s little coup, encapsulates perfectly, the ineptness of the government’s public relations team, thus far. It is an unfortunate situation, which has enabled the opposition NPP to run rings around the Mills regime: thus empowering the opposition party to set the political agenda – and successfully giving ordinary Ghanaians the unfortunate impression that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime is incompetent. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. For, the fact of the matter, is that the Mills administration has indeed performed wonders: in being able to stabilize an economy that was suffering from an acute form of the economic malaise, which the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) often refer to euphemistically (for diplomatic reasons) as “debt distress” in order to spare the blushes of developing world regimes that the two multilateral institutions happen to be doing business with, at any given point in time. In reality, the NDC regime actually inherited the theoretical-economics equivalent of a poisoned chalice, from the previous NPP regime, if truth be told.
Clearly, the Mills administration must be a great deal more creative in 2010: if it wants to set the national agenda and win the battle for the hearts and minds of ordinary Ghanaians – especially if it wants to hold on to the independent-minded and discerning voters whose crucial votes won it the run-off of the December 2008 presidential election. To do so, it must do certain things. To start with, it must promote the minister for information to the cabinet – and disband the communications team at the presidency. An articulate president and his vice president do not need press secretaries and a head of communications, at the seat of government. Mr. Ayariga’s boss, the president, does sound, and is, far more sincere, than his press secretary – so what is the point of keeping him on, I ask, dear reader? Ayariga does a nice line in insincerity – and will serve Ghana brilliantly abroad, as an ambassador. As a wag once said (when giving the job description of an ambassador!): “An ambassador is a man sent abroad to lie for his country.” Ayariga’s verrissimulitudes will work a treat abroad for Ghana.
Then there is the curious situation, dear reader, which we are now witnessing, and which has resulted in the vice president being saddled with a press secretary whom he is far more articulate than. It really is an intolerable situation – and must be swiftly brought to an end. No doubt, the vice president’s press secretary, John Jinapo, will make a perfect deputy minister for the new region that the vice president wants created (at God knows what cost to Ghana!). Perhaps the head of communications at the presidency can also be given a new job at the presidency as a "special aide" to the president – so that he can keep his pay, as well as the perks and other freebies, which he too has no doubt become accustomed to. Such is the ever-belligerent Kokou Anyidaho’s finesse that he is able to alienate even the most ardent supporters of the regime he is apparently such an important part of. Painful and unpalatable though many of the things said above about the three gentlemen might be to the Mills administration, they are things that need to be said plainly, at this point in the regime's tenure – and some of us are happy to say them: as we are neither looking for posts in the government, nor interested in accompanying the president on his trips abroad, and are definitely not frightened of any of the three gentlemen concerned, too.
Hopefully, someone close to the president, will print this out and let him read it – and if he wants his regime to rid itself of the negative image it currently has, let him act to disband the communications team in the presidency, swiftly. Any Ghanaian regime which has the foresight to focus on local rice production, deserves to succeed and must never be regarded as an incompetent one: especially when the price of rice is predicted to go as high as US$ 800 per tonne next year, as a result of adverse weather conditions in South East Asia. Finally, and lest I forget, dear reader, perhaps Ayariga & Co. might do us all a favour by suggesting to the president that he should publicly publish the assets of himself and his dear wife – as that will make all Ghanaians, and the rest of the world, understand that Ghana’s president means business, when he says he is serious about fighting corruption. There is also the added bonus that it will make the president occupy the high moral ground in Ghanaian politics, and make his position virtually unassailable. That is a more worthy gesture from a gentleman, whom the vast majority of Ghanaians accept, happens to be the most honest Ghanaian leader ever elected to occupy the presidency, since the overthrow of the selfless Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, in 1966. A word to the wise…
Tel (powered by Tigo – the most reliable mobile phone network in Ghana!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109 & the not-so-hot and clueless Vodafone wireless smartfone: + 233 (0) 21 976238.
Friday, December 4, 2009
It appears that many members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) do not believe their luck – the impression one gets, is that they are firmly convinced that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is in complete disarray. “Enkoyie, enowoma enkoyie kuraa” is their catchphrase. They seem to think that they are still campaigning for an election (one that is at least a little over three years away, and in political terms, a lifetime, for the Mills regime to succeed in bettering the lot of a majority of Ghanaians!). The independent minded Ghanaians (the so-called floating-voters), whose crucial votes made it possible for President Mills to beat his NPP opponent in the run-off of the December 2008 presidential elections, often pose a simple question to those confounded “My-party-my-tribe-right-or-wrong” myrmidon-types (whose blind support of the political parties eventually destroys them when they finally win power and come to office), who benefited mightily from the patronage of the NPP regime.
