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Opinions of Friday, 10 October 2014

Columnist: Fred Joojo Yankah - New York

RE: Persecution of Ashanti businessmen must stop!

Tribalists, racialists, and ethnically prejudiced people never seem to amaze modern scientific and computer age minds. The common thing amongst these tribalists is flawed judgment, prejudice, malice, extremely biased representation and outlook of everything around them.

Logic eludes their mind, and in the attempt to justify their awkward prejudicial view of life and their environment, they spew lots of untruths. Their weapon is to choose and pick what supports their narrow view, lace it with deceit with no aorta of conscience. Their motivation is to accept, feel and act as a victim, when nobody seems to victimize them.

At the very least thing, they wail and cry. If wailing and crying will make them look stupid to the outside world, they do so in the comfort of their family, the family they’ve poisoned over the years which also think and act like them.

Tribalists tell their kids which tribe not to marry or make friends from. The least aggressive ones will tell their children which tribe to only befriend or marry from. Their children have no choice but to listen to them and become like them. They end up with lots of missed opportunities because of the unscientific, flawed, disoriented and inconsistently foolish criteria they use in making decisions.

Research has shown that these tribalists perform very poorly in school, ostensibly due to their narrow view on things that happen around them, their inability to investigate their surrounds thoroughly and objectively and their lazy attitude towards finding causes and solutions to problems, where they attribute the cause of their non-performance, economic condition, predicament, persecution or otherwise to tribe, ethnicity and race.

Some of these tribal bigots are big politicians, religious leaders, and celebrated pastors. You have many of them with Bibles under their armpit, purportedly doing God’s work. The Judgment day we await.

I had a friend I’ll call Joe, who seized to be my friend for obvious reasons. Joe went for an interview with 6 other people. He was the only black amongst the interviewees. He was two years short of the experience needed for the job, but was still called up for an interview. He didn’t make it at the interview and attributed the fact that he wasn’t chosen for the job was because he was black.

“They didn’t give me the job because I’m black” was the hymn. He tried and did everything within his mental power to put aside the fact that, others he interviewed with had more experience than him, in addition to many erroneous mistakes he made at the interview.

Joe will be pulled over by a cop for speeding. Somehow, Joe will maintain that he was pulled over because he’s black. Joe will apply for a benefit which normally takes a week to process. On the eighth day, he’ll claim his application is being delayed because he’s black, irrespective of the fact that, there’s news about a processing backlog which may add some few days to the processing time. Every time something didn’t go well, or a decision wasn’t made in his favor, it was because he was black. That’s how all kinds of segregators including tribalists, racists and ethnically prejudiced people think.

It’s a shame for the article “Persecution of Ashanti businessmen must stop!” to be given the audience of being published, not because of its bellicose and ethnically inciting posture, but also because of its worthlessness and emptiness.

I will waste a few minutes of my time to address the disgraceful and intellectually defunct tribal allegations espoused in that article. The tribalistic Writer, in one breath talks about a political smear campaign against NPP businessmen, whilst the main focus of his article talks about a smear campaign against Ashanti businessmen.

Considering the fact that all the names he mentioned as people whose businesses were allegedly being targeted are NPP party members and financiers, why didn’t he address the issue as a political one, but decided to go tribal? Perhaps it’s because he’s a tribalist with a flawed and skewed mind towards tribal prejudice, for which everything has to be seen through the ethnic eye, even in the presence of better alternatives.

Let’s address some of these allegations. People who call themselves businessmen are more liable for investigation and persecution than working professionals and civil servants, all over the world. That has got nothing to do with tribe. A jailed thief will most likely have the profession of a businessman than a Doctor, or a Lawyer.

17% of businessmen in China end up not just being prosecuted, but end up in jail. And the number cuts across to other developed countries. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with investigating a so-called businessman. Only in Ghana will the IRS or BNI be persecuted and attacked for inviting or investigating someone who lives way beyond his means.

After the 1979 coup, many of these so-called businessmen who owned nothing two years before, but managed to own as much as thirteen houses in Accra and beyond were investigated. Those who couldn’t tell how they managed to come by those properties in that short period of time, together with their links to the perceived corrupt Acheampong Government had their properties confiscated.

Those who think there was something wrong with that can live with their conscience. But some of us believe Ghanaians will cry for the same thing to be done today if need be.

