Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Global Civil Society Coalition Welcomes the Philippines as the 117th State Party to the International Criminal Court

Manila Continues Southeast Asia’s Push towards Ending Impunity 

30 AUGUST 2011 - Manila/New York.

The Coalition for the International Criminal Court, a global network of some 2,500 non-governmental and civil society organisations in 150 countries, commends the Philippines for its decision to join the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC). By depositing its instrument of ratification at UN headquarters today, the Philippines has agreed to recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC—the world’s first and only permanent international court to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide—over its territory and nationals and has accepted obligations to cooperate with the Court. 

The Philippines was an active participant at the 1998 United Nations Diplomatic Conference to draft the Rome Statute, signing it in late 2000. The Philippines’ ratification, together with that of Bangladesh last year and the advanced processes in Malaysia and Maldives, is evidence of an important shift towards a stronger commitment to the ICC and its principles in the Asia region, which has been historically under-represented at the Court. 

In the Philippines, civil society and many governmental actors have advocated for ratification throughout the last decade, playing a pivotal role in garnering public attention and keeping the ICC on the political agenda. A visit from ICC President Judge Sang-Hyun Song in March 2011 helped catalyze the final ratification steps, prompting the Philippines President Benigno Aquino III to transmit the Rome Statute to the senate for approval.

“This ratification is indeed a high moment for all those who have worked tirelessly to get to this stage of our long struggle to give justice to victims and to end impunity in the Philippines,” said Evelyn Balais-Serrano, a pioneer in the campaign for the ICC ratification in the Philippines and CICC coordinator for Asia-Pacific. “It is a reaffirmation of every Filipino’s desire to hold perpetrators accountable for human rights violations,” Balais-Serrano emphasized.

On December 2009, an “Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and other Crimes Against Humanity” was passed by the Philippines senate, incorporating ICC crimes into Philippine law.

Now, to facilitate the fulfillment of its cooperation obligations to the Court, the Coalition calls on the Philippines to enact cooperation legislation and to accede to the Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Court (APIC).

“This ratification is a culmination of more than ten years of campaigning and capacity-building through which we have engaged all relevant agencies, especially the security sector who had earlier expressed apprehension on the jurisdiction of the ICC,” said Loretta Ann Rosales, former co-chair of the Philippine Coalition for the ICC and now chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission. “We take pride in having all these agencies endorse the ICC ratification and in finally getting a national consensus on joining the Court,” stated Rosales.

The Coalition for the ICC maintains an active campaign throughout the Asian region and, with seven Asian states already part of the Rome Statute system and several more finalizing their ratification procedures, Asian membership in the ICC is growing.

“Now that the Philippines has firmly stepped up in favor of accountability, we urge other Asian states—

among them Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal and Indonesia—

to take the final steps necessary to make good on the governments’ promises to become ICC states parties,” said Brigitte Suhr, director of regional programs for the Coalition for the ICC. 

Background: The ICC is the world’s first, permanent international court to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. There are currently 117 ICC states parties. Central to the Court’s mandate is the principle of complementarity, which holds that the Court will only intervene if national legal systems are unwilling or unable to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

There are currently six active investigations before the Court: the Central African Republic; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, the Sudan; Uganda, Kenya and Libya. The ICC has publicly issued 18 arrest warrants and nine summonses to appear. Three trials are ongoing.

The ICC prosecutor recently requested authorization from judges to open an investigation in Côte d’Ivoire. His office has also made public that it is examining eight other situations on four continents, including Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, Guinea, Honduras, Republic of Korea, Nigeria, and Palestine. 

The Coalition for the International Criminal Court is a global network of civil society organizations in 150 countries working in partnership to strengthen international cooperation with the ICC; ensure that the Court is fair, effective and independent; make justice both visible and universal; and advance stronger national laws that deliver justice to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. For more information, visit: 


Monday, 22 August 2011


O, if only some bright spark from the KNUST or MIT

Would come up with thinking robots

Programmed by thought transfer

Which would thus become an extension of one's self

And which one could then hire in teams

Each one automatically knowing

What to discard and what to keep

So they could help one pack all that needed packing

And take the drudgery out of moving into a new home

O, KNUST and MIT, when will such a bright spark emerge from within your campuses, I ask?

Has STX Ghan'a CEO Mr. Asamoah's Final Break With Korea's STX Killed The STX Ghana Limited's Housing Agreement?

My attention was drawn to an interview granted to Joy FM by the CEO of STX Ghana, Mr. B. K. Asamoah. Reading it for myself on Joy FM's website, I was rather taken aback - as I thought the era of crony-capitalism died with the end of the golden age of business for the perfidious Kufuor & Co.

According to the report from Joy FM's website (cut and pasted here!): "The CEO of STX Engineering and Construction Company B. K Asamoah has broken his silence on his widely publicized dismissal.

In his first ever interview, Mr. Asamoah told Joy News, his Korean counterparts must go because they have failed to meet their target.

According to him, STX Ghana only went to Korea for two things - money and technology.

However months after President John Mills cut the sod for commencement of the project, there seems to have been little progress on the actual work except for the boardroom wrangling between the Koreans and their Ghanaian counterparts.

However Mr. Asamoah told Sammy Darko in an exclusive interview that his company has found new partners from America and has no need of the Koreans.

According to him they have secured a new American counterpart- Western Forms -, a technology provider to use a Mexican technology in the building of the houses.

He stated local contractors will be used in executing the project.

Mr. Asamoah dismissed assertions the deal will have to go back to Parliament, saying the exit of the Koreans should not have any impact on the project.

“The approval of the project was given STX Ghana not Korea," he said, adding “I don’t see anywhere in the agreement which says if the Koreans exited we should go back to Parliament.”

He said the Project is ongoing in Kwabenya and Burma Camp in Accra but said the one in the Police Depot will be delayed." End of the quotation from Joy FM's website.

How extraordinary. I do not know exactly what the court case between Mr. Asamoah and his erstwhile partners from STX Korea is supposed to resolve, but as it is in a court of law, one must be cautious about what one says about both entities.

