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Opinions of Saturday, 24 February 2007

Columnist: Adomako-Gyimah, Julian

This is the time

The world is a stage and we all get the chance to play our part and go when our role is over and these are the words based on the powerful saying by William Shakespeare of blessed memory. As a published writer, Businessman and Journalist and most importantly a Ghanaian, I believe this is the time for me to voice out my opinion ahead of the release of my poem dubbed " *This is the time", *a poem that is meant to rock the political environment in the African sub-region particularly in Ghana ahead of the 2008 general elections. I am filled with disappointment at the current events in the Ghanaian political scene which is led by the ruling NPP government which has President Kuffour as its leader. They seem to be making the same mistakes that the NDC made to the detriment of Ghanaians if not worst.

I can picture in my minds eye, the declaration of the NPP's Manifesto at Manor Park, London in 1999/2000 and how hopeful we were as Ghanaians who had long cried for a change in governance. Hon Hackman Owusu Agyeman, H.EPresident J.A Kuffour and Hon Felix Owusu Agyepong were some of the people who were present at this all important event. As a business studies student by then, I really lauded their desire to merge the cedi with the CFA so as to curb inflation, fluctuating exchange rates and poverty all over Ghana.

They proposed the creation of employment, investments in human capital and the total management approach to the Macro economic Factors, which are often considered as one of the keys to a nation's development. I've since moved from the UK and currently been living in Ghana for about a year now and I cannot hide my disappointment as far as the ruling NPP government is concerned.

Inflation is still a double figure, capital flight is on the ascendancy, unemployment is soaring, interest rates are so high despite the base rate being 12.5%, western airline companies such as KLM, BA to mention but a few are still exploiting Ghanaians whilst the government looks on without any action, corruption is increasingly rising, the gap between the rich and the poor keeps widening, government officials are amassing wealth at the expense of the populace, zero tolerance to corruption is now *full or 1000% tolerance* to corruption and it is just suicidal to even think of the numerous incompetencies of the ruling NPP government, a group we thought could give hope to Ghanaians and bring light to the people living in darkness.

Today at 50, people who were once forced to resign on the basis of alleged financial misappropriation have been appointed as CEO and what have you at the Ghana @ 50 Secretatiat and even the run of the mill can see how little the $20m odd has changed the way that Accra looks let alone Ghana. Someone can barely know that there is any celebration going on without another person disclosing it. What a shame? The Ghana @ 50 celebration is rather being used as a time to enrich and amass as much wealth as possible and believe you me, all you need to have is some relationship with the people managing the secretariat and you can have a chunk of the cake.

The Minister of Tourism is one person who has disappointed me to a great extent. This so called honourable man paraded a number of brainy Ghanaians to be part of the Joseph Project sub-committee just to exploit them, get their ideas and dump them without any remuneration whatsoever. To me, this is a clear violation of international property rights (IPR) but Ghanaians as we rightly know will let him go scot free in the name of *Fa Ma Nyame*. What a shame! I will be more disappointed should the NPP delegates decide to give the flagbearership of the party to such a dishonest and greedy individual.

*Fa Wo to Begye Golf* might have been attributed to General Kutu Acheampong but current government officials have taken it to an entirely new level. They are buying 4x4s for young ladies, sending them abroad to mention but a few all in the name of irresponsibility and immorality. Ghanaians all over the world should stand up and fight for their rights before it gets too late. The NDC might have had several bad human rights records but the NPP isn't any better at all. Human rights abuses include unemployment, rape, bad judiciary, wrong imprisonments, failing to fullfil political promises, high interest rates etc.

It is more appealing to set up a business as a foreigner in Ghana than a native Ghanaian because there are so many tax exemptions to enjoy. All you need to do is to change your name from *Buzz to Tigo, Spacefon to Areeba *and the politicians will always give you the thumbs up as far as tax evation and exemptions are concerned. *At 50, Ghana can only boast of a dirtier capital, more financial malpratices within government, deteriorating public service, high overheads within government, high unemployment, more HIV victims, more prostitution due to the patronage by Ministers to mention but a few. * ** Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the greatest and most brilliant African leader of all time must be crying in his grave as he never dies. The person who gave Ghana what they are celebrating at 50 this year isn't even mentioned and nothing shows that he is the founder of this great nation. When he was talking about self government now, the UGCC were talking about self government within the shortest possbile time yet it is ironic that the very people who opposed his radical approach to gaining independence on 6th March 1957 are the very people spearheading the 50th anniversary celebrations.

India's 50 glorified Mahatma Gandhi so why is our 50th not mentioning anything about Kwame Nkrumah? Why aren't we erecting a befitting statue for the great man at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle? Why aren't we changing the name of our only International Airport to Kwame Nkmrumah International Airport rather than glorifying a Coup maker by maintaining the name Kotoka? This is definitely the time for every Ghanaian to sit up and ask as many questions as possible. This is the time for the electorate to think and reflect on the legacy that the present government will leave at the end of their tenure.

Why are we spending the tax payers money to build a presidential estate for foreign dignatories when it cannot even be completed by march 6, 2007? Why are we spending $120,000 each on over 40 Jaguar Cars which will only enrich one government official in the person of Kojo Mpiani and his family? This is the time for us to cry out for freedom and an end to corruption. I was almost once killed by the Predential motorcade right infront of the "Hotel de Kuffour" and why aren't we asking the Politicians how much Fuel these motorcades cost the nation's taxpayer not forgetting how much Ghanaians that they have killed as a result of these unnecessary motorcades?

There are so many questions that need to be answered and I will urge anyone who believes in Ghana to look out for the controversial poem dubbed *"This is the Time" sometime soon*. Abraham Linclon was right when he declared that "You can fool some people all the time and all the people some of the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time" so we should be mindful of what we do today as we will be brought to judgement sometime in our lives.

Long live Ghana and Long Live the Pan African Agenda

Julian Adomako-Gyimah
Author, Smile Africa and Recall
(Available on ,, , etc)

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