Monday, 17 December 2012

Ghana's Supreme Court Will Not See Electoral Fraud Where None Took Place

In December 2008, when Atta Akyea & Co. sought to deny Ghanaian voters the regime-change many wanted, by arranging to have a case with massive  ramifications surreptitiously heard on a public holiday, Providence intervened.

And the end that that   legal sleight of hand sought - to steal an election with the help of a  judge they thought was a  "right judge" (to quote Atta Akyea and Malik Yakubu Alhassan) - failed to materialise.

Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo is a good and decent human being. His curse is that he is  surrounded mostly by utterly ruthless individuals with inflated-egos,  who unfortunately for Ghana,  lack the wisdom of great men such as the late  J. B. Da Rocha.

Alas, today,  the far-sighted and  principled  Da Rocha is no longer around to stand up to  the mendacious, amoral and power-hungry lot surrounding Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo,  whose dreams of ruling our nation has been shattered yet again, and tell them to the face that what they  seek is neither in the interest of the Ghanaian nation-state  nor that of their party.

What the too-clever-by-half politicians with inflated egos  seeking to subvert the will of the ordinary people of our country yet again,  forget, is that in the era of Facebook and Twitter, no self-respecting professional is unaware that the judgement of one's peers is no longer  limited to peers within national boundaries.

It is not for nothing that Providence ensured that at this critical juncture in Ghana's history,  the Electoral Commission would be headed by an honest and  dedicated public servant,  keenly aware of the fact that the focus of his peers around the world would be on him during Ghana's presidential and parliamentary elections.

Dr. Afari Djan is a principled gentleman who treasures his well-deserved international   reputation. He would never have been  party to any electoral fraud. That is why he is so adamant and emphatic that claims of electoral fraud made by the New Patriotic Party are "false".

In the same vein, every judge sitting on the Supreme Court panel selected to sit on the case the New Patriotic Party says it is bringing to prove the presidential election was rigged, will likewise  be keenly aware that their peers in Commonwealth democracies such as the United Kingdom; Canada; Australia; India; South Africa and Botswana for example, will be taking a keen interest in how they proceed.

Those who think that  "right" judges will rescue them, will have a rude awakening. No one can influence the judges who will sit on the case. Instead,  those judges  will prove to the world  that Ghana indeed has  a  truly world-class Supreme Court - with high-minded  judges.

That  is why one doubts  very much that those eminent and learned judges,  will deliver a judgement other than  that which their impartial and incorruptible peers in say the United Kingdom or Botswana would, in similar circumstances: all things being equal,  so to speak.

This time round too, falsehood will not win power through the backdoor for the New Patriotic Party, with the connivance  of the Ghanaian judiciary. The Supreme Court of Ghana will most definitely not see electoral fraud where none has actually taken place.

Tel: 027 745 3109.


NPP Supreme Court EC Declaration Challenge: History Will Judge Judges Hearing Case

One hopes that there is no truth  in reports carried in sections of the Ghanaian  media,   that the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) general secretary, Kojo Owusu-Afriyie,   had said his party would make Ghana ungovernable - were his party's leaders to be arrested,  as rumours  he had heard, had it.

It would be most unfortunate if  it turned out to be  true that the general secretary of a  political party seeking to govern Ghana, actually  made any such statement.

Surely,  no politician in his right mind would  make such a statement in a democratic and peaceful nation such as Ghana?

In case it escapes politicians of that ilk, the vast majority of the ordinary people of Ghana have moved on with their lives - having got  elections described by all the independent observers who witnessed it as free and fair, out of the way.

Ordinary Ghanaians  are not about to allow the personal ambitions of power-hungry politicians,  to let their country descend into chaos.

In any case, as they head for the Supreme Court, how are Ghanaians  to know that such individuals will not commit perjury by lying and  manufacturing evidence, in order to facilitate  the  manipulation of   the judicial system,  to enable them achieve their power-at-all-costs goal?

There are many independent-minded,  discerning and patriotic individuals in Ghana, who observed the counting of ballots after voting closed on both days that  voting took place.

They are lost as to  how any political party could have rigged such a transparent process, and at which stage the said rigging occurred.

