Saturday, 29 October 2016

Should The Ghana Police Service Bother Itself With Cranks Who Hear Voices And Prophesy?

One wonders whether some pastors in Ghana dream of being appointed to the exalted  position of "secret-spiritual-advisor" to sitting Ghanaian presidents.

Could that be what all those much-publicised so-called "prophecies" by some pastors - which create such controversies across the country - are actually about, perchance?

If your business model is mind-control of your "flock" - made possible by bestriding the "spiritual realm" like a Colossus - could you not use the interpretation of "dreams" to control even presidents of the Republic of Ghana, who fall under your spell?

Is it not the perfect backdoor route to power in Ghana for dog-collar-megalomaniacs with political ambitions - who doubtless see the endless possibilities for acquiring yet more wealth that could open up for them that way?

For all we know, perhaps some of Ghana's mega-church-founders, who are students of world history, harbour secret ambitions of becoming very powerful and uber-influential individuals in our national life. Think, Rasputin?

Who knows whether such clever people do not regard Gregor Yefimovich Rasputin - the debauched peasant and "spiritual healer" who wielded enormous influence,  in the St. Petersburg court of  Tsar Nicholas 11, Imperial Russia's last ruler - as a perfect role model?

Watching television news reports recently, I was struck by how a certain pastor - who has cornered the market for communicating with God Almighty and regularly issues "prophecies" of coming events based on those communications - bears a remarkable facial resemblance to Rasputin.

A photograph I also saw of him on a Ghana-centric online news portal,  confirmed the fact that he is indeed a spitting image of Rasputin - shorn of long locks and reimagined in the "spiritual realm" as a more moderately-bearded African with a low-cut hairstyle. Wonders.

The question is: Why do so many people in this country allow themselves to be hoodwinked by clever rogues "in the name of the blood of Jesus"  - when in the era of cheap smartphones,  they could text, Skype or WhatsApp God Almighty, directly, themselves? Food for thought.

In future, the Ghana Police Service must not waste precious man-hours, of the period allotted to its well-trained investigators, daily, on charlatans purporting to be "men of God."

As it happens, there are those who say that as a people, we have many faults. What can one say to that? Nothing much, alas: descending into the realms of absurdity has become a national blood-sport ("In-the-name-of-the-blood-of-Jesus!").

However, be that as it may, surely, we must not descend to the point where even  the Ghana Police Service humours "spiritual-realm" attention-seeking cranks?

What can police investigators possibly do with influence-seeking rogues, who apparently derive their "powers" from a "spiritual world" that only they can access, and in which empirical evidence does not exist, and no one can therefore independently verify their patently false claims? Is it not a complete waste of time?

Genuinely religious people, whatever their faith - be they Buddhists, Moslems, Christians, Jews - are very special people, who invariably have the aura of saints around them. They are goodness personified.

They are:  Humble; ever considerate; gentle; kind; forgiving; tolerant; and generous-hearted individuals, who invariably shun the limelight. They are neither ever suspicious of others nor question their motives, and always do good by stealth.

They never see evil where it does not exist: They don't see evil in  the souls of individuals when the devil does not actually reside in them - unlike the many so-called "born-again-Christians" in Ghana whose mean-spiritedness is beyond belief. They are forever seeing evil where none exists. Hypocrites.

And unlike the "spirtual-realm-humbugs" in our midst, the saintly individuals described above as genuinely religious individuals, never make doom-laden public prophesies, ever. They are not in the prophesying business - and are definitely not sanctimonious hypocrites.

Above all, they most certainly don't fleece  the vulnerable, by collecting tithes from their monthly incomes - and in offerings from daily worship session after worship session: and in expensively-priced one-on-one consultations. Thank goodness.

There are far too many "spiritual-realm-humbugs" in this country. Their so-called "prophecies" are all designed to make them powerful individuals in a superstition-riddled nation full of corrupt hypocrites and moral cowards.

In future, the Ghana Police Service must not bother itself with such dubious characters, who in any serious nation, would definitely be regarded as nut-cases: schizophrenics suffering from delusions of grandeur who hear voices and prophesy. Eeebei - is enough not enough? Haaba.

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




Friday, 28 October 2016

Letter To The Head Of The Minerals Commission, Ghana

The Executive Director,

The Minerals Commission,
                                                          28/10/2016
Accra.

Dear Sir

Re: Infractions of the Mining Act by Hagnella Mining Company Limited & Its Assigns

On the 8th of September, 2016, we wrote formally to bring to your attention, egregious infractions of the Mining Act, by Hagnella Mining Company Limited, and its assigns.

Sir, on the nonsensical  basis that he has acquired rights to mine gold on part of our 14 square mile freehold upland evergreen rainforest property, in the Akyem Juaso section, of the Atewa Range, from my thoroughly dishonest  second cousin, Kwame Thompson, and our equally dishonest former overseer, John Awuku "Red," the CEO of Hagnella Mining Company Limited, and its assigns, are still destroying our land, as we speak.

The latest outrage is the destruction of our organic cocoa plantation a few days ago. That is simply intolerable in a democracy in which the rule of law is said to prevail - and in which the protection of private property from expropriation is guaranteed by the Constitution.

Sir,  as you are aware, under the laws of Ghana,  legally,  Kwame Thompson and "Red" cannot possibly grant a concession to any gold mining company, in this country. And neither can any other private landowner, do so, legally, for that matter.

What is happening on the ground, so to speak, Sir, is that Hagnella Mining Company Limited  is using documentation it used to obtain a mining permit from the Minerals Commission, and other regulatory bodies, covering the block allocated to it in a small-scale gold mining concession - which  happens to be quite some distance  away from our heavily-wooded forestland - to cloak its illegal operations on our freehold property.

After the many non-productive site visits, by sundry officials, supposedly to investigate and submit reports on what is going on in our land, it is now clear to us, that there is  only one way to prove the fact that Kwame Thompson, "Red," Hagnella Mining Company Limited, and its assigns,  are indeed actually engaged in illegal gold mining, on our freehold forest property.

Sir, you must send surveyors from  the cartographic section of the Minerals Commission, to go to the site as soon as practicable,  to enable them record and fix the  GPS  coordinates of the area.

The GPS coordinates of that part of our 14 square mile freehold forestland now being destroyed, ought to then be superimposed on the Minerals Commission's  cadestral map, showing the small-scale gold concession where Hagnella Mining Company Limited indeed does have a mining block - along with other mining companies in that particular industry category.

It is then, and only then, Sir, that the very serious crimes that Kwame Thompson, "Red,"  Hagnella Mining Company Limited, and its assigns, have been committing, in their unlawful occupation of our land to mine gold illegally, in, will come to light, and be finally confirmed to the authorities.

Ditto their causing criminal damage in removing the vegetation and tree-cover in an area of our upland evergreen forestland, where we had planned to build the world's longest forest canopy walkway (1000 metres long with 19 bridges).

