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Opinions of Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Columnist: Abaare, Cletus

Time-Up For Cletus Avoka

By Cletus Abaare
Albert Einstein who considered the imperative of change made the popular statement that irrationality is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That statement, made decades ago by the renowned scientist, still holds truism today in my birth land.

As the 2016 general elections bell rings louder by political activities each day, this saying should heave at the heart-strings of the people of Bawku West constituency situated in the Upper East Region of Ghana. It should jolt them to wake up from their collective dead-sleep, a sleep so deep that their constituency remains under the control of one and only one politician.

I affectionately refer to that politician as the 'god' of the constituency and his people with the human name Hon. Cletus Apul Avoka, the former Majority Leader in Parliament and now the Board Chairman of the Ghana Immigration Service.

I don't really care about the outcome of the NDC primaries that is slated for November 7 in that constituency. And spare me with the impression that with the expansion of the electoral college of the party, my beef with him will be sorted out naturally.

That, I know, won't play a role in saying enough is enough to one of the oldest Members of Parliament in the political annals of Ghana. No. Not at all. For none of his contenders is likely to uproot him in the upcoming primaries. He will still manage the numbers to cling onto a defeating victory.

Yes! You may opened your mouth wide and wild in shock, upset and in your deepest surprise and loudly proclaim 'You Again'. Yes, it's me again. Few years back I was same person who was almost murdered for stating my democratic mind about two of the most prominent personalities in that constituency.

Several calls and threats bombarded my poor phone which eventually went into coma for one good week. One of those semi-educated persons wanted me to be summoned before a chief's palace for a question and answer show-down. A min-court of law I think. I was expected to be the loud-mouthed goat with king lion sitting as the judge to set me free by the court. Seen?

Fact is, no chief in Ghana has such rights, powers and supremacies. Fact also forgot is before President John Mahama's comment on the Dead-goat saga, every serious, well-trained and gifted journalist always survived by the Dead-goat syndrome. So their comments on my person only thickened my skin to absorb more and more.

So it is time to talk once more and I anticipate same old empty, same old pathetic, ignoramus, nauseating and pitiful attacks that bombarded me the previous time to revisit me again. Don't be afraid, for my life is not in their hands but that of the Infinite Intelligence (God). Just put on your thinking cap and sit back with a calabash of pito and let's get down to real issues. The real reasons why Hon Avoka must be bold and call it a day or be pushed out of politics in a disgraceful manner.

Agreeably, politics is all about rendering service to the people, articulating the views of the people and proffering solutions to the myriad of problems, confronting the people using the instrumentality of the government.

So getting a credible person to lead such a course is undoubtedly important. What is unacceptable and mind-murdering is where an individual forever plants him/herself as the only person too credible, too qualified, too intelligent to lead a particular group of people for as long as he/she lives.

For me and many of my likes, that is not an acumen. It doesn't make one a good leader but sadly a power drunk, a bloodsucker and a leader who has much skeletons under his cupboard to hide from his people. It represents greed, selfishness, and insatiability. Sadly and regrettably, these have been highly demonstrated by Hon Avoka, my good friend and my father in the later of his administration in Bawku West Constituency as an MP.

The people of Bawku West are for sure, lovers of the principles and ideologies of the ruling National Democratic Congress. They have eight great Traditional Areas starting from Tilli, Winaba, Zebilla, Teshie, Tamonde, Binaba, Kusanaba and right down to the Zongbeziri Traditional Area. Make no mistake. I'm not arranging them in terms of their supremacy but from the layman's point of order. So spare me that archaic ways of thinking of this should come before that.

Thus, from the inception of democratic governance through elections, the NDC has always find favours with the people in all these Traditional Areas and so with Hon. Cletus Avoka. Through such favours of the people, he has ascended and manned over so many substantive Ministerial positions in Ghana. His last stop was at the Interior Ministry under the late John Evans Atta-Mills' administration.

As time determines the relevance of everything under the sun, so it is with politicians. So as an MP, Regional Minister and substantive Minister in various sectors during the Rawlings' era to Late President Mills' days, time and chances have been making him look very irrelevant in every electioneering season.

Time and chances have been gesticulating him to step aside for a new leadership era to set in. Yet such vital signals are always dusted off with the monotonous excuse that 'I want to serve my people and bring more development'. A Saddening, sickening and desperado excuse of a power drunken leader.

He has occupied the various important political ministerial positions in the country before and if during such valuable days, you could not help your constituencies. What else can you do bearing in mind that getting such positions again in this era of youth leadership is simply impossible. There is nothing you can offer them now at this your age.

Happenings in the political terrain in Bawku West constituency and many constituencies across Ghana by the likes of my father, Hon Avoka and his likes have clearly differentiated who a good leader is and who a self centred and power seeking leader is. Theirs, is politics of boredom.