However, with respect, surely, the destiny of the Ghanaian nation-state, is not a personal business opportunity for Mr. Asamoah and other tycoons of that ilk?

It may have been so in the past, but those days are long gone. In the Mills era, it is what will benefit a majority of Ghanaians that matter to President Mills - not what will make already rich crony-capitalists of the past, even wealthier.

Surely, Mr. Asamoah does not think that the representatives of the people of Ghana, sitting in Ghana's Parliament, and having approved an agreement on the basis of the capacity - financial, technical and otherwise - of STX Korea presented to it by him and STX Ghana, will remain unconcerned, when it is transferred by him to another business entity?

Has he not effectively killed the STX Ghana agreement, which was approved by the Parliament of Ghana, by saying that he has found new partners and no longer needs STX Korea: the very entity whose capacity ensured Parliamentary approval of the STX Ghana agreement?

Are those the sort of words uttered by a man of principle and integrity, who is the CEO of a business underpinned by an ethical ethos, I ask?

The government will do well to quickly distance itself from Mr. Asamoah and his STX Ghana - which despite being given opportunity after opportunity, has done nothing but embarrass the government, if truth be told.

They must have nothing to do with him again. Ditto his new American partners. If Mr. Asamoah and his new partners want to do business in Ghana, they are welcome to do so - assuming they will be solely responsible for financing all their projects here: from the financial markets without involving the Ghanaian nation-state in any way whatsoever. Period.

Ghana's sovereign guarantee is not something issued to business tycoons undertaking national projects, because of their good looks - and who can then transfer same to new foreign partners at a whim, because they are under the illusion that Parliament has no say in the matter: despite the changed circumstances created by the perfidy of those selfsame tycoons.

Mr. Asamoah must understand clearly that the Ghanaian nation-state is not his personal fiefdom.

The ministerial team responsible for the housing sector, must seize the opportunity Mr. Asamoah has given them to distance the government from him, rapidly. In the end, the people of Ghana will thank them for doing so - they must mark my words.

They must see this latest development in this most unedifying of sagas, as an opportunity to revive the State Housing Company Limited (SHC) - by getting them to set up a joint-venture with STX Korea.

Before that is done, 20 percent of SHC ought to be given to its management and workers, 20 percent sold on the Ghana Stock Exchange to enable ordinary Ghanaians benefit from it too (and help create a share-owning democracy in Ghana, in the process!), with the remaining 60 percent of the newly-restructured SHC being kept by the state.

Together with STX Korea and the government of South Korea, it should be possible for the government of Ghana to get the new joint-venture to find a cost-effective way to build the 90.000 houses for the security agencies and public servants, as well as affordable rental accommodation for ordinary people in Ghana.

Who knows, perhaps the government of South Korea could be persuaded to fund the entire project for 90, 000 public sector housing - in exchange for Ghana allowing South Korean energy companies to bid for all Kosmos Energy licenses that lapse: because that arrogant company fails to develop them.

It is time Mr. Asamoah learnt to risk his own money in the projects he dreams up. Ditto any foreign partners he succeeds in attracting to his schemes. It is also time the governments of Ghana (whatever their hue) stopped allowing themselves to be inveigled into dubious schemes, by smooth-talking tycoons.

Parliament must abrogate the STX agreement - because Mr. Asamoah's latest announcement effectively kills it. Period. A word to the wise...

Tel (powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Why The Flagstaff House Should Not Be Occupied By President Mills - For Now

The argument about whether or not President Mills ought to move into the Flagstaff House presidential palace complex, in a sense, illustrates perfectly, the divergence in the world view of members of Ghana's political class.

For Progressives in Nkrumah's Ghana, it is not surprising that today it never strikes some of our nation's politicians that that very sensitive project, should never have been executed by foreigners.

Alas, unfortunately for Mother Ghana, the lackeys of foreign commercial interests, and stooges for neo-colonialism and imperialism in our country, always work hand in glove with the outside forces, which seek to control our nation's destiny in order to exploit its natural wealth - for a percentage of the rewards from selling Ghana short.

It is therefore immaterial to such politicians that the possibility does exist that listening devices might have been planted in the building, whiles it was being put up - at the behest of foreign intelligence agencies.

The question is: why question those in charge of our nation's security, who want to be sure, amongst other security concerns, that discussions at the very highest levels of our government are secure - and that the presidential complex isn't bristling with listening devices?

The argument about President Mills moving into Flagstaff House, also shows how the mindset of the most powerful individuals amongst our ruling elites, can affect our nation's economic well-being.

It is obvious that that project in the end became yet another massive business opportunity for our ruling elites, for some of whom holding power in Ghana, is simply a golden business opportunity - for family and friends to grow super-rich at Mother Ghana's expense.

As a wag once said to me: "Kofi, only heaven knows what a forensic audit will reveal about the corruption and profiteering that went on in the execution of the various contracts generated by that presidential palace complex."

For the moment, President Mills represents that strand of our nation's politics that believes in protecting Ghana's sovereignty at all costs, and promoting the interests of the generality of the Ghanaian populace, at all material times - as opposed to serving the interests of a powerful few with greedy ambitions (to paraphrase Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's dynamic and visionary founding father).

Every Ghanaian nationalist and patriot, ought to be concerned about all aspects of the security of the Flagstaff House. To those criticising the current government for not occupying it, the question is: What's the rush, and why are some trying to stampede the Mills administration into moving the presidency from the secure Osu Castle, to the high-profile sitting duck, which the Flagstaff House is - especially if the possibility also exists that foreigners can listen to discussions amongst those responsible for our nation's affairs?

The government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) should take its time and make sure that the Flagstaff House is a secure place in all respects, for the presidency to operate from - in the national interest. They must simply ignore those who criticise them for not rushing to occupy it - many of who do so for purely self-serving reasons. A word to the wise...