The idea  behind that project, is to secure the future of the local economy, by using community-based carbon sequestration, and community-based ecotourism, as conservation tools, to offer corporate entities in Ghana, and from elswhere, opportunities to neutralise some, or all, of their carbon footprint - and obtain regular carbon credit cash payments from them for so doing.

Sir, if you google: "Akyem Juaso Nature-Resource Reserve Facebook page" to view its gallery of  photographs, you will be mortified and appalled that an area of such outstanding natural beauty - which incidentally is also part of a designated Globally Significant Biodiversity Area (GSBA), which performs vital ecosystem services - is being destroyed by wealthy and ruthless criminals with such impunity.

Finally, Sir, to sum up: As requested above, we would be grateful  if you could  send surveyors from your organisation as soon as practicable, to take the coordinates  of the area currently being destroyed by the said Kwame Thompson, "Red," Hagnella Mining Company, and its assigns.

We are confident that it will prove beyond doubt that Kwame Thompson, "Red," Hagnella Mining Company Limited, and  and its assigns, are indeed in breach of the Minerals Commissions' small-scale gold mining regulations, and have definitely infringed upon a number of the clauses under the Mining Act (2000), on top of that.

They must all be prosecuted, and jailed, to serve as a deterrent to other greedy and selfish criminals - who don't care one jot about the effect of their actions on their fellow humans and on Mother Nature - from ever contemplating doing so too, in what is a privately-owned freehold upland evergreen rainforest property, belonging to the estate of the late P. E. Thompson of blessed memory.

Sir, it is vital that the Minerals Commission makes an example of the CEO of Hagnella Mining Company Limited, by permanently prohibiting him from mining gold, anywhere in Ghana. Such a drastic  measure will bring some sanity into the small-scale gold mining sector - once news of it spreads in the industry.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Kofi Thompson.

Tel: 027 745 3109.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Why Is The PPP Looking The EC's Gift Horse In The Mouth?

"Any one who has gumption knows what it is, and any one who hasn't can never know what it is. So there is no need of defining it."
      - Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942).

Sometimes one finds it incredibly hard to understand some Ghanaian politicians.

Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom has been given a golden opportunity by the Electoral Commission (EC), to help clean up our nation's politics.

Yet, it would appear that his party, the Progressive People's Party (PPP), does not recognise what is a godsend opportunity, for what it actually is.

They ought to be demanding that all political parties in Ghana should publicly publish the sources of their funding. Ditto tell Ghanaians that the PPP 's role in Ghanaian politics is to help Nduom bring the best Ghanaians to work together to make Ghana prosperous - irrespective of their political backgrounds.

The point needs to made, that unlike all the other parties, the PPP is not a political party seeking to rule Ghana exclusively.

So, in effect, trying to stop Nduom from running  for president, is tantamount to denying Ghanaians the opportunity to unite and work together, under a transparent leader heading a political party funded in transparent fashion, to transform their nation - which is why the party's members will not allow him to be denied the opportunity to run for president: as patriotic Ghanaians who love their nation.

And Nduom himself, should make that clear to the nation, at every campaign rally he attends - in his usual measured  and calm way of making points in debates.

Will that not contrast sharply with the strange silence - on that all-important issue of making public, the sources of their parties' candidates' filing fees and their election campaign funds - by both President Mahama and Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo:  who dare not discuss such things publicly, ever?

Would that not show Ghanaians the difference between the transparently funded PPP, and the other opaque parties that prefer to hide where their funds come from - because doing so will reveal the vested interests they are beholden to: which fund them on a quid pro quo basis so they can all "Chop Ghana small" together?

The question is: Is the opacity in the funding of political parties not a major reason why high-level  corruption still persists in Ghana?

Ghanaians now have an opportunity, through well-mannered advocacy by the PPP, to force the EC to get the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), to tell Ghanaians precisely where and how they obtained their candidates' filing fees.

The question there is: On what basis is the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) demanding to know the source of the PPP's filing fees for the party's presidential and parliamentary candidates?

Did the EC ask the EOCO to investigate the sources of the PPP's candidates' filing fees? If it did, then why did it not, and why does it not, do same, for all the candidates standing in December's presidential and parliamentary elections? The courts must force the EC to use that same yardstick for all the presidential candidates - or drop that criterion and reinstate Nduom and Hassan Ayariga.

The PPP ought to demand, on behalf of the good people of Ghana, that the EC must apply the same yardstick to every political party fielding candidates in the December elections. They must all tell Ghanaians where their candidates' filing fees came from. Period.

The PPP should also demand that the EC insists that a forensic audit ought to be conducted into the submitted accounts, of all the political parties participating in this year's elections.

That way, we can all be sure that there has not been any creative Kweku-Ananse-accounting, in the audited accounts that political parties have submitted to the EC.

Finally, the PPP should follow U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt's advice: "Speak softly but carry a big stick."

They must be cool, calm and collected: No one in the Ghana of today can destroy Nduom's business empire. That can never happen. The EOCO must tread cautiously - and be loyal to Mother Ghana in this instance: not to those now in power.

Ordinary Ghanaians will not allow Nduom's business empire to be destroyed, under any circumstances.  His talent for creating wealth, and his extraordinary  ability to create jobs in difficult economic conditions, have made him a folk hero, throughout our homeland Ghana.

Most Ghanaians  instinctively know that Nduom is the only political leader in Ghana, today, with the nous and gumption to actually transform their country into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia.

So, instead of endless rowdy demonstrations, which  might put some people off their party, let the PPP rather tie the EC up in the law courts, till it applies the same standards it applied in Nduom's case, to all the presidential candidates' of the other parties - especially those of the corruption-riddled NDC/NPP duopoly.

Above all, with respect, no matter how brilliant they might be as lawyers, it simply does not make sense to let lawyers who are staunch NPP members, to represent Nduom in this matter. Is it not Nduom's committment to investigating all the regimes that have governed Ghana since the 4th Republic came into being, which has led to the conspiracy by the system to eliminate him from the presidential election, I ask?

The PPP ought to understand that it is neither in the interest of the NPP, nor that of the NDC, that Nduom gets the courts to  force the EC to apply the same standards it demanded from him, to both those opaque political parties'presidential candidates - as their flagbearers would also then be disqualified from standing in the December presidential election.

The PPP must not look the EC's gift horse in the mouth. Let them rather use the opportunity it represents to force the NDC and NPP to publicly publish the sources of their election campaign funds - by demanding that of the EC and the two major parties on behalf of ordinary people.


Sunday, 23 October 2016

Let Us Protect The Weija Water Reservoir Before It Is Totally Poisoned By Pollutants

A future catastrophe that will affect millions of Accra's residents is slowly unfolding. The Weija water reservoir serving Accra's residents is being polluted at an unprecedented rate.

By highlighting what is going on, this blog hopes that immediate action by the authorities to halt it, will be forthcoming - and that all the political parties will support it.

That it is occurring, at all, without causing widespread outrage - even though thousands of commuters daily use the Mallam-Kasoa highway, which runs beside the Ghana Water Company Limited's (GWCL) Weija reservoir  to travel to and from work - neatly sums up the nature of the mostly-apathetic society that has evolved in Ghana, since Nkrumah's overththrow in February 1966.

