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Opinions of Sunday, 11 January 2015

Columnist: Prof. Lungu

Mr. Mahama's "Top 14 List of Divine Interventions"

The other day, we were astounded and sharply amused when we read that Mr. Mahama, the leader and President of Ghana was telling Ghanaians that it is through divine intervention that Ghana has escaped the Ebola virus. This statement, from a leader who penned a very sensible, fact-based, and policy-relevant article on HIV and Aids last year, on 23 May, titled "The Big Push to Defeat HIV & AIDS in Ghana", in the Huffington Post1

We were astounded and amused because "a divine intervention" testimonial on Ebola, a serious, earthly subject, is really not what we expect of a critically-minded person, least of all, the President of a Nation. Are we to surmise that "divine intervention" forsook others in West Africa because Ghana is so special in "divine's eyes"? Are we to conclude that Mr. Mahama knows for certain that were a single Ebola case to be introduced into Ghana, it will be a great disaster just like what is occurring in those other West African countries? (Note that Ebola was first reported in March of last year, 2014, and has thus far infected over 20,000 people, killing 8,153 West Africans as of the beginning of 2015, per the WHO). Or was Mr. Mahama bald-facedly patronizing what he sees as simple-minded Ghanaians, knowing that, compared to his 2014 essay on HIV & Aids, he would be laughed out of the United Nations were he to mutter those same words in New York during one of his many travels overseas.

ITEM: Lamentably, Mr. Mahama's statement introduces a totally unnecessary complication into the "war" against Ebola in West Africa. It trivializes the power of individuals and their agency to cause improvements with common sense, objective data, science, and serious hard work. More significant, the statement undermines the heroic effort of thousands of individuals, nurses, doctors, volunteers, donor Nations, etc., many of whom (a) may not even believe in Mr. Mahama's idiosyncratic "divine clutch", or (b) have absolutely no relation to Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea; but for their kindness, generosity, and respect for all human lives regardless of the parochial belief systems of the afflicted.

Therefore, we thought we would compile a Mr. Mahama "Top List of Divine Interventions" for the amusement and reading pleasure of readers and pundits on Ghanaweb and at large, arriving at 14 in the end. As a reader/pundit, you can add your own "Mr. Mahama Divine Intervention" in the comments section for this Ghanaweb article. Alternatively, you can select up to 5 from our list and rank them according to how you believe Mr. Mahama might rank them in order of "divine" criticality. (We will review all comments and provide the top 5 in a follow-up essay).

So, here they are, Mr. Mahama's "Top 14 List of Divine Interventions", approved and sanctioned for "simple-minded Ghana", the way we see it:

Mr. Mahama's Top 14 List of Divine Interventions

It is only through Divine Intervention that......

1. Liberian diplomat, Mr. Patrick Sawyer, who died of Ebola in Lagos, ultimately taking many Nigerian doctors and nurses with him, exited the aircraft in Lagos, not Accra, because Accra, Ghana, is special.

2. There is not enough water to power Akosombo Dam 100% of the time, Industry is thriving with power on reduced supply, Korle Bu Hospital in Accra gets by using salty water to refresh medical equipment, even as the perennial flooding "there" in Accra is easily managed by the Mayor of Accra and Ghana Army civil engineers, just like the US Army Corps of Engineers does for the United State of America.
3. The Dakar Motor Race Rally was relocated from Senegal to Latin America, instead of Ghana. But Ghana is better without the promotional advantages, promise of tourism, and wealth associated with the premiere world racing event.
4. Ghana is purring along beautifully without the Freedom of Information Bill (FOIB) promised by the NDC and my dear friend, Mr. Bagbin, six years and counting. And CHRAJ, with its distracted Chief Judge perched in the $5,000/month LVL Premiere Hotel Suite in Accra, knows that the FOIB has absolutely no possibility of greatly facilitating their mission's work in support of fairness, efficiency, transparency, and good governance for Ghanaians. To boot, Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) members and CHRAJ know that every individual Ghanaian, literate or not, employed or not, inside Ghana or not, Member of Parliament or not, anyone who wants to know what we are doing can go to Parliament in Accra to see how we are using loans and expending every Ghana cedi we are collecting.

