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Opinions of Friday, 24 July 2009

Columnist: Kyei-Mensah-Osei, Kofi

Angels and Demons

This is no attempt at plagiarising Dan Brown’s best seller; Angels and Demons, neither am I trying a synopsis of same. My choice of title is informed by the picture which has been painted of the NPP by the leadership of NDC. Since the inception of the 4th republic, the leadership of the NDC has seized every opportunity to lambast the NPP. “A bunch of thieves, megalomaniacs, self-seeking, thieves, corrupt individuals” etc are just but a few of the adjectives used in describing the latter. The catalogue of invectives heaped on the NPP over the years and most especially after the 2008 elections only seeks to make demons out of them whilst making the NDC look like a party of angels. Let me crave the indulgence of my dear readers to unravel the hypocrisy of the NDC when it comes to propaganda and their skill at giving the proverbial dog a bad name just to hang it.

In the biblical story of “The Last Supper”, Judas Iscariot, the one to betray Jesus Christ sat next to the Prince of Peace (the original one) at the table yet saw nothing wrong in conceiving the thought of betraying his master and carrying it through in spite of Jesus tactfully revealing what was going on in the mind of Judas to him by declaring to the latter, “What you are about to do, do it quickly.” Yet Judas could neither comprehend nor decipher what his Lord and master was putting across to him. He was either plain stupid or damn headstrong. Judas probably convinced himself that his attempt at betraying his master was not known to anyone else. Probably, he made the silly assumption that he was outsmarting the 11 other Apostles and Jesus by betraying the latter to make some few dosh. Similarly, there are so many Judases who wouldn’t hesitate to make a quick dosh whether Ghana’s own asomdwee hene (prince of peace of the NDC) is within earshot or not. Catch my drift!?!.

The above biblical story and how Jesus tried to draw Judas’ attention to the fact that the “betrayal” the latter was contemplating was an open secret to his master always brings fond memories of our beloved mother of blessed memories. Our late mother was a strict disciplinary. She was almost a martinet who ensured her children were brought up according to her beliefs and principles. In fact one look alone from her was enough to make us realise we were wrong in whatever we were doing. We needn’t be told twice for us to realise we were wrong. She realised that each of her children had different talent and ability but she imbued each of us with the 10 basic tenets of life; confidence, truth, honesty, dignity, respect, hard-work, humility, determination, servitude and the fear of the Lord (not man). In truth, she would not compromise on any of the above principles. To my late mother, a life beyond reproach was better than silver and gold. She taught us not to see ourselves as better than others and detested any attempt by any of us to say things to discredit our siblings or other people. She had absolute belief in the saying; action speaks louder than words. We needn’t blackmail other people in order to look good. She realised the need to be firm and assertive with us in order to ensure we did not stray from the straight and narrow. Are you with me reader? I implore you to bear with me; I will unravel the imports of this long introduction anon.

Readers needn’t be reminded of the period leading up to the elections of 2008, when former president Rawlings, then candidate Mills, who incidentally responds to the accolade, asomdwee hene and the entire leadership of the NDC accused everyone associated with NPP of corruption; from former president Kuffuor to the least in the party. Well they still do, don’t they!?! To NDC sympathisers and followers, everyone associated with the NPP is a demon of some sort. The way accusations were flying about then and now, one would have thought we were being ushered into a period of governance by angels when the NDC assumed office. Alas, it was only a dream!!! So whilst Professor Mills was spreading the perceived “corrupt deeds” of NPP in one region, former president Rawlings would be in the other shouting “NPP awi!, awi!, awi!” in his usual croaky voice with the crowd urging him on and calling for more of the same. In pompous arrogance, the members of NDC have queued to pass judgement on the NPP and demanded members of the latter be cast into the flame burning with sulphur. The lord Rawlings sat on his throne up in his palace with his son, asomdwee hene Atta Mills on his right hand side. Together with the other angels in the NDC, they looked down on Ghanaians from above, saw the miseries the people were going through under the NPP and came to deliver us. To former president Rawlings and the entire leadership of the NDC, ministers under the previous administration were all corrupt and must be jailed without recourse to the courts.

Ironically, whilst responding to the title asomdwee hene, president Mills forgot that, the true Asomdwee Hene, Jesus Christ who chose a nucleus of only 12 people to work with had a kleptomaniac among them in the person of Judas Iscariot. Unfortunately, then candidate Mills also jumped on the bandwagon preaching, “They are corrupt” but “we are not”. If the good professor who is said to be a Christian has taken cue from Jesus and Judas’ story, he would have been better prepared to deal with some of the NDC angels who are gradually turning to demons and Judases in the short period of 7 months of his presidency. If Jesus had his Judas out of 12 disciples, so would Mills have his Muntaka and many more among his 76 ministers. There is an Akan saying which goes, “se wo te se w’adamfo abodwese rehye a, sa nsuo si wo dee ho”, which literally translated means; keep water close by your side should you hear of your friend’s beard catching fire. The lesson in this axiom is simple; do not glory in your neighbour’s demise since what happened to him could also happen to you.