Precious few in this country now care about what happens to our natural heritage and to our public spaces. And not many take any notice of the few valiant individuals who risk their lives fighting to stop that canker-of-apathy from destroying our country.

Rivers and other water bodies, across vast swathes of the landmass of Ghana, are slowly being poisoned with heavy metals and toxic chemicals with impunity, by lawless individuals concerned only with their own individual well-being.

And at a time of global warming, even forests across the nation are being decimated by greedy criminals, who have grown super-rich from illegal logging -  in collusion with some of the very public officials paid to protect those forests.

Yet, today, self-seeking and dishonest politicians,  are busy fighting each other in endless propaganda battles on the airwaves of television and FM radio stations, for the opportunity to rule Ghanaians -  and doubtless have the power to dispense patronage in a corruption-riddled society: and send their own net worth to stratospheric heights, that way.

The question is: Why, in the face of all that apathy being shown by our selfish educated urban elites, are young people in Ghana, not rejecting both the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), which have superintended over this unfortunate state of affairs since the confounded 4th Republic came into being in 1992?

There is not a single Ghanaian, who truly loves this country, who does not often ponder over the question: Are the vast majority of our current crop of politicians, just  in politics merely to "Chop Ghana small" (to quote a pidgin English phrase of infamy, once uttered by a Lebanese crook, cocking a snook at Ghanaians, whiles ripping off Mother Ghana, through countless shady business deals)?

The encroachers that are gradually turning the edges of the Weija reservoir, into a shanty town straddling its shoreline, would never be allowed to put down roots there, in any serious country - where securing the future of coming generations, is a matter of some importance, to most ordinary people.

The question is: Who is actually responsible for protecting the sanctity of the borders of the Weija reservoir of the GWCL? Perhaps it is a matter that ought to be of concern to all of Accra's residents.

Surely, well-paid officials of that state-owned water company, ought to realise that it is vital that all those unauthorised structures and businesses along the entire shoreline of the Weija reservoir, are removed immediately?

We are lucky that Mrs. Rawlings, the former first lady's NGO, the 31st December Women's Movement, planted trees along part of the shoreline of the Weija reservoir years ago.

Without that tree cover, only heaven knows what would regularly happen to water levels in the dam, during today's extended drought periods, resulting from the weather extremes that are now the new norm -  as a result of global climate change.

Mrs. Rawlings and her 31st December Movement, clearly understood the need to protect the Weija water reservoir because of its importance in the provision of treated drinking-water for Accra's residents. All who live in Accra ought to be grateful to them for the foresight and love of country, which led them to undertake that conservation initiative.

It says a lot about those now in charge of the GWCL, that all manner of people can build unauthorised structures, and set up pollution-causing businesses, such as car repair workshops, as well as even the production of sundry concrete products, along the shoreline of that very important water reservoir for Accra's residents, with such impunity.

Do the management and workers of the GWCL not see the future catastrophe staring them in the face - with all manner of enterprises and entities in their supply chains catering to their needs, springing up along the reservoir's shoreline adjacent to the Mallam-Kasoa highway, as one approaches the road's toll booths from Mallam: especially as the situation now is that the Densu River is already polluted upstream before it gets to fill the reservoir downstream on its way to emptying itself into the sea?

Let them take immediate steps to remove all the encroachers along the entire shoreline of the Weija water reservoir - and do so before it becomes too late to save that vital asset of their company's all-important production department.

Every structure around the reservoir's entire shoreline ought to be bulldozed to the ground by the 48 Engineers Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces. Enough is enough.

There is far too much lawlessness in this country. How can we ever progress if there is no discipline in Ghanaian society?

Those recent developments along the reservoir's shoreline are simply intolerable. And we must all refuse to put up with the situation as it is at the moment. Those in charge of the GWCL must sit up.

They must not allow the Weija water reservoir to be poisoned yet further by dangerous pollutants released into it by those who have encroached on its shoreline. They must all go. Period.   

Friday, 21 October 2016

Is Hassan Ayariga's Doctorate Degree Worth The Scroll It Is Typed On?

According to an old wag I know, "Mr. Hassan Ayariga's arrogance, is so typical of many nouveau-riche Ghanaians." Indeed.

In one's humble opinion, he does have a point perhaps - up to a point: many of those boors have absolutely no class at all.

What true gentleman would ever insult any lady publicly - let alone a lady in the high position of Electoral Commissioner of the Republic Ghana?

Thank goodness that a remorseful Mr. Hassan Ayariga, who is the founder and leader of the All People's Congress (APC), redeemed himself in the end, after that particular spat with the Electoral Commission (EC), for disqualifying him from standing as a candidate in the December presidential election - by apologising publicly not too long after he egregiously insulted Mrs. Charlotte Osei in media interviews.

One wonders whether Hassan Ayariga's  boorish disdain for the chairperson of the EC, results from the fact that he probably thinks that having amassed  great wealth, somehow, that makes him a  very special and superior being - and thus entitles him to denigrate those who incur his displeasure.

In that sense, he is in the same bad-behaving, nouveau-riche super-league, as the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) uncouth Kennedy Adjapongs and Bernard Antwi-Boasiakos. Dreadful misogynists, to a man.

Alas, good breeding cannot possibly be purchased - unlike doctorate degrees from dodgy 'tertiary institutions' founded by narcissistic and super-greedy Nigerian mega-Church owners: selling 'degrees' at hefty prices to wealthy  and egoistical Africans in search of respectability.

It is a moot point as to whether or not  a 'doctorate degree' issued by a Niaja-degree-factory in Spain - founded by clever Nigerians to exploit a lucrative niche market pandering to the egos of rich Africans seeking social acceptance  - is indeed a genuine academic institution: merely because it has 'accreditation' from local authorities.

The question there  is:  What do well-respected academics from Spain's leading universities think of 'doctorate degrees' from Achievers International University College Institute of Religious  Studies and Management?

Unfortunately, one doubts very much, whether any of them have ever heard of Mr. Hassan Ayariga's Spanish online alma mater, with its brick-and-mortar "affiliate campus" apparently located in Valencia.

For the benefit of readers, including CID HQ investigators, we are posting two different culled sections from the content on the website of the Achievers International University College Institute of Religious Studies and Management (AIUC).

Mr. Hassan Ayariga may very well have been duped. His doctorate degree may not be worth the  scroll it is typed on, alas.

The aforesaid culled  two sections from the AIUC's website appear in all their glory below. Please read on:

 ''ACHIEVERS INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY COLLEGE INSTITUTE OF RELIGIOUS STUDIES AND MANAGEMENT                                                                               
Affiliate Campus of
         VISION INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY RAMONA, CA 92065, U.S.A.

                           To our Honored Guest:

On behalf of the Achievers Theological Institute and Ministerial Association an Extention Campus of Vision International University. U.S.A., let me welcome you to Spain, the home campus of Vision University and Achievers Theological Seminary.

