Feature Article of Monday, 17 September 2012
Columnist: Casely-Hayford, Sydney
Sydney Casely-Hayford, firstname.lastname@example.org
We finally did what Ghana does best when we are in dire straits. We deflected the intervention to the Clergy and a “Collective National Consciousness” to resolve a looming constitutional crisis with religious persuasion. After the TUC, CDD, GII and others including former Finance Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo added their pleas, the Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, chose to stay with the law. “District-Four-Five” has dragged Parliamentarians to work during their break, with complaints from many of them that there really is no work to do. This week, we lost a couple of days because papers for discussion were not ready and therefore no business could be traded. Then again we had no quorum in the house and Parliament failed to sit. The NPP minority claim the only reason Parliament is back is for CI78 to mature. The NDC say there is other business, yet when Parliament was recalled, I distinctly heard the Government side say it was to ensure that the CI78 would get the mandatory 21 days sitting. This week, I have had it up to my chin about this 45 districts matter. The Supreme Court has set Wednesday 19 September to hear the interlocutory injunction to stop Parliament from discussing CI78. There are several other cases piling up on the same and related matter and the Supreme Court has to rise to the level of conscious urgency we require. This is not the time to stay within a strict holiday regime.
Mercifully, refreshingly, Alfred Agbesi Woyome appeared before the PAC yet again, after refusing to appear last time. Remember PAC Chair Kan Dapaah had threatened to use the IGP to rein him in. Still stubborn and defiant, he challenges PAC members’ interest in the case and asks for reclusion from Chairman and few others. He never asked his own brother to come off the Committee. He only saw those who were on the opposition NPP side, and that tells a picture of how his mind works. I vehemently disagree with Kan Dapaah and others to step aside. Simple. It will be a rare case of corruption investigation where there would be no Government person on a PAC panel. This time Woyome addressed Cabinet ministers. Next round it will be for any opposition member. We are setting a precedent for accused persons to flex rights where none exist. The PAC has no interest in the case other than establishing the facts and making recommendations to Parliament for further action. This should not be contaminated with any legal overlap.
Bad enough, that the transition provisions of our Constitution protect a select group of people from prosecution. Are we going to extend it to PAC?
The National Democratic Party (NDP) got their “nuisance against the NDC” license from the Electoral Commission and are now free to recreate a “Reform Party tip over”. After weeks of anticipation, we finally get more of a hint that the Rawlingses are in this party. Nana Konadu is being touted as the presidential candidate for the party, which she has not publicly accepted, but why would she not? We all know she wants to be President. She challenged Prof. Mills that last time and was made minimus in Sunyani. She did manage 3.1% and we all know that represented the “31” in 31st December Women. Rawlings was so impressed with the Mills’ team cunning that he publicly congratulated him on the podium immediately. Looking back to Sunyani, the Rawlings team never thought the NDC Congress could be rigged. Very naive of them, they expected a level playing field.
But time for revenge. I am sure they will not make the same mistake twice. Readers should read this link to my article “Sunyani Memenenda ne Fonkar”. Both parties are well equipped to fix the rigging. When the National Reform Party broke ranks with the NDC in 2000, they knew where to look for the rigging. I understand they crafted most of the cunning ways for the NDC. These NDP boys too know where to look. The additional ballots are in the graveyards and behind trees and inside discarded pots. The NPP also have their game plan, so no innocents here. The Biometric Voter Register should also help in the pending elections. I hope we have trapped enough ghost names and the overall rigging goes down.
I would like to borrow some analysis from a good friend. Do you realise that the NPP has won the last four of five elections? First round in 2000, run off in the same year, first round in 2004, first round in 2008. Votes might drift from the NDC to the NDP, so also might votes waft over to the CPP and the PPP from NDC. If there is a 2nd round run-off what will sway party leaders? On policy alignment, the NDC is isolated, especially when talking through the hottest campaign issue this year. The free SHS education pitch is hot soup and key pillar for the PPP and the CPP too. NDP is yet to release a manifesto. On this policy, you should expect an endorsement for free education. I am of course assuming that it will be a run off between NDC and NPP. However, major surprises can happen. But, if the NDP take votes away from the NDC, if between the CPP and PPP they hold on to their 100,000 or so votes and PPP makes some more ground, we are heading for round 2.
On corruption, Paa Kwesi Nduom’s PPP has challenged all the others to do as he is offering to do and come clean with all assets, both personal and business. Neither of the dominant parties has responded, even though Nana Addo says he is as clean as a whistle. Well, the soup is hot and we are all waiting in anticipation. And the NDC has the Woyome thing, the CP thing, the Gallopers thing and the many other things in the corruption box.
Now the Yaw Boateng tape, drilling to the depths of corrupt manouvres in the security institutions and Ministry of Finance has only increased the perception of decadence in government. By the way, the man is still walking around. Free to associate with all. This Yaw Boateng tape has also added to the fear and panic debacles from last year, making the NDC look very media unfriendly. They still continue to postpone passing the Freedom of Information bill into law.
Religious sentiment aside, the President found cause to apologise to leaders of the Presby Church for purported insults by Asiedu Nketia and a few NDC young men. But so what, he turned around to appoint these same persons to his campaign team and threw Hannah Tetteh into the works for good measure. He ended his thank you tour and I noticed that he did not reach McCarthy Hill, yet I was there to bid President Mills farewell and usher him on to settle in whichever world.
We have grown in democracy, not over time, but from the issues and obstacles; challenges we have navigated and debate by indigenous Ghanaians, allowing thought and commonsense to take center stage. We need the law to work and work without political favor so we can be comfortable in our towns and cities and our development.
Notwithstanding what the Government says, this economy is struggling. This will surely factor in the elections. Surely?
Our country motto is “Freedom and Justice”, not “A Better Ghana” not “Transforming Lives, Transforming Ghana” not “Ghana Must Work Again” or other party slogan. Until we gratify the motto, we are groping in the dark.
Ghana, Aha a ye de papa. Alius valde week advenio. Another great week to come!