The question, dear reader, is: Have they considered the possibility that if the Mills administration fails, and does not succeed in delivering the “Better Ghana” they promised the good people of Ghana during the campaign for the December 2008, the events of June 4th 1979 could be repeated? Have they ever considered the fact that so disenchanted have ordinary Ghanaians become with Ghanaian democracy (because in their view, Ghana’s politicians and political parties have hijacked the “democracy dividend” for themselves, the members of their family clans, and their cronies – by successfully exploiting our national economy for the sole purpose of sending their personal net worth into the stratosphere), that a majority of them may not lift a finger to stop anyone seeking to bring the 4th Republic to an end? Does it not strike them that our political landscape today does bear a striking resemblance to that of the period preceding the events of June 4th 1979 – because the crooks of yesteryear are still hanging on to their ill-gotten wealth and taunting decent-minded Ghanaians: by using it to manipulate that section of the media they bought whiles in power to whip up public sentiment against the Mills regime, as well as using their biased appointees still at post in the public sector to stall and frustrate the current regime?
Let them ponder the implications of the results of the impunity with which the most powerful individual in the nest of vipers that was at the heart of the Kufuor presidency, acted, when against even the advice of the Attorney General (that it would result in the Ghanaian nation-state being successfully sued for breach of contract, and a resultant loss, financially, to Ghana), he still went ahead and forced the ministry of agriculture to award a solar-powered irrigation contract it had already signed with a Spanish firm, to another Spanish firm of his own choosing. Sooner or later the current government will eventually pay an out of court settlement to the company originally awarded the contract – at which point charges of willfully causing financial loss to Ghana will be brought against the officials whose high-handedness and total disregard for the rule of law resulted in that unnecessary loss to cash-strapped Ghana. The outrage in all this is that that selfsame individual had the gall to insult ordinary Ghanaians, by constantly repeating the arrogant and disrespectful phrase: “That is the Ghanaian for you!” during his appearance at the Ghana@50 probe.
No doubt the more uncharitable and cynical amongst those who suffered as a result of the actions of that nest of vipers, which the presidency under President Kufuor represented, will simply utter the phrase “Poetic Justice!” when those who caused that unfortunate loss to Mother Ghana have their day in court and get their just deserts, when their trial ends. Ghana suffered terribly as a result of the many such examples of highhandedness and arbitrariness, by yesteryear’s masters of the universe, who forgot that pithy Ghanaian phrase “No condition is permanent” and thought they were invincible, as they exploited our nation ruthlessly. As we all know, there are many such cases of the abuse of power, which resulted from their ability to successfully manipulate the legal system, and get away with it. Well, perhaps like the US authorities, who were able to nail the master-criminal Al Capone, because he forgot to keep his taxes in order, Mother Ghana too will be able to nail yesteryear’s crooks through the occasional lucky break, such as that infamous ministry of agriculture case.
Let the authorities listen again to the “Election Forensics” tape-recordings of the voices of Attta Akyea and Maxwell Kofi Jumah, which were broadcast by Radio Gold FM, during the December 2008 elections. In the case of Atta Akyea, in addition to the amazing revelation that there apparently were “right judges” in our nation who could be relied on to deliver the appropriate judgments when necessary, they will also clearly hear a lady saying in the background that there was a van with a dead body in it ” ...ewo asieho.” Let him explain precisely what that dead body was doing there – so that he gets the opportunity to finally clear up any remaining doubt still persisting today about that particular oddity. In the case of that Maxwell Kofi Jumah buffoon, they will also clearly hear him telling hired thugs that he would issue them with police and army uniforms, as well as arm some of them – and make sure that regional police commanders would rescue them if they got into trouble: whiles on their ballot-box snatching and election-rigging activities. Is that not criminal – and if it is, just what are the authorities doing about it?
How do we know that our security forces are still not jam-packed with such NPP paid-thugs, even today, as we speak, I ask, dear reader? Are our hard-of-hearing leaders going to ignore these past transgressions by such power-hungry hypocrites – who have the gall to be forever belittling the Mills administration? Let our current leaders not forget that in the end Al Capone was sent to prison (to pay for his many murders and other crimes) because the authorities took advantage of his refusal to pay his taxes. Let them be creative too – and in so doing, avoid allowing Ghanaians to become disenchanted with Ghanaian democracy: because those who tried to steal the December 2008 presidential election are allowed to get away with their perfidy, and continue to taunt Ghanaians on top of that outrage! The authorities must act to ensure that all those NPP members who took part in the gang-rape of mother Ghana are punished for their crimes against out nation. If they fail to do so, they will be failing those who voted them into office, precisely because they wanted regime-change, so as to bring that unsavoury chapter of our history to a close. Our political class must understand that Ghanaian democracy will not survive if yesteryear’s crooks are allowed to continue getting away with their many sins against ordinary Ghanaians. A word to the wise…
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