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Opinions of Monday, 4 March 2013

Columnist: Appiah, Kofi

Jack Of All Trades, Is Master Of Nothing -Part II

Please continue this part 2 from the last part that has somewhat enlightened your scope. This second part promises to be mouth-watering and will entreat you to squeeze some precious time and finish as the said address was nothing short of an Ananse story that the Nigerian economy cannot even support.

EXPIRED CHEMICALS

Does the president know that the water Ghanaians use has been treated with expired chemicals? Sometime last week, Ghanaians were awoken to hear that the chemicals used to purify and treat the water that most people use at home for domestic purposes had all expired. And in a face-saving alacrity, somebody, not an ‘idiot’ this time, was on air to rattle the usual PR gimmicks on several FM radio stations to soften the hard stance of the populace. Since there is little or atom of truth in every rumour mongering in Ghana, if that wasn’t true, it wouldn’t gain currency and spread like wildfire. Why, why, why is it that almost everything that this government wants to tackle has one way or the other, gone haywire or backfired? Is it a curse or what? Could it be the Esau-Jacob scenario in the scriptures? As a result of the laxity of the needed energy for increased productivity by these few littered factories and industries, the only option left and available for the management of these companies was to reduce their staff force and compound the already unemployment problems facing the millions of youth in the system. To add insult to injury, Ghanaians were yet given another surprise package with the fuel price increases on Sunday, February 17, to throw the ever-escalating problems of the Ghanaian out of gear. Do we term this unfortunate situation to idiocy or what? Do we have any place to go and live as Ghanaian citizens at all other than the Ghana that we know of? Certainly no! Or how do we solve this million-dollar puzzle? Now that the late history professor emeritus, Albert Adu Boahen, who could have helped solve this puzzle, was dead and gone, how could he be resurrected to help solve this Ghanaian Sphinx? The least talked about irregular water supply and shortages in the cities and urban areas, the much better it would lighten the stress and anger of the ultimate consumers. It is no wonder the prevalence of too much typhoid, malaria, fever and all unexpected diseases and mountains of epidemics very common and associated with us today must have been the unhygienic preparation and treatment of the source of drinking water.

CASTLES IN THE AIR

Instead of arresting the housing accommodation and workers’ transport problems, short flying distances like Cape Coast (8 minutes), Koforidua (6 minutes), and Ho (possibly, 9 minutes), would rather be provided with aero -dromes. Does he have real economic advisers who periodically sit him down to lecture him as to the cost of constructing modern aerodromes/airports instead of providing good roads, hospitals, schools and provision of better transport facilities for majority of the people? Since all the regional capitals have at least decent football pitches, what he should have said was to use helicopters to embark on commercial flights to commute passengers to and fro the national capital and not the rhetoric that he outpoured. The SADA that should open up the three northern regions to engage as many as 500 thousand workers has still become a white elephant. For the three or so years Dr. Sule Gariba was the chief executive (I stand for correction if he were not the one and render my unqualified apologies), the value is still the same. Nothing has been achieved so far except, the shea-butter business that could probably be a bread winning business for many women. Now that this indefatigable personality has become the chief policy analyst at the presidency, hopefully, Ghanaians will certainly see the good stuff he is made of. The national airlines will be re-activated so that Ghanaians will once more laugh better instead of relying on foreign flights to generate revenues for their respective economies. The Nkrumah Circle will once again, be re=designed with a new facelift to have another interchange befitting the capital city and also the gateway to Africa. But all said and done, will the Ghanaian have attitudinal change or continue to be in the ‘I don’t-carism’ state or what? All these are fantastic gestures, but, one would say, how come? Not even the American government with all its billions of dollars could foot the bill or have a resounding budget to facilitate these 20 years development plan budget in four years while others remain relegated to the background.

