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Opinions of Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Columnist: Kyei-Mensah-Osei, Kofi

The Time to Act is Now

In the ninth year of the twenty-first century: Some developed countries are exploring the possible existence of life on the planet mars. Scientist are experimenting in Switzerland to establish precisely what happened before the world came into being. Other great leaders and their parliaments are united in the fight against global warming. New drugs are being developed and tested to fight diseases such as HIV, malaria etc. Many other leaders are putting measures in place to counter the harsh effects of the economic melt-down on their people. Five days ago, President Barack Obama was inaugurated in America. 24 hours later, he was delivering on some of his campaign promises and tackling the credit crunch from the Oval Office. These are only a few of the big things going on elsewhere.

In the ninth year of the twenty-first century Ghana: General elections were held on 7th December 08, a run-off on 28th December 08 and our parliament and later president, were inaugurated on the 7the of January 2009. Ghana being a tropical country, malaria is still prevalent. Our forest is depleting by the day; a direct consequence of the nefarious activities of the greedy chain-saw operators. Burulli ulcer, a disease deemed to have been long eradicated has reared its ugly head on our shores again. Guinea worm, cataract, HIV and child-killer diseases are rampaging through the corridors of our hospitals like wild fire. Unemployment and joblessness are the lot of the people whilst the gap between the rich and poor in our society keeps widening with the record breaking speed of Usain Bolt. At this same time, we have been told by the NDC administration that Ghana, our beloved country “is broke”. This is nothing new though since no new administration has ever claimed the economy they met was in good shape in case they mess it up. These are but few of the problems the nation is encountering at present time.

Ghana Expects:

Ghanaians perhaps went to the polls with the above problems in mind and voted for the party they thought would better serve their interest in this current global financial crisis. With the economy diagnosed as “broke”, the new administration can ill afford to waste any more time. The executive is not going to be given any honeymoon period. If your newly wedded wife is terminally ill as we are being told our economy is, common sense dictates that you seek treatment immediately before deciding on honeymoon else you come back with a corpse. Needless to say the NDC is not a “new kid on the block” kind of party. They were in power for 11 years as a military junta which metamorphosed into a political party and ruled for another 8 years. A total of 19 consecutive years in Ghana’s relatively young age of 52. Then again, President Mills was once the vice president during the presidency of Rawlings. He also contested 3 elections and with the prophecy of Prophet TB Joshua that he “will win the elections after the run off”, he should have had his prospective ministers ready in the wings to be vetted and assume the reigns of power as soon as practicable. With only 10 of them so far named, Ghana expects and Ghanaians are impatiently waiting. The clock is ticking. President Obama at least made public some key prospective secretaries of state long before his inauguration. He was never once a vice president. Neither was he given any prophecy by his church pastor that he will win the elections. Yet he had contingency plans in place. Remember reader that, this is a man who is only as good as our vice president. Hence, John Mahama “Obama”. The cheek of it! Well, the real Obama’s administration was up and running 24 hours after its inauguration whereas ours is not even sitting let alone crawling. Where are the similarities in Obama and Mahama then? Is it in the area of charisma, pragmatism, looks, number of kids? Someone tell me. The only similarity I can see in them are the last 2 letters of their surnames: Oba(ma) and Maha(ma). To me, that means nothing. Anyway, our vice president (Mahama) has been equated to Obama and our president (Mills) answers to the accolade, “Asomdwee Hene” (The Prince of Peace). Perhaps the only man ever, dead or alive, to assume that title after Jesus Christ! I wouldn’t expect any less if I have these 2 noble men at the helm of affairs of the country. The executive arm of government should start putting policies in place to fulfil the campaign promise to “put money” in the pockets of Ghanaians. Don’t ask me how this is going to be done. All I know is that the biblical “manna” stopped falling over 2000 years ago. I know most of these promises are only political gimmickry. Unfortunately for those who make them though, our people will always hold on to such promises and whip the backs of politicians with it. So whether political gimmickry or not; Ghana expects a performance and Ghanaians are waiting. The rest of the world are fast racing and leaving us behind. Apologists of the new administration would want us to believe that the professor needs time. To them I say any good football coach knows his starting 11 and substitute players days before a football game. You don’t get to the field of play and then ask the referee and spectators to give you time to select your players. The time to act is now!

Necromancy and Voodoo at the Pink Lady:

As the president appears to be dithering over ministerial appointments, the legislature at least appears to be busy. In fact v-e-r-y busy. Well so it appears. Aren’t they debating retirement package for retired presidents which include 6 chauffeur driven cars, 2 fully furnished houses, bout $350,000 lump sum payoff money, 24/7 security among others. W-o-w!!! No wonder people would like to threaten hellfire and brimstone if they lose the election. This package is mouth-watering and I bet Obama would even envy us. Oh yes! Parliament is v-e-r-y busy. So much so that, some MPs go back to the Pink Lady under the cover of darkness to plant objects of voodoo, witchcraft, and wizardry under the chairs of the minority leader. His chairs in both the chamber and in the minority leader’s office. The minority leader also confirmed that he has recently discovered similar objects strategically placed at the entrance to his office which included 2 “ohene agyekums”. This is an act of a desperado and an enemy of Ghana’s democracy. To say I was shocked to hear this is an understatement. I was gobsmacked! Even flabbergasted!! If this is what goes on in our parliament in this scientific age, then God help us. Our parliament is under heavy security and no ordinary person or group of persons could gain access to it at night other the MPs. So the question is: who could have gone there to engage in this shameful act? We expect our parliamentarians to engage in serious business aimed at ameliorating the suffering of Ghanaians and not to be dabbling in this kind of primitive and redundant scam. Is this the change we were promised and voted for? If this is the business that goes on in our parliament then I will like to ask: whither Ghana?

Who is responsible for this despicable act?

Everyone who hears about this story would ask this question: who is responsible? Already the accusing fingers are pointing at the NDC. Personally, I do not know who is to blame but I would not begrudge those who hold the NDC responsible. If there is any truth in the axiom: “coming events cast their shadows”, then perhaps this could be Part II of the movie “The Invocation of the Antoa god”, starring the renowned Oscar winning Hollywood actor Ohene Agyekum unfolding right before our eyes. “Yeresesa mu na yako yen anim” was what the president said at his inauguration. This look like going back centuries to me!!!

Food for thought:

It is for a good reason that the first word in our national anthem is “GOD”. The composer meant God, The Almighty. In HIM do Ghanaians believe. That is why we sing our anthem with pride, passion, belief in God and patriotism. Whether “Ghana is broke” or not, we would rather depend on the Almighty God for our sustenance than any other god(s). Whoever is engaging in necromancy and voodoo in parliament should better be careful before s/he incurs the wrath of God!!


In the ninth year of the twenty-first century: The rest of the world is moving fast forward, their leaders are doing their damnedest to improve the living standards of their people. Other leaders like the real Obama are tackling the global credit crunch head-on. In Ghana, our president dithers and our parliament is busy with witchcraft and wizardry business. How sad. So I dare ask again: wither Ghana?

Kofi Kyei-Mensah-Osei