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Opinions of Thursday, 22 July 2010

Columnist: Azure, Manasseh Azure Awuni

Why the STX Withdrawal & Betty Mould Iddrisu’s ‘woes’ are a Plus for the NDC

It is as if the NDC and NPP are not only in contention for the 2012 race for the Castle or the Jubilee House. They are also doing their level best to outclass each other in something else – self destruction, driven by indescribable greed. And it is difficult to tell which of these two parties has more internal wrangling, which keep stoking the fire of controversy on daily basis.
Nana Akufo Addo’s victory in the forthcoming NPP’s congress is a foregone conclusion, but the “others” in the race are behaving as though they had a chance. Frankly speaking, Nana Akufo Addo is the right person to lead the NPP but Alan Kyeremanteng is the right person to win come 2012. Indeed, if Alan had led the NPP in 2008, they/we would have won Vodafone (because the NPP had sold OneTouch). But it will be very bad for the NPP as a party should Alan win the primaries. Quitters don’t win and winners don’t quit, says the adage that had long become a cliché before my mother met my father. I don’t know where and how they met. But thank God they met.
But the NDC seems to be winning in the battle for bad press and self destruction. The NDC has the upper hand in this infamous struggle because they have both internal and external forces to grapple with and the good old Professor seems to be groping helplessly for an solution. Because the bullets seem to be coming from all angles.
This young man, after losing an election, thinks Mills is the worst thing that ever happened to this country. I mean Ras Mubarak. But I don’t blame him. Our elders say if what is bigger than the elephant (JJ) knocks down the elephant (JM), even mosquitoes will climb onto the mountainous animal and make noise.
But are Mills’ NDC men shouting because they have the interest of the nation at heart? That would have been a good idea. But I don’t think they have any good intention for us the Asamoah Gyan’s kinsmen. Hon. Alban Bagbin started to roar sometime back. And so did Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, MP for Kpone Katamanso. This was after JJ had roared and Spio barked. They all claimed Mills was slower than a crippled snail.
Then Mills called Bagbin and Afotey Agbo into the team. Some call it the looting brigade. That was all. And I was shocked to the skin of my balls to hear Hon. Bagbin on GBC Radio, days after he had assumed the ministerial position; calling on some youth in the Upper West Region to calm down, for the Professor Mills was in control. And I don’t know whether it is today that Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo will talk about Prof. Mills’ flaws. So if I were Mills, I would say to Ras Mubarak.
“Boy, come and go to where Nkrumah’s son was. I think he has too much of his father’s hot blood running in his veins to understand the ways of ‘modern Ghanaian politics.’” If the Professor did this, there would be silence. But others will get the beat and will begin to bleat, bark, meow, roar and…
The reason most NDC members think Professor Mills is the worst thing ever to happen to the party is the fact that the untouchable Kojo Mpiani, Wereko Brobbey and others are still sipping bottles of Alvaro instead of preaching sermons of repentance in the dungeons of Nsawam Home for Dishonourable Statesmen. To them, scores of the NPP “gurus” ought to have been doing their National Service in Nsawam or any of the other prisons all over the country.
For this reason, they see Mrs. Betty Mould Iddrisu as the most incompetent Attorney General ever. They think the woman is fighting a losing battle in a situation where the only option is to win. But they have soon forgotten. That not very long ago, most of them were all over the airwaves. Shouting.
Their grievance?
Tsatsu Tsikata the legal Maradona was incarcerated in the way trials were conducted in the era when the men in monkey jackets said Burma Camp was too boring and wanted to taste the niceties of life. The same members of the Free Tsatsu Movement are calling for Betty Mould Iddrisu’s beautiful head for not showing the NPP men where the power lies. They say she is a failure.
But I think Betty Mould Iddrisu’s “downfall” (if there is any such thing) is a plus for the NDC. At least it shows that the legal system can now be trusted. It means the so-called judicial freedom has finally found a dwelling place in Ghana. It means you and I can walk into the courts confidently and expect fair judgement irrespective of the “powers” we’re contending with. At least a Law Professor is at the helm of affairs and we do not expect “reconstitution” of judges when someone who knows what the law, like Shakespeare knows drama, challenges the constitutionality of some courts to try him.