Tel (powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


When controversy erupted over the alleged use of Ghanaian taxpayers' money, to renovate the principal private residence of President Kufuor, at the early stages of his first term in office as Ghana's president, I wrote an article in support of the then government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), spending taxpayers' money to ensure the safety and security of President Kufuor and his family (if the allegation was a fact, ie).

Yet, as many knew at the time, prior to that article of mine in support of the use of state funds to ensure the personal safety of the then president and his household, at his Airport West residential area property, I had never hidden my personal loathing of President Kufuor - who I felt had let our nation down terribly for not publicly publishing his assets, together with that of his dear wife Theresa, as he promised he would: as a gesture to help fight corruption in our nation.

Ensuring the safety of its political leaders, is a duty that every nation on the surface of the planet Earth, takes seriously - and it is typical of the corruption and dishonesty prevalent amongst Ghanaian journalists and in some of the country's media houses, that some of those who supported the use of state funds to provide adequate security for President Kufuor, when the NPP was in power, are now seeking to make political capital out of a purely private arrangement, between a private commercial entity and those in charge of the president of Ghana's security - arrived at so as to make life bearable for the security detail protecting the principal private residence of President Mills.

The management of Regimanuel Gray Limited, deserve to be congratulated for deciding to take the necessary steps to help resolve a problem, which had hitherto bedevilled those guarding Ghana's president's principal private residence - when it is the Ghanaian nation-state that ought to have done so, in the first place.

Naturally, having Ghana's president as one of their tenants, is prestigious for them - and adds considerable value to their brand. So it makes business sense to do all they can to ensure that he continues to live in one of their properties. Housing the president's security detail in decent quarters, is a win-win outcome that more or less guarantees that.

As for those pro-NPP journalists and Ghanaian media houses that sought to make political capital out of it, to serve the interests of their paymasters (to whom they have sold their conscience), one can only say in passing, that as always, it escapes those mostly third-rate individuals and unprofessional media houses, that in the internet age, their lack of professionalism is on display daily, all over the world - and their lack of integrity noted too, worldwide, on a daily basis (and in fairness, it must be stated that the same can be said of most of the pro-National Democratic Congress journalists and media houses, too).

They had better change, become more professional and let ethics underpin all their work - whiles the opportunity to leave a legacy they can be proud of when they finally retire, and which will enable posterity judge their professional work kindly, remains open for them.

Their disgraceful attempt to question the personal integrity of Ghana's president and some of those around him, by the falsehood they put out as fact, is yet another news story that illustrates perfectly the lack of personal integrity in so many in the Ghanaian media world.

Quiet frankly, some of what they get up to is often disreputable, and blackmail being a crime, on occasion, borders on the criminal - and is a great disservice to Mother Ghana: and a betrayal of the good people of Nkrumah's Ghana. It is time they changed for the better.
A word to the wise...

Tel (powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.


India's first post-independence prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, once said: "The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all." It still constitutes pretty sound advice to politicians worldwide - and ought to inform the way President Mills serves out the rest of his tenure.

One hopes above all, that going forward, Nehru's advice will guide those surrounding President Mills, who instead of looking at the broader picture and being magnanimous in victory, by reaching out to the former first lady, Mrs Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, have rather ended up alienating her further still.

Why did they allow themselves to be goaded by those rank amateurs - the many clowns amongst the so-called friends of Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings (FONKAR): the shameless opportunists who clearly see a heavily-laden gravy train, when they see one?

The people surrounding H. E. President Mills will have to do more bigger-picture-thinking, if they want the president to be re-elected to lead the Republic of Ghana again - and to serve out a second and final four-year term.

More astute political operators would have rather elected to quickly reach out to the former first lady, particularly at the point when she was at her most vulnerable - after her defeat by President Mills in the July Sunyani primary, to select the NDC's candidate for the December 2012 presidential election.

Would Mrs Rawlings not have been amenable to any such conciliatory move on the part of the presidency, when it mattered most then, I ask, dear reader?

If the president's inner circle want their party to fight the next elections as a strong and unified force, they ought to reach out to the vanquished Mrs Rawlings - and act with dispatch to mend fences with both her and her husband: before it becomes way too late for any such reconciliation to take place.

As a matter of fact, if truth be told, politically, they have no choice in the matter - as a decision by her to stand as a candidate in the December 2012 presidential election, will almost certainly mean defeat for President Mills by his main opponent the New Patritic Party's (NPP) well-financed Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo.

For there to be any chance of re-uniting the NDC in time for the December 2012 polls, the important thing for President Mills' advisors to do, is to get Mrs Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings back into party's mainstream. At all costs.

The NDC can ill-afford going into the next presidential and parliamentary elections as a divided party - with Konadu & Co. standing as independent candidates in the presidential and parliamentary elections, battling their party's official candidates.

That will be a complete disaster - as the unnecessary splitting of votes will only end up letting through candidates of the NPP; Convention Peoples Party (CPP); and Peoples National Convention (PNC).

Finally, dear reader, it is now obvious to most independent-minded, as well as fair-minded and discerning Ghanaians, that the power-hungry tribal-supremacist and elitist individuals, who control it, have opted for a negative December 2012 election campaign - in which the NPP will focus on neutralising the positive effect on the generality of Ghanaians, of President Mills' best personal attributes: his sincerity, humility, undoubted honesty and compassion for his fellow human beings.

The NPP's campaign battle-plan seems to centre on deliberately questioning President Mills' integrity, at every turn, between now and the day of the December 2012 presidential election - by constantly attacking and questioning his sincerity; humility; honesty and compassion for his fellow human beings.

Naturally, there are, of course, some pundits who think it is a very clever strategic move - and that the super-ruthless and cunning individuals, who have such a vice-like grip on their party and control the opposition NPP's "Enkoyiea" propaganda war, believe that they have struck the political equivalent of a particularly rich seam of gold.