Let me recall with high sense of nostalgia when the clamour for a good candidate for the Bawku West Constituency to fly the MPship flag of the constituency popped up in the 2012 general elections, it was tough and rough.

Hon Avoka was then the Majority Leader in Parliament and had the least chance of returning to the August House. No. Not the least. The people of the land were honestly fed up with him and his leadership. They wanted a change. A change that of course, was a desired necessity for the people. The anger of the people had overtaken their political lenses. Voting skirts and blouse was what they rooted for.

Political permutation at the time was indicated that Mr Frank Fuseini Adongo of the New Patriotic Party was tipped to be the winnable candidate though, the seat is traditionally for the ruling NDC. It was going to be a disgrace, a national disaster of having a majority leader in parliament being beating openly before his colleagues.

He was panting all over, confused and was clearly out of ideas. Preventing a disgrace and humiliation of that scale, even the world greatest magician would have faced difficulties. Mr Adongo of the New Patriotic Party though had his own share of troubles because of their party's disunity and lack of clear vision, he was riding comfortably to victory.

It took good Samaritans who majorly reside in Accra but have influence in their respective communities in the constituency to go down to the constituency to campaign for him. And that was how he was rescued from the dishonour and humiliation from the youngman, Mr Fuseini Adongo.

He, however, for strange reasons, has dusted his yesterday's mind clean on the wishes and desires of the same people he saw in 2012. After rescuing him from drowning in such strong waved political waters, he coiled back into his political shell and took them for granted once more.

I am not good at tickling great intellectuals like Hon Cletus Avoka into the memory of yesterday but if I should do so, I would only whisper into his unwilling ears that the people were and are fed up with him. That the red-eyed people wanted a change and that change is still necessary. That the enough is enough syndrome that had overtaken their political affiliation in 2012 is still glaringly visible. And they will not hesitate to kick his butts out of power come December 2016.

His constituencies are now awaking to the reality that political office is not the property of one individual. A smart politician, as he claims to be, should know when to call it a day and retire with respect, integrity, love, honour and dignity. A smart politician should not wait to be humiliated out of office.

I don't know whether the likes of Hon Avoka are followers of the football industry. I doubt with much certainty because if they were with rectitude, a clue from the football Maestro, Abedi Ayew Pele, Ghana's most respected footballer of all times, Zine Zidane, France greatest footballer of all times and that of Stephen Appiah could have saved them the pending embarrassment.

These footballers are still revered so much by lovers of football across the globe. They knew when to call it a day and honourably retired from the industry though, they were still needed the most by their countries and clubs. The veins that control my thinking skull tell me, this is called smart thinking.

Hon Avoka like his bedfellows, the E T Mensahs and co were voted into the August House since the inception of democratic rule in 1993. He remained in parliament until the people demanded for change as they are doing today. They then decided on Hon John Ndebure Akparibo of the People National Congress (PNC) in the 2004 general elections.

For reasons best known to Hon Akparibo, he left his political pot of soup on fire unwatched and it got burnt terribly. The people could not go with him further because of the devastating stern of his burnt food. So they returned the destiny of the constituency into the waiting hands of Hon Avoka during the 2008 general elections.

Though, it was not-well-thought-out decisions by the people to place it in the hands of Hon Avoka again with his interest of leading them until possibly his dying day, but there was no reasonable alternative. He has been the NDC parliamentary candidate since 1993 and has blocked all entry points for anybody intending to tuple him.

Since then, Bawku West Constituency has had its fair share of disappointments with him as its MP. The people are no longer clueless and are calling for change which you must concede. Their eyes are now wildly opened to the embarrassing antics of politicians. And any politician who doubts this, is rather too clueless to recognize it, too arrogant to understand their poise for change or too selfish to call it a day and throw in the towel.

They have even seen much of him and don't want more of him pretending to be apostle of the Bawku West Constituency. Under the guidance of one-sided ideas of Hon Avoka, Bawku West Constituency has continued its nosedive and it is only a matter of time before it hits rock bottom.

But as the saying goes, a prince cannot have pleasure in the dispersal of his father's kingdom, the people of Bawku West Constituency can no longer Sit and look on unconcerned. No one politician should be allowed again to take Bawku West Constituency for another ride. The people have been fooled enough with sweet electioneering promises that have gone unfulfilled .

Of course, to him, the people of Bawku West Constituency are always there to be deceived every election year. He comes in different togas and present himself as interested in the common progress of the constituency but the people now know his fruits, and by such knowledge of his fruits, the people say his time is up. Let the youth take over from where you have reached. The people are no illiterates and are better prepared now!

I shall come with more