ELEPHANT AND CASTLES

Instead of arresting the pressing needs of Ghanaians, the president chose to speak on or about what Napoleon could not do for his people. He must have been tutored to lecture Ghanaians as to what he had in mind for the next four years if he was sort of retained to power in 2016 if luck smiled at him but for what he gesticulated, trust me, he has lost the confidence of most electorates. The old adage that says,’ wo de w’ano do nnwere a, ebi nnwo wo da’ to wit, it is easier said than done or more literally, you can tell tales to little kids that you once built castles where elephants and other big animals were being reared just to create sensation to buy the attention of some trouble-making children in that locality. That is exactly what the president did to cool off Ghanaians whose temperature was more than the boiling point stage. Has anybody travelled to and fro the Tema Motorway? Has any government official ever travelled that distance to and fro of late? Has anybody responsible realized the ‘coal tar’ patches on the motorway? And if the answer is yes, what action did that person take or tried to recommend to the sector minister to so do to catch the ears of the president for prompt action? Travelling on the motorway nowadays was like working in an underground mine in South Africa region where hundreds of miners died in drones. It is an eyesore. Someone sensible should sit whoever is concerned up and shut up your ‘beaks! We are damn tired of such mediocrity and blame game! Enough of the ‘ye be dii keke’. If care is not taken, the motorway will record hundreds of accidents before someone sat up. Why are we behaving as if there was no sensible personality in the country? What kind of ‘nonsense’ is that? Why is it that almost all men have turned into women and now behave as if they do not possess the two masculine balls in between their thighs? Silly isn’t it? Ghanaians should stand up in unison and boycott the payment of the tolls at the booths on the motorway until the right thing was done? Joe Gidisu, who was the cause and still is the cause, must be the first victim to be axed from government because, he must be the first person to apologize to the users of the motorway for the shit he has done on the stretch of distance. He is the cause because he is the current caretaker minister, and not until he was either changed, relocated of even axed, I would advise that the users of the motorway should not, repeat not, pay the toll booth fares/fees. As a sign of positive defiance, I entreat all users of the motorway to boycott forthwith the payment of the tool booth fees so as to teach the insensitive government led by the Mahama-Amissah-Arthur some ‘common sense’. He is an apology and an eyesore and should bow his head in S H A M E as he was a square peg in a round hole. How many Ghanaians agree with me that he was only a square peg in round hole? Where is that BMW 720 series he was alleged to have been bribed with? Did he go for it from the Castle after the sudden demise of the late president or where is the vehicle now?

CAMPAIGN PROMISES GALORE

According to Prez. John Mahama, all the remaining regional capitals without airports will, in the first term of his presidency, be provided with airports. Earlier, soon after his arrival from a trip he made to Turkey, Ghanaians were informed that the Turkish Government, had agreed to support and provide some loan facility to enable us construct an unprecedented ultra modern international airport at Prampram, near Tema to make nonsense of the existing Kotoka airport. That is a welcome gesture but one would wonder whether Ghana’s contribution would not be a bonus of collateral with the same oil that had already been collateralized for the $3bn. previously received from China. Meanwhile, however, does the president know that, as at now, aviation fuel or Jet A1 fuel for use by all, or most aircraft that operate to and fro our airports, is lifted by fuel tankers by road from Lome, Togo, to enable the fuel bowsers fill the ‘starving’ aircraft. Only God knows when this exercise will last. Has the Excellency, President Mahama, bothered to know in the first place, why, as at now, the TOR has become a white elephant. Furthermore, the president was quoted as saying that in addition to the above, more than 200 decent hospitals will be built or constructed through -out the country to enhance the Better Ghana Agenda as had been promised the populace in the 2012 electioneering campaign. The rest are roads and leading the road network infrastructure was the Tetteh Quarshie- Adenta stretch that connects commuters from the city centre to Koforidua via Aburi; Somanya via Dodowa to Akosombo. The others were the Nsawam-Suhum-Apedwa 40 kilometer stretch, the Achimota-Ofankor, that had been left unattended to on the express instructions of the beleaguered Tony Aidoo, otherwise, how come that the very road linking Ghana and the Sahelian states of Burkina, Mali, Togo as well as 6 regions of Ghana namely, Eastern, Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo and the three northern regions, except any embittered government with naivety that would leave this wonderful and commercially viable project to rot or deterioration. If the commercial/private motor users of this road were to quantify the enormous amount of money they have over these fours spent or gone to waste by way of lost or spoilt spare parts they have replaced, it will be unprecedented. Since the president was emphatically silent on the Kumasi Sofoline modern interchange that would beautify the Kumasi Metropolis in its entity, the rest should be left for the masses to judge for themselves.