Did the victors bribe all the 26,000 or so NPP polling agents, perchance? Is it not risking the  alienation of those idealistic individuals who volunteered to do that difficult,  tiring and thankless job of party  polling-agent?

Dr. Afari Djan, the Electoral Commissioner's emphatic dismissal of the NPP's rigging claims as "false",   pours yet more cold water on those claims.

As evidenced by the normalcy we are witnessing countrywide  after the polls as Ghanaians go about their everyday lives,  it would appear that in this most  unedifying of affairs, many discerning and independent-minded Ghanaians would rather take the word of  the highly-regarded Electoral Commissioner,  Dr. Afari-Djan, than that of politicians - amongst whose working tools are  insincerity and truth-stretching  - who insist that vote-counting that millions watched with eagle eyes across the nation, was somehow affected  by sleight of hand manipulation by their political opponents.

Well, Ghanaians  await the verdict  of the Supreme Court. One hopes that the judges who sit on the case brought by the NPP, will remember that history will also judge them - and be impartial and principled. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.


The Multi-culturalists Must Take Over The New Patriotic Party

As the leadership of the New Patriotic Party ponder how to confront the reality they currently face, perhaps they can learn a few things from comments made by young university students about their party.

Asked  what they thought about the refusal of the New Patriotic Party to accept the outcome of the presidential election,  one student said: "If you are a closet tribal-supremacist who had been dreaming of a powerful position at the presidency,  under a President Akufo-Addo, and felt that victory for your party in this year's  presidential election was a no-brainer, accepting defeat does not come easy." Food for thought, say I.

Another student said: "It appears that for many in  the New Patriotic Party, it is hard accepting  the reality that in fact their  party does not have as widespread an appeal as they previously thought - and that actually it is largely a party  dominant in only two out of the ten regions of Ghana".

Yet another young student said: "There are those who say that the  trouble about the New Patriotic Party, is  that far too many tribal-supremacist individuals with inflated egos,   who harbour  hidden personal wealth-creation agendas at the expense of others, simply see the party as a special purpose vehicle for the fulfilment of their personal  ambitions".

"To be successful nationwide, a new leadership of young, idealistic and cosmopolitan individuals -   who understand the futility of a revival of the power and influence of the  progeny of one group of the pre-colonial traditional ruling elites -  must take over the party".

"Ordinary Ghanaians are not enamoured with the parochialism of those who seem to feel that a nation of ethnic-diversity,  can be dominated by one constituent part of what is a multi-ethnic nation in which no ethnic group is superior or inferior to another".

"Those who hold such views are living in a bygone age. It  is so passe - and simply daft. One hopes that the multi-culturalists  in the New Patriotic Party will  take over that party to secure its future".  Food for thought, dear reader?

Tel: 027 745 3109.


Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Ghanaians Will Judge President Mahama Again In 2016

I had a phone call yesterday afternoon, from a gentleman who wanted to know why I was "favouring the National Democratic Congress  over the New Patriotic Party"  -  which is disputing the outcome of the presidential election - when in the past I was "so critical of both President Mills and the then Vice President Mahama".

Had I "been bought", he wanted to know? Well,  my conscience is not for sale at any price - and has never been, and never will be.

For  patriotic reasons, I was an avowed  critic of both President Mills and Vice President Mahama, as he then was - both of whom I often called upon to resign after Martin Amidu was sacked as Attorney General.

However,  having now been elected to serve his own term as President, as a Progressive and patriot, I will support his regime - if it works in the interest of the ordinary people of Ghana.

However, I shall be his foremost critic, if he allows the rogues in his party to continue milking Ghana.

And if he wants discerning Ghanaians to take him seriously about fighting corruption, let him bring back Martin Amidu as Attorney General.

Symbolism is important in politics. Asking Martin Amidu to return to the position of Attorney General,  will convince most ordinary people that they were right to elect him to lead Ghana.

Above all, he must not be complacent - especially as he has seen  how quickly President Mills' administration's  4-year tenure has almost drawn to a close.

Key PPP projects he must prioritise and complete before his tenure ends, are: building a railway line from Tema to Paga on a build,  operate and transfer basis; a new bridge across the Volta; more gas-fired power plants; acquiring a fleet of four oil-tankers to enable the Ghana Navy have a monopoly transporting  oil from our oilfields.

