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Opinions of Friday, 1 January 2016

Columnist: Tse, Frederick K. Kofi

Snapshot 2015: The Year Of Goats, Chaos And Scandals. Part 2

After setting a new date to end the power crisis, the president admonished businesses to be smart: Smart businesses do not shut down as a result of Dumsor, he said during this year’s May Day parade. Unfortunately the message was not welcome; the president goofed by only reminding Ghanaians of Bawumia’s mockery of the government in March this year, when he said the government is made up of “smart borrowers” and “smart drunkards”. The president received a lot of bashing as he incurred the wrath of many including Lydia Forson who referred to him as a “school kid who is always last in class” in an open letter. The president’s boys in defending him embarked on insults spree, clearing everyone that raised a voice in protest of the unfortunate speech which failed to recognize the efforts of the business community under the duress of energy shortfalls.
Freddy Blay’s first coup d’état started taking shape in May when he organized a meeting at a time Afoko was in Europe and Kwabena Agyepong was busily eating fufu in Kumasi. That’s Ghana! While the government is struggling to govern, the opposition is engulfed in another episode of reckless power-play. The NPP is strangled by a tangled heap of unrelated suspicions which make them focus on egos and factions rather than demonstrating leadership as a ready opposition party. And on the same issues of chaos in the NPP, Kennedy Agyapong, one of the party’s financiers said “NPP leaders are educated but lacks common sense”.
The much publicized #DumsorMustStop vigil which faced fierce opposition from paranoid NDC minions, confused Ga chiefs and the police, was finally held as if these so-called celebrities were still acting a movie with candles and lanterns. I discussed the #DumsorMustStop vigil with some friends and this is what one of them had to say, “The vigil should have been organized when Castro drowned last year as they are all celebrities”. But news came out later that the vigil was sponsored by the NPP.
Government slapped the republic with 9% fuel price hike at a time when fuel prices in the international market are at an all-time low and Moses Asaga believes we deserve such a hike. He compared fuel prices in Germany to prices in Ghana and veered off into arguments of international import parity but failed to notice that the currency and standard of living in both countries are in opposite directions.
Talking about direction, the NPP continues to fight itself in the direction of the depreciating Cedi until Adams Mahama, the upper east regional chair of the party, was showered with acid and died. Meanwhile, Kennedy Agyapong thinks the Kufour camp is responsible for the nefarious act, which was to open the door for Afoko and Agyepong’s exit. In fact, the chaos in NPP trended the whole month from accusations to impeachments and to the arrest of Greggory Afoko.

With two contrastingly immiscible events occurring at the same time and almost in the same area, the June 3rd disaster at circle beats all other disasters since nineteen-cho-boi. But for the political blame game of who should have acted, the disaster would have united all towards a common goal of mourning and sober reflection. It came out that the rhetoric that follows floods in Accra has been the same since 1968. But Rawlings still thinks he now needs a bulldozer to solve a problem he failed to deal with in his 19 year rule.
Relating to the June 3rd disaster, the mayor of Accra gained a sudden courage to go after the squatters in Sodom and Gomorrah, demolishing shanty structures that made up the slam. The mayor remained resolute in his bid to get the city cleared that he did not care whether some ministers of state and probably his own party were affected.
Also in June was the brouhaha about Ebola vaccine trial in the Volta region. The ministry of health smuggled the vaccine into the region, induced rural folks with money and mobile phones in order to vaccinate them .This did not go down well with parliament and the people of the region as some asked that the vaccine be trialed on government officials.
The NPP’s parliamentary primary saw the youth deposing a lot of experienced politicians amidst accusations of vote buying and violence. The miracle however, was the defeat of one incumbent MP by a 22 year old law student. One other surprise was Philip Addison’s abysmal defeat and his accusation against the party of irregularities and vote rigging: an offence he hurled at the 2013 election petition against the electoral commission (EC). There were also many scandals in June; the WAEC examination leakage, the Trade Ministry’s DIC and Bankswitch scandals and another police recruitment scum made the list. The sad thing though is that those responsible did not come out to explain the details of this scandals. June ended with the appointment of a new EC boss, Charlotte Osei whose competence was unanimously endorsed by all political parties.
On Republic Day, Dr. Afari Gyan received the highest honour of the state after serving the country amidst various criticisms from both sides of the political divide. The irony is that the septuagenarian was praised by all as the best thing the ever happened to Ghana’s democracy. In fact, he has broken the Ghanaian record of receiving praises in one’s grave.
Then came the Talensi by-election which was the first election after Afari Gyan’s exit. Spending by both parties was huge with the NDC constructing fast-roads overnight. Rhetoric was on the high as President Mahama on the one hand described the election as “a dress rehearsal” and Akufo Addo on the other hand said “Talensi election will test NPP, NDC popularity”; “it will show that the NPP is on the move”. In the end popularity was declared by the people so Akufo Addo had moved to the UK to test his popularity. Meanwhile violence and the irresponsible comment of the interior minister who said “‘violence begets violence” must be condemned here as I have done in a previous write-up.
July was a month of apologies too, as Black Rasta and Prof. Doodoo apologizing to parliament for their respective wee and ignorant comments. Mrs Amissar-Arthur also apologized for his chalk goof. And the joke of the year was Akua Donkor’s trip with the President to Italy---the biggest was Akua Donkor’s claim of being the president’s advisor… Mercy!
August was the month of strikes having had medical doctors, government pharmacists and UTAG embarked on strike. As the pressure wore on the Dead Goat finally resurrected and spoke; “I am a living goat not a dead goat”.
The doctors’ strike though illegal, outlasted all others as both government and the medics played ball with precious lives. Both side traded lies, insults and threats at the expense of tax paying patients. The doctors checked out of the altruistic borders of their profession for greed, thanks to Stan Dogbe who leaked the outrageous demands of the medics
August faded with presidential press corps’ accident which revived the debate on the president’s convoy and how badly journalists are treated at the presidency, but the debate did not last because of Bawumia’s ‘Togolese bomb’.
Dr. Bawumia, the pivot of the NPP’s 2016 campaign, alleged that the electoral rolls of some four constituencies in the Volta region are bloated with over 76,000 Togolese. His only prove was some questionable ‘pink register’ which the EC says is insufficient evidence. Dr. Bawumia also promised to bring further particulars from Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast to make a stronger case probably because he knew the first one was cherry-picked. After a few attempts to trivialize the issue, the NDC came out that while the NPP goes to establish branches in Europe, the NDC occupies itself with establishing branches in West Africa.

To be continued…
Frederick K. Kofi Tse

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