FACE-SAVING

As a face-saving strategy, the president tried to please the residents in and around the metropolis and the region who had got time to glue to their radio and television sets that his government was now in a position to build the Kumasi Military Hospital. Hmm. May be, many people have forgotten about this new dimension. This hospital project should have been operational by now if the powers that be had not been petty about the location of the complex. With all powers and autonomy in the hands of JM had all the powers to do it or complete it as he himself told the whole world that his late boss gave him plenary powers to perform the functions of a president. What then, actually prevented him from pursuing that agenda as it is alleged the Egyptian Government had already given the Government of Ghana loan for this project during the Kufuor era but could not take off due to loss of power. One would have thought that he never re-visited the subject or mentioned it at all since the money had been provided. Was Tony Aidoo again the brain behind the still-born nature of the project? Or did the president want his kinsman, Hon. Mark Woyongo, as the new Minister of Defence instead of the outgoing Lt.-General Smith to cut sod for the commencement of that ‘gargantuan’ project hence the feet-dragging? Well, we are yet to see and/or witness the latest development. Why does the president worry himself about new, and fresh housing accommodation for the military and other security personnel whilst more that 10 ten thousand or so of such facilities that could accommodate about half of their population had reached either roofing stage or lintel level for completion by the Kufuor Administration but had been left idle in ruins to rot or become the new haven for both squatters and drug addicts? Is it chop, chop or what? Someone should tell the writer in plain language why the continued mess and mediocrity in solving this simple non-partisan riddle titled, the ‘Oedipus’? Wonders, they say, will never end and truly will never end in Ghana till the end of time. For the past 6 weeks, Ghana has been uplifting aviation Jet A1 fuel from Togo. The rate at which Ghana, with all her richness, human and natural resources incomparable with many African countries, continues to bluff and pride as the gateway to Africa angers her immediate eastern neighbor, Togo, has compelled them to raise red flag to further compound our problems. Latest information reaching this junketing reporter indicates that the suppliers have now decided to worsen our plight by asking our drivers to travel further to Benin for the fuel uplift. And to add insult to injury, news or rumour that is reliably doing the rounds, according to some of the fuel tanker drivers is that Benin too, as a Francophone solidarity, has advised the Ghanaian fuel dealers to go to Nigeria for their uplifts since Ghana will, sooner than later undoubtedly, deplete their reserves. Did anybody hear him comment about the aviation fuel at all? Certainly not! Did his economic team of advisers consult with him before the NPA increased the prices of fuel products? Does he know that Ghana’s total debt Gh?350bn (60% of which was contracted by the NDC – 2009 – 2012, excluding the $3bn Chinese loan without any meaningful and significant milestone or projects to show) shared amongst our population of 25 million leaves everyone with some Gh?1,340.00 i.e. ?13.4 million per person to pay? Does SOA think he could hand-carry his arrogance that helped him usurp the powers of his ministers at the ministry to the House of Parliament to also usurp the leadership of the House? Rt.-Hon. Speaker, please sit up, otherwise you will be reduced to nothing. Trust me. He is a very dangerous guy.

HUMOUR

Has the ‘incongruous, illogical and irresponsible’ MP realized his folly in the parliament house and on the floor of that house? Who did he think he was fooling or de-skinning? Does he still think he was in the Stone Age era or in a dreamland when he arrogantly poured vituperations, invectives and innuendos to discerning Ghanaians as if he wasn’t born and bred? Is he day-dreaming like the previous years when he tried to usurp the powers of sector ministers Zita Okaikwei, Johnny Akologo Tia and Fritz Baffour and thinks he could do similar things in parliament where he has to understudy the rudiments of parliamentary procedures?

For God’s sake, any EC returning/presiding officer who, wickedly decides to offer his/her services in support of the nefarious activities orchestrated by the EC in the ongoing Supreme Court proceedings should collectively with all their families be visited by the seven generational plagues that were heaped on the Egyptians during Moses times. Those who may prove stubborn and stiff neck to defy all odds should also be struck dead by lightning and/or die mysterious deaths through fatal motor accidents to serve greedy persons a lesson. Does Afari Djan still maintain that every, repeat every Ghanaian, who voted in the last elections, actually did so with the help of the biometric facility and has got the effrontery to submit same to the SC? If there is/are any other EC official(s) who is/are in support of this claim, the Good Lord should just spare their lives but only to let such persons become deaf and dumb till the end of their lives journey on earth like Zechariah of old.

By: kofiappiah2002@yahoo.com

Tel: 0277 122 909