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Opinions of Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Columnist: Calus Von Brazi

Controversy Unlimited: Shall We Tell The President?

Calus Von Brazi

Your Excellency,

Greetings in the name of the silent observers in this Land of Our Death. I am compelled to address you herein, largely because of the conviction that this way, I would definitely reach you, either directly or indirectly, for many of those whose statements and observations have prompted me to write this letter to you verily believe and perhaps rightly so, that a formal note to you through the regular channels would yield no fruitful results. Although I disagree with many of them, I am inclined to conform to their wishes, for very senior members of that group, some of who doubled as good friends of yours prior to your election as the leader of this nation are complaining publicly that documents, memoranda, suggestions and proposals they have submitted to your high office through the regular channels have not received either the expected response or a simple acknowledgement. What worries most of these observers is the growing belief that there are some people around you who are deliberately hiding very important documents from you. Why they do so, maybe only the invocation of your constitutional authority can tell. Sir, this is frustrating so many well-intentioned citizens and legal aliens alike and thus a tendency for them to pour out their perplexed souls in the eateries and recreational spots of Accra when they would otherwise be generating ideas that would in turn enhance their businesses or promote their rapid rise in various fields of endeavour.

Cordon

Your Excellency, some people are saying that it is becoming impossible to simply walk to the castle to present a petition because they are aware it would not get to you. I honestly do not believe them, for it is very true that there are spinners of political yarns in this country and like the weavers of Kente at Bonwire, these political yarn spinners have become rather adept at doing that very effectively. However, there is some mirth in their position, even if their only source or reason for avoiding the entrance to your office is the way a certain Dr. Asemfofro was ‘wisely’ turned away from the same place. These people argue that if the so-called Asemfofro, a member of your party can be treated as such so soon, they, who constitute the party-less mass of Ghanaians are unlikely to receive audience. When pushed against the wall, they stress that even known party operatives at higher levels are being treated shabbily at the big house by some very small boys and girls of no known official designation. Sir, I was privy to a chat between one of your regional chairmen and another former minister during your tenure as a vice president; it was a very revealing and worrying chat. You see, there is a place called “Heavy Do”, frequented jointly and severally by opposition people so that when your party people “stray” there to eat, all ears are cocked for snippets of information. What some people say about you, your style and the future is very worrying even for someone like me. If I were Kojo T, I would send the boys to go sniffing around such places, instead of rummaging through piles of invoices of Ghana @ 50 contracts. Justice Duose can do that. Ghana and your leadership would be better off if you take a hard look within. Something very unpleasant is brewing and I hope to God whatever it is never gets fully brewed.

Muffled Reshuffle

Your Excellency, the people of Ghana have been genuinely expecting a reshuffle from you, although in all sincerity, it is quite early to do so. However, the way and manner some of your appointed appointees are not delivering on their mandate is undermining the confidence reposed in your leadership and creating the impression that you are becoming weak, a prisoner of those who helped your rise to the hot seat. Above every one else in Ghana, you have the birds eye view of what it may take to get your team working together and not at cross purposes for your vision to be realized. Sir, it is an open secret that your former boss for example is very displeased with the pace of your actions. However, Flight Lieutenant Rawlings is not alone in this: the entire opposition is unhappy about the uncertainty about where you are taking Ghana; your party foot soldiers are venting their frustrations on whatever socio-economic infrastructure they can lay hands on in order to make ends meet, especially because those who promised them a field day in the sacking of perceived NPP appointees have not been able to deliver with revolutionary precision that which is easy to promise during a campaign. However, you view these matters from your bird’s eye perspective, the time has come for you to implement the long-awaited reshuffle. Sir, what transpired in London regarding Mabey and Johnson when juxtaposed against your statements rendered during press conferences that you addressed under the Kufuor administration places you in something of a fix: you may be damned if you do what you must do but condemned into the dustbin of infamy if you don’t. Your position at this time of our political life is not an enviable one, yet, God in his wisdom has given you a good opportunity to begin the process of cleaning the entire Ghanaian establishment of the very things that retard our progress as a nation.

Sir, many are waiting for example to hear what your unofficial advisors (for that is what people genuinely think of them) like Kwesi the Pratt would say of a very capable minister like Dr. George Sipa Yankey for example who sits in cabinet with you. Much as any known court of competent jurisdiction has not convicted them, the people of Ghana remember what you said in response to your predecessor Kufuor’s statement asking anyone who made allegations of corruption to bring the evidence. Sir at the time, you implied together with your party members that newspaper allegations were more than enough to engineer swift action to curb corruption. Would you now walk your talk with the same swiftness and alacrity that such matters deserve? Or would you subsume this one opportunity to clean the Ghanaian stables under the rubric of political protectionism, which may become the lot of those who now would remind you of what they did in contribution to your current position as our nation’s current leader?

