Feature Article of Saturday, 1 December 2012
Columnist: Appiah, Kofi
For someone to pretend to be humble in the sight of many as fun fool respect without caution, rebuke or reproach was more dangerous than an armed robber in society on a robbery expedition. Ghanaians should bear with the author that not too long ago, we were faced with an equally self-imposed personality who conjured that the populace called him ‘Asomdwoehene’. Again, many Ghanaians would reason with the writer that since there was virtually never any caution from the obstinate beneficiary, the late Prof. Mills, we all saw how his miserable end turned out to be. However, the author does not intend to rake the wounds nor to resurrect the grief and pains of the Mills’ family to impugn the integrity of this unprecedented late president but, biblically, since the very obstinate and hardened criminalized sons of Prophet Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, lived a very stubborn life without any caution from their old man not even for one day, Christians, especially, know how their end came about. We are told that wild bears from nowhere came from the bush to tear them apart and ate the two youngmen alive. This is just a teaser as the lifestyle of Mr. Mahama purported to be likened to the ‘Ahobraseehene’ unveils itself as he has always supported evil. The Agbobloshie daylight butchery of political opponents, the Odododioodioo violence by the uncontrollable and incorrigible Nii Lante Vanderpuye and Yamin’s ‘dissident’ forces he is said to have established to create violence in and around Kumasi before, during and after the elections are just but a few the president has persistently overlooked. THE UNTOLD STORY Not until the demise of the late president, many people except but for a few, knew that the president had been bequeathed to so much political responsi –bilities that, hitherto, were unknown to us. As if by accident or fate, soon after the demise of this ‘See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ president came to pass, not many people knew exactly what was cooking. According to the president, in his maiden message delivered to Ghanaians, so much assignment was relegated to him that it would not have been long he would have been a lucky winner and manager of his household and your guess could be as good as mine. From the horse’s own mouth, even the prerogative right and constitutional mandate of being the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces was relegated to him in a whirlwind fashion on a silver platter in addition to the rightful command of the Ghana Police Council. What a Jacobean blessing in disguise from Isaac.
There has been an avalanche of corruption charges leveled and/or heaped on Mr. Mahama but to date, as you read this article, he has not personally come out to deny any single allegation except that his avowed intention to become the substantive president that matters to him. The writer again does not want to bother the ears and disturb their minds with this apparent boring piece. So much has passed under the bridge about his personal involvement in cases or contracts between Ghana Government and the STX Korea Housing deal ($10bn.) and not forgetting the Sovereign Guarantee that was to sanction same; the controversial Embraer aircraft purchase from Brazil and the attendant hullabaloo; the unprece -dented World Maps’ baby boy, Mahama Ayariga, that went down the drain unscathed, the Armajaro syndicate, the unprecedented gargantuan judgment debts beneficiaries spearheaded by Ghana’s celebrated fraudster, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, the 250 Ghanaian medical students for Cuba whose boarding and lodging fees would be free but have been discreetly passed on for Ghanaians to bear was another burden; the €94m judgment debt paid to Germany’s C.P. for virtually no work done on any road network around the Akyem Oda area, was a major headache to many an European countries for the government’s insensi -tivity to the ordinary Ghanaian in the street; the African Automotive Galloper syndicate, the Jubilee Oil measuring floater that was allegedly and deliberately fiddled with so as to steal huge sums of money and hosts of others that may yet be unknown to the ordinary man in the street, gives suspicion to the Ahobraseehene’s title in contention and the status quo.