Their hope, is that by focusing on the verbal twisting of the nature of the president's character and personality, and raising doubts about him in the minds of ordinary Ghanaians, by openly and brazenly calling him a weakling and hypocrite, who is turning a blind eye to corruption in his own party, they can scuttle any chances he has of being re-elected as Ghana's president, for a second four-term, permanently.

It is a crucial tactical aspect of the negative campaign strategy that the faceless tribal-supremacist individuals who think they 'own' the NPP (and provide the bulk of the funds in its over-flowing war-chest), hope will help smoothen that party's path back to power again, in December 2012.

Thus far, those geniuses in charge of managing the president's image, have failed woefully to capitalise on his strongest points - his many positive personal attributes.

That is why if those who surround H. E. President Mills at the Osu Castle, do not want the chances for the re-election of their party's candidate for president in December 2012, to be totally destroyed by the NPP's potent "Enkoyiea" propaganda narrative, they ought to finally come to the conclusion, that indeed those of us who have called on them - right from day one when they assumed power in January 2009 - to publicly publish their assets (as well as those of their spouses too) are indeed right, in saying that it will put clear blue water, between the president and all his political opponents: and make him unassailable, in the December 2012 presidential election.

They must act quickly to publicly publish the assets of all the NDC's political office holders, from the president down to the last district chief executive in charge of Ghana's smallest district - together with that of their spouses.

At this stage, it is that singular act of political courage that will be their Mother-of-all-political-game-changers, and save them from certain defeat in December 2012.

Alas, it is doubtful if they will be returned to power again after the December 2012 election, if they fail to do so - and do so quickly.

In that regard, let them be guided by the wise words of India's late leader and friend of Ghana's founding father, Osagygefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru:
"The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all." A word to the wise...

Tel (powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.

Saturday, 13 August 2011


Looking at the long line of cars queuing up to fill up with liquefied petroleum gas at a sales point in Awudome, and the anxious people massed up there waiting to fill their gas cylinders, with fed-up looks on their faces, as we drove past this afternoon, I simply felt that I had to write, complete and post this article before the end of the day (whiles being driven round Accra on my rounds).

One wonders whether our current rulers actually realise the untold harm being done to their re-election chances, by the recurrent gas shortages. Ditto the frequent power outages currently being experienced by many around the country.

If those who now rule our nation want a fair people like the good citizens of Ghana, to be fair to them on election day, then they would do well to ensure that the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) gives Ghanaians a detailed explanation of the actual causes of the unavailability of this essential product - vital for the smooth running of the homes of countless families, the survival of scores of small businesses and above all, the well-being of a large chunk of the transport sector of the Ghanaian economy.

Every discerning and well-meaning Ghanaian knows that it is not the government that is directly responsible for the day to day management of TOR - but it is in the nature of the rough and tumble of politics that the blame for the shortages will be laid directly at the doorstep of the government.

Every one of the utility service providers ought to be obligated by their sector ministries, to give detailed explanations when things go wrong and they are temporarily unable to serve the public - and in doing so, they ought to tell Ghanaians what is being done to ensure that such disruptions become a thing of the past: and state clearly what time-frame that will be achieved.

That, at least, gives fair-minded and discerning Ghanaians some hope, that old infrastructure is gradually being renewed - and lessens their sense of frustration occasioned by the challenges wrought by over-aged infrastructure: that needs replacing.

Instead of threatening public officials with dismissal for not engaging in boot-licking, and cracking inane 'jokes' with those selfsame officials they hold "durbars" with, Ghanaians expect their leaders to focus on such quality-of-life enhancing measures, which help lessen the frustration of having to put up with irritants like LP gas shortages and power outages.

How many of those queuing to buy LP gas up and down the country, are aware, for example, that a new Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) has come into being? And would it not be prudent to ensure that the GNGC does not focus solely on producing gas for supplying the power sector - important though that is - but also provides gas for families and caterers to cook with, and for fuelling the nation's growing numbers of gas-powered vehicles too?

Why are a majority of ordinary Ghanaians still unaware of the hard work that this regime has done to fast-track future production of gas from the jubilee oilfield to ensure that in the near-term, it can supply the power sector with gas for cheaper energy to electricity consumers: and the record time that that great leap forward will be achieved in, I ask, dear reader? And will that not give some hope about the future to ordinary folk hearing it for the first time?

There is a real need for more political astuteness on the part of this regime - if the Mills administration is to be returned to power in December 2012. And as we all know, time is not their side either.

Even those of us who know a great deal of the many dreadful things that actually went on behind closed doors, when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) regime of President Kufuor was in power, and know that the honest and humble President Mills is a real blessing for our country in comparison, are beginning to worry about the appearance of what looks like a lack of political nous, amongst a group of politicians, who seem to have completely forgotten that they suffered for eight long years in the political wilderness.

Perhaps those who constantly ask whether it is not time that that perfect gentleman and decent human being, Mr. Martey Newman, the chief of staff at the Osu Castle, was given an ambassadorial position and posted abroad - and an astute politician appointed in his stead to be minister of presidential affairs and chief of staff to the president - do actually have a point, after all.

With respect, Mr Newman is not a politician and his administrative genius is in effect a road block politically in terms of access to the president - and it is beginning to tell where it matters most: the public's general perception of the government, and the unfortunate conclusion that many of them seem to have come to, that this is a weak and inept regime.

Those in his party who can tell the president what the pulse of the nation is, don't have access to him when it matters most. Running a country requires not just administrative genius, but political nous too, above all - and the sooner the most powerful individuals in the Mills regime understand that, the better things will be for their party, come December 2012.

Anyone aware of the depths to which our nation sunk, and who still remembers the NPP-era hell-on-earth of corruption, unbridled tribalism, unfathomable elite-greed and massive corruption, which ordinary Ghanaians finally freed themselves from in December 2008, and who also knows what a fantastic job of managing the economy the Mills regime has succeeded in doing thus far, knows that that perception is totally unfair, of course - but it exists nonetheless, and President Mills and his inner circle must take cognisance of it.

