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Opinions of Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Columnist: Abaare, Cletus

My Strange Visit To Ashamain MCE (I)

By Cletus Abaare
Sometime last week, I broke an oath I took few years back never to visit the offices of the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly and paid an unwilling visit to the new MCE of the municipality, Hon Ibrahim Baidoo.

I heard about him before that day of my visitation. I knew about him before he became the Municipal Chief Executive. Yes, I knew that the youngman has been very instrumental to the development agenda of Ashaiman.

I also heard that he fought so hard for the then Ashaiman which was part of the Adentan Municipality to become a Municipality on its own. Mouth wetting, isn’t it? So you can comfortably dream of new days of development for Ashaiman.

But, hey! Pull your brakes a little and pray hard that such dreams shouldn’t turned out to be Dr Mahmudu Bawumiah in the witness box of Justice Atuguba dreaming that at the end court proceedings, Akufo-Addo will emerge as the President of Ghana with him sitting in a his Vice.

Want to know my reasons why I took that strange oath? They are simple; the late president John Evans Atta Mills did a great dis-service to the people of Ashaiman. Yes. They have been for the pass years avowed true and loyal supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and all the party led by the late president could give them as a reward was to appoint a visionless, directionless and empty-headed person as a municipal Chief Executive for the area.

Don’t begrudge me for my fierce hatred for such an angel of disaster that befell residents of the area. Any responsible and development oriented resident of Ashaiman will bear witness to me. I don’t care about your self-seeking interest or personal admiration for that disgrace of a politician who came for nothing but to further sink Ashaiman into the mud.

I was maddened, day in day out, that such a pompous and a myopic person was allowed to bleed the municipality to a dying state for four years by same government to grow to the side of a thin-god. Yeap! He never respected anyone and bothered not about the development of the municipality that soared from bad to worst. He became an angry lion scaring everybody away from his office including the media who were wary of his snobbish attitude to the people of Ashaiman.

Enough of him, comrades. For the thought of such a man is a bad omen and has the potency of rupturing my veins. Let’s get back to the young MCE, the reason I broke my long standing oath to visit the municipality.

I got to his office and was denied entry momentarily. It is not easy to see these bigmen called politicians in those positions. Yes. The questions of appointments and whether he wants to see you in his office are traditional and usual business of their secretaries.

The secretary after a little bluff allowed me in. Yes. I got into his office and found him buried behind some documents. He is simple and simply offered me a seat. For water to quench my thirst, I waited in vain.

But admittedly, he is, of course, a pleasant person to interrelate with. A young man vowing to bring face-lifting development to the municipality and to help sanitise the area which has gained notoriety in criminal activities in the greater Accra region.

Thumps up for that, my good friend. However, only remember that the game of trying to play the clean sheet politics has always been an expensive venture and could earn you a number of bad wishers. Though, you are not fierce admirer of Akufo-Addo, you can rely on ‘the battle is the Lord’s’ syndrome. Yeap! It works.

Purpose of my visitation to the Hon. MCE? Simple, to find out whether the people of Ashaiman could now hope of development within the municipality. Yes, whether the forgotten Ashaiman would now register its name in the development calendar of Ghana.
The integrity of the new young MCE, the wide spread allegations of dishonesty and discrimination that the former MCE reduced the municipality to.

I am talking about the ‘I don’t carism attitude that the people of Ashaiman witnessed during the tenure of late Mills’ appointed MCE. I am talking about the very reluctant manner that this government is treating issues of development in the municipality. But I refused to talk to him about how people now bring out tore handkerchiefs from their pockets whenever they dip their hands in.

I also refused to remind him of what his President; John Mahama told the people of Ghana during his campaigns that when he became the president, people including me would not dip our searching hands deep to the bottoms of our pockets for money but that the money will be closer to their hands than ever.

But expectedly, he mounted a strong defense for the administration of his president making it looked too prepared to solve the problems that have engulfed the country and calling on residents of his municipality to keep faith in his government. “This government is not reneging on its promise of making Ghana a better place to live in”. The MCE told me in very passionate voice.

All correct Sir, Mr Honourable MCE, your residents and Ghanaians are wrong on their perceptions about the government. And that his President being tagged as Joshua will take Ghana and Ghanaians to the promiseland as it is said in history according to the Bible, so he expected me to say in response. Don’t you think? Huh?

His defense and mouth-wetting speech sent me home, slapping my head many times with the hard back of my dry hand; perhaps, saying; I and people bitterly complaining out there were in the kumawood movie industry and needed to slow down in our faithless faith in the government that is so ready to satisfy everybody in the country.

But is that the case? That all will soon be well with the people of Ghana and that of the long abandoned residents of the MCE’s municipality? No, no, no, not at all. Not this time around Mr. Honourable MCE. I and your residents refuse to agree to be deceived. Such sweet talks have already been done.

Though, the people of Ashaiman did not get such sugar-coated speeches from your predecessor who had no morality in talking but we got that from your past administration. Let the work be done. Yeap! Hit the ground running as many residents claim you are doing.

I mean not to be harsh towards you my good friend, no not at all. I won’t be but methinks the young Chief Executive seemed to be too innocent about the reluctance of his government to give attention to the people of Ashaiman.

Year in, year out, Ashaiman remain the worst developed municipality. Contracts awarded to contractors by your predecessor were only a mockery to the people of Ashaiman. Those contractors will come and go the same day. They rather ended causing pains and danger to the people of area.

The Hon. MCE simply tried so hard to please me and the people of Ashaiman that there are brighter days ahead without actually taking the bull by the horns. For a hot minded person like me, it all sounded empty and unbelievable, even if that of his position was to please my hungry veins.

What use is greeting to a dying body? Ashaiman has been murdered long before your arrival. As to if you have some magical powers to revive it, is yet shrouded in darkness. Don’t bother about my position here; I am only expressing my democratic right. Yes, our democracy has now grown, grown to an extent where an ordinary citizen can openly insult our Executive President and walk around with some pride, all in the name of the strange maturing democracy. The irony of it, is that everybody has lost sight of the true meaning of maturing and matured.

We are now practicing a democratic system where a president who is not in charge of elections can all of a sudden become a magician thief of our country’s election ballots. Sits at the Flagstaff House and steals all the ballots cast by sun beaten electorate in his favour. Yeap! But that is a mystery I will not try to unravel without somebody hovering a sharp knife around my neck. I will leave that out for now.

My fellow hungry reader, I humbly request that you take a calabash of pito, put your thinking cap on and come along with me. Hear me out with the Hon. MCE of Ashaiman and whether the municipality can smile under him.

“Mr Hon MCE, shall we begin with the glaring issue of abandonment of the Ashaiman municipality by previous governments and the position of your government in that regard? How exactly do you and your government intend to help Ashaiman and its long abandoned residents”?

A lot of residents say, your government, led by H. E John Mahama has done very little for the area and are redefining their political alienation to the NDC come 2016. Are these the true reflections of the happenstances or the people are in a hasty move?” I teased out a kind of question before the unarguably hardworking and handsome young MCE.

Persuaded that I was not trying to push him around or prove to him that I am much aware of the undeveloped nature of the area and the long abandonment of his residents by previous government including his, Hon Ibrahim Baidoo showed me a smile that resembled hope. “Oh! I don’t believe in talking, I believe in actions. I have started a lot of developmental projects in the area. And very soon my people will feel the better Ghana Agenda by the government. We are not going to renege on our promises, my brother”.

He landed simply. Very interesting. Isn’t it, comrades? I did not expect something beyond this from the MCE whom I’m told is passionate about his area and playing the double position of defending his government at all times. Not at all. I expected nothing but same words from him and he gave me same. Seen?
Stay tuned for part 2