As a constitutional requirement, the president of the Republic (by inference) elected by the people of this country through the ballot, is enjoined by same to be Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, the Chairman of the Forces High Command, the number one chief executive of the land et cetera. As the C-in-C of this prestigious public institution, he is again entitled to have as his ADC a senior military officer not below the rank of a major. But what do we see in our country? Being obstinate as probably the biblical Jonah who was to travel to Nineveh to preach the word of God but hardened his heart and rather chose to do what was his heart’s desire, ended finally on the shores of Nineveh to preach the gospel that he had previously vowed not to do because of the truancy and wickedness of his listening public there. The rest is history. Since his assumption of office some 120 days ago, the president has persistently taken Ghanaians for fools or some day nursery pupils so the constitutional mandate has been frowned upon and shrouded in secrecy. To date, his ADC was still the police officer who, it is believed, was the A.S.P that he kept while he was the vice president. Worse still, according to insiders and visitors to the Osu Castle, it has not dawned on him to even dream to relocate to the former boss’s official place of work. His adamant posture to remain at his own office could lend credence to the rumour being peddled round town as the demise of the late president. Even though as the Commander-in-Chief of the GAF, his entitlement to a senior military officer has been relegated to the background; he has arrogantly, flagrantly and deliberately violated this norm to the displeasure of the hierarchy of the corporate body he commands. Does he want someone with the sledge hammer (impeachment process) to kill the fly here? However, if it were ordinary renovation of his new office, Ms Hanna Bissiw, the profligate Tano South NDC parliamentary candidate, who doubles as the deputy minister at the Water Resources, Works & Housing ministry, would have quickly rushed with her expert quotation as an obedient maid to refurbish it for him for just Gh?1m but only God knows why he keeps dragging his feet to deny the young, energetic and renovation specialist to have her usual kick-back. Did she copy me okay? By his continued persistence, the military friends and admirers, both retired and serving officers, who like to remain anonymous, say the obstinacy of the president was a clear violation and indictment on the military profession and norms and the high command however finds itself between and betwixt in this scenario. Most of the gallant ones amongst them also fear if they voiced their feelings as they might be forced to exit the service before their official date for retirement. COMPARISON OF MILITARY-POLICE RANKS For those who do not know but care to know, I have taken the trouble to carefully serialize the corresponding hierarchical ranks of the two institutions for readers to know the difference between the two security services so that some police officers, who, hitherto, never knew their status quo in their official background, would begin to sit up and behave well and accordingly-
M I L I T A R Y P O L I C E 1. Chief of Defence Staff (C.D.S.) - - 2. Service Commanders (General) - - 3. General - - 4. Lieutenant-General - - 5. Brigadier-General - - 6. Colonel - - 7. Lieutenant-Colonel Inspector-General of Police 8. Major Commissioner of Police (COP) 9. Captain Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) 10. Lieutenant Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) 11. Sub-Lieutenant (2nd Lieutenant) Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) 12. Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Superintendent of Police (SP) 13. Military Warrant Officer (MWO) - Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) 14. Senior Warrant Officer (SWO) - Assistant Superintendent of Police –ASP 15. Warrant Officer Class 1 - Chief Inspector As the above information clearly depicts the corresponding ranks, many readers, who, until now, did not know their difference, would begin to know vividly and know who was who in any of the institutions and ponder over their lifestyles carefully and very responsibly instead of the otherwise proud police officers who have arrogated unto themselves at the various police stations and establishments.
Mr. Mahama’s caretaker government has accepted the new increase in the pay structure of the legislature; soon after, the executive and other auxiliary appointees have had astronomical hikes (the president, Gh?12,000; the vice, Gh?11,000, ministers, Gh?10,000 and their deputies, Gh?9,000.00) with parliamentarians geared up for Gh7,500.00 et cetera per month while basic school teachers, doctors, nurses, UTAG, POTAG, NAGRAT and others have been woefully denied their SSSS adjustments accordingly but which the government touts as having successfully completed 90% of their adjustments. Isn’t it a big shame and indictment on their integrity and credibility? Sources close to the military high command and contacts made with some retirees indicate that even the CDS whose professional stature coupled with the enormity and volume of work schedule were more significant and more important than most ministers, their deputies and other hangers-on we know of (because most of them were jobs for the boys) as well as chief executives of some government departments/ corporations and bodies, takes a paltry monthly salary of about Gh?7,465.87 without taking retrospective effect from January 2009 like Mahama’s government appointees who would be enjoying their huge arrears of back pay. What kind of Shylock type of cheating is this? Some deputy ministers like the Elvis Afriyie Ankrahs, the Okudzeto Ablakwas and other government appointees who are scrambling for wealth and properties; some purported to have three mansions at East Legon, Accra and elsewhere in Europe are no match with the hierarchy of the military yet, the Mahama government overlooks such rot and delights that they go ahead with the booty from the national kitty and go on the looting spree. There has never ever been an election year in Ghana’s history and since the 1992 Constitution was promulgated that members from a particular party had madly rushed into becoming parliamentarians other than the NDC.