Luckily,  today there is private equity financing available to part-fund  such projects.

Above all, his new administration  must find a way of ensuring that  it never  ignores good nation-building advice - whatever quarter it originates  from.

He will be held accountable by Ghanaians throughout his tenure. And in 2016, he will be judged  again by ordinary Ghanaians. One hopes he will not be found wanting then. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.


Real Change: The Buck Stops With President Mahama

Having snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, President Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) must be magnanimous in victory.

He  must  reach out to all  those  defeated by his party in the presidential and parliamentary elections. They too have  vital roles  to play in the coming transformation of Ghana.

He must also use the model that enabled the Democratic Peoples Party's members to return to the NDC,  to  reconcile his   party with the breakaway anti-Mills faction that formed the National Democratic Party.

This is the time for Ghanaians from across the spectrum to reconcile with one another. The task ahead of the  nation is an arduous one - and Ghanaians  can only succeed if they are united.

Above all, President Mahama ought to  move swiftly to consolidate his power, once he is sworn-in on 7th January,  2013.

He must put the past when he played second-fiddle,  and then went on to serve out the rest of President Mills' tenure, behind him.

He must  chart a new course as an elected leader -  selected by ordinary people to transform the enterprise Ghana and empower the younger generation of Ghanaians.

He would be wise  to align himself to his party's founder, President Rawlings  - by making him the chairperson of a new presidential task-force on  corruption.

It will enable him  quickly reconcile the various factions in the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Perhaps he can begin that process by appointing Dr. Ezenator Rawlings to the Ministry of Health. Mr Martey Newman ought to be sent abroad to China as our new ambassador. China is a key ally of Ghana's.

He must be replaced as Chief of Staff at the presidency, by a  consensus politician - who will  become  Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs. There are those who say that the  Hon. Alban Bagbin would be a perfect choice.

Above all, whatever he does going forward, he must never forget  that as President of the Republic of Ghana, it is he who history will judge - not the late  Mills' powerful  inner-circle:  who kept him on a tight leash throughout the late president's  tenure.

They will be mere footnotes in the recounting of the history of the period when he led Ghana - and as a student of history no one need remind him of that.

In bringing about real change in Ghana during his tenure, after he is sworn into office as President  next year, the buck really does stop with him. A word to the wise...

Tel:027 745 3109.


Nana Akufo-Addo: Concede Defeat Quickly For Ghana's Sake

Author's note: This was written on  9/12/2012. It is being posted today because I was unable to do so on the day. It did, however,  subsequently appear on Please read on:

Those who seek to lead our homeland Ghana,  must always put the interests of the nation and the well-being of ordinary Ghanaians, above their individual self-interest and that of the political party they belong to.

Naturally, having lost the presidential election yet again, it is perfectly normal that the candidate and  leadership of the New Patriotic Party will feel devastated and despondent.

However, it is at precisely such a moment  that the leadership of the New Patriotic Party can demonstrate to Ghanaians,  that indeed they seek the well-being of our nation - and  as a political  party are thus truly worthy of leading our country again.

They can do so by quickly conceding defeat,  and urging their followers to look to the future -  when the people of Ghana finally give them the  mandate to govern  again.

One therefore urges them to take a long-term view and set an example, which  will redound to their party's  benefit -  in similar circumstances  in future elections.

Above all, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo must demonstrate his love for Ghana - by following the late President Mills' example in the 2004 presidential election.

Let him ignore all those with hidden agendas around him who may argue to the contrary, and quickly concede defeat - for the greater good of the Ghanaian polity. It will definitely earn him a place in the Pantheon of great Ghanaians. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.


Why The Candidate Who Proved He Was Best Suited To Lead Ghana Did Not Win The Presidential Election

Author's note: This was written on 4/12/2012. It is being posted today because I was unable to do so on the day. It did, however,  subsequently appear on Please read on:

When  a friend in the U.S.A. asked me who I thought would win the presidential election in Ghana, for an  answer, I told him who I knew would definitely not win  that election - by  recounting  to him what a brilliant young female  student  told me,  when I asked a group of university students  the same question.

In the view of that brilliant female student, nothing would  change in Ghana, regardless of which candidate of the two major political parties that have governed the nation since the 1992 constitution  was promulgated - the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party  -    won  the presidential election,   because both  simply lacked   the political will to fight high-level corruption:   which she regarded  as the biggest nation-building challenge facing Ghana.

The tragedy for Ghana, she said, was that   the person who had  shown,  by deed,  not words - by making public the results of the medical examination he underwent to show he was medically fit for the ardours task of leading Ghana; releasing  his filed tax returns and declaring his assets openly to the media; as well as showing the amount spent on campaigning by the party he founded,  and the sources of  its funding to show he was transparent about financial matters he was  associated with    -    would not win the presidential election.

She ended by saying she was certain that Ghana (a nation full of "My-party-my-tribe-right-or-
wrong" myrmidon-types) would  miss the opportunity to elect the candidate who had shown the discerning that he was   the most suitable politician to lead the Ghana of today, for a number of reasons - all of them negative.

To begin with, it was her opinion that Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive Peoples Party would not win the presidential election,   because:  "Behind the facade of modernity, in terms of the psychology of a majority of the populace, in a sense,   Ghana is  a  nation in which superstition is rife and  deeply woven into the fabric of society. That is one of the   reasons  why the political  party most favoured by sundry crooks-in-dog-collars -   who speak in 'tongues'  and exert  a malevolent  influence over the minds of the millions who flock to their churches regularly  to seek 'prophetic anointing' and 'protection from spiritual enemies' -   can garner a substantial number of votes in elections. And, lastly,  tribal bigotry is written into the DNA of some of the most prominent and influential of today's  descendants of  the pre-colonial traditional ruling elites -  who,  even though it is a democracy, still seek to dominate the Republic of Ghana through the back-door   by proxy  - and those ordinary Ghanaians who hold fealty to them,  often demonstrate  their allegiance  by voting for the political parties such tribal-supremacist traditionalists support." And well said, say I.

How insightful that young Ghanaian was. Alas, indeed  as it turned out,  most voters did  not vote for the candidate who by voluntarily undergoing a medical examination and making public the results, as well as releasing his filed tax returns from the 1980's to date;  and  publicly declaring his assets  to the media, and topped all that by revealing the total amount spent by the party he founded and the sources of its funding,  showed Ghanaians (including a doubting-Thomas like me who has often criticised him in the past for attempting a reverse-takeover of the party founded by the great Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the Convention Peoples Party - and advised he leave Nkrumah's party to  set up one of his own,  in which he could call the shots),  that in good governance terms, he was   the best amongst this year's  crop of  presidential candidates -   and could   offer the  kind of sorely-needed  world-class  leadership (underpinned by an ethical ethos), which the  people of Ghana and their peaceful and democratic nation require to prosper.

Sadly, dear reader, as it turns out that young female university student was right in asserting that the candidate who proved he  was best suited to lead Ghana,  would    not win the presidential election - and that Mother Ghana will  be  the worst for it. Pity.

Tel: 027 745 3109.


Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Vodafone

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo: Time To Honour BBC Hardtalk Interview Promise

Commenting on what he said was the probable victory of the New Patriotic Party's presidential candidate, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, in the December 7th election, and its implication for the future of  second-cycle  education in Ghana,  a young university student acquaintance of mine made a rather interesting comment.

He observed that in no other country in the world but Ghana, would an idea from a hired foreign political strategist be adopted by those who hired his services; become their party's main campaign message, without it ever undergoing any in-depth scrutiny by either the media or civil society groups: even when their party is supposedly poised to win power.

In his view, it was extraordinary that a political party "led mainly by wealthy elitist-politicians, many from privileged backgrounds - and some of whom can either easily afford, or have already provided their wards with, an expensive overseas education - could be heading for victory in both the presidential and parliamentary elections, without once facing any serious questioning about the practicality (from a state-funding perspective) of its main campaign policy proposal to provide free secondary education, now."

Yet, we are all aware, dear reader, that over the years various Ghanaian Governments have, at certain points in time, not been able to provide funds in timely fashion, to keep the machinery of government functioning effectively.