Achievers University College and Theological Institute is approved and accredited by the Higher Education Board of Ministry for the training of men and women into the Ministry along with preparing individuals in secular studies as well.

Our students are drawn from Asia, Europe, Africa and U.S.A. We have a huge ministerial campaign in Philippines from where African and the Asian nationals hear the Word, train in the English Language, and preparing themselves to enter the business market, using what they have learned thru our curriculum in business (AIUTC).

Please let me again invite you to take your time, browse our website and see what God is doing in our ministry in our section of the world. If you have any question concerning our ministry please feel free to contact me at bishopnnams@yahoo.com

Once again, Welcome to Achievers International  University College (AIUC). AIUC is a nondenominational, Bible-based, Christ-centered theological  distance learning institution, serving the body of Christ  worldwide.  AIUC offers quality, affordable, and self-paced education..."

''ABOUT GREAT ACHIEVERS INTERNATIONAL CHURCH INC.          (a.k.a. KINGDOM EMBASSY)

The Great Achievers International Church Inc. (GAIC) is a Pentecostal and Charismatic oriented ministry with its headquarters located at Valencia, Spain. It is an international body of believers who have come together to seek out and practice the truth of the word of God, and worship God in spirit and in truth.

The Great Achievers International Church Incorporated was founded in the City of Aba, Abia-State (GOD’S OWN STATE Nigeria) on 20th April 2002 by Apostle Dr. Prince Nnams, who had a burning desire to spread the truth of God’s word across the world. He began a small fellowship in his home with his wife Ugoeze Deborah Nnams.Later in 2005 The Founder/ General Overseer, Apostle Dr. Prince Nnams Kalu and First Lady, Rev. Ugoeze Deborah Nnams shifted their based to Valencia in 2005, and in the same year they planted GAIC on 8th May 2005 in Spain. Bishop Dr.Prince Nnams was called in the ministry since 1988..."

End of the two culled sections from the inimitable website of the AIUC.

Poor Mr Hassan Ayariga. His vanity has led him to buy a worthless piece of paper - just so he can plaster the letters PhD after his name. Definitely not presidential timber, alas. Poor sod.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Turning The DKM Tragedy Into A Political Football Is Beyond The Pale

There are occasions when it is pretty hard not to feel contempt for some of our nation's politicians. Why are they so cynical sometimes?

The question is: Why are some politicians bent on exploiting the plight of the victims of the now-defunct savings and loans company, DKM, in the Brong Ahafo Region?

Why seek to make political capital out of  what are the personal tragedies of scores of vulnerable people, I ask?

The fact of the matter, is that victims of DKM  ought to be told bluntly that they allowed greed to cloud their judgement. So why are some politicians bent on making them think that somehow they are entitled to government bailouts for their own follies?

Is the concept of "moral hazard" not a key point in banking? We must not pander to their foolish disregard of even the most basic rules of personal finance: the importance of  avoiding investment products that offer super-high returns.

They got their fingers burnt making daft  investment decisions, which  no sane individual with a modicum of financial literacy would have contemplated, let alone acted upon.

They have no one but themselves to blame for their plight. Just where did they think DKM was going to generate the massive profits needed to give them the kind of la-la-land rates of return on the monies they were in vesting in the ponzi scheme it was in reality operating?

They got their just desserts for being so greedy. However, on a purely human level, and this being Ghana, the land of Fa ma Nyame, those DKM victims also  need to be reassured that a creative way to help them, will be forthcoming, after the elections.

What is needed, is for responsible and mature politicians to come up with a practical  solution, which will enable those who genuinely lost monies they actually paid to DKM, to recover some of that cash - without burdening hapless taxpayers.

Such a scheme must only benefit victims with a history of meeting their tax obligations - with cash held in verifiable accounts with that now-defuct savings and loans company: which operated mostly in the Brong Ahafo Region (and parts of the north one gathers).

Grandstanding for political advantage by raising the thorny issue of the DKM debacle during the campaign season  - when presidential and parliamentary elections loom large - is disgraceful,  cruel and monstrous.

It is giving false hope to DKM's victims. And those politicians doing so must bow their heads in shame. Are such ruthless and amoral politicians fit to be in government, one wonders?

Going forward, clearly, conventional thinking will not solve the problem - as the paltry amounts the official liquidators are  reported to be paying out to DKM's depositors, now confirm.

No politician should burden taxpayers by promising to repay DKM's victims, with taxpayers' money, should they win power after the December elections.

Since the vast majority of the members of our  nation's political class seldom do any original thinking, here is this blog's two pesewas - which they can chew on below.

Instead of playing Kokofu-football-politricks with it, why don't all the candidates in the presidential and parliamentary elections appeal directly to the banks in Ghana, to set up a fund, into which they should pay a portion of the cash they hold in dormant accounts that have remained inactive for a reasonably lengthy period, to be decided by the banking industry itself? Food for thought.

Above all, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) ought to show leadership by encouraging the commercial banks in Ghana to take that approach - and the banks ought to get tax rebates for so doing from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) duly sanctioned by Parliament.

After all, those banks need the goodwill of the general public, now, more than at any period of their industry's history, thus far - as more and more of the disruptive  mobile  money products of the telcos gain in popularity.

Finally, it ought to be pointed out to those politicians making political capital out of what are the personal tragedies of real people, that their cynicism is beyond the pale.

Turning the DKM tragedy into a political football is disgraceful - and is totally unacceptable. And it is callous and inhumane to boot.  We rest our case.

Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o: asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.



Sunday, 16 October 2016

Could Ghana's Illegal Gold Miners Evolve Into Allies Of Global Terrorist Organisations?

There is no question that illegal gold miners are a real threat to national security in our homeland Ghana. Ditto illegal loggers and illegal sand-winners.

That is why the wealthy criminal syndicates that sponsor the activities of illegal gold miners - as well as illegal loggers and illegal sand-winners - across the country, need to be monitored closely, by the leaderships of all the security agencies.

For example, if it is not checked, the pollution of the drinking-water sources of so many economically vulnerable communities, across vast swathes of the Ghanaian countryside, by illegal gold miners, could create humanitarian crises all over rural Ghana.

That is a potentially dangerous situation, which will doubtless not bode well for the long-term stability of our nation, and, in the long run, affect the overall viability of Ghanaian society - for it will directly affect the quality of life of millions of our people.

Has the time not therefore  come for all the  political parties in Ghana, and members of our political class (from across the spectrum), to focus on the protection and preservation of what is left of our nation's natural heritage - particularly at a time when global climate change is negatively impacting Ghana and the rest of the nations in sub-Saharan Africa?

The worst aspect of illegal gold mining, in Ghana, today,  is that most of it is sponsored by super-wealthy criminals, who have become emboldened because they have errant members of the security agencies, dishonest officials from the regulatory bodies (both at district and national levels) and rogue politicians, all on their off-ledger-payrolls.

