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Opinions of Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Columnist: dailyguideafrica.com

Arrested Easter Development

Many stories are told of Ghanaians who come back home after a long sojourn in some foreign country only to get ill and die or have an accident or some other armed robbery or accidental event, which we never accept as accidental.
My story is no different.

A young attractive woman came home recently with a pair of equally buxom African American close buddies, bent on helping out in one form or the other to make life a bit more bearable for her family. She comes from the Volta Region.

She never intended setting up the orphanage in her hometown, reasons she explained to her two friends over and again before they arrived in Ghana and even when they visited the family soon after they settled back in town.

They were lucky to be offered a room each in a hotel by a friend, a pastor who they had met in the USA and whose church would be a significant beneficiary of the orphanage.

Now, Blessing, the young lady in discussion, knew the pastor had a little bit more intention than providing a room and board for them. Both Shenida and Trevonia, her two friends were very clued into the expectations and knew where the line was to be drawn in the event that the Pastor moved a little too close.

Pastor’s three-child wife and the extra twin-girls mother within reach of his testosterone tubes a year ago, were both very sharp to the moves, but they figured, well the Yankees had some fire power and they might benefit significantly if things squared up right.

Well, true to form, the Pastor was relentless in his game plan and his two-pronged approach, seeking a golden grail and some place to bury his latest surges, started getting to all of them.

The ladies circled round and gathered their guile to make sure their ranks were solid. But they underestimated the Man of God.

After a persistent six-week pursuit, the girls gave up and with nowhere to turn, Trevonia, bless her heart, suggested they go back to the village and maybe get a roof over their head and take it from there. Blessing was aghast and stressed with fear of the possible outcome.

And here is where it all went “trokosi”. African Americans can be ultra persistent and eventually, against her better foresight, Blessing agreed, they packed bag and baggage and headed for “hell”.

You see, you cannot rebuff a pastor in Ghana and get away scot-free. Before they had settled in properly and within a week, Pastor came to cast out demons in the village at an all-night convention. With witchcraft victims lined up, Trevonia and Shenida as star attractions, they now discovered that their friend for decades was a big time witch in the village, responsible for pestilences and diseases, children with deformity and young barren ladies with no future. You know how the stories fly.

Before Blessing knew it, she was wrestled to the ground, anointing oil was pouring freely and she was strapped and bundled off to a sanctuary for cleansing and cleaning. This was the Wednesday before Easter. She has still not surfaced.

Her two friends are still waiting and hoping she will show up soon.

But let’s move on to loftier things and matters of State.

The pain of moving Ghana forward when it need not be so painstakingly slow is excruciatingly frustrating. In 1992, recognizing that we could no longer allow ourselves to be treated as a herd of goats and sheep, we enshrined in article 3 of the Constitution effective words to check ever becoming a one party state.

We learnt this from Nkrumah’s dictatorship and also learnt that a Preventive Detention Act is a bad thing for a country and its governed.
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Hence you cannot hold a person in custody for more than 48 hours and not charge them with an offence. And that check presupposes that security agencies and police forces will respect the decision of the court and abide by its decision. If that were not to be the case, we lose control over the excesses, which we have tried to build and guarantee our freedom.

So what does Her Ladyship Patricia Quansah intend to do about this disrespect for her Circuit Court? Here is an opportunity to discipline whoever in the BNI defied the court order, stuck a finger in her face and walked away knowing they were doing their master’s bidding and would get all the protection needed.

Someone told me you can’t prosecute the BNI. You can. Some person defied the court. That person should be brought to book and advised with a jail term or hefty fine and told in no uncertain terms that you cannot refuse to respect a court order. This one is firmly in the bosom of the court. If they do not act fearlessly, we run the danger of seeing a more defiant BNI and its sister apparatchiks doing as they choose in Ghana.

The law courts are the last wall of defense we have in this fight against impunity. We cannot treat it like we have done the Keta sea defense wall and made it a witches coven, untouchable and beyond discussion.

I lurch from one day to the next, with some expectation that a politician will rise from the ashes, or that Parliament will wake up and stop the partisan bias and make a call for the people of this country. Who they keep goal for in a match with such high stakes is critical.

But Parliament will not do anything. I firmly believe that their concerns do not lie in whether citizens of Ghana are hard changed by their ineptitude and self-promotion from one session to the next.

Should they ever decide that the people of this country are important to them we will rise and applaud and urge them to greater heights. It is too long a wait till we replace all the old rogues with better, cleaner, more determined and younger persons, who can see the benefits of nobility in a society where accolades are what we crave rather than a decent name.

I lurch from one day to the next, strongly believing that a unit such as the BNI is a well trained intelligence service, given all the support to do a highly professional job and without compromise, will ensure that their call to duty is sacrosanct above any political dribble.

But in this case, you don’t need to be a super sleuth to see how far-fetched the case against the South Africans and indeed also Captain Koda, Head of Security at the NPP has gone. It is a shame that this is Captain Koda, whose previous life as a member of the AFRC moved the corruption fight a few steps forward during his time.

The charges are frivolous, there is no evidence I have read in the media that makes this a good case for Government and I doubt if this is the handiwork of the BNI proper.

I am convinced unprofessional BNI operatives acted in tandem with a political master’s voice; and the only political party with any benefit in this game is the NDC. John Mahama is fully aware of what is going on and this is not what he promised when he campaigned in 2012.

So just like Blessing was fingered and labeled a witch, taken away under the very noses of her friends and family, a vindictive and rebuffed potential lecher with strong motive, easily swaying his audience because he had the capacity, the BNI witchery continues to plague Ghanaians, because at the end of the day our belief set is superstition and false stories. Never fact and truth.

Ghana, Aha a y? din papa. Alius atrox week advenio. Another terrible week to come!

Sydney Casely-Hayford

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