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Opinions of Friday, 17 October 2014

Columnist: Agyepong, Emmanuel

NPP funded AFAG, to destroy Spio- Garbrah & NDC

I deemed it a national call to join Ghanaians in condemning in no uncertain terms the recent publication by the Alliance for Accountable Government (AFAG), calling on the President not to swear in the new Minister of Trade & Industry, Dr. Ekwow Spio- Garbrah. The publication which seek to question the credibility and authority of parliament which has approved the Minister-designate is in bad taste for Ghana's young democracy.

What most Ghanaians have failed to know is that the Alliance for Accountable Government, an organization which has in recent years see nothing good happening in Ghana was founded by some young members of the New Patriotic Party with continuous funding from some executive members of the party. The group holding the false impression of usurping the powers of Ghana's legislative had recently also demanded President Mahama, a democratically elected President to step down.

Reading through their publication on Ghanaweb and other online sites demanding the President not to swear in Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah, I have realized that our country is steeped in mischief and unruliness, a naughtiness which has settled deep in our society. These insults and spurious fabrications contained in their statement to demean and to destroy the character and achievements of Dr. Spio- Garbrah, one of Africa's pre-eminent public servants as described by Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ekwow_Spio-Garbrah), will have the world laughing at Ghana if the media do not blacklist on the activities of this vindictive group to deter others from similar unpatriotic ventures. What is more shocking to the bones is labeling the first black and African to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organization in the 112-years history of the organization as a "block-headed" person. A person who came out top of 100 candidates including the then incumbent Chief Executive, Dr. David Souter, who is said to be holding PhDs from world-class universities like Oxford and Cambridge, 45 British, 10 Indians, five Canadians, seven Ugandans, six Botswanans, five South Africans, five Nigerians and nationals of other countries who all applied and from which five were shortlisted, according to a story in the Ghanaian Chronicle in 2003. The AFAG statement is preposterous and an indictment on our African continent.

I have also been informed through their description of Dr. Ekwow Spio Garbrah that, the so called AFAG hardly ever exist, and if it does, is just a formation of some people whose task is to execute a set agenda- to destroy the NDC and prominent people associated with it. Sitting at the vetting room on the 13th of August, with another CPP who traveled from KNUST together with me, I never heard Spio-Garbrah admitting to being repeated during his primary education. On the contrary, it is the Minority Leader who wondered, in one of his questions, whether Spio-Garbrah was ever repeated in primary school. To which Spio answered that rather he was “jumped a couple of times” It is therefore scandalous to hear from the Minority leader in parliament that Spio admitted to have been repeated a couple of times, leading AFAG to call him a blockhead.

I also did not hear from the Minority leader asking questions on Spio-Garbrah's age on entering secondary school, but he seems to have tried to do his own poor arithmetic based on the fact that Spio-Garbrah’s CV stated that he passed his A Level exams at age 16 and obtained a University of Ghana honours degree at age 19. These achievements are what seems to have bothered the Minority Leader and his henchmen, resulting in some rather irrelevant questions about where Spio bought his watch, hat, eye-glasses and others from, which has no bearing on our basic life as Ghanaians.

If AfAG wants to tell Ghanaians Spio- Garbrah is blocked-headed, have they checked his performance while as a student at Achimota School or the University of Ghana? Do block heads win prizes in Ghana’s top secondary schools or get distinctions in their Master’s degrees in leading American colleges? Have they also checked with Commonwealth to know of the achievements that Spio-Garbrah made during his tenure as Chief Executive Officer?. How can a blocked-headed person serve in major prestigious institutions across the globe such as the African Development Bank, International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group or UNESCO. and others?

It is now clear to draw a line that, the exposition of Spio-Garbrah at his vetting and the initiatives that he planned to bring into the Ministry of Trade & Industry is breeding panic in the New Patriotic Party as they see Spio-Garbrah as a key instigator and catalyst for growth and development of the economy. The laudable ideas brought forth by the new minister during his vetting has endeared him not only to his NDC sympathizers but also Ghanaians across the political divide.

This has led to fears in the NPP in that with Dr.Spio Garbrah in the cabinet, the NDC government looks stronger and more united considering the support base he has in the party's grassroot made up of especially of young people and women. What we political observers outside of the NDC see is that, Spio Garbrah is a link between the NDC party and many of its disenchanted members who have advocated for more quality in the Mahama administration. It is likely too that the NPP fears the potential of Spio-Garbrah to even attract some NPP members who are tired of all the in-fighting within that Party.

What seemed to be more alarming to the NPP is the recent declaration by President Mahama to establish two gold refineries to process and add value to the country's gold before exporting. Establishing industries to add value to our country's raw materials such as gold and cocoa dominated the initiatives that Dr. Spio- Garbrah proposed at the vetting and with the recent pronouncement of President Mahama in the US during his interaction with the Ghanaian community, the NPP led in parliament by Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and their appendages (AFAG) are already feeling the Spio-Garbrah effect and therefore have started the smear campaign to destroy him even before he takes seat at his office. Is it the Ghana we all want for our future generation? Is it the vision of nationalism that Nkrumah bequeathed us with? I bet my last blood, if Spio-Garbrah were to be NPP, the party wouldn't have been torn between Akuffo Addo and Alan Kyeremanten as his qualities and achievements are second to none in the entire New Patriotic Party. 

Why does the Minority leader have problems with Spio Garbrah including in his CV what he thinks are his personal achievements? Or would the Minority wish to borrow some of Dr Spio’s achievements to add to his own Curriculum Vitae of Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu so that the latter’s CV could also reach at least two (2)pages, since according to Wikipedia, Osei-Mensah Bonsu has not achieved anything except proposing the naming of one of the two blocks built behind Job 600 after the late Peter Ala Adjetey which was even opposed by my beloved CPP (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osei_Kyei_Mensah_Bonsu). If the Minority leader together with his AFAG has ever applied for any international job, they would have known better the weight of including personal achievements in one's CV.

I have listened to some recent radio interviews of an associate of Dr Spio-Garbrah, Kweku Ampah. I am sure many who have been told that Dr Spio is arrogant will also be shocked to note that, after serving in the high offices of distinguished international organizations, as ambassador to the USA & Mexico, cabinet minister for many years and as board member for South Africa Telekom, AngloGold Ashanti, Vodacom and others, Spio lived in a 2-bedroom outhouse for ten years after NDC lost power in 2001.

If this is not humility, honesty and modesty, I don’t know what is. So where is the arrogance? Or is it the failure of Spio-Garbrah to use his position to embezzle state funds while as a cabinet minister and ambassador, or engage in drug trafficking in order to live a flamboyant or ostentatious lifestyle that qualifies him as a boastful self-conceited person and not a team player?

What is the fuss even if Spio- Garbrah stated that he passed his common entrance at the age of 9 or A Level at 16? If the membership of AFAG are Ghanaians enough, they should now be informed that even we in the CPP are still researching on the actual date of birth of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah with many school of thoughts positing that Ghana's first President was not born on Tuesday ,September 21 , 1909 which is widely celebrated as his birthday but rather on Saturday, September 25,1909. Does it mean that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and his family, his children who are yet to put the debate to rest are all blocked-headed figures?

When I wrote a piece recently titled "Welcome on Board, Dr Spio Garbrah", I received very remarkable responses (http://www.myjoyonline.com/opinion/2014/July-25th/welcome-on-board-dr-ekwow-spio-garbrah.php). Hardly did those who gave me praises for my well-thought article know that I was welcoming the new Trade & Industry Minister not to the luxury of public office but rather the dirty game of Ghanaian politics, where the benchmark is to destroy his hard earned public image.

To Dr. Spio- Garbrah, the battle with the NPP has just began, the nation wreckers will come at you in thousand fold, but believe me, Ghanaians are with you and they shall be defeated. Again, "Welcome on Board, Spio Garbrah". Ghana wishes you well.

In the Service of Nkrumah, CPP and Mother Ghana!!!

Emmanuel Agyepong

CPP Cadet- KNUST

emmanuelagyepong001@gmail.com