It is, indeed, a plus to judicial freedom when the government loses and has its cases thrown out of court. For once, I’m beginning to have faith in our judicial system.
But the NDC’s woes seem to be compounding by every passing second. Recently, President Mills asked the withdrawal of the STX deal from parliament. What a controversial deal it was. Or is? Will it come back? Sure! But clothed differently. The wordsmiths are at work!
It is good we have houses. And perhaps those that will rise up to kiss the azure skies. To those who are yet to understand the concept of development, such buildings in our cities are the visible signs that yes, we too have arrived. But the question is, how affordable are these affordable houses? Can the boy from Albert Abongo’s Bongo also afford one when they are finally built? Who were those who afforded those built by the past administration? The teacher? Civil servant? The police constable? Or who? Party members? Friends? Girlfriends or perhaps, boyfriends?
So Mills wants to leave a mark. At least those who are not as rich as Jake Obetsebi Lamptey to buy a ministerial bungalow can afford an affordable single room. Ex-gratia comes in many forms. Who says politics no sweet?
But the deal has sparked fire. GREDA is yet to tell us their sincere opinion on the matter. But it has already left a bad taste in the mouth of the NDC. For the deal to be withdrawn from parliament is a sign of defeat. Others like Spio had something to say. To them, it was bad news for the NDC as a party. Some people (perhaps a Division One player) had not done his homework well.
It reminded me of my own woes many centuries ago. That was when the GIJ General Assembly rejected my budget. My colleague executive said this was the worst thing that ever happened in student politics. “Worse budgets were approved in the past administration. You must lobby. This is politics, you know? Why at all did you make your political opponent the Speaker of the General Assembly?”
But democracy is democracy when you allow the people to decide. That was why I said and will continue to say the sale of Ghana Telecom was a clear case of democratic dictatorship. All Ghanaians said the deal was not in the best interest of Ghanaians. Even the Christian Council of Ghana was there. Opposing! Then Candidate Mills had to abandon his house-to-house evangelism and to wear red bands and lead those who now say the withdrawal of the STX deal from parliament is a sign of a weak government. Even Hon. Paul Collins Appiah Ofori of the NPP said no to the GT sale. Papa Kwesi Nduom of the CPP remained hypocritically neutral. But the NPP MPs were in favour of the deal.
The minority will have their say but the majority will always have their way, they said. And so GT was disposed off like Obroniwawu. And now there is the STX deal. The deal is not clear and the people of Ghana say approval of the deal will not be in the best interest of Ghanaians if certain factors are not considered. So what should Professor Mills do? Should he forget humiliation he went true when he led the ant-GT sales march only for the deal to go through smoothly? No!
The NDC and NPP may see certain actions of President Mills as failures. But I think those passing judgement should critically examine the failures and what they hold for our democracy. There are so many ways a government in power, which has a majority in parliament can do. But not all of them may be expedient.
So Betty Mould Iddrisu may be floored. But it is good news for the rule of law. Mills may withdraw thousand and one deals from parliament for reconsideration. That looks like an embarrassment. But I think it is good news when a government listens to the people. The civil society. The voices outside the corridors of power. After all, who is the government? Who put them there? Are they representing creatures from Jupiter and not us?
Instead of seeing Mills as a failure, I will agree with Imani Centre and pat Prof. Mills on the back for listening to civil society and all, including those who don’t seem to matter.
As for those NDC, NPP and semi-CPP sympathizers who think it is failure if the ruling government does not win outright in every situation, they can go and set the Korle Lagoon ablaze. It is better for the NDC to lose for Ghana to win than for Ghana to lose for the NDC to win. For, there would be nothing like NDC if there was no a great nation called Ghana.

God bless our Nkrumahland Ghana and make our nation great and strong.

Credit: Manasseh Azure Awuni Azure [www.maxighana.com] Email: azureachebe2@yahoo.com The Writer is a freelance journalist based in Accra, Ghana. To read more of his writings, visit www.maxighana.com