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Opinions of Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Columnist: Kyei-Mensah-Osei, Kofi

Step Forward, Sir “Greedy Bastard” Baby Ansabah!!!

Not too long ago, former President Rawlings referred to some individuals around President Mills as “greedy bastards.” When the former President introduced the above phrase into our political lexicon, many Ghanaians misunderstood him. Others thought he shouldn’t have used such harsh words to describe those he perceives as opportunists. Like vultures moving in circles round a carcass, these shameless “greedy bastards” are constantly circling one regime after another be they military or democratic, ready to pounce. To me though, the former President spoke with the benefit of hindsight and the foresight of a prophet. In my view, he was dead right with that description and for once, he has my unalloyed support. Indeed, our Forth Republican terrain is littered with many-a-shameless “greedy bastards” who must be exposed for what they are.

Rawlings’ Benefit of a Hindsight and Foresight of a Prophet

As stated elsewhere, when former President Rawlings described political opportunists with that phrase, he did so with the benefit of hindsight in that timely advice to his protégé, President Mills. Former President Rawlings knows the harm such people caused his beautiful Ghanaian dream from his days as Chairman of the PNDC and President of the Republic of Ghana during NDC1. Having had his fair share of the corrosive activities of these “greedy bastards”, I wouldn’t be far from the truth to say that he probably regrets having been taken for a ride by these same people hence, his timely advice. One needs not look too far to identify these “greedy bastards”. In fact they are everywhere and can be found across the social stratum of our country. Sadly for our generation, many-a-“greedy bastards” in our society today are self proclaimed opinion leaders, politicians, traditional rulers, journalists, etc. More worryingly, these creepy individuals whose sole interest is to reap where they’ve never sown are here to stay. Rawlings knows how they plagued his PNDC and NDC regimes. Former President Kuffour’s NPP government was stalked by many of them and President Mills will certainly have his fair share of them (if he hadn’t many of them already).

Characteristics of “greedy bastards”

There is no better description of “greedy bastards” than the following illustration: Readers may recall that not long ago, precisely in 2008 when the price of crude oil was at its highest ever in history ($147.00 per barrel), certain journalists, half-baked socialists and so-called social commentators parading as leaders of the mmobrowas demonstrated against the then government about “high prices of petroleum products” in the country. In tandem with then candidate Mills, these latter day saints made the prices of petroleum products a big campaign issue. As I write today, the international crude oil price per barrel (Brent) is $77.00 (slightly more than half the price of same during Kuffour’s presidency), yet Professor Mills’ government have increased the prices of petroleum prices three times in the past year alone; to almost the same prices as the same products were sold during Kuffour’s time. Interestingly, some of these half-baked socialists, so-called social commentators, self proclaimed opinion leaders, defenders of the mmobrowas and journalists; after going on a government sponsored trip to South Africa and being given $500.00 per diem each, are now hastily tripping over one another, hopping from one radio station to the other and from one TV station to another defending the government on that same “crime” they demonstrated against. They have no shame and that is “greedy bastards” for you! You see how a sponsored trip to South Africa with the accompanying per diem and ministerial appointments can change people’s mind on issues they demonstrated against just some few months ago? Let them put a spin on it for all I care but Massa; I dare say, they are all “greedy bastards” and they are a canker our infant democracy could do without. They are deceptive, opinionated, manipulative and selfish. Be they politicians, traditional rulers, self proclaimed opinion leaders or journalist, “greedy bastards” exhibit same traits. They all have the ability to somersault from one political ideology to the other with the skill and dexterity of a Chinese martial artiste. Secondly, they have this common and unenviable chameleonic ability to blend into their new environment. Lastly, “greedy bastards” can recycle themselves (thoughts, principles, beliefs and ideals) with the speed that will be the envy of even Usain Bolt. They usually go to any extent to please their new found masters to compensate for their sins and most importantly, to attain their aim of enriching themselves. I can bet you my last cedi that if KMA and AMA have the wherewithal to recycle our domestic waste with a fraction of the speed these “greedy bastards” possess, our cities would be rid of the filth and stench they’ve so much come to be associated with.

Gravy Train

“Greedy bastards” have only one aim; to milk the government of the day for their personal aggrandisement. They are liars who sow seeds of confusion into the body politic in an attempt to satisfy their insatiable debauchery and avarice. They jump from one political party to the other with the sole aim of enriching themselves. Governments of the day are their gravy trains and “greedy bastards” will do anything to get them. Believe me when I say “greedy bastards” would care less if the entire populace is reduced to hewers of wood and fetchers of water if that will help bring their dreams to reality. That is the extremity of their selfishness.

“Confessions of Baby Ansabah”

Quite recently, a certain Albert Sam, popularly referred to as Baby Ansabah has attained celebrity status for “confessing” to publishing fabricated stories against then candidate Mills in his fringe newspaper “Free Press” leading up to the 2008 general elections. Baby Ansabah’s apparent aim among other things was to cause “…damage to his political opponents especially then candidate Mills.” As expected, a lot of our brothers and sisters in the NDC have bitten the bait thrown by this “greedy bastard” called Baby Ansabah. Whilst we are at it, I will like readers to ponder over these questions: Would Baby Ansabah have “confessed” if Professor Mills had lost the elections?!? I do not think so. Perhaps he would have kept on lambasting Prof Mills in same alacrity with the hope of getting the opportunity to travel with the sitting president. Again, why would Baby Ansabah make his so-called “confession” only after a trip with President Mills to Trinidad and Tobago?!? Therein lies my gripe with Baby Ansabah. He’s had a full year to “confess to his sins”, yet he did not. How ironic that his so-called “confession” was only made after a return trip to T&T. Thirdly, why would Baby Ansabah juxtapose his “confession” with former President Kuffour’s failure to take him on some of the latter’s foreign trips?!? An obvious symptom of a “greedy bastard” isn’t it? He made his confession at the time he did his personal gains and not the common Ghanaian. Should we trust this slimy opportunist? The above and many unanswered questions have caused me serious apprehensions about Baby Ansabah’s “confessions”. For him to claim in his “confession” that he put his newspaper at the behest of the NPP and fabricated stories against Professor Mills to diminish the winning prospects of the latter but wasn’t offered the opportunity to travel with the former President smacks of greed and selfishness. His naivety at not realising that perhaps Former President Kuffour saw through his lies and deceits and decided to keep him at arms length when it came to who went with him on his foreign trips is even more childish. No coincidence that calls himself “Baby” then? My personal fear though is this: that if a trip with the President to Trinidad and Tobago can cause such monstrous “confessions”, then I shudder to think what else the Baby Ansabahs of today would have to tell us when they join the President on a trip to any of the G8 countries. Boy, I can’t wait!

Baby Ansabah Knighted

Baby Ansabah’s own admissions and the reasons he offered for his “confessions” after coming back from Trinidad and Tobago with the President puts him firmly in the bracket of the “greedy bastards” as propounded by Former President Rawlings. I guess the former President is even surprised at the speed with which Baby Ansabah has put flesh and blood in his “greedy bastard” theory. In truth, Baby Ansabah is a “greedy bastard” for publishing concocted stories against Professor Mills with the aim of gaining favours from Kuffour’s administration and he remains one for confessing only after being given an opportunity to travel with the President. For his unenviable achievement of exposing his evil and selfish journalistic intentions to Ghanaians, I join former President Rawlings to award him the knighthood of “GB” (Greedy Bastard) for disservice to journalism in Ghana. Would you please step forward now; “Sir Greedy Bastard Baby Ansabah”!

Kofi Kyei-Mensah-Osei