Most Ghanaian contractors who have sought loans from their banks to do government projects have not yet been paid; the entrenched position not to pay them for the work done would yield negative dividends at the impending polls for their failure. How the banks would retrieve their monies was nothing of their business. As you read this piece today, the Conference of Heads of Assisted Senior High Schools (CHASS) have not yet received their subventions to feed their students; the vulnerable NYEP workers have not been paid for some 10 months; some traditional birth attendants in the rural areas have for some two years; some teachers have not received their basic salaries for years now; pharmacists in public hospitals have tried in vain to come to terms with the Labour Commission; as for the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, the least talked about them, the better. The nonchalant attitude to see eye to eye with them has created some furious impasse. The Controller and Accountant-General’s department is alleged to have done the dirty work of government to swerve the teachers’ salaries nationwide. As for SSNIT, the rumours doing the rounds currently state that, the deductions from teachers’ salaries by the CAGD was not inadvertently, but were deliberately meant for settlement of Ibrahim Mahama’s indebtedness to the pensions body. The writer stands for correction without reservation. Again, the MPs Common Fund from the Central Government for which rural development by the local, district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies could function with it effectively has not been paid since the beginning of the year. The government unconstitutional position would ultimately and adversely affect them and translate into loss of votes. This scenario would remind readers of the tale of Kwaku Ananse who once decided to pack up all the world’s wisdom and hide same in the tree top except himself. After the collection, he concealed it in an earthenware pot, covered it with the lid and set off to climb a tall tree to hide it up there to deny everybody wisdom. On his way up, because he had hung the pot round his neck with a rope and the wisdom pot still dangling on top of his belly, it became difficult to climb the tall tree. Strangely, not sooner than later, his son Ntikuma arrived at the scene; and as if by design or fate, little Ntikuma realized that his father was doing the most foolish thing. Unknown to Ananse, Ntikuma quickly taught his father a lesson; he asked him to remove the dangling pot from his belly to the back to enable him do the climbing with ease. Initially, he hesitated but finally, when he succumbed to the son’s instructions and complied, he was able to climb easily and became ashamed and agitated that the re-direction of the pot never came from someone else but from his own son. Little did he notice that from there on, there was still some wisdom left in the world to be collected and out of shame and anger, and to the chagrin of Ntikuma, let loose the pot to his discomfiture because he thought that he had indeed gathered all for safe-keeping and to have the sole franchise, but there was still, some left. That is exactly how this government thinks she was doing; by stifling all the genuine recipients of government payments for their livelihood and for fear that they might contribute cash or in kind to the opposition parties; increase in road tolls, customs duties, school fees, fuel and lubricants, utility bills, and in some cases, the central bank too, issuing dud cheques to buy time and such others. Ntikuma here is however likened to the oppressed people who would on that d-day, speak up their minds to show them the exit through the ballot.
CASTLE GARDENS NOW PRAYER CAMP?
If Wednesday November 21, 2012, marked the beginning of the series of break -fast meetings between the Castle and Clergy to patch up the damage done to the government, they should be told it is too late. The harm has already been done. Tony Aidoo’s unguarded, misguided and/or imbecile and The infamous comments by Tony Aidoo to condemn all tongue speaking Christians and the Clergy as mad people which has, to date, not been punished, will also affect their chances at the polls. Tony, as director of government Monitoring and Evaluation Team to go that extra mile to condemn the Clergy was very unacceptable. Incidentally, people who watched the president’s sermon that Wednesday could only notice that he virtually said nothing about apology to the Clergy and their congregation except by dwelling on the ‘Omo tuo and abenkwan’ delicacy which did not do any much damage repair than to bore his listeners. One wonders how many times a week does he consult with this Tony Aidoo man, let alone the entire Castle Staff? Would he have organized that breakfast devotion or function if Tony had not done his worst to discredit his government and displease millions of Ghanaians? How many times does he advise him to be civil and not to open the mouth that wide? Was there even the need to castigate the Clergy to that extent? If that Wednes -day was a remarkable event at the Castle, then, that day incidentally, also marked the 40+ years that your treasured writer also started work as a stenographer at the Castle. Has JM stepped into the shoes of his former boss to worship with Bishop Duncan Williams instead of Temitope Balogun Joshua? Is there any reported ‘kaakaamotobi’ at Mr. Mills’s office that would conti nually haunt him if he dared to relocate to that office for official duties?