It is important that active steps are taken to address it and repair the untold damage it does to the image of the government, amongst the generality of the Ghanaian populace. The NDC regime of President Mills must not make the mistake of sleepwalking to an electoral disaster in December 2012. The question is: Why is it giving many the unfortunate impression that it is has become complacent, I ask?

Finally, they must get TOR to give Ghanaians a full explanation as to why exactly Ghanaians continue to experience shortages of LP gas from time to time. Above all, this administration must wake up - before it becomes too late for it to do so! A word to the wise...

Tel (Powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Why Intercity STC Ought To Be Swiftly Transferred To The Ghana Armed Forces

Recent events in the north of Ghana, and elsewhere in the country, lead one to conclude that our secret services need to keep an eye on the more fanatical elements amongst the membership of some of the opposition parties - particularly those whose political forebears resorted to terrorism in the past: at a certain juncture of our nation's history.

As those old enough at the time know, callous and power-hungry politicians waged an unrelenting bombing campaign of terror, during the early post-independence period.

It was aimed at causing fear and panic amongst the Ghanaian populace - and successfully bombing their way toward achieving (they hoped!) their ultimate objective: securing power by assassinating Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and physically removing him from the political scene permanently.

Their hope, was that his enormous influence both at home and abroad, would then wane - especially as it was resulting in the broad masses of the Ghanaian people becoming politically conscious and aware of the many dark forces inside and outside the country, which wanted Ghana to remain a subjugated puppet-nation, faithfully serving the interests of neo-colonial and imperialist powers.

(Incidentally, Nkrumah's 'crime', was that he wanted Ghana's abundant natural resources, which the neo-colonialist and imperialist powers coveted, to be utilised to improve the living standards of the ordinary people of Ghana. But I digress!)

There is no doubt in the minds of a number of political analysts that some of the more extremist elements amongst today's crop of local stooges for neo-colonialism and lackeys of imperialism in Nkrumah's Ghana, could be masterminding and exploiting some of the current spate of armed attacks on buses plying some of the bus routes up north and elsewhere in the country, for political gain.

The vulnerability of the all-important transport sector to the machinations of such desperate nation-wreckers, clearly does make the case for quickly transferring the Intercity STC bus company to the new holding company for its commercial ventures, which has been set up by the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).

According to bush-telegraph sources, the similarity in the world view of the hardcore elements of today's political descendants of the murderous and tribal-supremacist seccesionists of the erstwhile National Liberation Movement (NLM), the equally ruthless tribal-supremacist types in the New Patriotic Party (NPP), who were behind the election-rigging and violent disruptions of the process in some areas, during the December 2008 elections, see the attacks on long-distance buses as a perfect mass-fear-inducing political weapon (MFIPW), just as effective as that employed by their bomb-throwing NLM forebears - whose campaign of terror during the Nkrumah-era, resulted in over 300 deaths and countless injuries: and created a climate of fear and panic, whilst it lasted.

Obviously, compared to planting bombs in bouquets of flowers and handing them to school children to give to their political opponents who they want to murder, supplant and take over the running of the nation from, staging daring armed raids on buses to rob their passengers with the aim of creating a climate of fear and panic in Ghana, is small beer to those who are prepared to do anything to return to power again in December 2012 - and get into positions that will enable them to lord it over ordinary Ghanaians, once more.

Nothing would make such narrow-minded individuals happier, than being able, once more, to envelope our ethnically-diverse unitary Republic with the dreadful miasma of their intolerable Kokofu-football tribalism and endless Konongo-kayaa nepotism.

Luckily for Ghanaians, although during the NPP-era's golden age of business for Kufuor & Co., the same subtle tactics that were employed to kill off Ghana Airways in order to enable yesteryear's greedy-bastards-brigade to asset strip it, was employed in a similar effort to kill off Intercity STC too, and asset strip that state-owned entity, the sly and greedy elements in the Kufuor & Co. crony-capitalist business that was the NPP regime, were turfed out of office before that "let's-chop-Ghana-small" rip-off conspiracy, gained any traction.

Clearly, a revamped Intercity STC would be the perfect corporate vehicle to use to thwart those behind this dangerous terror game-plan, which amounts to political brinkmanship of the worst sort - and is meant to create disaffection amongst Ghanaians against the Mills administration. (So, that, in a nutshell, is what apparently some of the armed raids on passenger buses are said to represent, dear reader.)

And on the basis that were it owned by the GAF, most Ghanaians would be confident that whenever they undertake a bus journey anywhere in Ghana, to any part of their country, they would be safe from armed robbers - if they travelled by the GAF-owned Intercity STC bus company - the government of President Mills must act swiftly to transfer this strategically important player in the transport sector of the Ghanaian economy, to the GAF.

If the company's ownership is transferred to the GAF, as a strategic national security measure, it will also guarantee that the travelling public will never be held to ransom by private bus companies agreeing to go on strike - as part of a conspiracy to bring down a government or make it unpopular, to achieve the same end: as there will be at least one long-distance bus company, the GAF-owned Intercity STC bus company, which will not be part of any such conspiracy: and which will therefore be able to keep the nation moving, regardless.

If the GAF took possession of the Intercity STC bus company, it would put in place the necessary security measures to ensure that their buses would never be preyed upon by armed thugs working at the behest of the criminal types amongst our political class.

According to the cynics in our midst, some of the masterminds behind the spate of armed attacks on long-distance buses, could be the selfsame rogues who once upon a time recruited thugs, whom they then proceeded to dress as soldiers and policemen, gave arms to and promised to facilitate their release, were they to be arrested for disrupting voting at election centres by snatching ballot boxes, during the December 2008 presidential election, and the subsequent run-off election to decide who became Ghana's president in January 2009.

Apparently (if the cynics and conspiracy theorists in our midst are to be believed!), the spate of armed attacks on long-distance buses, is part of a grand plan (perfected after lessons learnt from the Amina Yutong bus gang-rape fairy tale fiasco) to defeat the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the December 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Its purpose, is said to be to create a perception amongst ordinary Ghanaians that insecurity plagues their country's highways. It is said that those behind it are hoping that it will cause sufficient fear and panic amongst the travelling public - and get millions of them to vote out the Mills administration from power.

