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Opinions of Thursday, 17 November 2011

Columnist: Appiah, Kofi

The Destiny Of N.P.P. And Ghanaians

Is In Your Hands, But … …

Once upon a time there lived a man with two sons, the younger one was wayward and the elder one was home-bred. He was very supportive in every aspect and prepared to take advice and be groomed for any future endeavour. This young man was admired by his parents as well as all and sundry and subsequently became the envy of his playmates. This old-man was very wealthy and had all that it takes to be rich. As if nature would have it, it was not long that this wayward son, whether by stroke of accident, bad friends or personal instincts, sooner than later, confronted the father for portion of the wealth for him to travel for greener pastures. The story explicitly states that it was the younger son who approached the father for his bit to travel and make life worthwhile.

Experience, they say, is always the best teacher. The father did not previously discuss this subject of wealth-sharing with the wife so this confrontation for portion of his wealth became a shocker to them. However, this rich father did not deny his son but consented because he knew that whatever he gave him would not last long judging from experience and wisdom. And as if it had been pre-destined or ordained, when his share of wealth was handed to him, he bade farewell and set off. If we turn our attention to the biblical context of the ‘Prodigal Son’ as captured in the book of Luke 15: 25 – 32, there is virtually nothing that all Christians worldwide need to be told about this sentimental story. Biblical accounts even suggest that while this wayward son was fed by the father free, there were times that he had to struggle in his new abode with the pigs while feeding them as caretaker. To secure his daily bread, he always relied on the pigs ‘dirty food’ and perhaps, the crumbs from his master’s table if any. Although it was from grace to grass, he knew he could have been fired by his new employer for illegally fighting his way for food from the pigs’ sty.


Permit me to use this scenario with particular reference to the prevailing circumstances in Ghana today. This nation Ghana abounds with all the potential natural and human resources available. The 2008 General Elections have come to pass with the NDC as victors; thanks to shameful and incorrigible Agyenim Boateng who shouted hoarse from the roof tops of Radio Gold in Accra and called the shots that fellow NDC members and well wishers should marshal every available weapon and gather at the Electoral Commission headquarters and be prepared for the onslaught against the NPP. Within minutes after the radio announcement that caused more fear and serious panic to the State, than ever before, the unexpected and unthinkable cudgels, broken bottles, khebab knives, clubs, bows and arrows wielded by expert throwers, spears, machetes and including all weapons of mass destruction (as if the E.C. office was part of Iraq or Libya), were commandeered to besiege that office. The infamous ‘field marshal’ for that barbaric expeditious action as far as the whole wide world knows was venomous Asiedu Nketia after his infamous ’17 Thieves’ drama. The other irony of it all was the insult to injury. The unprofessional manner the Ghana Police seem to perform their duties suggest they want to become the third force political party in Ghana. Since the NDC took over power in January 2009, neither the daylight slaughter of political opponents who fell as casualties at Agbobloshie market in Accra, under the command of DCOP Rose Atenga Bio, the Chereponi bye election that NDC mysteriously won by strange circumstances amidst gunshots by pro-NDC forces, the illegal incarceration of some NPP loyalists in the Tamale metropolis still languishing in Tamale prison/police custody without prosecution and justifica -tion, the self-proclaimed ‘jihad’ by the embattled Baba Jamal before, during and after the Akwatia bye elections, the uncouth manner blood-thirsty Anita de Souza, the uncontrollable national women organizer for the ruling NDC drove her car through crowd and caused mayhem at the Atiwa bye election; the stampede that resulted at the ‘Kawo kudi’ park between NPP sympathizers and the trigger-happy BNI zoombis whose crude method of crowd maintenance/handling caused the abrupt end of Maikankan when word went round that Hon. Asamoah Boateng had been arrested by them; the constant frustration and terrorism unleashed by Kobby Acheampong and Ludwig Hlodze of the ‘kookoo ase kuraase ni’ and the ‘who-born-dog’ fame, both of which have kept terrorizing poor and indefensible officers and their spouses; and to-date, rather, the officers purported to be involved in the Cape Coast and Ho incidents have fallen victims of social/judicial injustice. By jove, as you read this piece today, no serious word has come from the Police Administration. While the police officers have been placed on interdiction, this public officer who is gradually carving a niche for himself and becoming a household notoriety is still at post. That is how to practice ‘the I CARE FOR YOU’ government. Is that how to build strong institutions as prophesized by President Obama on Friday, July 10, 2010? The members of government and other appointees keep sucking the blood and bleeding Mother Ghana to death from all angles. Who cares? As for Yaw Barima’s BNI and Gbevlo Lartey’s national security, the least said about them, the better. The incessant brutalities and brute force by these quasi-government institutions are unprintable. The police should be reminded that if this is how the Ghana’s version of police professionalism is practiced and exposed to public ridicule, then mind you, none of you should be anticipating for any international appointment on retiring from the public service. If that is the case then you better look elsewhere as your actions and inactions in the Mills-Mahama government have turned the profession upside down and this is a serious indictment.