Is that not dangerous for the long-term stability of our homeland Ghana, I ask? Every Ghanaian who cares about the well-being of this nation, and all its people - including future generations -  must stand up against the rich criminals behind illegal gold mining, illegal logging and illegal sand-winning, across Ghana.

We all need to clearly understand that the wealthy criminals profiting from unlawful and environmentally destructive activities such as illegal gold mining, illegal logging and illegal sand-winning, could eventually  undermine the very foundations of Ghanaian society - if they are not dealt with effectively today.

In light of that latent threat they pose to Ghana's long-term stability, our ruling elites need to learn valuable lessons from the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, before the situation here gets out of hand too.

They must always remember that it was the rape of natural resources, such as diamonds and timber, by callous people driven by unfathomable greed, which fueled the brutal civil wars in those two sister West African nations of ours, for so many years.

Anyone who has had the misfortune of seeing up-close, illegal gold miners destroying forestland that has evolved over millions of years, which provide valuable ecosystem services for many communities across the nation, will not hesitate to condemn the present regulatory  system that grants permits to small-scale gold miners.

How can so-called small-scale  gold miners, be permitted to deploy  32-tonne excavators - which on the ground allow them to mine on an industrial scale - and still be expected to follow the rules and stick to mining just 25 acres, once they obtain permits from regulators? Amazing.

Clearly, that is not realistic: Not when they simply bribe officials sent to monitor their activities at mining sites, when concerned opinion leaders in affected rural communities lodge official complaints against illegal gold miners at district police commands, and petition officials at district-level offices of the regulatory bodies, as and when infractions of the Mining Act occur.

A case study that illustrates  the point made above, perfectly, reveals the myraid of egregious infractions of the Mining Act by Hagnela Mining Company Limited, and its super-ruthless assigns, at Akyem Juaso.

There, private freehold heavily-wooded forestland - which has  not been given out officialy as a gold concession by the Minerals Commission and happens to be far away from the area officially designated a concession for small-scale gold miners - is being unlawfully destroyed with total  impunity.

The criminals destroying that incredibly beautiful forestland,  where we grow cocoa organically, boast openly, that no one in Ghana can stop them - because they are prepared to bribe every official sent to stop them from mining gold in what is part of my family's freehold 14 square mile forestland, which they apparently claim to have paid my cousin, Kwame Thompson, and our former overseer, John Awuku (aka "Red"),  to mine gold on.

What escapes those greedy and visionless fools, and all those they claim to have paid bribes to, is that the GPS coordinates of the area in question, exposes them, and points to the fact that the documents they have been bandying about and deceiving officialdom with, are all fake ones.

Furtheremore,  the Anyiman District Police Command ought to know - if it is not already aware - that no private landowner is allowed to  give out his or her land to third parties to mine gold on in this country: as that power only lies with the Minerals Commission.

Consequently, the mere fact that the dishonest Kwame Thompson has a stake as a beneficiary in what is actually still legally part of the estate of the late P. E. Thompson, to which he does not have individual title to, cannot, and should not be used as an excuse by the Ghana Police Service not to arrest and prosecute him, Red, Rasta of Hagnela Mining Company, and his arrogant assigns.

In the meantime, as officialdom drags its feet, the brutal gang-rape of what is part of a designated Globally Significant Biodiversity Area (GSBA), which has been owned by my family as a registered  freehold forest property in the name of P. E. Thompson, since 1921, from the British  colonial era, goes on with impunity. Incredible.

That abomination - made possible by the thoroughly dishonest Kwame Thompson and John Awuku "Red" who I gather have apparently taken money from the CEO of Hagnella Mining Company Limited, and that company's assigns - is simply intolerable.

How can such lawlessness be allowed in a democratic nation in which the rule of law is said to prevail? What green impact investor will invest in a society in which rich criminals can get away with destroying privately-owned freehold  forestland that they want to turn into an ecotourism destination to give local people a sustainable future?

Incredibly, as we speak, I have actually petitioned the head of the BNI, the Director General of the CID, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, and the head of the Minerals Commisson - all of whom have dutifully sent investigators to the area in question.

Perhaps readers can better appreciate the magnitude of the travesty going on there, by looking at photographs of the area in question, if they  google and visit the "Akyem Juaso Nature-Resource Reserve Facebook page".

Unfortunately, it has not yet dawned on any of those officials sent to investigate the infractions of the Mining Act  - despite my protestations - that on the ground, in the real world, the said illegalities are actually occuring outside the officially designated area, allotted (and indicated on the Minerals Commission's cadestral map)  to small-scale gold miners as a concession.

The fact of the matter, is that their utter ruthlessness, total disregard for the laws of Ghana, and willingness to bribe public officials sent to stop their activities, have combined to make the wealthy  criminal syndicates behind most of the illegal gold mining that goes on in this country,  a law unto themselves. Literally.

Yet, potentially, because of their disregard for authority and lawlessness, they could become allies of global terrorist organisations - which are always on the lookout for new sources of funds: to enable them extend their global footprint.

If our nation's political class understood that illegal gold miners could easily evolve into allies of global terrorist organisations, perhaps they would take the security threat illegal gold miners pose to our nation, far more seriously, than they currently do.

Above all, instead of throwing up their arms in despair, over their continued inability to stop those behind illegal gold mining in our country, the authorities should adopt a creative approach, and  rather collaborate with local environmental activists, to stop all those in their communities who engage in illegal gold mining, illegal logging and illegal sand-winning

In the case of Akyem Juaso, for example, such an approach, in which a small detachment of military and police special forces are billeted locally, to work with the Akyem Saamang Unit Committee, led by the Assemblyman, Hon. Gyeatuo, will definitely stamp out the illegal gold mining and the illegal logging that funds it, very quickly.

It could then be replicated in other parts of rural Ghana affected by illegal gold mining and illegal logging, too - and save them from the pollution of their soils and drinking water sources that illegal gold mining leaves in its wake.

The question is: should society continue to tolerate an unlawful and destructive economic activity that only benefits a few wealthy Ghanaians, which also threatens the cocoa industry's long-term viability, specifically, and the farming-sector, generally?

For the sake of both present-day Ghanaians and future generations of our people,  illegal gold mining needs to be tackled effectively now - lest we end up with a situation in which global terrorist groups co-opt the criminal syndicates behind most of the illegal gold mining in Ghana: to enable them generate cash to fund terrorism across West Africa.

If current trends continue, this blog confidently predicts that the takeover of illegal gold mining in Ghana by terrorist organisations, will come to pass in the not too distant future, as sure as day follows night.

Those in charge of the regulatory bodies overseeing gold mining in Ghana must sit up: today society may be contending with ruthless foreigners driven merely by unfathomable greed to mine gold illegally here. But tomorrow those foreigners will be determined terrorists with an agenda of their own.

What ought to dawn on officialdom is that the wealthy criminals behind most of the illegal gold mining in Ghana, today, who get away with defying officials on the ground, in illegal gold mining sites across the Ghanaian countryside, couldy turn our homeland Ghana into a lawless society in which no one is safe and might is always right -  a perfect safe haven and lucrative dysfunctional source of funding for cash-hungry terrorist organisations.