In my view, one of the cardinal mistakes of former president Kuffuor was reinstating Dr Anane. The Dr Anane controversy caused the NPP administration so much embarrassment. Personally, I think he should not have been reinstated at all. Though Dr Anane was investigated and exonerated, the man had then become an anathema to Ghanaians and my party should have known better. I am still convinced that the Dr Anane saga was one of the main contributory factors to our defeat in the 2008 general elections. When the NDC regained power after the elections, one would have thought they would have learnt some lessons from some of the mistakes of the NPP with regards to the Dr Anane saga. ‘The leopard’ though they say, ‘cannot change its spots’ and like Judas, some people have hearts of stone and would not change. The speed with which the NDC have taken to the same “corruption” path they accused NPP of haven trodden on is unfathomable and simply beyond comprehension. The parallel between the Dr Anane and Muntaka sagas is beyond belief. Both men had an affair with a woman. Both were exonerated after being investigated. If the NPP was accused of cover-up and corruption in respect of the Dr Anane, what should Ghanaians say about NDC and Muntaka? In the eyes of the NDC, Dr Anane’s exoneration did nothing to absolve the NPP of its “corruption” tag so why wouldn’t they be similarly accused in respect of Muntaka’s dippergate? “Wode wo nsa tea baako tene wo yonko so a, dee aka no hwe wo so” is an Akan expression which literally translates; “as you point your index finger at someone, the three others would be pointing at you.” Again, the lesson from the above expression is simple: Don’t be in haste to accuse others as you may be three times guilty of same crime you accuse them of!! After accusing the NPP of every crime under the sun, none of which though has yet been proven in any court of law, is it not astonishing and ironic to see the apostles of probity and accountability getting their hands dirty in similar crimes after just 6 months in power? Johnson Asiedu Nketia where are you? Fiifi Kwetey and Okudjeto Ablakwa, Ghanaians are waiting! President Mills I am yet to hear your voice! Gird you loins folk! It seems we are in for long 4 year term.

When former president Kuffuor’s son got a loan to finance his hotel project, many people concluded that the loan was granted him by virtue of his father’s position as the then president of Ghana. A few others also concluded that, as a full blooded Ghanaian, it was within Chief Kuffuor’s rights to apply for the loan whether or not his father was the president. For the purpose of this write up though, let’s just say that Chief Kuffour got his loan approved by virtue of his father status then which would have been wrong. But what about Alan Bagbin (Majority Leader) and Mohammed Ayariga’s (Presidential spokesman) acquisition of tractors originally purchased from loans contracted in the name of the Ghanaian? First, the tractors were not publicly auctioned. Secondly, the 2 gentlemen got the tractors at a quarter of their original price. As if to suggest that they haven’t hit Ghanaians hardly enough below the belt, the pittance they are expected to pay have been spread over a period of 4 years when the term of president Mills would have ended. Now, is this not abuse of office and corruption by Bagbin and Ayariga? The explanation from both gentlemen is not only pathetic but morally anaemic! As far as Muntaka is concerned, purchasing dippers and mouthwash from state coffers was not enough! He went further. As an angel, he looked down from heaven and saw the forbidden fruit of one daughter of Eve and longed after it. Muntaka descended from asomdwee hene’s palace to take a closer look at this succulent fruit. Realising it was only good for angels, he plugged and ate it. As soon as he has eaten this forbidden fruit, his head turned like a junkie high on hard drugs. The subsequent gallivanting he undertook with this lady on the taxpayers money is no secret. Muntaka tasted the damsel’s “Love Nwatintin”, got hypnotised and took her on a joyride to Abidjan and Germany. His explanation sounded like a junkie going through cold turkey! By all accounts, we are even lucky to have Dishonourable Muntaka back in the country and undertaking his responsibilities as an MP. The lass’ forbidden fruit was so “sweet” Muntaka was prepared to elope with her to Siberia from where he would have probably called President Mill to renounce his position and nationality. Need I ask again, dear reader!? Is this not abuse of office and corruption if one is to apply the same standard the NDC have used to judge the NPP? The mother of all allegations is against no less a person than former president Rawlings who it is alleged served as conduit for an amount of $3.5 million which was channelled to the NDC from Nigeria! Is the incorruptible corruptible after all? The rebuttal from the former president’s office is not enough. In fact it is no different from what Mpianim, Asabee etc have said before about themselves. If we should not believe the likes of Mpianim, Asabee etc, what are the grounds to believe similar stories from Ayariga, Bagbin, Muntaka and former president Rawlings? Is it about the people involved? I am a believer of the “rule of law” but anytime some of us talk about “rule of law” with regards to ministers under former president Kuffour’s administration, one gets called unprintable names. My argument is simple: since former president Rawlings is the conductor of everyone in the NPP is corrupt so jail them Orchestra, shall we then sing the same tune for him, Ayariga, Bagbin and Muntaka? Who the cap fits…..The pennies have dropped. People in high places are being accused of very serious crimes against Ghana’s democracy and president Mills needs to investigate this. Would the BNI send out the next batch of “friendly invitations” please!?

The onus is on President Mills to right the wrongs that may eventually chip away at whatever good intentions he may have. Unlike my late mother though, it appears president Mills does not have it him to give any of his people a dirty look to scare the hell out of them when they are going wrong; and unlike the only true Asomdwee Hene (Jesus Christ), president Mills lacks the power to know what has been conceived in the hearts and minds of his people. Prof Mills have a heck of a job on his hands and he should act now before all his angels turn to demons. For now though, Muntaka has turned from an angel to a demon. Bagbin and Ayariga are no angels after all. As for former president Rawlings, readers would judge whether he is an angel or demon after the recent accusation against him. I want readers to bear in mind that all I have sought to do in this write up is to apply same yardstick preached by former president Rawlings, Asiedu-Nketia and everyone in the NDC to judge them. Most importantly, I want you to bear in mind that, as long as political parties remain a collection of people from different backgrounds with different intentions, the NPP and NDC will forever have in their midst people with similar characters: angels and demons.

Kofi Kyei-Mensah-Osei