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Opinions of Monday, 11 July 2016

Columnist: Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh

I saw a green book

I had no idea I was ever going to see one.

I had heard about it but I had not seen it. Neither did I expect I would see it where I saw it. It’s a green book. It is green book that is not completely of the green colour. Much of it is green; but at least two-thirds of the front cover has a picture with a combination of white, brown and grey as well as a tiny embossed national flag. It weighs at least one kilogram which restricts its portability.

The owner would, however, definitely want those of us who come across it to care about its contents more than, or perhaps as much as, its physical characteristics. So I turn the front cover to its inside.

It is all red, crimson red. In 2012, it was in that crimson red lacoste picture that was plastered all over the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange and the then just done walls of the Kufuor University of Ghana Aburi road overpass.

Opposite that page is the picture of him, for which the book had been prepared on behalf of congress as a propaganda tool towards the 2016 election. It is a nice portrait. On the lapel is the national symbol, Coat of Arms, the adaption logo of which an almighty election supervisor has jettisoned.

On to page four which is green with white words by the Hippocratic man who lied that red blood colour was tomato paste red.

Opposite is a black and white picture of schoolchildren, maybe my class three friends, and a yellow vertical rectangle embossed with words on education in white and black.

Thereon, it is all pictures of concrete buildings up to page 17. The page 16 and 17 concrete buildings are interesting because although buildings similar to those Sokode University of Health and Allied Sciences were expected in the Sunyani vicinity for the University of Energy and Natural Resources, none can be found in the green book. It says so much for fair distribution of the national cake. Shockingly, much of the concrete structures, check the Ho airport are non-existent.

Some people appear on the next three pages and bar charts on the fourth (p. 25). Around 126 out of a total of 212, or three out of five, pages (covers inclusive) are filled with concrete structures. So by the green book, development is largely concrete. I thought development should be about people. And I don’t think people are developed in concrete.

That development by concrete thinking has caused appointment by geography (region) and not by population although development is for and about people. No wonder competence has been short-changed.

Development by geography can never succeed because it is people whose lives are to be affected by development.

Compatriots like me expect green book of development to project greening for development, something like what appears on pages 76, 77 and 78, to highlight a dums? cure. That would have seen emphasis on the Sunyani University compared with Sokode which has similar facilities in Legon (p. 26 & 27), KNUST, UDS and UCC. Compatriots expect UENR to lead in the dums? fixing effort.

Of the many public universities, the University of Energy and Natural Resources is the one supposed to cure our number one ailment, deficit energy supply, to terminate dums?. Yet the UENR is given the least attention in the green book of development. Thus, which costs more than is spent on UENR, hardly portrays development.

If development were to be the moulding of concrete into structures, which cannot be eaten, there would be no people because the people will starve to death.

That is why the decision and opinion leaders who care about people are saying, concrete we see, jobs that will enable people to feed themselves and others who depend on them we do not see. Na concrete compatriots go eat, no.

Worse, the green book shows signs of 206 pages of borrowed money that children of today and tomorrow will have to pay. Concrete ages and deteriorates over time. Users of the structures may draw the best of its benefits (assuming they are constructed up to standard) and that benefits will atrophy over time. So, ironically, tomorrow’s less benefiting users will be the loan redeemers.

There was a kind of scramble for the green book during its distribution. That prompted someone to suggest that it was illiterates who were scrambling for it. Another quickly added it was like what they do with funeral brochures. Hmmm, that sounded so apt.

Indeed, the green book could shape up as a funeral brochure if all the cheating tricks certain five women and two men have been designing to rig the 2016 election in favour of the green book fail.

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