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Opinions of Monday, 1 August 2016

Columnist: James Kofi Annan

Simpa Panyin, Kwesi Yankah, Opana and matters arising

A couple of weeks ago I started the Simpa Panyin column with the Daily Guide newspaper. Last week I concluded discussions with Ghanaweb to have Simpa Panyin published on their networks too.

The second short at Simpa was published on Ghanaweb last week, and I thought you should have the published introductory article.

The Simpa Panyin column will be very critical and inspiring, but it will also include humor, satire, and informative. I will be writing this column on politics, Lifestyle, youth, petroleum and romance. I will write on virtually anything Simpa Panyin will ask me to write on.

Growing up I was heavily influenced by the column, “Woes of Kwetriot”, written by Professor Kwesi Yankah, the current Vice Chancellor of the Central University. That man was a pain in my ribs. He was the reason I did not miss any copy of the Saturday Mirror Newspaper. He was prolific, and he churned out quality piece of writing week after week. Kwesi Yankah was the god of the pen! So don’t be surprised if I begin to refer to Jerry John Rawlings as His Jerryship.

I will maintain my personal style of choosing very controversial and sometimes sexy titles, and please don’t expect always that my titles will match the content. I usually write in the night, and I choose my titles whenever somebody tickles me, especially when that tickle lands me in a wrong mood.

I will be very objective as usual, and I will continue to be non partisan. But I will not spare any public office holder who steals money. I will not spare anyone who speaks evil of Winneba Secondary School, unless you wish to take away a difficult headmistress.

For instance, I will not allow Nii Armah Ashitey to bully Zenator Rawlings, and I will not allow General Mosquito to wear his wife’s dress again. I will not allow anyone to drive a Ford vehicle from Burkina Faso to Ghana again.

If you promise that there will be one factory for each District in Ghana, I will make sure you are not going to install one Knicker-knicker and claim to have fulfilled your promise, no! One factory must be one factory, and blenders cannot be counted.

I will not allow Alhaji Mahammud Bawumia to use the word “Kaakaamotobi” to describe Ghana’s economy. He will scare investors, I don’t like that. A none “Kaakaamotobi” economy should be that which has consistent stability in the macroeconomic environment, and if he fails, I should be able to point out to him, that he is failing, without his boys categorizing me into an opposition. No, Simpa Panyin will not agree.

Before the birth of Simpa Panyin, I told you some time ago that we went to bed after the last year June 3 Circle flood disaster, and that we will come back to praise ourselves on those who died. You remember?

We did exactly that. We had a gorgeous durbar at Circle to lay wreaths to insult the dead, then we praised ourselves for stopping floods in Accra, only for us to import canoes to transport drowning souls to safety in the midst of another flood at the same location where the previous flood had occurred, and now that the rains have paused, we have gone back to sleep again!

You see why I started keeping my beard on? It prevents people from seeing your month when you are lying, and that is why most mayors will leave their beards broomm!! Kojo Bonsu should have known this. As a mayor, if you want to be crown as a Mayor of Mayors, keep your beards, and keep promising that there will be no more traditional flaws, and thereafter the president will join you to celebrate mediocrity.

And there is one thing I have left out. All those who are currently stealing public funds, please steal as much as you can. All those who are doing shoddy jobs, especially the contractors who are constructing roads with two weeks warranty, do all you can. Buy sheep and tell us they are cows, we will take them bleooow.

And all those opposition people who are promising please keep promising. And as you promise make sure that all your members and sympathizers know that you really mean your promises. Free this, free that. Am still remembering that 200 secondary school unfulfilled promise, and I’m keeping a tally chart of the new accounting promises.

I don’t know who is going to win this year’s election. It depends on whether there will be one million from Kumasi or 50% from the Eastern Corridor. But I know that the race is between Opana and Opanana, although Papa Kwesi Nduom looks the more organized.

I don’t want anyone to brand me NDC or NPP next year. So please tell your people, especially those currently creating, looting and sharing with sharp teeth, and those who are hungry and are warming up for power with the intention to loot and share, don’t say I did not warn you. Simpa Panyin will gather good punches, and will hit hard.

In all of these I will be solely responsible for the content of my articles. So if there are errors, inaccuracies in any of my writings, if there are any perceived libels, please don’t go attacking Ghanaweb or Daily Guide or any other network. Address your issues with me lawfully, through my email only, and if you wish to take me to court, do so with alacrity.

People should know that sometimes it’s just difficult to write. The issues become too many, that as you write one, the others interfere with your thoughts, impeding journalistic flow.

For instance I had at least five front page issues to write about this week. Top on my list is a front page story carried by the Daily Graphic of Saturday July 16, 2016, which reported the rescue of five children through a collaborative effort of the Ghana Police Service and my organization Challenging Heights.

A 46 year old man sold four of his children for GHC500.

While trying to scoop a story out of the above, a group known as Social Democratic Forum who are aligned with the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), were reported to have accused Rawlings of being tribalistic.

The leaders of the group, Manan Mustapha and Alhassan Issahaku, accused Rawlings of hating Northerners, and according to them when Rawlings was in power, he only cared for and assembled himself with Ewes. They went to the extent of describing Rawlings as a loose Cannon, a canker, a liability, lonely, sad and that he is a desperate man who has lost his mind and needs to be expunged from the party.

So I asked myself, all these for one person? NDC members spewing all these vituperations about Ex President Jerry John Rawlings? Simpa Panyin where are you?

You see, this is what Simpa Panyin hates, verbal diarrhea, and children with such sharp tongues! Why would you resort to such personal attacks on someone who is not only the founder of your party, but also a former president of Ghana?

At least I know it was Jerry Rawlings who promoted the northern smock, even to the international stage. Ibrahim Adam, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, the current president John Dramani Mahama, and nearly a quarter of all Rawlings’ appointees were Northerners.

A few months ago when the NDC was celebrating its 24th anniversary, the president was quoted as saying “I John Dramani Mahama, I have been very fortunate to have cut my political teeth under your tutelage and supervision and I will forever be grateful”, referring to Rawlings.

At the same program the Majority Leader in Parliament, Alban Bagbin, who is also from Northern Ghana, is reported to have told former President Jerry John Rawlings, that “what is in our hearts, what we think about you, even if we are not able to translate it to make you more comfortable, you live day in and day out in our hearts and minds, without you, we don’t know where we would have been”.

So when did these sharp teeth start sprouting?

Anyway, I missed Daddy Lumba. I have my all-time Lumba favorite, “Ankwanoma”, and I play it virtually every day. That song is spiritual, and truly inspiring. I wish every Ghanaian will have the opportunity to listen to it, and to imbibe the lyrics.

It is full of wisdom, and enduring patriotism. The lyrics is translated like this “a lonely bird, I will sacrifice my soul, I will do what I can, I will go when it is time”.

Lumba I love you. Even though the state has not given you the highest Order of the Star of Volta, you are one in my heart. You live everyday in my spirit, and in my soul. I pray for God’s total covering over you.

Writer's e-mail: jameskofiannan@gmail.com