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Opinions of Friday, 26 April 2019

Columnist: Denis Andaban

Osafo Maafo's 'dirty ranting' is legendary

Osafo Maafo, Senior Minister Osafo Maafo, Senior Minister

Many are dumfounded about the statements of the senior minister of Ghana, Hon Osafo Maafo but for me, those comments from him do not surprise me at all because he is very consistent with unsavory comments. In the said statements, the senior minister sought to cajole people as an unjustifiably justification of why they relaxed the laws of Ghana to allow the Queen of galamsey Aisha Huang who is a Chinese nationalist to escape the hooks of the laws of our country.

Dishonorable Osafo Maafo ignorantly or may I say wickedly or arrogantly stated without equivocation, that they (government) compromised the laws of Ghana to free the notorious galamsey Queen, Aisha Huang, because of a certain sinohydro deal with China.

What makes the comments more annoying is the fact that the sinohydro loan isn't a gift. It is not free!! We are going to pay with interest. Our natural resources are being mortgaged as the resettlement of this loan.

Ghana officially entered into an agreement with China call a sinohydro deal. In this deal, Ghana is using its bauxite concession in exchange of 2billion dollars. The amount is to help the government of Ghana expand its infrastructure. One can ordinarily call this deal a barter trade system. Clearly, the deal is of mutual benefit to both countries, all things being equal. Some of us think that what our country Ghana is to benefit from this neocolonialist deal is just a peanut. With all of these, Maafo and his government still thinks that Ghana should be a lawless country for the Chinese? This is absolutely nonsensical!

For me as an individual, Dishonorable Osafo Maafo has raised two fundamental issues.

Firstly, his statement meant that foreigners are above the laws of this country. It is only Ghanaian illegal miners who engage in the activity to survive who must be arrested and jailed, whose equipments must be confiscated and burnt, who must be shot and killed but as long as the Akufo Addo led government remains poised at raising some loans from China, the Chinese nationalists must be treated specially. In other words, Chinese criminals in Ghana must remain untouchable even when they break the laws of this country.

Thinking and thinking over these strange happenings in this country, the questions that came to mind are; is this government now selling our laws for pittance from foreigners? Is it also another meaning of the Ghana beyond aid mantra? Is the government not interested in personal aggrandizement instead of protecting the laws of Ghana or defending the constitution of the Ghana in Republic?

Again, the senior minister sought to tell us that the so called fight against galamsey was only a public deception or and purely discriminatory. No wonder some government officials were caught red handed being engaged in corruption even when they were tasked to spearhead the fight again galamsey. The senior minister's comment corroborates the corruption scandal by operation vanguard because it does appear to me that the fight against illegal mining was a syndicated scheme by government to loot and share. Perhaps the media coalition against illegal mining that started the crusade against illegal mining would have done better but for the political opportunism demonstrated by this government that has led us to where we are.

The dishonorable Osafo Maafo is known to be highly discriminatory. Ahead of the 2016 elections, he was caught on tape to have made very unsavory comments that bordered on tribalism. Such a tribal bigot who was rewarded by Nana Akufo Addo should have been handling himself as a senior minister but he talks like a serial caller even when he might hold the truth.

In the first place, many had considered his appointment as superfluous and needless. After appointing over hundred ministers, what could have been the defined role of a minister you call senior minister? He has virtually no significant defined role so he goes about ranting any how!

Unfortunately, he is being treated with kid gloves, perhaps, because he is untouchable so far as this administration is concerned. Any serious president would have sacked this redundant minister since long. He is useless and will be the architect of the downfall of an already struggling political regime like this NPP government in the hands of Nana Akufo Addo.

During Maafos vetting in 2017, he promised that he was going to flex his muscles over other ministers. Now he is not only flexing his muscles over ministers who he believes are under him, he is rather arrogantly flexing his muscles over the entire nation, insulting us, irritating us, discriminating against us, undermining us, and embarrassing us internationally yet the person with the appointing authority is mute and helpless. Is the senior minister holding the destiny of the NPP government in his hands that the president fears to fire him?

One thing is becoming crystal clear that the loud silence of the president over the matter is an endorsement of the ugly and irritating statements of the senior minister. That also constitutes disrespect to the constitution of Ghana that gives him, the president, the mandate to preside over the people of Ghana. A president that is a long standing lawyer should not act this way. This is very shameful and disappointing!! This flagrant disregard for the laws of the country by government itself, which supposed to be the umbrella law enforcement body, is very strange.

Mr. President, don't sell our laws for money. We will prefer to be where we are with our enviable human dignity and international respect than becoming slaves to foreigners because we want to secure loans and other forms of aids from them. This is sickening!!

We the citizens of this country are watching and hope that the senior minister would not be cleared by the president like he (the president) has done to other ministers who misbehaved in the past. Yes!! Mr. President, don't clear him. He goofed. Nobody forced him to make those silly comments whether same is the position of your entire government or not.

The NPP government particularly the president is very consistent with the platitude "Ghana beyond Aid." Why are we doing this to our country? That you preach virtues and practice vice?

Ghanaians should not sit down for this visionless government to reduce governance to cheap populism, throwing dust into the eyes of citizenry and raping the laws of the country for parochial political gains whilst unemployment continue to escalate, cost of living continue to skyrocket, increasing insecurity, increasing housing deficit, increasing educational infrastructural deficit whilst our public debt stock continue to balloon.

Elsewhere, the executive arm of government would have resigned en bloc for compromising the laws of the country just to get foreign aid. It is a betrayal of our constitutional dispensation. Such betrayal should not come from the government. You still have ministers who are being paid the tax I struggle to pay every day and month, defending this impunity with alacrity. Are we living under a curse?

What wrong have the people of Ghana committed by voting for a political party they believe can contribute to the future prospects of this country only for it to consider foreign aids very important than our laws?

The moral society, civil society groups, political parties and individuals must break their loud silence on this seeming unending brazen disrespect for the laws of the country. Our silence emboldens these self-centered politicians who think that they alone own Ghana.

Enough of this nonsense!!!!

May the Almighty God and the gods of our great ancestors save this country from neo-colonialism.

Denis Andaban