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Opinions of Thursday, 19 April 2018

Columnist: James Kofi Annan

Tackle issues head on, and stop pretending

There have been many issues this week that I have been angry about. The disgraceful deportation of some 50 fake Journalists is worthy of comment.

Last week we woke up to the news that more than 50 people who faked to be Journalists have been smuggled into Australia to cover the ongoing Commonwealth games. I am happy that the President has taken a decisive action to suspend all those public officers whose hands are smelling of any hints of involvement in the suspected racketeering process.

The smugglings of fake supporters during international tournaments and public official travels are not new, and it is one of the reasons why embassies of western countries do not trust Ghanaian visa applications.

We took hundreds of supporters to Brazil and in the end they became asylum seekers, claiming Ghana was at war with itself. We smuggled clear voices and ears onto our Deaf and Dump sporting team to Australia, and in the end, they began to sing praises to God, and clapped their ways into dancing.

The SSNIT software issue is another heart-breaking shameful scandal that has resurrected itself. Last year, it emerged that SSNIT had awarded a contract sum of $34million that somersaulted to $72million overnight. Very stinky stealing deals that is affecting our pension contributions, and eventually, you and I have to bear the cost of other people’s greed.

We work hard. We are forced to pay monthly SSNIT contributions so that we shall have dignified pension only for a few thieves to somersault with the money, and these are monsters who wheel their goats in the night, taking pride in their ill-acquired luxuries.

A lot of times I agree with the former President, Jerry Rawlings that we should begin to use our native gods to find the truth in our quest to retrieving our monies from those who have used buckets to fetch them. How can a contract worth $34million certainly run to become $72million?

I have seen a certain magnificent building springing up at the Airport Residential area, purported to be a SSNIT project. I boiled with rage when I saw it. Whoever decided to invest in such a venture would never have done so if the money was his. How are we going to recover our investment in a library project in this Ghana? Is the building going to be rented to government?

Have we not gotten to a stage where we should begin to take another look at this compulsory SSNIT contribution thing? Why should I be forced to contribute to an institution that I have no control over? They take my money and I cannot determine how much that money is worth and how that money is invested and some very questionable square pegs, get appointed onto some round holes and then they begin to miss-invest my money in such disgraceful manners.

These are some of the issues that are of burning character. Not this or that double salary allegations. I don’t, for one bit, agree with the charge of stealing levelled against the nine former John Mahama government Ministers. I will not have the time and space to go into the details of my disagreement but remember that none of my predictions in this column, has failed.

I predicted in this column that the majority of those suspects arrested in the case of the murder of Major Mahama were visibly innocent, and that most of them would be freed. Indeed, there are only 14 out of the more than 40 arrested suspects still being processed for trial. I predicted that it was wrong, the manner Koku Anyidoho was arrested and the charges preferred on him. I have predicted many things on this page that have all come to pass. This one too, take my word, it is a waste of our time.

And what did you make of Patapaa, and his One Corner? The One Corner song was never my favorite. I felt it was disgusting, publicly repugnant and an embarrassment to our culture, as a people.

But you did not say you were looking for a decent song, did you? Whether you cook it or you fry it or you roast it; however you treat that one corner song, it was the most popular song in Ghana in the year 2017. I will stretch it further to say, that, I doubt if there could be any song or if there has been any song in our history as popular as One Corner. This is a song that got the entire country sexing, just at the sound of its signature, dwiiii!

I guess my point is, the denial of Patapaa of the Most Popular Song of the Year in the VGMA award, is an unforgivable injustice that has been done to the poor Swedru neighbour of mine.

This is a song that broke all rules in this country, going international without any effort by anyone, including CNN. To the extent that some of the international news agencies reported that Ghana has had a new National Anthem.

Anyway, what did Moesha Boduong say? Moesha is reported to have told CNN’s Christiana Amanpour that she moves with men in order for the men to take care of her; rent, car, daily expenses and other financial stuff, and in return she offers sex so as to survive, even though she is aware that the men have wives and mistresses.

In my short life on this earth, I have refused to publicly speak about sex scandals which have hit public officials unless I am running riot on satire. I have refused to make any comment on anything that has to do with people’s private lives. For if the yardstick that is being used to crucify or praise people for their private sexual conducts are used on me, I am not sure I will fare better than those whose situations have become topical – for we all sin, but differently, and our different sins do not make ours more decent.

Moesha says she sleeps with men to take care of her financial needs. She spoke the truth; the truth that could have been told by many other women AND MEN several years ago, that is exactly what she has told us. But most importantly, Moesha told her own truth, her truth of what she does in private with her life (not your life), and perhaps, the truth of some of those who she knows who fall in her category of truth.

Moesha did not say all women depend on men, did she? She says SOME, including herself. Is that not true, that some women, and some men, depend on men and women for their daily subsistence? That you have never met any person in your life who fits this bill as described by Moesha?

A few weeks ago I was informed that my daughter, Ekua, had strayed into an unhealthy content on the internet. I knew immediately that I had to have a conversation with her. I began this conversation by rehearsing with her the names of the parts of the body and their functions. When we got to her private part, she said vagina, although we were having the conversation in Fante and Effutu. But I insisted that yes, the thing is called vagina in English, but it is also called toto (in Fante and Effutu), etw3 (in Fante and Effutu), and Nyim3n (in Effutu), and followed up to let her know that the opposite sex organs are called kotsi and ntohy3 – promoting our local language, not so?

I am sure you are not comfortable, right? Come to the village and you will know that these are the names that are still pronounced openly without shrouding them in any euphemistic terms. Let us learn to call spade a spade and stop running away from the truth. If we are all forthcoming, the Moesha way, we would not have had to live with these rots in our public institutions.