5. Upon conclusion of each GYEEDA-diversionary National Sanitation Day (NSD), piles and heaps of thrash, garbage, and NDC GAP (Government Action Papers), fouled by deeply nauseating stench, are sighted on city streets mile-upon-mile. Then, the heaps are ever so slowly and passively returned to the perfectly decrepit or non existing gutters, culverts, and city sidewalks. The transfers, effected by free wind power and peoples' Charlie Watte sandals, are totally without cost to government, allowing over 200 GYEEDA-funded "Taxis" and other GYEEDA assets to still remain on the roads, and in very deserving private pockets and hands.

6. Ghana's KIA (Kotoka International Airport - not the Car) and their airport management team are unable to protect the runway from animals, birds, erosion, and drug traffickers. As a result, the Transport Minister acquired 8,000 acres of land and government is negotiating for an additional 8,000 acres for the new Accra airport. And a new Airline Plan, the Ghana International Airline Plan, is now prioritized to battle with private aviation interests, said Plan now on the Deputy Transport Minister's big table, awaiting signature-approval.
7. Ghanaians, and again Industry, survive One-Dumsor-to-Another-Dumsor because day light eventually arrives, and all political leaders worth their Big-Accra-Sea-Water-Grain-of-Salt have generators for Emergencies and Back-Ups.
8. Ghana is not Zimbabwe and the Cedi is getting stronger and stronger, even if Mugabe says there is only one road from KIA and every other leader in government, including Mr. Bagbin, are not the caliber of Nkrumah, Sekou Toure, Modibo Keita, or Abdel Nasser.

9. Children living outside Accra attend schools under trees and will enjoy nice SHS buildings free of charge, with enough competently trained and disciplined teachers to supervise their work and guide them to perfect their "brands" for "good jobs" when they get out of the shining institutes, even if the Universities and Polytechnics will have no rooms or vacancies for them.
10. The Accra-Kumasi Highway remains not as poorly executed, incomplete and dangerous, allowing the government to commence establishing the Western Region as the next Industrial Hub for Ghana, for processing timber, fish, foods, and wine (including Banku, Fufu, Tuo Safi, Apkele, Kenkey, and Millet for Pito).
11. Military-style Disaster Emergency Management Services are 100% ready, with the 24 Ghana Air Force aircraft, including 9 odd helicopters for the primary use of the Forces and all civilians in emergencies in Ghana. Therefore, Ghana has signed a contract, without a Ghana national training component, with EU/USA black-listed Russian arms dealer, Rosoboronexport, for Rosoboronexport to service helicopters for other entities not associated with Ghana.

12. Only about 20,000 former Chinese farmers, plumbers, electricians, and factory owners operate a mere 2,000 predatory illegal mines in old Gold Coast, from Oboasi to Dunkwa, to Hwidiem, and places in between, excavating Ghana's fertile soils for precious gold in exchange for paltry royalties for absent-minded and uncontrolled Nananom, and the Bui Dam, which itself was threatened before opening day, minus Bui City. So, with a magnanimous sense of duty, the Government of China is contributing exactly 0.09 US cents per each of its 1.357 billion citizens at home to the West African "Global Ebola Fund", in solidarity with other Nations, among them the UK and US, who are giving $5.62 and $1.81, respectively, for each of their caring citizens from London to Washington, DC.

13. Ghana has all the willing-and-ready physicians, doctors, and nurses Ghana needs to treat all medical emergencies, including Ebola and Cholera, with back-up ready personnel, being Ghanaians currently deployed in Sierra Leone fighting the disease over there, a situation that is still no under control.
14. Impact of Ebola on the Ghanaian economy is exactly $0.00 (ZERO) because there has not been a single case of Ebola detected in Ghana, even though (a) in very other part of the world Ebola is known as a dangerous disease "from West Africa", (b) many international tourists and Ghana nationals have suspended trips to West Africa and Ghana because of the "Ebola Tag/Tax", and (c) only a few "Ebola Treatment Centers", one in Wa, in particular, is infested with weeds, rodents, and bird droppings for lack of care and attention to business.

this New Year 2015!

So it goes, Ghana!

Prof. Lungu is Ghana-centered/Ghana-Proud. Prof Lungu is now based in Washington DC, USA. Brought to you courtesy© 8 Jan.15.