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Feature Article of Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Columnist: Kabu, Solomon

Govt’s action on Jake ‘bungalow’ is a display of ‘rule of mess’

I have listened carefully to government officials and communicators, and read the shameful statement released by the government on Mr. Jake Obetsebi Lamptey’s property at No. 2 Mungo Street, Ridge now referred to as Jake ‘bungalow’ and sincerely I wonder if we are serious in this country.

In a hasty attempt by Government to use this Jake ‘bungalow’ case to redeem its sinking image, the President and his cabinet chose to flout the decision of the Supreme Court through the reckless, irresponsible and regrettable statement issued by cabinet on Thursday, May 24, 2012. The decision by President Mills and his cabinet is almost telling the Supreme Court “to hell with your decision, Jake you dare not enter the said property because we are the all-in-all’

Let us not under estimate the gravity and dangerous precedent being set by President Mills in his infamous decision on Jake ‘bungalow’. What example is President Mills setting for the populace? That we can also pick and choose which court decision we should respect? Or that successive government can also prevent individuals or political opponents from using State properties that they have also acquired legally? And when they go to court and win we tell them ‘it’s immoral you acquire State property, and like what the Spokesperson of the President, Koku Anyidoho said , Jake should go to whom he paid his money to because cabinet has important issues to deliberate on.” For Koku Anyidoho, his arrogance in public discourse is boundless so I would not waste space on him. The said property has already been sold and paid for by Jake, in fact the ownership of the said property is not in dispute and the Supreme Court also affirms that the transaction was regular and legal. So, what is President Mills taking about that “government has decided not to sell the said property. “the property in question thus continues to remain the property of the State.”

I humbly see this ugly display by the government as ‘rule of mess’. And clearly, the NDC led by President Mills, ironically a law professor is not prepared to respect the rule of law, ensure good governance and recognize the essence of Separation of Powers. Yet, this same government is preaching ‘morality’ and says they are taking decision “in the supreme interest of the people of Ghana? Oh my God, what an insincerity and hypocrisy? God have mercy!

The editor of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul-Malik Kweku Baako in his piece on Jake ‘bungalow’ posited a question “how will the international community take this (cabinet decision)? Is this the best way to trumpet to the international community that Ghana is the best haven for attracting investment? If an international company has a case with Ghana Government and the court rules against the Government, what is the guarantee that the cabinet will not meet the next moment to annul the court decision?”

This is what I call ‘rule of mess’ under President Mills.

The propaganda and the undeserving electoral capital that the NDC government sorts to achieve in the wake of Jake’s acquisition of the said property has backfired. Ghanaians are not daft as the NDC propagandists thought and we have seen through their insincerity and deceit. The ‘immorality’ the government is accusing Jake of is not far from their nose, because hypocrisy, insincerity, cheap politicking , double standard and vile propaganda that characterize the functioning of this Mills-Mahama administration is rather ‘unprecedented immorality’ .

My humble suggestion is that, the whole policy of the ‘Accra Strategic Re-development Plan’ should be looked at again. 1. As a country if we think State Lands should not be sold to private individual let as come clear on that. 2. For cabinet to give a directive that “no political appointee should ever be allowed to engage in any such unacceptable transaction (purchase of State property)” is not enough and weak. It still does not address the germane issue of foreigners, former political appointee, etc. purchasing State Lands. Also, people (i.e. family, friends, etc.) can front for political appointees, so what are we talking about? 3. Strangely, it appears we are okay with foreigners acquiring State Lands at prime locations but we detest our own especially if he/she is a political opponent. This can be seen only in Mills’ bitter Ghana agenda.

I sincerely think we should have a candid and dispassionate debate on this Accra re-development scheme, taking into consideration the national interest and I believe there will be a clear way forward. Our beloved Ghana, the future of this country would be protected in this regard. God bless us all.

Source: Solomon A. Kabu (solomonkabu@yahoo.com) 0241133727

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