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Opinions of Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Columnist: Adamu, Tanko Balik

The Mockery of Ghanaians Must be Stopped before it Gets Too Late

Mr. Editor,

I constantly read with nostalgic feelings some moronic news items and press conferences that I think are undermining the intelligence of Ghanaians. I think these things are done on purpose to dump down the already vulnerable Ghanaian population that only seem to understand issues from their political inclinations without proper analysis of the issues involved and I wish you will permit me space to call some of these guys out.

A case in point is the sudden springing up of groups such as AFAG and LINSOD. These groups by their names could have attracted well meaning Ghanaians to hold our leaders accountable. It is sad to say however that the people behind these organizations are making it difficult to hold anybody accountable and if care is not taking, Ghanaians will give up on the fight against corruption. Groups like LINSOD in particular are not only embarrassing to Ghanaians but frankly are so unintelligent that one will wonder if the people behind this group have any education even though they are claiming to be lawyers. I honestly want to know where they got their law degrees.

LINSOD as a group issued a press statement that was published on myjoyonline.com and ghanaweb.com entitled “LINSOD replies AFAG” in which they tried to respond to a valid concern of AFAG that government actions in the private sector especially with respect to Ghanaian businessmen could become a disincentive to others willing to invest in our fragile economy. This complain from AFAG stemmed from the government’s intention to prefer at least 25 counts of malfeasance on the EO Group who collaborated with KOSMOS Energy to discover oil in economic quantities in Ghana that we all thought was going to be to the benefit of all Ghanaians and not just one political party. We were all apparently wrong as LINSOD will have us believe even though they didn’t even do a great job at convincing us.

LINSOD in their rebuttal opened their statement with the following “Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), that pressure group sought to paint the Administration of Professor Mills as a government out to destroy indigenous Ghanaian businesses. As usual, the name calling was given prominence by the “Daily Guide” on its front page of its edition of January 27, 2010, under the screaming headline “Prez Mills Witch-Hunts Kosmos – says AFAG.” Another newspaper, “The Chronicle”, published the same subject-matter on the same date at page 15 of that paper under the caption, “AFAG rubbishes Government claims.” LINSOD whose name is Lawyers In Search Of Democracy originally sought to react to AFAG’s claim as mentioned above and it would have been fine with me if they actually had reacted to the concern of AFAG but no, they didn’t, they tried to confuse Ghanaians by attacking the News Papers that covered the story and where on their papers the information could be found. This is pure case of shooting the messenger and not the message. Ghanaians should not fall for this. We have to demand from LINSOD why they think we should not be concerned that Ghanaian businessmen are being persecuted because of their perceived or real political affiliations.

Talking about Ghanaian businessmen, this group that is claiming to be a group of lawyers also state amongst other things that “AFAG paddled the simplistic view that, because the EO Group – established by George Owusu, an alleged Ghanaian businessman, and Dr. Bawuah Edusei, Ghana’s outgoing Ambassador to the USA during Kufuor’s Government - brought in KOSMOS USA to find oil in large quantities in Ghana, the current NDC Administration must not scrutinize the business dealings of the EO Group with KOSMOS USA and the Government of Ghana, even if they are rapacious and scandalous.” Even if we decided to forgive the error of “Paddled” as a probable typographical error for “peddled” how on earth can we forgive your claim that somebody is an “Alleged Ghanaian”? How do you allege that somebody is a Ghanaian? These so-called lawyers are, I suspect calling the citizenship of Ghanaians into question simply because they disagree with them or think they committed a crime. They also went further to call the business dealings of the group “rapacious and scandalous” and one will think a group of lawyers before jumping into such conclusions would have had all their facts right and in which case the government’s scrutiny will not have been necessary. LINSOD should have done all us a favor by telling us how they arrived at this conclusion. They simply assumed everybody listening or reading is stupid and will just accept their conclusions because they said so. I beg to let these guys understand that they would have better served their cause with some factual repudiation of the claims of AFAG and not all Ghanaians are that dump. LINSOD further goes to state AFAG’s position albeit not right that they “resent scrutiny of business transactions which are inimical to principles of probity and accountability”. I don’t know where AFAG stated this and I am not here to defend AFAG but I do think LINSOD could have helped themselves better if they had stated the principles of probity acnd accountability that was violated by the EO Group or if they had stated any other scrutiny that AFAG was protesting. Frankly I think AFAG will be stupid to stand in the way of the government if they are legitimately investigating shady business dealings in the country. Matter of fact, I think the government needs and deserves the support of all Ghanaians in doing so and left to me alone, the government should go on and accuse the EO Group of whatever charge they want and provide the group an opportunity to defend themselves in a court of law and not prosecute them in the court of public opinion. I however abhor the allowance of groups such as LINSOD to convict the EO Group and state to Ghanaians that this group that is yet to be charged with anything was in their words “Looting” the resources of the good people of Ghana.

It is amazing how this group is going out its way to praise the Attorney General for matter of fact doing nothing. I frankly did not understand the essence of the praise in their statement but hey what do I know? They did it. What is even worse is the unrelated and if you don’t mind the moronic quotation of Justice Mensa Boison, JA to demonstrate the “commendable stance” of the Attorney General. The quotation “But it is a case of balancing the interest of the individual against the well-being of the public. In the bustle of the pursuit of our various vocations, the law stands a silent sentinel as protector of the public. The public needs protection for their investments of credit, whether as shareholders or members of the public at large, from overzealous and fraudulent business adventurers ……” frankly makes no sense in whatever argument these guys are trying to make and I hope Ghanaians call these guys out. I don’t know if they understand that the EO Group is part of the public being referenced here if any at all, since they are also Ghanaians? If anybody invested anything into this as a member of the public, it is the EO Group. In any case nothing belonging to the public is being destroyed by anybody in this particular instance and I am not sure what interest the public has in deep sea oil exploration. Please and I mean please stop taking us all for granted. We can read and write just as much as you and hope we will together use our knowledge and experience to help the good people of Ghana instead of trying to throw more dust in their eyes.

Just when you think perhaps that LINSOD might have some legitimate concerns they throw this crap “AFAG and its mentor, the NPP, have been hiding under the cloak of democracy and legality to steal from the good people of Ghana. For example, how do they expect the fragile economy that the NPP bequeathed to the Government of Professor Mills to finance the colossal and unimaginable ex-gratia awards? How can the NPP as a responsible government sell at ridiculously low prices to many of its Ministers of State, some of its presidential candidates, selected high public officials and private persons in its good books State bungalows at Cantonment, Ridge, Airport and so on and expect the current NDC Government to keep a blind eye to such scandals? Is the NPP bigger than our dear motherland, Ghana? Then you begin to wonder if this group really knows what it is doing. I am not the smartest person in the room but a clear reading of just this quote alone will tell you that not only does this quote have anything to do with AFAG and their statement but also that the first sentence in it has nothing to do with the subsequent sentences. I really seriously doubt the intelligence of the authors of this statement and if they are what Ghana has to show for over 50 years of our independence and education, then am sorry for my motherland. I wish to end my submission with the hope that it gets published and that Ghanaians, NPP or NDC will stop accepting mediocrity from our leaders and people who claim to speak for us and demand nothing but quality and the highest standards in everything they do on our behalf. Please let all begin to speak truth to power for that is the only way we can change our country for the better.

Long Live Ghana! God Bless Ghana!

Signed

Tanko Balik Adamu

3801A Logans Ferry Road Pittsburgh, PA 15239 USA

Phone: 724-541-1945 Email: tankobalik@yahoo.co.uk