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Opinions of Saturday, 2 January 2016

Columnist: Tse, Frederick K. Kofi

Snapshot 2015: The Year Of Goats, Chaos And Scandals. Part 3

In September, the gunman Charles Antwi, who sought to turn the whole republic into the chaos in his head, was released after proving to be a psychopath. The man almost wreak havoc in the country with his gun loaded with demonic bullets in the President’s church. And because George Boateng was not pleased with Charles Antwi’s failure to shoot down John Mahama (JM), he opted for democratic means to consummate the mischievous action which the whole universe knew would fail. But the NDC thought George Boateng, who is a youth organizer, is more psychopathic than the gunman as he promised to legalize wee.
The NPP continued in its game of chaos and this time it was about corruption in the party. It was alleged that some party executives were operating secret account and syphoning party funds. Now you wonder what they will to do to the state coffers when they win power. And though Akufo Addo is implicated in this mess, he said he is too old to steal Ghana’s money as if avarice fades when one hits seventy-two. Perhaps he is appealing to the gullible ones.
The biggest news in September, however was the judicial scandal which was exposed by Anas and Tiger Eye PI. With some respected judges taking goats, snails, cash and massage to avert justice, Anas has done Ghana proud by broadening our views on corruption; the canker is a Ghanaian delicacy if not a habit. The nauseating part is how some judges tried to use legal technicalities to prevent the airing of the “Ghana in the Eyes of God” video and the attempts of the shameless Justice Derry, who freed a drug baron for cash and goat, to sue everyone else except himself. The man was all over the place exercising legal gymnastics in a laughable futility.
Still on scandals, Hon. Afenyo markins, a corruption fighter in the NPP was caught on tape boasting about a bribe he had received to present a weak case in the ADB’s IPO. Since then the outspoken man has coiled himself into silence.
The Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA) embarked on a demonstration to mount pressure on the Electoral Commission (EC) for a new voter’s register but was met with police brutality leaving a demonstrator’s eye damaged. Gabby who was whipped like a small boy thought Ghana under Mahama is not a democracy. The government has implemented its free SHS policy as Mahama readies to seek another four year term. This became the main message of the NPP in its Rise and Build Tour: “John Mahama has stolen our free SHS policy”. Frankly, the thing about free SHS is appalling; it is not a policy we should be entertaining at this point in the national economy--it is for the lack of vision that our leaders are competing with this policy.
In October, Dr. Bawumia who had just arrived from Mecca claimed he prays for Mahama. Whether he prays for JM’s failure and subsequent defeat in 2016 or a disaster, no one can tell. In a country where virtually every action is influenced by a political motive, one cannot tell what a politician would pray for his opponent. Well, maybe he prays to Allah to change JM’s mind from thinking Ghana is a developed country because the number of people who drink ice water has increased.

The media got noisier again when parliament was indicted by Prof. Adei who said MPs are ‘glorified thieves’ who collect bribes for their girlfriends. The statement which incurred the wrath of MPs became an issue of contention, in that while members of the public debated in favour of Prof Adei’s allegation, the MPs demanded apology and went further to punch holes into the Professor’s academic credentials.
The NPP and LMVCA continued to mount pressure on the EC by getting ex-presidents on their side and also petitioning the UN on the same issue. But Koku Anyidoho thinks “NPP needs a new leader not a new register”.
October ended with NPP’s suspension of Afoko and his defiance as he popped up at the EC forum. The EC forum ended politically motivated arguments as Ghanaians were educated by the EC and civil society organizations. The NPP was however not enthused by the EC’s posture and so Sammy Awuku called a ”violent youth revolution” as if he has not learnt from the problems that are denting his party’s image.
NPPs ‘unity photo album’ which went viral on social media and even became a news headline was nothing to deter Afoko loyalists from staging a demonstration demanding the reinstatement of the suspended chairman. All of a sudden the picture of unity was destroyed by gory scenes until another life was lost in Kumasi.
The election year budget was read in November, the NPP called it dead goat budget and promised to bring an alternative budget but Dr. Bawumia ended up with propaganda instead of an alternative budget.
At this point the NDC’s parliamentary and presidential primaries which was replete with accusations of irregularities and bloated registers was at a crescendo as the young battle it out with the old. In the end, Sam George, the black sheep who had ‘a black eye’ in the process, emerged victorious over his father the Ningo Mugabe.
President Mahama was also endorsed albeit with almost 5% No Votes which the NDC attributed to many reasons. He campaigned on infrastructural development, took jibes at his critics here and there, particularly Dr. Bawumia, for calling him incompetent and introduced another word into Ghanaian politics—Opana. The scandals of the month were the DVLA Foto X and the GNPC ex-gratia chop chop.
The power barges docked on our shores and before the people of Ghana could heave a sigh of relief, the PURC hits them with new utility tariffs. The killer hikes were justified by government and energy experts as a necessary evil despite the TUC’s strong opposition of them.
In December, NPP organized an emergency conference to patch up holes they have dug for themselves as a result of violence and’ illegal’ suspension of Agyepong, Crabbe and Afoko. At the conference, they rehearsed corruption cases of the government and concluded that they have the solutions Ghana is looking for. Early on, President Mahama endorsed his Vice Candidate Mr. Amissah-Arthur, and also sent a message to Ghanaians to “test before they trust”. The president also gave a directive to all his appointees to stop unnecessary travels around the world. Doesn’t this seem too late? And is it not too late than never? I am only thinking aloud.
The Ameri and Bus branding scandals were the issues of the month. The SMARRTY bus branding scum is the most ridiculous thievery. Even a kid on first sight can spot corruption in that deal and I think the SMARRTY people have not been smart enough. So it just makes sense for those responsible to resign and that is what Dzifa Attivor has done.
The year has ended with the same old problems, nothing significant has changed. Generator remains the most needy and expensive employee of businesses. It has been a year of goats, elections, suspensions, demonstrations and strikes; acid-baths, failed promises and bloated registers.
As we go into the elections next year, I urge political parties to agree with Ayittey Powers that “what can come can come”—You either win or lose!

A happy new year!

Frederick K. Kofi Tse

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