It is indeed very sad to mention here that despite the avalanche of major distribution of infrastructure all over the country, the NPP’s NHIS, Capitation Grant, maternal health care delivery system, the free bussing of school children, School Feeding Programme, the 4-year Senior High School, the Single Spine Salary Structure or the (SSSS), that would have been perfectly implemented best by its NPP proponents, but being poorly implemented in tots and becoming an albatross round their necks, the NYEP, the all-inclusive government that culminated in the quick elevation of Dr. Ibn Chambas to the ECOWAS presidency and now as the chair of the ACP, Drs. Paa Kwesi Nduom as Minister of Public Services that brought him to limelight and perhaps, propelled him to contest general elections as presidential candidate for the CPP and Ekow Spio Garbrah as head of the Commonwealth Communication department, are all there for the blind to see but even then, Ghanaians voted NPP out of power. It wasn’t ex-president Kufuor and his government that became a displeasure to Ghanaians but mind you, the rate at which the erratic deceit and lies being peddled by the doomsday prophets at the time at the nukes and crannies of Ghana were alarming. The lies and deceit became too unbearable for them to bear and obliged them with the mantle.


Now back to the prodigal son who, after self-examination and awareness at the place of sojourn, where he had to struggle many times and fight with pigs for ‘dirty food’, quickly re-awakened. He thought if he returned to his father, he would not deny him food and shelter and other goodies. Many Christians are very conversant with this scripture text. When this stubborn son arrived back and was spotted from afar by the father in tattered clothes, the father’s heart was filled with love and grief for this notorious son and requested that while some nice and sumptuous meal was being prepared for him, his clothes be changed. This angered the elder brother when he confronted the father and the soothing response from the father was that he was once lost but had now been seen. Now the NDC led government of President Mills-Mahama has been in office for three years. It is only 10 critical months away for serious political campaign and country criss-crossing by politicians. Has the NDC government led by Mills-Mahama awoken from their slumber to see that the wealth that was to have been bequeathed to all Ghanaians but gotten on a silver platter from the wealthy NPP Father Xmas in the form of the NHIS, Capitation Grant, School Feeding Programme, the NYEP (the Kufuor Police, Kufuor Nurse, Kufuor Teacher, the free Cocoa Spraying Programme), free maternal health care delivery system, has been dissipated/misappro -priated? If the leaders have now re-awoken and decided to return home, do we Ghanaians as the elder son who stayed and served the parents faithfully have to entertain such profligate spendthrift? No. Never should we allow ourselves such an appeal for a second coming attempt from this inexperience ineptitude bunch of Team B players! May God forbid!


A story is told of how two boys who once caught hold of a bird tried to test the intelligence and mental faculty of a very learned professor in their locality. They approached this intellectual with the aim of first trying to puzzle him with the type of bird in the hand and second, to find out about its condition, whether dead or alive. This puzzle may dazzle most people on earth but, this professor, probably one with the emeritus status, paused before these little kids, sighed and gave some breath before answering the difficult question. In fact, if you have not stayed at the village for long, courtesy, Kobby Acheampong, that should, possibly help you guess the kind of bird and its ‘life and death’ situation. But the professor first fumbled with the kind of bird i.e. its name, but secondly, on the life and death, he miraculously said to the amazement of the boys that if he said the bird was alive, the one with the bird could crush it to death before opening his palm; on the other hand, if he pronounced that it was dead, he would free it and let it go flying. Soon after, the boys were demystified and the one with the bird nodded the head to prove the experience of this wonderful professor. In this scenario, the 100 and so Council of Elders and the National Executive Council could be equated with the two boys, while you Nana also find yourself in the shoes of the professor. Learned and experience as you are, you should not be tempted to make a ‘silly and hasty’ mistake this time. The entire destiny of NPP sympathizers and majority of Ghanaians have their souls and spirit embedded in you. You should be discerning enough to pass the test for once.


For ease of reference, in 2008, you had some 49 cocoa seedlings to plant on a prepared fertile land in Togo; then again, you had some 24 cocoa seedlings to plant elsewhere in Ghana. Unfortunately, time was not on your side to be a regular visitor to these two farms even though you had employed seasoned care-takers for them. However the rainfall pattern favoured the two countries and later, 42 out of the 49 seedlings from the Togo farm site died mysteriously and no word was sent to you. After some 6 years when you thought that some of the seedlings should be flowering, so as to attract regular visits to the two places to enjoy the fruits of your labour; to your dismay, you were told by the Togolese that because you were an austere person, he could not inform you well in advance to deserve a reprimand. When you visited the Ghanaian care-taker, you were told that 15 of the lot had survived and flowered; again, the general complimentary comment was that if you bother to give him more seedlings to plant, since the land was fertile you should expect good dividends or heavy yields. Please take a cue from this - when you visited the ‘Togo’ care-taker, you were presented with the sad news that as soon as they were planted, some bugs known as ‘akate’ fed on it and spoiled 42 and knowing the austere type of person you were, failed to report until the time you visited him; and strangely enough, just some few days before that eventful visit to Togo, another seedling again died leaving six survivors. How? Why? And when the one became a still-born among the lot, only God knows. This analogy best illustrates the Togo farm with the 49 seats from the Northern – 26, Upper East, 13 and 10 from the Upper West. The last casualty that fell was the NPP Chereponi seat that was lost to the NDC during the epoch making bye elections that nearly claimed lives there thanks to Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, who was right at the scene to rush the casualties to the Yendi Hospital to conduct surgery to remove the pellets to save lives. Coming back to the 24 seedlings, the Brong Ahafo region has 24 constituencies. The cynics, the odds would do everything to convince the Judas Iscariots and what have you to pick the running mate from the North. Fine decision! No qualms about that. They have good, seasoned, experienced and talented materials. But no matter what, no matter how; let us have the head of a John the Baptist from the north placed on a silver platter and show you, that effort will not let the party win more than 10 seats. Even now that the toothless bulldog that once seriously barked at home has been driven to the bush to ensure safe arrival by strangers, the psychological voting pattern there will never change. This is purely a 19th Century King James version of theory that 2012 elections require a running mate from their fold. The analysts should know that this scheme does not work now and would not work next year. Period! It is victory we want but not ‘Gadhafi Gamble’ that we treasure.


The writer has taken the trouble and pains before securing the following names of some personalities who probably matter in the choice of the No.2 man for the ‘who-is-who’ elections of December 2012. The list could be endless due to space but the following – ex-President J.A. Kufuor & Vice, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, Messrs J.H. Mensah, Akenten Appiah Menkah, Kwabena Gyimah Osei-Bonsu, S. Odoi-Sykes, Catherine K. Tedam, A.K. Deku, H.O. Lamptey, Justice Boateng, Alh. Aminu, Alh. Malik Yakubu Alhassan, Profs. Alex Kwapong, Ofosu Amah, Adzei Bekoe, Gen. Joshua Hamidu and Brig.-Gen. rtrd. Odei are people who should counsel Nana to be mindful not to choose someone to lead us into opposition once more otherwise their grandchildren will never be forgiven and live happily while they are no more. The rest are former chairman, Peter Mac Manu, F.P. Kyei, Nana Ohene Ntow, Madam Theresa Kufuor, Obaahemaa Awo Amma Busia and the last but not the least, to be supported by the legal prowess of His Eminence, Vincent Charles Roger Arthur Commey Crabbe and Jake Otanka Obetsebi Lamptey, the National Chairman. The Council of Elders and the NEC, should not, repeat not, probably make the same mistake that sent the souls, bodies, hearts and minds of the many NPP sympathizers and Ghanaians living across the globe to sleep prematurely after the Tain decider in 2008. This election is like the Black Stars travelling outside the country for a soccer tournament that has a price tag. All that Ghanaians usually tell the Black Stars is to go and win and bring back the ultimate. Nothing more, nothing less! Here the golden-fleece is the victory that we want. Spare us the ordeal of going to bed very early and be ‘slaves’ in our own country under this cock-up type of government that has been blessed with much more resources than any other government but does not have the wherewithal to administer. Dr. Bawumia, who, it is alleged, is being favoured, must be prepared to be sacrificed as the lamb to secure us the victory that we want.


All the prominent Chiefs from the Brong Ahafo region have spoken in unison. They hope to campaign for NPP and convince the settler farmers there because they want the running mate. Its strategic location makes it superb. And by the electoral results, the BA region recorded the least as against the NDC in the presidential votes. The pertinent question and possibly, the million dollar question is – Who will bell the cat and go to the B.A. Chiefs and Opinion Leaders to solicit for votes if we should fail them and not oblige their genuine request? For those who do not know but care to know, the NDC gained some 394,000 as against NPP’s 388,000 votes in the presidential. This word of caution must be taken seriously - as far as Mr. Rawlings and his NDC survive as a party, NPP will never win more than 10 out of the 49 seats from the North. Before the curtain is pulled down, distinguished Council of Elders and very respected NEC, please permit me to illustrate my position with this analogy – ‘when a woman with half naked dress finds a male visitor in her room and shouts for help that a rapist has made an attempt on her, there is no way that this man could absolve himself from blame and defend himself from the rape case in any competent law court; on the contrary, if the same woman visited a man and for obvious reasons, requested for shower and few minutes later, returned to the lobby after shower with the bath towel almost at the waist with all her nudity showing, would it be possible for this same woman to shout for rape if the man ever made an attempt on her and win her case in the law courts as a visitor? The Brong Ahafo Chiefs representing the man were in their own backyard when you Nana Akufo Addo visited them on your listening tour. The temptation of your nudity was so irresistible that Nananom couldn’t afford to miss that chance but had to return their love (they want the No.2 slot) because of your beauty and again, you were half naked with the nice breasts showing.

Kofi Appiah