The idea is that the government will naturally be blamed by voters for the lawlessness resulting from its alleged "weak leadership" that the NPP's "Enkoyiea" propaganda narrative would have Ghanaians believe, has emboldened criminals in Ghana, now terrorising the travelling public.

It is for all the reasons above, that the Mills administration would be wise to transfer Intercity STC to the GAF quickly. Perhaps issuing long-term government bonds to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) as payment for its stake in Intercity STC, or giving it tax credits for same, might be acceptable to SSNIT.

Finally, a little lateral thinking: Together with the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and any consortium of banks they are able to convince to back them, a GAF-owned Intercity STC could partner the Brazilian bus builders, Marcopolo, to set up an assembly plant in Ghana, to supply the local and West African sub-regional markets - and guarantee a steady supply of new buses regularly to replenish their respective bus fleets that way. A word to the wise.,.

Tel (powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

The British Way Of Life - A Free-verse Poem: Dedicated To Mary Smith of York, by Kofi Thompson

We are simply saying there's a British way of life

And we don't actually care where you were born

Be it Bangalore, Berkshire, Beira, Benenden, Bangladesh, Bethnal Green, Butere, Brentford, Bratislavia, Birmingham or Baiwleshie

And we don't particularly care either whether you are white, black, brown or mixed-race

And since this is an open society and a democracy in which one's free to come and go

If you don't like the British way of life, sodding get out of Great Britain

And go wherever in the world you think you'll fit in, be welcomed and feel at home

And leave those who enjoy it, to live the British way of life

In riot-free and lout-free Queen's-peace peacefulness

Which henceforth one hopes will be robustly protected for the law-abiding

So they can go about their lawful business, wherever in Great Britain they live - and whatever their skin-hue

Its called tolerance - but some call it the great British way of life!

Thursday, 4 August 2011


Minister, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime of H. E. President Mills, is really in deep trouble, if it is true, that you, a deputy minister for information, in the administration of the most honest and principled individual to lead Ghana thus far, since the overthrow of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in 1966, believe that buying the conscience and loyalty of Ghanaian journalists, will guarantee your regime's return to power in December 2012.

What can a group of professionals, who are largely bereft of original thinking, do for your regime, which efficiency in all spheres of the machinery of government cannot do, to get you re-elected, I ask?

If you and your colleagues focused on administering your ministerial briefs creatively and efficiently; ended the widespread complacency within your ranks and focused on what ordinary people need and want - a system that makes it possible, for example, for those who work to go to work in the morning and get back home again in the evening, in reasonable time and in some comfort; one that provides all those who work hard and are unable to build or buy their own homes, with well-designed, well-built and affordable rental accommodation; and ensures access to education at state expense (paid for from a transparent scholarship fund - open to all and exam-based), for the truly gifted academically up to tertiary level, and provides a social safety net for the vulnerable in society, will that not stand you a good chance of getting re-elected again in December 2012?

Why rely on bribing members of a profession, full of unethical incompetents, most of whom have even failed to master the basic tool of their profession, the English language, and don't understand that their role in Ghanaian society is not to toady to politicians - because it is a sure-fire ticket to riches for themselves - but to prevent our ruling elites from stealing our money, robbing us of our freedoms and ending up eventually enslaving us?

Minister, I say what follows, only in matter-of-fact fashion, and with the greatest of humility: Ask for the letter I wrote to your ministry last November that was never even acknowledged by your complacent colleagues, who seem to forget that no condition is permanent (just as the perfidious Kufuor & Co. did, when they too became power-drunk and arrogant!).

Well, being a patriot and not wanting it to remain just an idea on paper, discarded and treated with disdain by clueless politicians, I subsequently put it into the public domain by publishing it on my "Ghanapolitics" google blog, to achieve the same end I sought in writing to your minister - ensuring the long-term cohesion of our nation, by getting the more responsible sections of the Ghanaian media, to start focusing on sustainable development at the grassroots-level nationwide: by regularly covering the activities of District Assemblies.

I am glad that what I sought is now a reality. And I dare say that if you study the contents of the aforementioned missive of mine, you will see how altruism can be harnessed by imaginative politicians in power, to move our homeland Ghana forward - without their having to spend billions of hapless taxpayers' money, bribing clueless and malevolent journalists.

Minister, does it never occur to you and your colleagues, for example, that were all of you - from the president down to the last district chief executive of the smallest district in Ghana, and your spouses - to publicly publish your assets now, and promise to do so again when you leave office, you could change the nature of the political landscape in Ghana in one stroke: with your regime setting the political agenda, instead of being on the ropes and endlessly pummelled by your political opponents and their hirelings in the Ghanaian media, with their endless "Enkoyiea" dissimulation and propaganda of falsehood about President Mills' undoubted decency and honesty?

And will such a gesture not put clear blue water between your regime and the present-day stooges for neo-colonialism and lackeys of imperialism, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) of the perfidious Kufuor & Co.?

Minister, I can't for the life of me, fathom why a regime led by the honest H. E. President Mills, continues to turn a deaf ear to advice that it must seize the historic opportunity offered it, and enter the Pantheon of transparent 21st Century regimes globally, by publicly publishing your assets, as well as that of your spouses.

Exactly what are you and your colleagues afraid of, which makes you so reluctant to do the one thing, which will get your regime re-elected to office again for sure, in December 2012? Politicians can, indeed, be a strange breed of the species, sometimes. Pity.

And against such a historic move, which will set a precedent for every future government of Ghana to follow, and will be a positive contribution to the fight against corruption in our homeland Ghana, what unprincipled journalist (even those mercenary ones in the deep pockets of the financiers of the NPP - who grew super-rich thanks to the munificence of those Kufuor & Co. kickback-specialist rogues), could possibly dissemble and engage in "Enkoyiea" propaganda - to try and counter what will undoubtedly be an incontrovertible fact-on-the-ground, that is clear evidence (for all Ghanaians to see!) of your regime's commitment to transparency and accountability in the governance of Ghana, I ask?