If for instance, Mahama's friend who had nothing a year ago, now boasts of many mansions and cars is investigated, and fails to tell Investigators how he came by his money in less than 2 years, common sense should give Investigators an answer to how he came by his booty.

This is done in every democratic and serious country. Thievery is not business, that’s not to say businessmen are thieves. There’s nothing wrong with Kessben being investigated for money laundering. Individuals are investigated in Ghana, the US and UK every single day, which is a norm.

Probably because those investigated in Ghana are not politicians or have any political backing, it doesn’t become news. Maybe the Writer should make a check at the BNI for info on which individuals from different tribes and companies were investigated last year alone.

Being investigated doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong. It just means something seems not to be done right, for which investigators must avail themselves to. That’s their job. Ghanaians want to live and do whatever they want without regulations and laws, yet they want Ghana to be fully developed and economically sound like the US. It won’t happen.

The ethnically prejudiced Writer should go to the US and periodically send huge sums of money to foreign accounts and see if the IRS will not come investigating him. He should then accuse the IRS of being investigated because he’s an Ashanti. Even remittance companies like WesternUnion and Moneygram make queries, blocks accounts and request for documents when they realize huge periodic transfers of funds from one person or account to another.

You have people blaming political opponents for the demise of their companies. The question to ask is how many Ashanti businesses have been thriving and still thriving from the 1980s till date? Why didn’t the Writer mention those businesses? Why did Hackman Agyemang of the NPP sell his business after 2 years in opposition? Was it because he was targeted and persecuted too?

Or because he received perks when his Government was in power which he didn’t receive in opposition? Was it a persecution by an NDC government of an Ashanti businessman which ended in collapse of his company? Didn’t Kwabena Darko’s farm thrive under Rawlings administration? Was Kwabena Darko a real threat to the NDC for his business to be targeted and collapsed?

Does the Writer realize the fact under Rawlings regime, there was a boost in local production of chicken where 90% of the chicken we consumed were produced locally? Does he realize that more people being urged and supported to go into poultry production had a toll on the profits Darko farms made when his business was more of a monopoly?

Did the Writer tell us what exactly was done against Darko farms for his empire to collapse? No. Also, common basic economics should have advised the writer that due to high rates of cheap chicken imports, local chicken production became unprofitable, for which many people lost their businesses, not only Darko farms.

For the writers information, Appiah Menkah was arrested and prosecuted for an alleged coup d’etat against the PNDC Government; just like Rawlings himself was arrested and prosecuted for same, as well as many others from different tribes including Richard Quarshigah and Nyarho Tamakloe.

He wasn’t arrested and prosecuted because he was an Ashanti businessman. Was it a persecution of an Ashanti businessman when Appiah Menkah's son Andrew Menkah was investigated by the BNI at the hospital where he was releasing 22 pellets of cocaine he had swallowed? Maybe the BNI shouldn’t have investigated him because he’s an Ashanti and a businessman like his father.

When the EO (from Edusei and Owusu) Group made deals to own 3.5% stake (initially estimated at $200 million) of our oil reserves, did the Writer expect Government to look on whilst Ghanaians protested, even considering the fact that our laws clearly state that every resource found on the land belongs to the state. I can imagine Ghanaians knowing that 3.5% of their oil proceeds from oil goes to 2 individuals, with one of them being a Chairman of the NPP and a former flag-bearer aspirant and Ambassador appointee of H.E. J. A. Kuffuor .

If the EO Group were targeted and persecuted for no tangible reason, why didn’t they go to court to have their grievances addressed, considering the fact NPP members won all their court cases in the first 4 years of the NDC Government. If Tetteh Quarshie’s (who brought cocoa to Ghana) family demands 3.5% stake in all cocoa produced in Ghana, will the Writer protest it?

And maybe the most hardened drug kingpin, George Adu Bonsu’s Benjilo factory shouldn’t have been closed down in 1991 after being caught and jailed for drug trafficking because he’s an Ashanti and his indulgence in drugs should have been pardoned. Funny enough, all his assets which were confiscated, like is done in every country were returned back to him under the NPP, some with interest. Maybe his assets shouldn’t have been confiscated in the first place.

These tribalists with twisted logic and a shameful character and thinking shouldn’t be allowed to taint our moral fabric. Their brains are so twisted that they accuse Rawlings of killing Ashantis, without acknowledging the fact that, Boakye Gyan, and Ashanti was the real head of the AFRC, whose signature was a requirement for any execution, and for which reason Boakye Gyan’s date of birth was the date fixed for the 1979 elections.