There are many employees of ministries, departments and agencies of the Ghanaian nation-state, for example, whose salaries have remained unpaid on occasion - sometimes for months on end: simply because projected revenue outlined in the budget for a particular year, has not materialised.

(Is that perpetual lack of funding not the reason why the Tema Oil Refinery and so many state-owned business entities - such as the public utilities providing electricity and water - are basket-cases financially, I ask, dear reader? And was that not the driving force for the law-defying fire-sale of Ghana Telecom to Vodafone? But I digress.)

Then there are the unavoidable facts on the ground: Secondary schools need to feed their boarding students daily. They also need to pay for water and electricity, as well as pay for other goods and services needed to keep them functioning during the school term.

One shudders to think of the disruption that secondary schools suddenly facing a loss of the relatively reliable source of funds that fees paid by parents represents, will experience, when expected funds from central government fail to materialise at the right time.

Some might even be forced by circumstances to close down temporarily, in such situations - with the attendant disruption to the academic calender that that would entail.

It is unfortunate that those questioning the feasibility of a free secondary education policy being implemented without it destroying secondary education in Ghana, at this stage in our nation's development, have somehow been made out to be retrogrades against a "pro-poor policy" (to quote a patronising female serial-caller to radio phone-in programmes, who prospered mightily from her political connections, once upon a time, when the New Patriotic Party was in power).

Yet, some of us have insisted for decades, that a poor developing nation with aspirations, cannot afford not to provide free education from kindergarten to tertiary level, for its citizens.

And that was long before many of the "Latter-day-converts now trumpeting it took it up for opportunistic reasons - because a clever hired-foreigner, discovered that it was a sure-fire vote-winner with the gullible", to quote my young university student acquaintance.

The tragedy for Mother Ghana, is that many of those championing it today, do so not because they actually care about the well-being and future of our nation's younger generation, but simply because it will enable them win political power again. And damn the consequences, for all they care.

Otherwise why have they not thought of some of the most practical means of enabling poor Ghanaian families to educate their offspring, who have the aptitude to study, as alternatives that will not endanger the secondary educational system: a well-endowed scholarship fund, for example - replenished regularly from an agreed proportion of value-added tax on goods and services - that those with given aggregates will be awarded full scholarships from, and all other students can compete to be awarded funding from, year-round, in written national examinations for that purpose?

As things currently stand, it is difficult not to concur with those who accuse the New Patriotic Party of cynically exploiting the desperation felt by many financially-challenged families, who regularly need to find money to pay for the education of their offspring, in order to win their votes.

Many such individuals also insist that the New Patriotic Party knows perfectly well that as things currently stand, it will be next to impossible to implement a free secondary education policy proposal in Ghana, within a 4-year tenure, without destroying secondary education as we know it - and possibly dislocating our national economy into the bargain too.

Ordinary people in Ghana need to be fully informed about the total cost of implementing a free secondary education policy proposal over a future government's 4-year tenure - and the source of those funds: with sustainability being the operative word there, for every single government-funded secondary school in Ghana.

There are many independent-minded patriots in Ghana, who feel that the New Patriotic Party does not deserve to win power if it fails to be transparent and sincere in this particular matter.

There are also many of those selfsame independent-minded and patriotic Ghanaians - whose crucial swing-votes now decide who wins presidential elections in Ghana - who still remember that Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo told the world, when asked how much the free secondary education policy would cost, in a BBC Hardtalk interview not too long ago, that he would rather it was the Ghanaian people, who were the first to be told exactly what the NPP's free secondary school policy proposal would cost to be implemented.

Surely, he must honour that promise now - before the good people of Ghana cast their votes on the 7th of December, to elect a new President of the Republic of Ghana?

Let him outline, in a detailed breakdown of the total cost, what each public secondary school in Ghana will receive in the 4 years he will be president, if elected on 7th December 2012.

Nothing short of that will do - and his party must stop mentioning President Nkrumah's name in connection with this matter. With respect, none of them possesses Nkrumah's nation-building genius - and in any case Kwame Nkrumah's equal has not yet been born.

Simply put, dear reader, the time has now come for Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo to honour his BBC Hardtalk interview promise - to tell Ghanaians the cost of implementing his "free secondary education, now" policy proposal. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.