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Opinions of Sunday, 24 September 2006

Columnist: Thompson, Araba

The Sale of Ghanaian Property In Washington DC


I have been hibernating in Fante New Town, Kumasi, with my first born, a baby girl. I am however very active in reading all your news. With the type of openness that we have in the free press, we need to work together to find a true leader for Ghana, although a bit editing on your comment pages will be welcomed to make your forum second to none in the internet news world. Since my return to settle in Ghana and my last article in the mid of last year, I have received over two hundred letters from many admirers who believe that we need to make a change in Ghana with a true leader, come 2008. Despite being rich in mineral resources, and endowed with some good people, Ghana has fallen victim to corruption, mismanagement and theft from independence in 1957 until now.

People in positions do things and get away with it, because the country is without any real checks and balances and a leadership that can stop corruption and seek alternatives other than loans, gifts and grants. Thus instead of leaders seeking ways to analyze how to combat subsidies from the US and EU countries resulting in the dumping of goods in Ghana, Allan Kyerematen continues to serve his master with his cassava policies and has the guts to state that over-reliance on market forces has not helped Ghana, not realizing that free trade comes with discipline in the system and a cross checking of subsidies from countries that allows dumping to the third word. Instead of thinking how to legislate or an effective intellectual property rights to stimulate trade, investment and exports, Kwesi Nduom and Alan Kyerematen continue to serve their masters and uncles respectively, while they celebrate at loans given from donors. They will not reveal their true identity as master tactical opportunists. If undisciplined people like Anane continue to govern and Kuffor continues to harbor him, if the likes of Spio-Grabrah think he can seek the highest office of the land without accounting for his past actions, like the sale of the precious Ghanaian property in Washington, DC, let it be told, that we are about to make a change in Ghana. And no one, I mean no one, can take the people take that for granted.

The Property- The former Rawlings’s disciple, “Dr” Spio-Grabrah is about to seek the office of the Presidency and ha launched his Presidency campaign. From my research and interviews in London and the USA, I understand Spio-Grabrah is an arrogant person who is so full of himself and will do anything in the name of power. As a former sales man, marketing executive, and diplomat, Spio Garbrah made a name as the Minister of Communication and a Minister of Education in Ghana. But who is this man. Is he street smart, independent, or one of the stooges of Jerry Rawlings or in particular, a stooge of Nana Konadu? I am more interested in his style and his sale of the precious Ghana property in Washington DC.

The Ghana property in the USA that Spio-Grabrah, Rawlings and Mrs. Rawlings sold is located at 2460 16th Street, NW, Washington DC at place called the Mount Pleasant neighborhood. (See above picture) The property is currently assessed at $3,878,070. This property has a design replica of both a Gothic Architecture and a Frank Loyd Wright American Architecture. The first President of Ghana, Kwane Nkrumah the most Ghanaian visionary politician ever, saw the future of Ghana in America in the corridors of power in United States, and therefore purchased the property. The16th Street is a prominent north-south thoroughfare in the northwest quadrant of Washington DC that begins just north of the White House. One can also view the White House from the roof top of this property. The Ghana Government strategically purchased the property, early in the city's history when many foreign embassies were located on 16th Street because of its proximity to the White House. Most of the embassies moved to Embassy Row and the Embassy of Ghana followed suit from 16th Street, to its present location on the International Drive. However many professionals acknowledge that, there was no need for the Ghana Government to have sold the property and many have questioned the motive behind the sale of prime property.

Noting the great role of Kwame Nkrumah in world politics, a street smart and knowledgeable Ambassador would have reviewed the US foreign ownership laws in the United States and its restrictions and opportunities. With that review, the Ghana Government could either set this property up as an African Cultural Center in the United States, with a use for arts, culture, research and other functions to project Ghana and Africa. Instead, the greedy Nana Konadu Agyeman, the unfortunate leadership of Jerry Rawlings and the follow thy master likes of Ekow Spio-Grabrah, without any thought, discipline and visionary ideas, sold this property to the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition in 1995 due to their narrow and shallow minds, selfish motives and lack of foresight.

The Sale Transactions of the Ghana Property in Washington DC

The lack of transparency in the Government of Ghana has created a situation whereby citizens too rarely understand how government decisions are made. This lack of transparency prevents the public from actively participating in government and from raising questions or protesting unfair or ill-advised decisions. A lack of transparency can conceal official graft or favoritism. This is the more reason that Spio Garbrah and Nana Konadu and Jerry Rawlings must account for the sale of the Old Ghana property. It is important to the Ghanaian society in general. We have moved from the ages of secrecy whereby politicians think the government belongs to themselves and their families. We are in new age whereby- E-government is the order of the day. We can become more knowledgeable than the people in power and with that information we can change the course of direction of mother Ghana. (See the attached documents of the sale transaction)

His Ideas and Statements

Good leadership is the key to the future development in Ghana. Bad leaders will only drive the Country backwards again. If we want new leader to take over from the sleeping Kuffour government, we don’t need any person who lacks wisdom. Twenty years of Rawlings and Spio-Garbrah was hell, six years of Kuffour is unfortunate, and another years of Rawlings and Nana Konadu sponsored Spio-Garbrah will lead to a disaster in Ghana. The best way to illustrate the cost of poor leadership under Spio-Garbrah is to give an example of his ideas, before and now. A competency assessment of his personal characteristic (skill, knowledge, trait, motive and judgment etc,) that drives his behavior leading to his performances indicate that this guy is just a Rawlings and a self promoted show boy without substance. An example of his competency is his “conceptual thinking”, defined as examining Spio’s effective solutions by taking a holistic, abstract and theoretical perspective of this self promoted diplomat. His competencies dealing with people is very negative, his competencies dealing with business and management is at least fair with a lower grade, but his competency to lead Ghana and continue the Rawlings sponsored Spio era will be disastrous and will never happen. I was in the UK when he gave a speech on July 5, 2005 at the Royal Commonwealth Society Lectures in London, "Dr" Ekwow Spio-Garbrah proposed the following to the audience;

? Special ID Cards and Passports for Commonwealth Citizens

? Control of labor migration and control short skills personnel and professionals from countries

? Special Commonwealth line at airports, and immigration offices This is a guy who was a former Minister of the Republic of Ghana and one-time Ambassador of Ghana to the United States and Mexico and calling for special lines at airports for Commonwealth citizens. Next he will call for immigration lines for Ecowas, East African States, Southern African states and the special lines for the Arab nations. His ideas about the control of skill workers are not politically smart. All over world and in Ghana, economic dislocation has led millions of Ghanaian and African adults in the prime of their working years to uproot themselves and undertake difficult, even perilous, journeys in search of subsistence for their families and communities. The main destination for labor migrants and skill personnel are to the UK, USA, Germany and South Africa. The poorest countries like Ghana are increasingly dependent on these migrants’ foreign remittances. The skill labor migration is a phase in a country’s life so far as the governments continue to enjoy on loans, grants and MCA money.

I tried to find out where this my fellow Fante boy got his education especially his doctorate degree. In the quest for name and power, Spio-Grabrah arranged and was awarded a Doctor of Laws degree, honoris causa, by Middlebury College in Vermont USA, in May 2001. This same College offered admissions to his relatives Koby Spio-Garbrah and Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, because of his special relations to the College. A degree he did not work for and without merit and hard work is reminiscent of Spio-Garbrah that people know when he was the Ambassador in the US. This guy should account for the sale of the Ghana property in Washington before he thinks about Presidential aspirations.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.