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Opinions of Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Columnist: Appiah, Kofi

Nice cup of tea for Veep

In welcoming the NDC to take up the mantle of leadership of this Nation to restructure the country’s economy, the writer has taken cognizance of facts to refresh memories but the following cannot be left off the hook without mention. The featherweight scribe of the NDC, ‘General’ Mosquito Asiedu Nketia has been heard over and over again that after correcting their political mistakes from the sidelines, Ghanaians should expect much improved governance from the rank and file – Executive, Judiciary and the Legislature. Since Ghanaians have been asked to exercise restraint for another Father Xmas within their first 100 days that expires by the midnight of Thursday, April 16, 2009, believe you me that, the position of Chief Justice would never escape the age old Justice Kpegah to compensate for his charge on the NPP prior to the December 7, 2008 elections. Honestly, the Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, would have by now been booted out of office if she were a man. In view of the fact that she was appointed to that high office by the NPP government, there is virtually nothing she could do that would ever please the NDC from hair to toe. If I were her, by now I would start packing bag and baggage because since she has wined and dined with the NPP, ‘walahi’, she should never ever think her actions would please the incumbent government. Please start looking for other judicial appointments from some sister African states or try your luck with the Commonwealth, the African Union or the United Nations. Whatever happens, the government would want to find some little fault with this wonderful lady and sack her or disgrace her. They are capable of doing just that because they are unpredictable and who knows whether the Daily Guide versus Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni’s case - re causing financial loss to the State of Ghana. Even though the latter was a kingpin of the NDC; looking at the merits and demerits of the case, the Foreign Affairs minister never won. In view of this the political terrain makes it dicey for Her Ladyship’s continued stay at the pinnacle of Ghana’s judiciary. This particular loss to the government could well see the unceremonious exit of our celebrated madam. Madam, for your information, the speculation could well be that the NDC gurus must have been engaged in sleepless nights deliberating and discussing your issue at stake as to how they could get rid of you because they see you as an obstacle and a stumbling block in their nefarious scheme of affairs.


Within a matter of eight weeks, the Veep has trekked outside Ghana’s borders twice. How many will he make himself in 12 months? The previous two visits, it is understood, were undertaken by the Veep on behalf of HE Prez. Atta Mills, because we are reliably informed, he could not make it due3 to shorter notice or due to ill-health. Now that the Veep takes delight in receiving bouquet of flowers, one wonders when he will sit up to ponder over the million–dollar bet he placed with Ghanaians to scoop out the scrotum of President Alhaji Yahaya Jammeh, the Gambian Head of State, if he failed to give a credible answer – whether by resurrecting the 44 murdered Ghanaians in cold blood to life or compensating the bereaved families. Power sweet, they say, and power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely. He has forgotten entirely his thinking cap especially as his laptop was stolen when he first emplaned for the AU confab in Addis Ababa, he couldn’t have thought of anything better because he has lost all the available information with the theft of the laptop. When do Ghanaians actually hear from you as regards the innocent murdered people. Since you claim to have the credible facts and figures about the deceased and tried to use this as a bait to win the elections, the writer would also give you sleepless nights until you’re able to unravel the mystery surrounding this sordid incident to set our minds at peace. Not until you pursue this important issue to its logical conclusion, you will never have peaceful nights. Mr. Veep, did it just occur to you to raise that matter up when it was your turn to speak on behalf of Ghana? If not, why not? Did you forget to speak about it there only to recollect it on your return to Ghana and to brief the Italian Ambassador on the fate of another Ghanaian killed in Italy? Has he seen how sweet it is to be in the opposition to be giving the jabs all the time? Ghanaians want an explanation to this before the deadline of the 100 days honey-moon, otherwise, some of us will take the legal process to impeach you for the breach of confidence and mistrust.


The author would like you to know that before you settle down to set the government machinery in motion, there is another pertinent problem still cooking in far away Libya. Soon after both Excellencies took over the reins of government, the Libyan authorities fired a very powerful salvo at the doorstep of Ghana. From a radio commentary monitored on an Accra FM, there was the disclosure of a jail term of 25 years splashed on a 40 year old Ghanaian resident in Libya; and his offence, for receiving some bibles and other scripture literature through the post – fearing that this Christian would, one day, try to discreetly convert all the 5 million or so Libyan Muslims into Christianity. This delicate issue should not be the bread and butter for only the Veep but also the test case and special case study for the entire government to know the type of diplomacy our authorities would tackle this delicate matter. Since Mr. Veep is touted to be someone who would champion the cause of the ordinary man, it behoves on him to add this to the over crowded schedule at the presidency. Should you be unable to action this issue then Christians in this country would advise themselves as to the number of Qurans and other literature that arrive in the country for the Muslim community here to promote the Islamic religion in a truly predo -minant Christian country. The writer can sincerely say that Ghana’s 69% Christian population cannot be overridden by the 16% Muslims and so the earlier Bro. Muamar Q’athafi, the AU Chairman tries to let his government extradite that offending Ghanaian to cut short his sentence there and repatriated here to continue his jail term the better. If there were no other better excuse but only this flimsy one, then Mr. Veep, all of us expect you to act swiftly without any reasonable excuse to get this unlucky guy out of prison by consulting with the Jamarhiyya in the Accra Bureau without any trepidation.