TIKI, TAKA AND GANGALI
The recent tale about three birds named above that was told by Mr. Mahama was likened to the unity knot of personalities such as ex-President Rawlings, Mills and himself. The story is told that anytime they flew out together to sing as a group or united front, as a result of the nice and beautiful melodious song sung by the trio, food was often served them in abundance. There was never any day that they starved; they were never denied their daily meals. One day, Tiki, presumably the treble singer, knowing that he was the best singer became pregnant with pride and so decided he would not join the group but go on his own to a different direction for food. He was never lucky with food because nobody knew him at the new location. The two also went alone and returned without any food because there was no melody in their song. The next time, Taka also thought he was the best alto singer and so went alone and the same fate stared at him. Gangali too thought he was he was the best tenor singer of the trio and decided to delibe -rately absent himself from the concert when the remaining two flew out for the usual singing performance. Incidentally, no food was given to them by interested parties because there was no cohesion. As time went on, the three realized that they would be gradually killed by hunger individually so, when eventually, they reasoned together and came to their senses, realized there was strength in unity to fly as a group. They quickly reorganized themselves to fly in unison and food became plentiful for them again. Incidentally, when they decided to go solo, no food was given them. This, in a way, goes to prove that there was strength in unity or united we stand. In a nutshell, Mr. Rawlings, the founder of NDC, has been shown the yellow card by the NDC strongman, Asiedu Nketiah, so could not join the group or party for anything. Mr. John Mills too, was also no more; death has shown him the red card and laid its icy hands on him. Gangali, inarguably Mr. Mahama, now has to fend for himself in this turbulent period of our political history by himself to struggle to locate for food.
The president was quoted as saying at the I.E.A. Debate recently at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Accra, that any occupant of the highest office was entitled to a two-term office. One therefore wonders whether the president has political advisers. Has H.E. Amb. Victor Gbeho decided to relinquish his post as his adviser on foreign affairs and policy? Has he legal affairs experts at all? If not, he better look out for some lecturer(s) to tutor him on constitutional matters otherwise, he would goof whenever he went out of Ghana to meet the press. If he has some advisers, who are those people, the people want to know? Does he know that if his term does not appeal to the electorates as these 135 days prior to the elections have turned out to be, he could be kicked out through the ballot box? Ex-president Rawlings’ first term with Kow Nkensen Arkaah satisfied many Ghanaians that was why he was re-elected for the second term in 1996 to continue with the late Mills as his vice. Ex-president Kufuor also emerged in 2001 and went on to win the 2004 elections because his job performance satisfied most electorates. If the two public universities in Ho and Sunyani were those he claims to have put up, indeed, satisfy the electorates for a second term, so be it. That’s his cup of tea because there was no stipulated clause found anywhere in the constitution that clearly states that any president was entitled to a two-term presidency. I entreat him to go back to read the legal document page by page to be abreast with current events and to refresh his mind. I challenge him to come again.
In 1992 ex-president partnered with the late Kow Nkensen Arkaah as his vice; then again, he went on for the late Prof. John Mills before he retired from the presidency as stipulated by our constitution. The late president Mills also engaged Mr. Martin A.B.K. Amidu as the running mate and lost the elections of 2000. Still undaunted, he went on again as the flagbearer of the NDC to partner with Alhaji Mohamed Mumuni for the 2004 elections and lost woefully. He was urged on by his ‘never say die’ spirit and again chose the incumbent Excellency John Dramani Mahama as his vice and luck finally smiled at him after the 2008 elections. Unfortunately, due to ill-health, his term of office could not be completed and had to leave official scene mid-stream as a result of death. When we come to the turn of ex-president John Kufuor; he too contested for the presidency in 1996 as the flagbearer for the NPP and lost by the skin of the teeth to ex-president Rawlings. In his particular case, the Asante Kotoko’s fighting spirit of ‘wo kum apem a, apem beba’ bravery, (to wit, if you kill a thousand men in battle, another thousand will surface to replace the fallen heroes to continue the fight to the enemy territory till victory was won) catapulted him to maintain the fight without retreat until he was propelled to victory in the 2000 elections. Mr. John Kufuor’s job performance satisfied most Ghanaians and the NPP was returned to power again in 2004. Nana Akufo Addo has also contested in many primaries for the flag-bearer slot and not until 2007 that he finally won. The foregoing scenario should be a pointer to Mr. John Mahama that not until he has undergone some political metamorphosis by revising his notes on constitutional affairs to be well groomed, well baked and well cut for the elected presidency position, Ghanaians should definitely vote him out because he has no political upbringing through the mill. Priding himself as Ahobraseehene is very pretentious. He is desperate for the presidency to cover up the actions and inactions of his brethren and is hell bent to become president. If you have a pack of incorrigible and uncontrollable elements smeared with corruption and greed in your government who continually go out libeling the clergy and the populace as mad and baloney, can you pride yourself as the Ahobraseehene to the delight of your person? This is as clear as broad day -light and crystal as ice.