Finally, I do hope that you will accept this humble piece of advice: Minister, there are many altruistic and patriotic individuals around the country, who are creative thinkers, and who if asked, will happily work to get your regime re-elected for free - because they believe that a second term for President Mills, will help consolidate Ghanaian democracy.

Such individuals see and applaud the gains made thus far, by the Mills regime: refusing to persecute the many well-connected Kufuor-era crooks, whiles investigations of past corruption go on to enable their prosecution in the law courts to take place, sticking to due process despite pressure from the hawks within your party, ensuring the rule of law and taking a non-partisan approach with regard to the tenure of civil servants (despite the outrageous partisanship of many of the top echelons of the largely pro-NPP civil service - virtually all committed to making sure the Mills administration fails, alas!).

And it might interest you to know that whiles those lusting for power in your party fight those of your colleagues who have become power-drunk, for dominance in your party, I know of at least one hard-working individual in it, who constantly engages all the different factions in your party to help keep it united, and who is working hard on a plan to attract patriotic, altruistic and apolitical individuals, to volunteer their time and offer their creative ideas and knowledge for free, to help get President Mills re-elected - now that the primary to select your party's candidate for the December 2012 presidential election, is over.

At his own expense, and quietly without fanfare, the aforementioned colleague of yours - who is a great believer in consensus politics, and publicly acknowledges the contributions of both President Mills and Flt Lt. Rawlings to the Ghanaian polity, and who, for national interest reasons, even tries hard to get the good elements in the NPP to contribute positively to the development of our nation whiles they remain in opposition, whenever the opportunity to do so presents itself to him - intends putting together a team of such altruistic individuals to come up with cutting-edge ideas, to help your party retain power and start the transformation of our homeland Ghana, into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia, in earnest.

Minister, adopt the positive service-to-Mother-Ghana template being used by that hard-working and brilliant political strategist and tactician, the Hon. A. S. K. Bagbin's low-profile approach: and get your team to also try to recruit honest and altruistic individuals who love Ghana and put the national interest above tribe and party, to work as unpaid volunteers to come up with cutting-edge ideas, to help your party return to power again after December 2012 - for the sake of Mother Ghana and to ensure a better future for Ghana's younger generation.

Finally, Minister, the Bagbin approach outlined above, is one I would highly recommend to you and your colleagues. Speaking personally, that open-minded approach towards politics, and his warm and welcoming nature, which puts all who approach him at ease, are some of the reasons why he happens to be the only politician in Ghana, who I consider to be a personal friend.

We go back a very long way indeed - a fact that any of today's senior journalists, who worked with me whiles we were at The Independent, will attest to.

However, we hardly ever see or speak to each other - and if he were to be caught in any illegality, I'd be the first to expose him: and the same would be the case with him, were I to break the law, too.

And anyone who reads my writing, would be surprised to learn he's my friend - as I don't hesitate to criticise him, whenever the need to do so arises. And that is as it should be, for all who put loyalty and service to Mother Ghana, above all else. But I digress.

Politicians in Ghana must start finding unpaid volunteers who love Nkrumah's Ghana unconditionally, to help them turn our nation round - and avoid those who will not lift a finger to help make political parties better and more effective tools for national development, for Mother Ghana's sake - if they are not first paid small fortunes as consultants or bribed with zillions as mercenary media-types, to do so. A word to the wise...

Tel(powered by Tigo, the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.


One of the many legacies of Ghana's founding father, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, is that unlike so may other African nations, in the main, ordinary Ghanaians don't particularly care which part of their nation, those fellow citizens they interact with, on a daily basis, hail from.

That is why ordinary Ghanaians of Akan descent, for example, who form the majority of Ghana's population, inter-marry and happily coexist peacefully with fellow citizens originally descended from other ethnic groups - and vice versa.

Indeed, one would be hard put finding any family clan in Ghana today, which was not a multi-ethnic entity - with family members who are Ghanaians of diverse ethnic descent: united by blood-ties and by marriage.

It is important to make that vital point, and also distinguish them from their open-minded and non-tribalistic compatriots, whenever one condemns the tiny minority of tribal-supremacist and elitist individuals, from all the ethnic groups in today's Ghana.

Those narrow-minded and prejudiced individuals in our midst, ought to be made to understand that their foolish dream of reviving the pre-colonial tribal entities - largely because it serves their personal and political interests, as descendants of the ruling elites of those societies - will never be allowed to be realised in any shape or form in this country: because it poses a great danger to the unity and stability of our homeland Ghana.

That is why the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) Akan tribal-supremacist leaders must be confronted and opposed, wherever, and whenever, they seek to bring their antedelluvian views into our nation's political arena.

To enable them win and hold on to power, the NPP's tribalistic politicians, always work hand-in-glove with their tribal Chieftains, to exploit the sentimental attachment, which many ordinary Ghanaians still have to various aspects of the cultural traditions of the areas of the Ghanaian nation-state, which their family tree was seeded and their families' originate from.

Whenever that occurs, as patriots and nationalists who love Mother Ghana passionately, we must never be afraid to point out, and criticise, the fact that a particular group of tribal-supremacist politicians are in an unholy alliance with their tribal Chieftains to achieve their common goal - dominating the Ghanaian nation-state till the very end of time.

We must always condemn these often arrogant individuals, whenever their narrow-mindedness makes them talk about their dream of reviving ancient "tribal glories".

What escapes these insufferable individuals, is that today, those ancient "glories" would put key figures of the folklore of say the Dagomba; Ga Dangbe; Ewe; Akyem; Asante; and Guan kingdoms of the pre-colonial era, to mention a few, firmly in the category of International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted war criminals and perpetrators of crimes against humanity. There is nothing glorious about mass murder and the enslavement of others. Period.