Your Excellency, this one single disciplinary action that you may take could become your legacy, even if you fail to deliver on the promises so well chronicled in your “Better Ghana” manifesto. With that also would come the legitimacy and moral justification when the time comes for you to crack the whip against errant members of the previous government whose actions may have constituted deviant behavior as far as the principles of good governance are concerned. Otherwise, as Yaw the mechanic has been saying, “we are watching him this time”. Yaw the mechanic has an uncanny knack for predicting things very unpleasant that may befall “big” men and women and I hope for once he is wrong. Sir, in all truth, you have a unique opportunity to silence some of the loudest voices this country has ever produced, especially those who are ideologically and politically opposed to either your party or your style of governance as constituted today. Yaw tells me for example that drastic and swift action on your part may help you inch towards the achievement of a campaign promise you made. For him, Mabey and Johnson have given you a great opportunity to finally achieve your 40% women in positions of trust that your manifesto promised for hardly do we find women getting caught up in such matters when given political office. He also said to tell you that such an action might silence Lawyer Ursula Owusu, touted as the checker of your Director of Communications and leave her with time to concentrate on FiDA matters in lieu of being a “one woman thousand” across the airwaves. Perhaps, that way, she may exchange places with Lawyer Nana Oye Lithur who appears to have developed a very palpable vocal constipation since January 7, 2009 on matters that we know her to be a key advocate of. Maybe, just maybe a concentration on Gambian killings is a better option to the ruffling of feathers in Ghana; Yaw asks if sitting on a board as an appointee does not engender a quid pro quo on the vocal cords of some people? Or whether Gambia is not closer to Ghana in terms of Agbogbloshie, Akwatia, Sodom and Gomorrah or the invitation of a certain Ohene Ntow when allegations of impending bloodbaths are made while a certain Asiedu Nketia walks free when he alleges that the National Headquarters of your football team mate Akufo-Addo’s party is on a small and large arms distribution spree in flagrant violation of human rights laws and ECOWAS protocols. He further avers, that your reshuffle would mark the exchange of places and positions within the serial fraternity: serial commentators would quickly switch places in one fell swoop that would allow those who prior to January 7 2009 attacked the acts of appointees become ardent defenders, while those whose remit was to defend appointees who got disappointed after January 7 become automatic attack dogs.

Your Excellency, you must also brace yourself to hear a cacophony of discordant voices who would take a cue from the serial commentators. They are affectionately called serial callers. Sir, today’s serial caller is a new breed altogether. In all truth, they are political animals who understand the political game and the value of propaganda. Your party people used it effectively to cast aspersions on the reputations of people who have striven over the years to become what they are. It seems only fair that somehow, they are a fed a minimum dose of that which they unleashed with unrestrained passion on those they perceived to be shortchanging the Republic of Ghana by dint of their political appointments. Sir I say this because you understand this better than anybody in Ghana today what it means to keep a leash on political Rotweillers. I am not referring to self-opinionated wannabes like Yamoah the Ponko who would not spare us the ordeal of his hoarse voice when he embarks on his flights of fancy to prove how close he is to the Blue Gate. Rather, I humbly submit to you, that unlike the past, when serial callers were a bit more reasonable and hardly used radio for political interest maximization the way it is being peddled in contemporary times, today’s mutants, whether in the likeness of the eight thousand Ghana cedi distributor Mustapha or the agitated Alhassan of Ashaiman fame, are career-snapping piranha of merciless repute and just so you are not caught off guard regarding what your inaction on the Mabey and Johnson “allegations” would be, kindly implement a resolutely decisive action of prompt dismissals without any further hesitation. That may be the beginning of recapturing the almost totally diminished goodwill that the people of this country granted you temporarily now that Agbogbloshie killings, petroleum shortage, high interest rates, stalled Sodom and Gomorrah evictions and increasing youthful despondency and despair are fast becoming the norm rather than the exception. As a bonus on something I know Blue Gate would not tell you, Ghana is just about to find out who the “friends” are; I mean the ones who paid the fees of some people that we otherwise would never have known. These days, Britain is on a house-cleaning spree and it just may be wise for you to preempt such revelations. Sir, I sincerely think if you do the Mabey and Johnson “punishments”, the whole nation would come with you in good company to check “Old Man” if push comes to shove. That way, Spio’s umbrella would be ‘eternally’ removed and with that, maybe Uncle Ato would finally get the opportunity to create the ‘new image’ party he and his bunch of defiant schemers have been dreaming about since Goosie did the gander dance.

Police Sirens

Finally, some Lebanese friends of yours who happen to be too “shy” to raise this matter have asked me to tell you on their behalf to plead with our mama, Naadu, to go easy on her fellow residents and neighbours. Sir, I told them to concentrate on their rice and paint business and leave you alone lest Zizi puts them on the next flight to Beirut. However, because they are referring to my Auntie Naadu, I thought it wise to alert you on behalf of all those who live beyond the Golden Gate. Your Excellency, the residents who live beyond the Golden Gate claim that when you are coming home, the dispatch riders switch off their sirens as soon as they reach the famous Golden Gate upon your instructions but as for Auntie Naadu, she enjoys it saaaaaaaaa till she goes past the Platinum Gate and zooms past Kwesi Botchway’s abode. Some of them are saying that Naadu can take up temporary residence in Jubilee House so that when you “unswear” the Presidential Oath, she can return to Asanfena Crescent; that way, their eardrums would be saved the loud wailings of police sirens when she has to go out and come in on official duties. Talking about official duties, Sir, don’t you think Naadu would be very effective at mobilizing the women of Ghana if she joins forces with Maa Nana Konadu? I mean think of it as continuity in women empowerment efforts. Although some people say that Aunti Naadu is more vicious than Maa Nana Konadu, I disagree with them because if Maa Nana Konadu was that vicious, nobody would follow her to court when Ochokobila NPP people send her to court. Her very non-political 31st December movement is not interested in taking up any school feeding jobs; they only want to empower the women of this country. If Aunty Naadu would stop distributing chocolate, the women of Prampram my hometown would be very happy, Uncle E.T Mensah would also be very delighted and for sure, Aunty Naadu would have succeeded in getting a core support base: just in case some disgruntled resident of the Avodire Link decides to take her to court for noise pollution in 2019 for example, droves of red beret wearing women would accompany her to Court 4. Jehovah Rapha be your guide in these tricky times and grant you grace to look cabinet in the face to say what someone used to say to his appointees “Gyae m’edwuma ma mi”.