Surely, all the relevant mining sector public officials who regulate mining in Ghana, have a moral obligation not to allow that to ever happen? Hmm, Ghana eyeasem o: asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.








Saturday, 15 October 2016

Cedi Redenomination: Ghanaians Need To Know That Dr. Bawumia Is Not A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing

 
As usual the Ghanaian media is doing a great disservice to Mother Ghana - by yet again ignoring (when it matters most) an important matter involving some members of our nation's political class: that needs investigating.

Surely, they must help clear the air over the cedi redenomination exercise - and establish that indeed Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia did nothing wrong in the redenomination of the cedi during the Kufuor era: before the December polls?

In any case, should journalists in Ghana not be interested in establishing the veracity or otherwise of allegations of impropriety by top officials and politicians, during the cedi redenomination exercise?

How much, for example, were the security printers  paid to print the redenominated cedi notes: and who were their local reps, here, if any?

Incidentally, was it De La Rue that printed them, or not? And more to the point, was it a fair deal - or was the Bank of Ghana (BoG) ripped off: because of the greed of officials and politicians?

It should definitely not be left to the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) Anthony Akoto Oseis to pontificate on the matter and tell us that in effect it is much ado about nothing. No. Certainly not.

If it wants to govern our nation, again, is it not in the overall interest of the NPP that the media  in Ghana thoroughly investigate the redenomination of the cedi - which occured during the golden age of business for the perfidious Kufuor & Co: particularly when suspicions are being raised in certain quarters about aspects of Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia's role in that exercise?

Is he not a potential vice president of Ghana - with presidential and parliamentary elections due on 7th December: less that two months hence?

For all we know, it might actually be the case that in  reality Bawumia has absolutely nothing to hide over his role in the redenomination exercise - because he did nothing wrong at that material time.

However, that must be established independently by the media - not by the NPP's Anthony Akoto Osei. Was he not a deputy finance minister at the time, I ask?

What if some partisan-cynic suddenly alleged that somehow some government members benefited from that exercise during what was after all a golden age of business for Kufuor & Co - and that the Akoto Oseis, pretty well-connected A-lister-insiders,  were aware of that?

On their part, we must ask whether or not the media have forgotten the fuss that people like Mr. Aggudey made, on the airwaves of Radio Gold FM, for example - when a South African entity was apparently given the contract to handle the transportation and distribution of the new cedi notes that were replacing the old cedis being withdrawn from circulation.

The question there is: Who actually gave that contract to the South African company - and what was it worth exactly? Were they aware that Aggudey's Gocrest, and other private Ghanaian security companies, could provide the same tracked logistics service the South Africans were offering the BoG?

And was Aggudey targeted by the system for complaining publicly about the contract being given out to a South African entity - because it was thought by the powers-that-be at the time that his complaints would raise suspicions in the minds of ordinary people: that the regime's powerful kleptocrats had profited from the cedi's redenomination?

And who were that particular South African company's Ghanaian contacts/partners that secured them the lucrative contract, if any? Are they people who are close to Dr. Bawumia and the NPP, one wonders?

Above all, was the transportation and distribution of the new cedi notes across the country put out to tender - or was it sole-sourced? And if it was sole-sourced why was that the case?

Luckily for Mother Ghana, not all ordinary people in this beautiful and peaceful country, wear blinkers on a permanent basis and belong to the naive-school-of-thought - many members of which seem to believe that somehow Ghanaians  will  experience rule by saints, when the NPP comes into power, after the December elections. Heaven help us.

Surely, it is important for Ghanaians to know whether or not some of the politicians then in power at the period in question, profited personally from the cedi's redenomination - and whether or not that resulted from insider information? Who was their go-to BoG pointman? Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o.

Let no one in this country forget that despite the endless allegations of corruption they constantly  level at the Mahama administration, the NPP and its leading lights, are dead-set against either publicly publishing the sources of the party's election campaign funds, or committing to publicly publishing the assets of all their candidates and their spouses, before this year's presidential and parliamentary elections.

Furthermore, since many in the Ghanaian media are also alleged by some politicians to be corrupt, should we also not therefore ponder why journalists in Ghana have not bothered to find out the net worth of employees of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) including even lowly-placed ones such as cooks - prior to the redenomination exercise: and in its immediate aftermath?

Did the media never hear any bush telegraph stories at the time, about the sudden riches some BoG employees were said by neighbours to have started displaying, after the cedi's redenomination?

Or have Ghanian journalists all simply forgotten that there were rumours circulating at the time that withdrawn notes - destined for incineration at the BoG's facility off the Spintext Road - were finding their way back into the system and enriching  some Ghanaians: including fattening the election campaign war-chests of some politicians?

This is a far more serious matter than many think it actually is. That is why the Bawumias must not make light of it.

For their own good, Bawumia & Co need to end the speculation about the exact roles they played, in the redenomination of the cedi - by directly addressing the issues raised by their critics and political opponents: and establish the fact that indeed there was no impropriety on their part whatsoever in that exercise.

Ghanaians need to know that a potential vice president of the Republic of Ghana - who is forever alleging corruption by his political opponents is not actually a wolf in sheep's clothing himself.

After all, it is possible that he could be sworn in as vice president of the Republic of Ghana, on 7th January, 2017, by the Chief Justice. Let no one forget that.

Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o: asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

The NPP's Decent-Minded Silent Majority Must Change The Antediluvian Mindsets Of The Powerful Closet Tribal-Supremacists Who Dominate Their Party

An irate caller telephoned me yesterday to berate me for the "biased anti-New Patriotic Party (NPP) rubbish" I write. The irony is that he spoke English with a northern Ghanaian accent.

Poor man - too blind to the see the elephant in the room: If only he knew how contemptuos of northerners the real 'owners' of the NPP were, he would probably never support that party, and would campaign vigorously  to stop all northerners from supporting it too. Poor sod.

Did he not hear the tape-recording of Yaw Osafo-Marfo's egregious and tribalistic cat-out-of-the-bag Koforidua-effusions? And if he did, what exactly did he make of it, one wonders?

Do such naive people not realise that in reality the NPP is dominated from the shadows by a few powerful, closet Akan tribal-supremacists of the very worst kind?

That is why it is the considered view of some of us that as presently constituted, if the NPP's leadership do not commit to publicly publishing the sources of their party's election campaign funds, as well as their own assets, and those of their spouses, and commit to doing so again after the end of their tenures - should they win power in the 7th December elections - theirs is not a political party that deserves to govern our country.  Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o!

For the benefit of those who think that one is anti-NPP simply by reading one piece  from one's  copious writing over the years - which is a complete falshood because one is only against tribal-supremacists from all Ghana's ethnic groups: who incidentally exist mostly in Chiefs palaces across the entire country, if truth be told - one will recount some of the reasons behind one's loathing of all tribal-supremacist politicians from across the spectrum.