VENGEANCE IS THE LORD’S BUT CURSE BE UNTO THE ONE
In Christianity and probably, Islamic religion, if you get slapped by someone on the face, it is your responsibility to turn the other cheek for the second slap to shame the bully. If you believe vengeance is the Lord’s, leave everything to him to do the rest. If need be, continue praying for the one to stop the nuisance. Coming back to the Ghanaian political background, there has, indeed been one political party that has cherished on bullying to have its way and the writer needs not overemphasize the point. In view of that as a weak Christian, what I am inclined to say here is that giving the prevailing circumstances, the following persons such as the IGP, Mr. Paul Tawiah Quaye, as head of the security services for the elections, some of his immediate deputies and a host of them who have put on the garbs of the NDC, some personnel from the national security, who have been promised houses, huge sums of money, some ministers of State on collision course with their devilish plans for electoral victory, some members from the Electoral Commission who would be receiving huge sums of money into their bank accounts plus of course houses, some selected elements from the military and probably from their high command, some party activists who are hell bent on retaining power at all cost and by fair and foul means despite the government’s abysmal performance, are leaving no stone unturned to plan their nocturnal schemes to win the elections. The writer does not believe that the foregoing skirmishes are under way but if truly they have such plans to hatch, then the following curses are what I have prayed God to let happen in Ghana for all believers to witness - first, if the government has a full pack of lies, praise singers, bootlickers, and deceit experts in such a body whose expertise and speciality was to thrive on propaganda, libel against the Clergy and some Christians, how then do you as president pride yourself as ‘Ahobraseehene’ to knock heads together if these bunch of nincompoops, evil dwarfs continually harp on propaganda with their hard teeth.
SEVEN GENERATIONAL PLAGUES AND CURSES
Whatever weapons and plans the government and its appointees and some selected assigns from across the country plan to twist the hands of the innocent Ghanaians to ensure victory should be visited with the following mishaps – the so-called mercernaries Yaw Boateng Djan is purported to have acquired and trained to cause mayhem especially in the strongholds of the opposition, should rather kill them before they set off for their diabolical operations to enable peace prevail to enable Ghana remain a peaceful country. Moreover, the author does not believe that despite the ‘Kumasi Declaration’ of November 27, 2012, that was aired and televised for the whole world to watch, then for the purposes of electoral victory, any chief or traditional ruler who has deliberately sold his conscience for pittance, should, metamorphose into Nebuchadnezzar of old and head towards the bush to feed on grass. Any member from the Electoral Commission, be it a Returning Officer, or whatever, who cherishes that the incumbent retains power through false means, and allows him/herself to be used for the selfish interest other than being fair, should equally be struck by the biblical Miriam’s leprosy to serve as deterrent to future electoral commission staff. All those who helped to register minors in any part of Ghana should be visited by the plagues of Egypt of old. Again, any person or group of persons whose aim was to destabilize the elections too should be struck by lightning and thunder during the action instantly. I don’t think Mr. Paul Quaye should be privy to these wicked machinations for the promise of an ambassadorial position, as well as his deputies, but be as it may, if they were in bed with all these plans hatched by Yaw Boateng Djan’s operational strategy, the Good Lord should strike all of them dead on or by the eve of the General Elections If any chief who thinks he has some supernatural powers to prevent election officials from opposing parties from entering their territories to know the events on the ground, should turn to beasts instantly. All said and done if all these wicked diabolical plans has the connivance of president Mahama because he is bound to become an elected chief executive of Ghana despite having appended his signature to the Kumasi Declaration, should, together with all his appointees and assigns be visited with the seven generational plagues for all eyes to see.
It is my wish and prayer that anybody, group of persons, the security services or whatever, be it especially the police or any specially created and trained force that may have been in bed or in alliance with the Electoral Commission to cause commotion or mayhem to twist the results of the polls should be struck alongside with their families all the seven generational plagues that were visited upon the people of Egypt during the exodus of the Israelites. Anybody or group of persons who may have planned to execute such diabolical acts should also be struck dead by lightning and thunder even before the election day or on the eve of the elections to serve as deterrent so that Ghanaians would know that the battle ahead was the Lord’s and not for man to prove to the living that the Lord we serve was one and only one Omnipotent God.
Postscript – My earnest plea to Dr. Afari Djan is to comport himself well and ensure an impartial refereeing otherwise, the good name he may have earned, for himself globally might turn to be something different if the country turns into flames because the Bible does not support cheating. Please Mr. President, do not hesitate to instruct the IGP to cause the arrest of Yaw Boateng Djan and Yamin with regards to the assassination attempt on the life of Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the NPP MP for Manhyia, Kumasi without delay for which they should be the principal suspects.