Unfortunately, there still lurks, in the midst of the many decent and non-tribalistic Akans (who luckily are in the majority in their party, thank goodness!) in the NPP, a determined cabal of powerful Akan tribal-supremacist politicians (Akyems and Asantes mostly), who dominate that party so completely.

The loquacious Honourable Atta Akyea MP, epitomises that type of smug and self-satisfied Akan tribal-supremacist politician and elitist, referred to above - and his party's upper echelons are jam-packed with people of that ilk.

It is said that inherited privilege is the greatest enemy of meritocracy.

Consequently, we must be eternally vigilante and constantly keep an eye on the Atta Akyeas and their insufferable tribal Chieftains, who apparently think they can neither be contradicted nor criticised openly - in what is a constitutional democracy whose citizens, without exception, are equal before the law: and none above it.

Their hidebound traditional governance system (with its insular nature and demand for endless sycophancy, results in megalomania in many of those handpicked in an opaque process, underpinned by nepotism, to rule, from a pool of 'suitable' candidates - from a privileged few select ruling families), is a menace to liberalism and fans the endless hypocrisy, which has turned today's Ghanaian society, into a nation full of fence-sitting moral cowards.

If truth be told, above all, the tribalism of the NPP's powerful Akan "owners", poses the single greatest threat to the cohesion of our homeland Ghana - and to the well-being and continued existence of our young democracy.

And there is nothing benign about the present-day aims of their effete traditional system, either - and we must always remember that it remains the last bastion of age-old tribalism in Nkrumah's Ghana.

The "real owners" of a political party, the ultimate dream of whose political forebears was of a post-independence constitutional arrangement, consisting of a loose federation of pre-colonial tribal entities, ought not to be allowed to rule our homeland Ghana ever - if that is also their political ideal.

That is why as long as the most powerful and dominant individuals who control it, also share that absurd dream, their party must never be allowed to govern Ghana. For, once in power, they will proceed to mobilise the entire machinery of state for that dubious end.

We saw it in the unholy alliance between the sly and greedy President Kufuor and his overly-ambitious and hypocritical tribal Chieftain - and we will certainly see it again, if the NPP is returned to power after December 2012.

The worry for patriotic Ghanaians, is that our ethnically-diverse nation's unity, may be destroyed permanently, were that outrage to occur again - and some of our new rulers sought to impose yet another tribal-supremacist megalomanic and elitist on Ghanaians, as Ghana's de facto monarch. That is why the NPP, as currently constituted, must never be allowed to come to power again. Period. A word to the wise...

Tel(powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Global Coalition Calls on Nepal to Join the International Criminal Court

Civil Society Says Accession to the Rome Statute is a Priority to End Impunity 

New York, USA – The Coalition for the International Criminal Court today called on Nepal to demonstrate its commitment to justice and the rule of law by acceding to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC)—the world’s first and only permanent international court to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Nepal is the focus of the Coalition’s Universal Ratification Campaign (URC) for August 2011, a monthly campaign launched to call upon a different country to join the Rome Statute—the ICC’s founding treaty. 

In a letter dated 1 August 2011 to Nepalese President H.E. Mr. Ram Baran Yadav, the Coalition—a global network of more than 2,500 civil society organizations in 150 countries advocating for a fair, effective and independent ICC—urged the government of Nepal to prioritize its accession of the Rome Statute. 

The Rome Statute came into force in July 2002 and now has the support of well over half of the world’s nations, with 116 states having ratified or acceded to the treaty.  

A number of states around the world including the Philippines, Cape Verde, Malaysia and the Maldives are nearing completion of their ratification processes. 

To date, only 14 states in the Asia-Pacific region have recognized the jurisdiction of the ICC. By joining the ICC, Nepal would set an important example for states throughout the Asia-Pacific region that have yet to embrace the Rome Statute system.

“We are encouraged that a growing number of states in the Asia region are moving forward in their ratification processes, as it is one that remains underrepresented  at the ICC,” said  William R. Pace, Convenor of the Coalition. “By embracing the Rome Statute system, Nepal will strengthen its leadership in the Asia region toward increasing accountability for the gravest crimes,” Pace added.

The Coalition also recalled Nepal’s past efforts to join the ICC, in particular the Nepalese Legislature’s decision on 24 July 2006 to unanimously endorse a proposal to accede to the Rome Statute and the tabling of the matter before the Cabinet in February 2009.

“Nepal's accession will signal the government's readiness to fulfill its promise to end impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes” said Evelyn Balais-Serrano, the Coalition’s Asia Regional Coordinator. “It is time for the government to turn its commitments to action and take concrete steps to join the ICC.”

As a state party, Nepal would be able to actively participate in the annual Assembly of States Parties (ASP) of the ICC, during which states make important decisions in relation to the administration of the Court, including the election of judges and prosecutors. In December 2011, six new judges, a new chief prosecutor and other Court officials will be elected by the ASP. By acceding to the Rome Statute by 2 September 2011, Nepal can nominate and vote for candidates to these important posts to ensure national and regional representation in this new mechanism for international justice 

Background: The ICC is the world’s first, permanent international court to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

There are currently 116 ICC States Parties.  Central to the Court’s mandate is the principle of complementarity, which holds that the Court will only intervene if national legal systems are unwilling or unable to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

There are currently six active investigations before the Court: the Central African Republic; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, the Sudan; Uganda, Kenya and Libya.

The ICC has publicly issued 18 arrest warrants and nine summonses to appear.

Three trials are ongoing. The ICC Prosecutor recently requested authorization from Judges to open an investigation in Côte d’Ivoire.

His office has also made public that it is examining eight other situations on four continents, including Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, Guinea, Honduras, Republic of Korea, Nigeria, and Palestine. 

The Coalition for the International Criminal Court is a global network of civil society organizations in 150 countries working in partnership to strengthen international cooperation with the ICC; ensure that the Court is fair, effective and independent; make justice both visible and universal; and advance stronger national laws that deliver justice to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

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