As it happens, when I was growing up, I had the misfortune  of overhearing some of the dinner-table and radio telephone (the Telefunken brand!) conversations, of a number  of the historical figures of the first two regimes that came to power, after the overthrow of President Nkrumah's Convention People's Party (CPP) government in 1966.

Even as a young boy in my early teens, and though of Akan heritage myself, I felt revulsion against some of the things I overheard in the conversations of some of the leading figures in  the National Liberation Council (NLC) military regime, and the Progress Party (PP) government,  which followed it when constitutional rule was restored in 1969.

Naturally, as those historical figures are no longer alive to speak for themselves, one cannot possibly reveal their identities - as that would be unethical and unfair to their memories: and uncharitable to their living blood relatives.

I remember some of the conversations generated by the attempted 17th April, 1967, military coup, by Lieutenants Arthur and Yeboah of the Ghana Armed Forces - the failed coup that resulted in the killing of General E. K. Kotoka. Lieutenants Arthur and Yeboah were later executed after their court martial trial.

The telling ingratitude contained in the Twi remark that (to paraphrase in English) God had stepped in to save us - because the Ewes would have been a stumbling block to our plans - represented, was not lost on my fourteen-year old mind: which felt revolted by the calculation and hypocrisy it revealed. It all sounded so unfair to Ewes I felt.

Any self-respecting Ewe, who now supports the NPP, would likely also feel outraged, if like me they too knew the reaction of some of the progeny of the Busia-Danquah political tradition - who were then in the NLC military government - to the killing of General Kotoka.

I also vividly recall the hubris surrounding the attempt to weaken and destroy the Trades Union Congress (TUC), including seizing its national headquarters building.

Again, even at age 14, or thereabouts, I wondered how it was possible for supposedly avowed believers in democracy to be so capricious and vindictive.

The same sense of outrage was my felt reaction to the arrogant, Akan-triumphalist conversations around the passage of the Chieftaincy Act (1971), during those selfsame years.

As regards the continued existence of that disrespectful law,  it is essential, for the sake of the cohesion of our homeland Ghana, that that abomination is  quickly repealed by Parliament - and replaced with a new law that treats all Paramount Chiefs in Ghana equally and with respect.

Indeed, so deeply etched in the inner recesses of my subconscious was that revulsion against the narrow-minded, tribalistic and arrogant conversations I often overheard,  that it led to a lifelong determination never to allow myself to be boxed-in by the straightjacket of stereotypes that underpin prejudices such as tribalism, in my interactions with my fellow humans.

I have stuck to that commitment, till date, thus far. That is why Kofi Thompson happens to be a totally detribalised Ghanaian. Ditto the reason for one's loathing of NPP politicians of the ilk of the Yaw Osafo-Marfos - and their fellow-travellers in the other political parties in our multi-ethnic country.

It is also the reason why I despise those hypocritical Ghanaian politicians, who in reality are closet tribal-supremacists but like to pretend that they are not tribalistic at all when engaged with others in the public space - whatever their ethnic backgrounds happen to be.

Above all, in my humble view, it is important that all politicians on the continent understand clearly that in 21st century Africa, no  tribe is inferior or superior to another. The NPP's Yaw Osafo Marfos need to come to terms with that reality. Their NPP would be far more attractive if that sea-change occurs.
 
Finally, if they want their party to remain relevant in the long-term, the NPP's decent-minded silent majority, must change the antediluvian mindsets of the few powerful, closet Akan tribal-supremacists who currently dominate their party so completely from the shadows - and end their baleful influence over the affairs of the NPP once and for all. We rest our case.




Wednesday, 12 October 2016

The NPP's John Boadus And Freddie Blays Must Beware: God Does Not Like Deceptive African Politicians

A number of the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) leading lights, regularly invoke God's name, during their party's election campaign rallies across the country.

Naturally, in a superstition-riddled nation - in which  many so-called Christians secretly worship at the alters of traditional deities such as Tigare and Antoa Nyame, and seek their protection, whiles publicly posing as "born-again Christians"  - stating that "The battle is the Lord's" at election campaign rallies, will obviously resonate with millions.

Alas, the point that clever Ghanaian politicians miss, however, when they say their battle is the "Lord's," is that God does not favour African politicians who refuse to publicly publish their assets, and those of their spouses, before presidential and parliamentary  elections, and before assuming office. Ditto doing so again immediately after their tenures' in office end.

That is the conundrum the NPP faces. They cannot have it both ways: Endlessly criticising the Mahama administration for being corrupt, whiles adamantly  refusing to take the most effective single measure against high-level corruption in Africa today - the public publication of the assets of politicians and their spouses - themselves: by publicly publishing their own assets and those of their spouses, as proof of their good intentions in seeking power. Extraordinary.

Perhap, secretly, the attitude of the John Boadus  and Freddie Blays, is probably that they are of the considered view, that, basically, most of their die-hard Ghanaian supporters are too stupid to understand the real significance of the refusal by politicians in an African nation afflicted with the dangerous and nation-wrecking virus of endemic high-level corruption, for the NPP to have to worry about any blowback from the point-blank refusal by most of that party's bigwigs to countenance the public declaration of their assets and those of their spouses, under any circumstances. Cheeky sods.

Be that as it may, although clever politicians might succeed in fooling the vast majority of the good people of Ghana into voting them into power, having invoked God's name to trick their way into power, however - if that is actually the case that is - could end up having disastrous consequences for the NPP:  in terms of the party's continued viability and ensuring its long-term survival.

Of course, we must not discount the real possibility that it might very well be that secretly, in fact many politicians in Ghana, might also be worshipping at the alters of the cults of the Antoa Nyames and Tigares - but pose publicly as Christians and Moslems, of good standing, in order to gain acceptability socially and politically.

For all we know, perhaps some of them even doubt God's very existence. Who knows? Otherwise, why would politicians running opaque political parties, who are beholden to the very vested interests draining the lifeblood out of our country, take God's name in vain - when that has dire consequences?

Be that as it may, yet still, the sly John Boadus and Freddie Blays - as well as their other colleagues in the upper echelons of the NPP - had better beware: In the very serious matter of publicly publishing the assets of African politicians, and their spouses, as an anti-corruption measure - and proof of their good intentions in seeking power - the Lord God does not like deceptive politicians at all. Not one bit.

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

Monday, 3 October 2016

Should Pastor Mensah Otabil Apologise To Ghanaian Farmers?

Not having much confidence in the objectivity of the mostly-unethical  and largely-unprofessional Ghanaian media, naturally, I find it hard to believe recent news reports about  Pastor Mensah Otabil's purported views on farming in Ghana.

He is reported to have said words to the effect that he did not like to see brilliant young people going into farming in Ghana. Amazing.

What an extraordinary thing for such a highly-intelligent gentleman to say - if  true and accurate, that is: and so incredibly pregnant with meaning too.

Are we to assume, for example, that Pastor Otabil is implying that farming in Ghana should be reserved for only dunces? That is hard to believe.

And if the words attributed to him are true, then it is most unfortunate that  Pastor Mensah Otabil - who incidentally is a gentleman I have a great deal of respect for - publicly expressed such odd views.

Is he implying that intelligent people should not become farmers in this country, and that somehow farming is a commercial undertaking in a vital sector of the national economy, replete with not-so-intelligent people? Incredible.

Apparently, Pastor Mensah Otabil also feels that it is somehow an aberration that agriculture employs nearly 70 percent of Ghana's total working-age population - when that figure ought to be more in the region of 3 percent in his view.

In the developed world today, pop-up businesses and Uber-style gig local economies - in which many people can only find employment of a temporary nature and constantly face uncertainty and job insecurity - are fast becoming the new norm.

In light of the growing trend of local gig-economies in which employment is of a temporary nature,  without job-security and benefits, if 70 percent of Ghana's working-age population are engaged in farming, is that not a blessing for them?

Actually, surprising though it might be to some well-off Ghansians, we happen to be talking about the life-chances of real human beings, some of them desperate for regular work - to enable them earn decent incomes.

That is a very serious societal problem that has led to social unrest elsewhere - which eventually resulted in the removal from office of very powerful and well-entrenched leaders. The removal from office of Tunisia's ex-President Zane al Abidine Ben Ali, is a case in point.

With respect, this is not an abstract discussion in which smug well-off individuals, bandy about statistical figures - and use them as talking points.

Well-off people in Ghana - such as wealthy motivational speakers grown super-rich from mega-church-preaching to maleable souls who are happy to part with their hard-earned cash for empowerment in the "spiritual realm" - ought to be careful not to cause offence to the farmers who help feed our nation.

Why  make disparaging remarks about the IQs of farmers: or their lack thereof? Given the difficulties some emerging nations, such as our homeland Ghana, are going through, should we not rather be grateful to God that as many as nearly 70 percent of the total working-age population can earn a living on smallholder farms across rural Ghana?

What that means, does it not, is that we could make smallholder farming families prosperous simply by introducing a new paradigm - in which all land held by Chiefs in trust for their people is taken over by the state, and redistributed to landless smallholder tenant farmers?

Will that not immediately empower a majority of the 70 percent of that demographic, which some well-off  Ghanaians apparently feel ought to be employed in other sectors of the national economy - where jobs are practically more or less nonexistent (it ought to be noted)?

Naturally, compensation for Chiefs holding land in trust for their people, whose lands are taken over by the state, will be paid compensation - with long-term government paper that they can always discount for cash.

That new paradigm created by the empowerment of landless tenant farmers, will see the banning of all imported agricultural produce that can be grown here - to spur the production of locally grown produce.

That could be transformational - especially if interest-free loans to pay for the digital mapping company, LandMapp, to map and register title to previously-landless smallholder tenant farmers' newly-acquired farmlands, are advanced to them - could it not, I ask? In effect that 70 percent of the total working age population employed on smallholder farms across rural Ghana are an asset we ought to value, not disparage.

Incidentally, just where else exactly, does Pastor Mensah Otabil think those in the demographic that he complains contains a rather high percentage of Ghana's total working-age population, could possibly find employment, if they were not farming? Puzzling.

Is this not a stubbornly  import-crazy-country, whose hard-to-change citizens would rather buy what other nations' manufacture in their factories, and grow on their farmlands - than opting for the wiser nation-building,  patriotic alternative of purchasing their Ghanaian produced equivalents instead?

With respect, intelligent young people currently unable to secure jobs, should ignore Pastor Mensah Otabil's absurd strictures - and, if they have the temperement for it, look to farming as an alternative lifestyle choice that could also provide them with a viable and valuable source of income.

There are many fantastic opportunities available for those engaged in farming in Ghana - and clever educated young people can live well producing food both for the local market and for export markets overseas.

This blog, authored by someone whose family has farmed in various areas in the Eastern Region of Ghana since 1915, from the colonial era,  till date, will always encourage clever young people in Ghana, who are unable to find well-paid jobs in urban Ghana, to venture into farming instead. They will never regret doing so. Ever.

On the contrary, they will find that it will enable them earn substantial incomes - if they use their fine minds to farm their lands as well-run and well-organised business entities.

For example, they could develop niche markets farming in harmony with nature - using sustainable organic farming and permaculture methods.

That will enable them produce high-quality,  synthetic-pesticide-free and synthetic-fertilizer-free agricultural produce - and do so all year round if they are clever enough to quickly learn to harvest rainwater: and provide the infrastructure for it.

Surely, they could target markets such as the well-heeled demographic, which includes the possibly health-conscious Pastor Mensah Otabils, in our midst? Food for thought.

Indeed, one does not doubt that many from that particular demographic (from the top strata of Ghanaian society no less) would  rush to buy organic fruits and vegetables produced by those highly-intelligent and well-educated young farmers: for their families and friends.

For the information of those bright young minds that Otabil apparently does not want to venture into farming, this is just one statistical figure from the GhanaVeg initiative, of the many possibilities open to them as well-educated and highly-intelligent  young farmers: Ghana imports as much as US$80 millions worth of onions alone, per annum.

Some of those onions are imported from even frequently-parched sister-nations of ours, such as Burkina Faso and Niger - and from as far afield overseas as the Netherlands.

Could clever young farmers throughout the country, not replace those imported onions worth US$80 millions with onions grown locally - and earn very good money making Ghana self-sufficient in the production of onions?

Perhaps Pastor Otabil ought to speak to East-West Seeds' reps in Ghana, Tikola Ghana Limited, about the silent green revolution its "Prema" variety of hybrid seeds is bringing about, in the Upper East Region, and elsewhere in Ghana.

And there are many agro-industry value-chain opportunities for farmers too: with some farmers currently suppling breweries in Ghana with sorghum and cassava, for example, as we speak.

What is also wrong  with venturing into rice-farming - and profiting from helping to reduce the over US$ 600 millions spent importing rice into Ghana, I ask?

One could go on and on. In any case, the young farmers I know personally, are all comfortably well-off.  And they are very well-educated, and highly intelligent, too, as it happens.

If Pastor Mensah Otabil encouraged some of the young graduates from the Central University he founded, who are unable to find work, to go into farming, would we not have less unemployed graduates in this country? Eeebeii.

And  would they all not have a much better quality of life too living and farming in rural Ghana - free from the polluted air that those living in large towns and cities are forced to breathe (because of the scandalously high levels of sulphur allowed in fuel imported into Ghana)?

To use a pidgin English phrase: "As for this one paaa, Pastor Otabil did not try, koraaa!" Haaba.

Perhaps an apology from the good pastor to all Ghanaian farmers would be in order, one wonders?

What he is reported to have said about intelligent young people and the business of farming is an insult to Ghanaian farmers - who after all help to feed this nation.

Finally, if what he is widely reported to have said was not taken out of context, by the media, and is indeed an accurate rendition of what he actually said, then Pastor Mensah Otabil definitely ought to apologise to farmers in Ghana. He most definitely owes us one. Period.

Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o: Enti yeawieye paa eniea? Asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.