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Opinions of Friday, 4 March 2011

Columnist: Ghanaian Chronicle

The mansions likely to bring Atta's empire crumbling

Is the President aware of allegations that some of the men and women he has chosen to help him administer this nation are competing among themselves to own properties? Ama Benyiwa Doe and Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the Woman Organizer and National Organizer respectively who raced from radio station to the other, while the Umbrella adherents were in opposition, making wild and unsubstantiated allegations to the effect that their opponents in government at the time, were dealing in drugs and owning properties, are said to be competing with themselves in the property market.

The two personalities have a lot in common. For lying their way to put the NDC into power, President John Evans Atta-Mills rewarded them by appointing them to head the Central and Eastern Regions respectively.

Since taking over the residency at Cape Coast, Ama Chavez has perfected in giving contracts to her cronies, if Allotey Jacobs, the immediate past Central Regional Propaganda Secretary of the party in power is to be believed.

In her defence, Benyiwa-Doe told the shocked world of radio listeners in the country that Allotey Jacobs, who describes himself as 'educated fisherman' was being ungrateful.

As the Minister, she has already awarded juicy contracts to the man whose duty it was to tell lies and mislead the people of Ghana to create a favourable image of umbrella politics.

Ama Chavez, recently caught publicity with the news that she is putting up a huge mansion at Agona Swedru to replace her father's dilapidated house, and that she had used her influence to get women traders along the route to her paradise removed on the orders of the Agona West Municipal Assemby.

Long before the Swedru enterprise began to take shape, Benyiwa-Doe had been fingered in other building enterprises.

When questioned about the magic wand that enabled her to perform the feat within the first year of this administration, she allegedly responded by stating that before Candidate Atta Mills took his 'door to door' message to cities, towns and villages, spiced with lies concocted by Benyiwa-Doe herself, she was already rich.

Ofosu Ampofo is in the process of completing two houses in two years.

At Baatsona, straddling between the harbor city of Tema and the national capital, a mansion bearing the hall-mark of the Minister of Local Government is nearing completion.

It bears the hall-mark of the immediate past Eastern Regional Minister, who has been posted to Local Government and Rural Development with the Presidential and Legislative elections barely two years away.

When the British colonial administrators left us with the wise-saying -'brighten the corner where you are,' the wise-crack apparently registered fast on the former Eastern Regional Minister. A mansion has been developed out of a former two-bed estate house.

If you ask for the owner, local residents were quick to point to the residency not too long ago. Now, the answer is simple. 'The owner is in Accra, and now answers to a ministerial position.

It is not only the two former organizers who have caught the bug of the elephant family policy of creating a property-owning democracy.

Those close to the Rawlingses would tell you that when the man who is credited with the formation of the party in power talks about 'greedy bastards,' he has his mind firmly on people taking advantage of Atta 'the Mortuary Man's apparent weak leadership to amass wealth.

Until quite recently, Asiedu Nketia was not reckoned with property grabbing. His had been jabbing people in authority at the time the 'Gentle Giant' sat at the Castle, for which he rose to the rank of a 'General' in the mosquito kingdom

Two years down the line, he is a big time contractor supplying blocks for the construction of the Bui Dam.

It is one of the great achievements of the former law lecturer that in his era, board members are doing brisk business with the companies they are supposed to safeguard.

Apparently, 'conflict of interest' counts for nothing in the administration of someone who has lectured in various aspects of the law over the years.

Two years into the Atta Mills administration, properties are popping up all over the place with the tag of General Mosquito written all over it.

If the 'General' is doing well, it is amazing to conjecture the juicy news about a young lady with great ambitions.

Dr. Hannah Bissiw trained as a veterinary surgeon. Under normal circumstances, she is supposed to ensure that dogs do not get rabbies and bird flu is controlled in the public place.

One of the surprises of Umbrella politics under Ekumfi-born former head taxman of this nation was the appointment of the veterinary surgeon to take charge of building houses and ensuring that water flows in our taps.

Never mind that the President captured the Adenta community getting their taps flowing with water, when most of them had to buy sachet water for their baths.

The Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing caught publicity not too long ago by allegedly changing the locks to the Minister's office, immediately Abert Abongo was replaced with Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin.

Apparently, it is not only the changing of locks that has stood the deputy Minister out from her colleagues.

If recent reports should be believed, Dr. Bissiw is doing well in the property market.

There are allegations that two mansions adjacent to each other at Techimantia in the Brong Ahafo Region are standing in her name. Definitely, it is not a bad return for a young lady who has barely been in government for two years.

It looks like life is really cozy under the umbrella, which might have aided Government Statistician Dr. Grace Bediako, in re-basing the indices which shot this country into the Middle Income bracket, while we all slept.

Never mind the fact that teachers are rebelling under a damaged spine. My message for Tawiah to carry to Atta is simple.

If he continues to turn a blind eye to his close aides building mansions, his administration might collapse under the rubble of the empires Ama Chavez and company contrived to construct in two years of a government, that has failed to inspire the people of this nation. I shall return!