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Opinions of Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Columnist: Akoto, Akwasi A. Afrifa

Edusei And Owusu Are Heroes; Kufour Is Vindicated.

By now statues and commemorate plaques should have been erected in honor of Edusei and Owusu, the owners of EO Group and the discoverers of Ghana’s oil.

By now multiple streets bearing their names, patriotic songs singing their praise and national tours should have been organized in celebration of our modern day Tetteh Quashies. Instead, Edusei and Owusu, until a few months ago, had been branded as public enemies and treated as such by an ungrateful nation led by an ungrateful and vindictive government.

For the past three years, the P-ndc has wasted millions of your money in persecuting and prosecuting the EO Group and by extension, the legacy of President Kufour. And after three years of conducting the most expensive witch hunt in the nation’s history, the P-ndc has finally cleared the EO Group of the charge of “stealing” the nation’s oil.

From the start government knew it had no case. The P-ndc knew it had no case even when it was promising Ghanaians on campaign trails that it had a case; just as it had promised Ghanaians that it “will jail them”…on the land issue, Ghana@50 etc

But their hatred for the successes of Kufour and all things Kufour; the lies they have told Ghanaians in order to win power; and the thought of living with the memory of failing to strike the mother lode – after 22 years of lackadaisical effort- were a much more powerful concoction than the thought of the inevitable shame they knew awaited them. Tragic, isn’t it? (Lovers of old fashion tragedy should take note) So tragic that a year after the US Attorney General’s office cleared the EO Group of any misdeeds, in its own $2.5 million investigation, the P-ndc still could not bring itself to put the matter to rest.... until now.

Yet the humiliation and harassment of the EO Group continue. A few days ago, Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), an economic think tank, released a statement which sought to cast EO Group in the same light as Mabel and Johnson, Amajaro, U.A.E based TAQA etc. ISODEC claims the EO Group, that has suffered a three year persecution, due to its alleged link to the opposition, has some how managed to bribe government officials to drop the case; just as the aforementioned foreign companies had successfully bribed P-ndc officials over the years.

In effect, Dr Manteaw, the think tank’s media coordinator, is saying that President Kufour- who had been accused of setting up 26 offshore companies in the Cayman Islands with EO Group as a front- has successfully bribed President Mills. Well, what can I say?

Naturally I suspect the fingerprints of some unsatisfied hawks within the administration all over ISODEC’s press conference. When they lost the Ghana@50 case, they said the then Attorney General, Betty Mould, was too cozy with NPP officials so they reshuffled her. Then when they continued to lose cases, their attention turned to judges, claiming all judges were corrupt and had been appointed by Kufour. Now they are saying the Moon and the Sun has traded places, hm.

But this smear tactic to discredit a hard won legal fight by the EO Group will not stick and smacks of desperation. We, therefore expect President Mills to call the hawks back into the nest. Furthermore we kindly advice the President to withdraw all cases he currently has against the NPP. He can’t continue to waste tax payers’ money chasing ghosts when none exist.

Rather the President should use the witch hunt's money to elevate Edusei and Owusu, Ghana’s own Lewis and Clark, our Watson and Crick cum Armstrong and Buzz, to the statuses of national heroes; Ghana’s “men of the century”. Edusei and Owusu posses the same qualities which separate geniuses from ordinary men: the ability to “see what has been hidden in plain sight”.

They deserve to be placed on the highest pedestal as beacons of perseverance, dedication, citizenship and most important, patriotism.

Their histories must forever be told to serve as inspiration for all Ghanaians now and yet to be born. President Kufour's efforts in the discovery of oil, on the other hand, are already written in gold in our history books.

Akwasi A. Afrifa Akoto