Feature Article of Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Columnist: Justice Abeeku Newton Offei
Governance is a very serious business that needs to be engaged in by people of sound mind, zeal, drive and purpose to make a positive mark for themselves and in the lives of the citizenry. This is why we have chosen for ourselves, a system of government where we go to queue in the sun every four years to select a group of people, led by a president, out of our nation’s total population of 25 million, to help us advance the cause of our nation’s development in all spheres of human endeavor.
We have successfully gone through this process since 1992, though with some few glitches both on Election Day and immediately after. We have been able to always pull back from the brink and skillfully avoided the slippery road most of our counterparts on the African continent have traversed.
Electioneering campaigns have always been characterized by juicy promises while political opponents have always been hacked into pieces by censorious verbal bulldozers. We didn’t have much of a match during the 1992 elections since we had then undergone a decade of uninterrupted military dictatorship and the citizenry were therefore not very active politically due to the thick cloud of military rule over-hang. I was outside the shores of Ghana during the 1996 elections and because the power of internet and social media wasn’t that pervasive as it is now, I wasn’t able to follow what exactly transpired during the campaign of that year.
The year 2000 was another election where I observed from outside the shores of Ghana but I was able to be home to vote during the second round of voting, after which I left back to my base in Milton Keynes (England) before the final results were in and NPP declared winners.
The 2004 electioneering campaign was the one I partially observed and I was actually at Edumfa in the Central Region when then President Kufuor arrived there on a campaign trail. His message was very simple; we have built a very solid foundation out of the ashes we inherited in 2001 and we need a second term to further improve upon it.
That very night Kufuor visited Edumfa, I had a dream in which I saw the election having been conducted and the result had it that NDC obtained 44 percent of the total votes cast but that of NPP wasn’t revealed in the dream. I told people about this dream and when the election was held, NDC obtained 44 percent of the votes. Here, I’m not claiming to possess any divine grace to predict election results but to tell you the truth, some of us, in spite of our waywardness, do have the ears of God when we pray.
Again, I have had a similar encounter where I saw the upcoming December 7th elections having been held and NPP obtaining 55 percent of total votes cast; the NDC’s was not revealed to me. So, let’s all keep our fingers crossed and see what happens.
Coming back to my topic for this week which is about the behaviour of party officials and how they recklessly open their gargantuan mouths at unprecedentedly huge angles and spew total garbage and incredulously delusional promises to electorates on campaign platforms.
I happen to be home in Ghana before, during and after the 2008 elections and what I witnessed on the part of the then opposition NDC was something I had never seen anywhere on this planet in the history of participatory democracy. Some of the things I heard NDC people say by way of campaign promises sounded as if they were magicians who had just returned from powerful Indian province of Andhra Pradesh with all the powers they could extract from the powerful shrines of Buddha!!
In spite of the fact that a HIPC economy NPP inherited in 2001 was turned round and supplanted with social intervention novelties as MMT, NYEP, LEAP, capitation grant, NHIS, free maternal care, cocoa spraying and so on, the NDC, through an elaborate vile propaganda machine, was able to lie through their noses and ably deceived Ghanaians into thinking that NPP had rather worsened the plight of ordinary Ghanaian.
The unfortunate and highly regrettable tragedy that hit the kingdom of Dagbon, resulting in the demise of the over-Lord, Ya Na, was shamelessly capitalized on by NDC and its senselessly insensitive noise-making apologists and branded NPP as a murderous entity that had to be shunned by all northerners. Kwesi Pratt actually went to Tamale and incited the people against President Kufuor, returned to Accra, sat in the studios of Ghana’s Radio Rwanda (Radio gold) and dared a sitting president and commander-in-chief of our nation’s armed forces, President Kufuor, to dare step a foot in Tamale if he was a man.
Then came the issue of drugs where the ruling party, NPP, was christened narcotic peddlers’ party. Characters as Ama Benyiwa-Doe, Fifi Kwetey and other apologists composed a cacophonous melody out of issues of drugs and constantly sang it with an extremely high pitched voice over the roof tops across the length and breadth of Ghana. But rather interestingly, when these loud-mouths were nominated ministers and they appeared before parliamentary vetting committee for scrutiny, they quickly went on their feeble knees and profusely begged for forgiveness.
Others who have no shred of credibility to pass through a scrutiny before any panel and were therefore cocooned behind the high walls of the old slave castle with all kinds of amorphous designations. One of these characters is Koku ‘The Bull’ Anyidoho.
Now, this is a person who confessed that he used to suffer from chronic joblessness and that it was his wife that used to feed/clothe him and even fill his car’s petrol tank before he could embark on a daily trip to the late Prof Mills’ campaign office at Kuku Hill (Osu-Accra) to support Atta Mills’ campaign. He actually made this revelation on London-based Radio Focus when Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah described the team Atta-Mills had put together to govern as ‘Team B’.
Now, after winning power and being in government for over three years the juicy promises these NDC people made turned out to be complete illusions. So they have come up with a shameful strategy of always engaging in disgraceful acts of political equalization by quickly making references to supposedly failed promises of NPP, each time NDC monumental level of incompetence is raised.
Consequently, each time a drug bust was made under then Atta Mills-led government, propagandists of NDC swiftly came up with the issue of MV Benjamin and the so-called missing 77 parcels of cocaine. A consignment of pure cocaine turns into ‘kokonte’ and characters as Koku Anyidoho will swiftly respond with what got missing at the top floor of Police Headquarters under NPP. This tit-for-tat nonsense adopted by Koku Anyidoho, when they have been voted into government to correct the wrongs of the past, continued till we all woke up one morning to the news that the so-called illusive Asem Dake, allegedly behind the MV-Benjamin cocaine saga, had been captured by the ‘elite forces’ of our nation’s army.
As a matter of fact, listening to Koku Anyidoho granting interviews to various radio stations on the capture of Asem Dake, we were actually made to believe that the operation that resulted in the man’s arrest was very much akin to that carried out by the SEALS of American army in serene suburb of Abbottabad (Pakistan), under the cover of darkness and at total blind-side of Pakistani intelligence set-up, to clinically take out then highly illusive Osama Bin-Laden.
Koku Anyidoho said Asem Dake was “singing like a canary bird”, and that he was giving the security agencies all the information that would lead to the arrest of every single drug dealer within and outside the four walls of Ghana. We were made to believe that after Asem Dake had finished singing his unprecedentedly melodious canary tunes, all drug lords in Ghana would be behind bars and incidents of illicit drug trade would be completely non-existent within our borders.
So, with the busting of this unprecedentedly gargantuan quantity of drugs which smoothly passed through our nation’s premier airport, my simple question here is; has Koku Anyidoho’s “canary bird” stopped “singing” and thus failing to mention the names of drug lords behind this latest gargantuan wee and cocaine haul with street value of $10m and $1.5m at Heathrow Airport (United Kingdom) on 24th and 25th September, 2012, respectively?
Justice Abeeku Newton Offei