Businesses all over the world thrive and collapse every day. Many businesses owned by people from other tribes in Ghana collapse too, but these individuals are matured enough to seek, find and know the cause of the collapse of their business, other than basing it on fruitless and illogical reason of tribal persecution.

Rawlings rule had many Ashantis in powerful positions. High positions like Attorney General, Finance Minister, BOG Governor, Education Minister, Foreign Affairs Minister weren’t occupied by his native Ewe people, like some tribal idiots will like to make us believe. That’s what made him win 9 out of 10 regions in both elections. An Ashanti ruled the national kitty for close to a decade. To claim Ashantis were side-lined in Rawlings administration is not just deceitful, but wicked and evil.

Maybe powerful people under Rawlings administration like P.V. Obeng, Kwabena Duffuor, Lt Col E. K. T. Donkoh, Kwame Peprah, Kwame Danso Boafo, J.H. Owusu Acheampong, Nana Kwasi Agyeman, Colonel Osei-Wusu, Steve Obimpeh, Owuraku Amofa, K.K. Acheampong, Totobi Quakyi, Dr Christine Amoako-Nuamah, Nana Paddy Acheampong, Isaac Adjei-Mensah, Vida Yeboah, Samuel Nuamah Donkor, Ohene Agyekum, Kobena Fosu, Asuanko-Ntomo Atakora, D.S Boateng, Kwabena Fosu, David Amankwaa, Rear Admiral Owusu-Ansah, just to mention very very few, have escaped the Writer. Did the hundreds of Ashantis in Rawlings Government also target and persecute Ashanti businessmen? Or Rawlings did the targeting and persecution alone?

Shameful tribalists will not even want to consider the fact that Rawlings wife is an Ashanti, and Rawlings, at anytime will allow his children to marry from any tribe in Ghana, unlike the tribalists who demand that their kids marry or befriend people from specific tribes. For Christ’s sake, the Best man at Rawlings wedding was an Ashanti. And Rawlings current and possibly best friend is Herbert Mensah, an Ashanti.

And these tribalists want us to believe Ashanti businesses failed under Rawlings. Worldwide, 8 out of 10 businesses fail, a reason why children are rather advised to go to school than linger around and become so-called “businessmen”.

Hundreds of businesses owned by Ashantis triumphed under the Rawlings administration. Considering the fact that 8 out of 10 companies collapse all over the world, narrowly attributing the collapse of a business in Ghana to tribe and ethnicity without looking at the main cause is not only shameful, but extremely backward and colloquial.

Since the Writer likes to indulge in tribal machinations, he should do his own investigations about businesses which started under the PNDC/NDC. He’ll realize that 60% of businesses which triumphed under the NDC belonged to Ashantis. Maybe the Writer will realize his tribal assertions and believe that businesses owned by Ashantis were collapsed are extremely flawed.

Maybe the Writer should also investigate companies which collapsed in the same era, where he’ll also realize that not only Ashanti businesses collapse, but businesses owned by people from different tribes, just likes businesses in America, Russia and Nigeria also collapse. The Writer should also investigate which companies collapsed under his pro-Ashanti NPP. He’ll realize most of the collapsed businesses were also owned by Ashantis.

Finally, the Writer should take a look at the GYEEDA rot, and he’ll find out how an Ashanti businessman Joseph Siaw Agyepong together with Roland Agambire 'stole' and are still keeping over $50 million of tax-payers money. Maybe he’ll demand Agambire’s prosecution but not Agyepong, because Agyepong is an Ashanti and prosecuting him will mean targeting Ashanti businessmen. Maybe that will also inform the Writer that, Ashanti businessmen under President Mahama are also enjoying in business and those who steal in the name of “businessman” are also at it.

Perhaps he should enquire from Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng , the courtesies and support he received from the then President Rawlings for the establishment of the Cardio Center, considering the fact that he was a founding member of the NPP and an Ashanti. The list could go on and on and on. Ghanaian should close their ears to these tribal bigots who are inclined to read tribal meanings into everything.

Let’s learn to look at the broader picture than to attribute everything to tribe, ethnicity and religion. The beautiful thing is that, whilst the tribalists are bitter and hurting from their artificial and vague reasons, and are praying the world comes to an end, those they fight their non-existent wars with live, laugh, enjoy and work hard amongst each other to make the world a better place for all. God bless you!!!