Seriously speaking, there are credible information that reach Ghana to attest to the fact that more than 500 Ghanaians involved in drug trafficking have found themselves in jail in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. A couple of years ago, little was heard about them regarding the harsh treatment being meted out to them. Nobody seems to be happy with the kind of trouble that landed these wretched persons there in some of their hard core prisons but the faster the Ghanaian authorities sat down to jaw-jaw with their Thai counterparts, the better. If signs show that they’re trying to be stubborn, we could sort of apply sanctions to ban their rice importation and this could probably straighten them to respect our laws. Our governments should be seen to be pro-active and not to feel adamant and let things get out hand for our compatriots to continue to languish in the bestial jails of these wicked governments including elementary immigration laws that sent most of them to jail. The author does not know exactly whether we have an embassy in Thailand, but if not, we could channel our diplomatic plea via the Charge d’Affaires in Malaysia to arrange to cause the release of the suspected criminals to return home to continue with their jail terms. It is hopeful that Frank Benneh, one time diplomat in Switzerland is still continuing with his sentence in a Ghanaian prison. No doubt, all these people in question are bonafide Ghanaians and must be accorded due respect. These and the adamant and shameful stance of the unshakeable and obstinate Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni are the crucial subject matter that ought to attract the attention of the CJA and other bodies but not the negligible ones that have no bearing or significance. The Alhaji’s behavior is very nauseating. Ghanaians, where you? Its sad that many of us have short memories. Really if what is good for the goose is equally good for the gander, then, the government of Ghana should not back track to give a deaf ear to such crucial matters that find our compatriots as suffering the excruciating pains in the crowded prisons. It is gratifying to note that the Veep has held recently, a closed-door meeting with the Italian Authorities. While we expect more of such fruitful meetings to appreciate the government’s gesture, the unfortunate relatives would also curtail their evil deeds in foreign lands to lessen the burden of the government. The Vice President is hereby being urged to go the extra mile to fasten the negotiations with other African States such as Libya, The Gambia and South Africa to make their burdens lighter.


Since the Veep happens to be the third Northerner and the most luckiest of all to win the Veep slot for the NDC since the 2000 elections – Hon. Martin Amidu, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, and your good self, it actually behoves on you therefore that you try to co-exist with the Police Service. Perhaps, the Vice President has forgotten, but if not, this write up deems fit to remind him to sit up and recollect that while he embarked on his campaign tours, he was very often quoted as saying that the NDC led government would ensure they streamlined and restructured the Police Service to weed out the bad nuts. Meanwhile, however, this point of correction would help him in his arduous task. The writer is not oblivious that there aren’t bad nuts within the rank and file of the Service; but in trying to weed them out, he should first and foremost think about those who were given some wholesale transfers from the several illegal organs – the Presidential security detail, the 64 Battalion, informants and trusted persons who otherwise, enjoyed their living at the expense of the government to the Service, the CEPS, the Immigration, the Army, the Fire Service, the Prisons Service by the (P)NDC 1 Administration. It is hoped that His Excellency the Vice President will not open his mouth as wide as his trusted friend whose bombshell has sparked off some confusion in the Army. Just as he wants to expect a well polished police service with discipline, integrity with service as their hall mark, he will not be blinded to say anything detrimental to the effect that the last batch of police recruits enlisted by the Kufuor Administration be dismissed to further worsen the unemployment problem in the country.


Your Excellency, the author sincerely welcomes you to the hot seat your boss occupied some 12 years ago. In welcoming you to this distinguished seat, it could be of immense benefit to the NDC and the Ghanaian populace in general to know which particular person within the rank and file of your party who often trumpeted by his insinuating gestures that the Jubilee House would be quickly turned into a poultry farm as well as the Peduase Lodge into something of a sort in the event of an NDC victory. This sordid statement, until this publication, has neither been retracted by Ms. Hanna Tetteh Kpodah, the Minister for Trade – the Party’s Communications Director - nor by Messrs Koku Anyidoho (the last-minute lucky guy) and Mahama Ayariga the pre-election spokesman for the NDC flag-bearer and Presidential Spokesperson respectively. While these persons were trying to catch the eye of the president, truly, he never forsook them; he has equally decorated them with ministerial appointments as such. One such person whose appointment came as a shock was the vociferous Victor Smith; in all probability, everybody knew that he was to be made the P.R.O. for his elder brother, Lt.-Gen. J. H. Smith who now, serves as the Defence Minister in the Mills government. The writer demands an immediate rebuttal to that unguarded statement by an NDC top gun or activist, otherwise, immediately the newly constructed office complex becomes fully operational and the multitude of presidential staff and staffers move into it for work, all repeat all those who would find themselves there would be regarded as poultry chickens, ducks, ducklings, fowls, cockerels, broilers, pigs, cattle and such others even including the presidency because the vastness of the place could also cater for places as pigs’ sty, den for the lions, greener pasture for the cattle to graze et cetera.

KOFI APPIAH - 0277 122 909 email: