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Opinions of Friday, 7 October 2011

Columnist: Asare, Noah Dugubrame

The Lost Hope

In the midst of the storm, there was a blue light that appeared from a distance. All hope was that The light was of a rescue vessel which might have seen the last distress signal we fired and was fast approaching to give us the long awaited help. From the distance people described the ship as one they have seen before. So big to contain all of us. The occupants so friendly and peaceful. Above all, they said the captain was such a good person, so loving and caring that he could be a father for all of us. We were told of his God fearing nature and the high standards of his morality. His name was given as Prof Asomdwoehene.

We jumped into his ship full of hope. Hoping that he will lead us to our destination in no time. He had personally promised us of a better future. We were nothing less than excited when he adopted us as his children with his words; "I will be a father for all.". The applause rattled through the black star line vessel. We were all looking for the jobs he promised to creat for us. Our better health care for which we will pay only once in our livetime, unlike the yearly one we use to pay. SADA was coming the way of those of us in the Savana. High fuel prices was going to be a thing of the past, "a drastic decrease" of fuel prices was a sacred promise. Those living in the west were told by the assistant captain that we would be expecting 10% from the barrels of oil we were about to contribute to the smooth running of the great Black Star Line. Injustice, we were told was going to be a thing of the past. We all sang the new gospel hit tract; "Everything na Double Double" as he sailed through with us, howbeit, very slowly.

Barely a year and a half later, we were told that 1.6 million jobs had been created. Those of us still unemployed called friends and loved ones to find out if some of those jobs had come their way. Surprisingly, many of them rather claimed they had lost their jobs from the 7th of January 2009 when the vessel was ducked at Osu. Some narrated how they were brutally beating before they were chase out of their jobs. One narratesd how some of the violence led to deaths and loss of property. I could not believe them. I was convinced Prof Asomdwoehene will never preside over such events. I remained the biblical Thomas until the day my uncle was chased home by some food sodiers early one morning from his office. He was the DCE of our district. Like myself, my uncle hoped the one who appointed him will come to his defense but the evening news came before his dismissal letter. My uncle had been disposed of his post. He was fired because "food sodiers" hated him. All his visions for the district came crashing on hard rocks. He has been silent since that day till now. I fear what he can do!

Before two years, I was wondering what they said the professor's name was. Am not sure they meant "King of peace". There was no peace anywhere, our radio stations had virtually turned into insult mediums. Insults raining from his appointtees and subsequent provoking replies from thier opponents. Food sodiers setting offices on fire. Chasing out workers from Lorry parks, toll booths and NHIS offices. DCE and MCEs taking to their heals at the rage of the same vandals. Women preparing food for school children looking for where to hide their heads. Jihad was regning at Akwatia whilst guns were wielded merrily at Bawkwu, Chereponi and Tamale. Surprisingly, the father for all was seeing nothing, hearing nothing and therefore doing nothing. We were told he was always focused. It left me wondering; focused on what? On his foot mats when he drives on the rough road from Achimota through Ofankor to his house? Or focused on protecting those criminals who committed those atrocities? I could not catch the focus so was I loosing hope.

Am still wondering if truly that SADA was said to be started with a seed money of 200 million Gh cedis and a yearly funding of 100 Gh cedis annually. In my class one mathematics we should have been boasting of 500 Gh cedis by now, but a tenth of it is even a tall story. I was beginning to look for the meaning of God fearing. Peradventure, lying was among the key words. Is it because there is no money? But how could they afford five jets and a hangar at a go, if indeed money was the problem? There should be an answer somewhere if all the cars of DCEs, MCEs and ministers could be replaced in so short a time when the old ones were only two years old and still in good shape? We those from the Savana had began thinking differently.

This was not why we burnt the office at our headquarters anyway. It was because of a justice that was denied us. I hope ya'll remember the promise of bringing justice to us. I dont want to remind myself of these things. The tape we relied on is now said to be a toy one. Cannot even be presented as a credible evidence. It could not even be played to our hearing, so that we could conclude by ourselves. All we were told is there is a tape, and later, there is no tape. That in itself to me was not anywhere near justice, was it? Or justice is when 8 policemen are arrested in a Rambo style like criminals for allegedly insulting Mr Acheampong?

As for the fuel and gas situation, I better don't go there. The most annoying is the ten percent from the oil proceeds we were promised. Our elders had planned what they will do with that percentage. When they pressed for a fulfillment of that promise they were told it was a political talk. Not even one percent has been assigned to us. To appease us, they went for an unlawful loan which has already started changing colours. They went for a 3 billion dollar loan when they knew very well that IMF had given them a limitation on how much to borrow. A fifteen year collateral with oil proceeds when they were well informed that the procurement act on oil prohibits a colletral of more than ten years. They were still thinking we continue to buy into their lies. With all the lawyers and law professors among them, can they still stare us in the face and say we did not know there are such laws? What a mistake we did by following this vessel. Slow, winding and unreliant.

Everything na Double Double had began changing it's content on our lips. I heard some sing it; Everything na Double Trouble. Currently I pay 38 million cedis for my first sons university fees and accommodation alone. Books, his food, his up keep and other expenses apart. The one at SSS is taking close to 30 million cedis annually. How? How? I mean How? Everything is double doubled, except my salary. All hope is lost, the only thing that remains is fear. But I hear one saying no shaking. SSS is going to be free. If I had my way, 8th December 2012 will be tomorrow. Then I will begin to think of what I will do with the thirty million I will be saving when the free SSS starts.

God bless our homeland Ghana.

Noah Dugubrame Asare.