Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ghana’s spicy sex and judiciary stories.

These are interesting times. Especially for those of us living in Ghana it’s pretty much interesting. While our politicians are busy throwing mud at each other following a statement made by an overzealous party chairman towards the judiciary, some citizens are also busy exploring their romantic domains.

The judiciary tantrums or whatever is well known to all of us. Except this time around some elements within the ruling NDC are just making needless and unguarded statements which appear to suggest the party has some diabolical agenda against some members of the judiciary. It is not true. That’s why I have a problem with the incessant campaign the opposition NPP continues to embark on to suggest members of the judiciary could be killed just as some judges were killed in the 1980s.

That is rubbish and I still stand by it. I don’t think any judge’s life is in danger. Those spineless politicians who wish to spend time pushing this ridiculous agenda in their desperate attempt to win power are only making a fool of themselves. Attacks on the judiciary are unfair and that is why I had expected those rogue elements within the NDC to shut up. The latest attacks on even the chief justice by those regional chairmen of the NDC are needless.

I heard Ade Coker- Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the NDC on the radio foolishly asking for an open public discussion about the performance of the judiciary. That was the most stupid comment I heard on radio on Tuesday. What kind of public discussion on the judiciary do citizens need and what will the public say afterwards? Our politicians ought to get down to the business of running the country so the many problems confronting the country would be resolved. This attention seeking comments will not help anyone.

And just when those silly politicians were busy hacking into each other in the media about the judiciary, a young man was busy sexing himself to death. The story, carried by Daily Guide- a political tabloid- said a 26 year old man had died after six bouts of sex. Report say the lady involved in the sex said he warned the gentleman to stop after the third round but the deceased insisted he was prepared to go beyond the third round.

The lady said he gave him a blow job after which the gentleman took a break, went in for water and continued the action. It was during the sixth bout that he fainted and died. Though pitiable it provided a great deal of laughter to the nation.

As if that was not enough, Enoch Lamptey-Mills, proprietor of the Great Lamptey-Mills School also had his head buried in his palms. He was facing criminal charges of bedding one of her female students. The girl was said to be underage at the time of the bedding.

The lady in question however said the man did not rape her and that they had an affair. He said jailing the man could spell disaster for her and a three year old child who came out as a result of the affair.

She is reported to have told a radio station she had long lost her virginity before going on a sex romping spree with the owner of her school.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Full statement from Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana

Following the pronouncements by ruling NDC party chairman Dr. Kwabena Adjei that he'll 'cleanse' the judiciary in order to purge it from corruption, it has been suggested his statement amounts to threat on the lives of judges on the bench. I publish below an unedited reaction from lawyers association.


The Association of Magistrates and Judges (AMJG) has noted with grave concern, the recent press statement of the ruling National Democratic Congress which was delivered by its National Chairman, Dr. Kwabena Adjei in response to a ruling of the High Court that discharged Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobbey and Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani, the two accused persons in the Ghana @ 50 trial.

It has become pertinent for us to explain how the Judiciary goes about its work in response to the very issues raised at the Press Conference organized by the NDC on 17th August, 2010.

Prior to the 2008 Elections, election matters had delayed for almost four years, a typical example is the Isaac Amoo and Rebecca Adotey case which started in 1996 to 2000. The case was finally determined after the tenure of that Parliament had expired.

In order not to repeat any such occurrence the Electoral Commission in conjunction with the Judicial Training Institute (JTI) organized workshops to update the knowledge of Judges on current Laws for the timely disposal of Election related disputes.

The Judges were also introduced to the new law in CI 47 by which the Chief Justice could assign matters for quick disposal during public holidays and any other days previously described as ‘non-days’. By invoking those existing provisions, Her Ladyship the Chief Justice was invoking a constitutional instrument which was approved by Parliament. So she was not doing anything untoward, unconstitutional or improper.

As regards the empanelling of the Supreme and Appeal Courts to hear cases that are brought before them, this is done by the Hon. Chief Justice.

The High Courts are in divisions like the Fast Track Court and the Specialized Courts. The Specialized Courts are the Land, Labour, Industrial, Human Rights and Financial Courts. So a case is heard depending on where one files a suit. These are assigned by the Registrars and in the instance of the Commercial Courts and Specialized Courts, cases are assigned by the Administrator.

Under the Constitutional dispensation, the Chief Justice is the first Judge of each court and therefore has overall responsibility for assigning or empanelling.

It is not true that the empanelling of Judges is done to suit a particular person, group of people or political parties.

Again, the Chief Justice has power to assign an Appeal Court Judge to act as an additional High Court Judge if the High Court Judges have too many cases on their hands and for any other good reasons. This is aimed at ensuring a speedy and expeditious disposal of cases.
These powers are derived from statute and unless anybody can prove any impropriety, it lies within the powers of the Chief Justice to utilize this power.

Justice is dispensed according to law and that is what the court does to the best of its ability and as prescribed by the various oaths.
In the recent High Court Ruling in the case involving Wereko Brobbey and Kwadwo Mpaini, Justice Marful-Sau gave an interpretation from his understanding of the law and it is refreshing that the Attorney General’s Department has stated that it is preparing to challenge that interpretation. Such a step if embarked upon is in consonance with the spirit of the Constitution which provides for appeals.
Certainly, there are principles guiding the application of the laws but the Judicial Oath is the underlining factor that guides the dispensation of Justice by all members of the Bench. There is also the Black Letter Law, precedence as well as any other relevant matters that also guide the determination of issues.

It is worthy to note that the Judiciary does not initiate the trial of accused persons. It is the Attorney-General who does. A lawyer is just as good as his brief and if the brief is not good it shows in its outcome. However, a well prepared brief that is also well presented plus the proper deployment of quality witnesses would show that investigations had been properly conducted. It must be stated in the instant case, that the accused persons have only been discharged on procedural grounds and so the options are open.

It is important to understand the basis within which the criminal justice system works in all Common Law Countries including Ghana which puts a much bigger burden on the State (with all its machinery behind it) than on an accused person. This is based on the principle that it is better for 99 criminals to go away scot free than for one innocent person to be wrongfully convicted.

It must be emphasized that the courts do not see cases in party colours. For any criminal prosecution to succeed, the State must successfully discharge its burden of proof in order to secure a conviction.

The Judiciary is undertaking quite a number of in-house reforms aimed at improving service delivery, building the capacity of various staff levels and also improving the infrastructure under which we perform. Codes of Conduct for the Bench and staff have just been adopted. The measures cut across, including number of Judgments being delivered timeously; staff training to improve upon judges’ understanding and appreciation of the law both old statutes or even new ones are being vigorously pursued.

If anybody outside is proferring any mode of improving upon our service delivery, one could channel it through our Client Service Center or the Secretariat of the Chief Justice.

It is unfortunate for a perception of bias in any particular direction to be attributed to the Bench when there are several dimensions to the success of a case. Judges by their oaths have a duty to uphold and sustain the democracy in our country more so when the stability and prosperity of our nation lies in the confidence the citizens, investors and all other stakeholders place in our justice system.

Reform has been ongoing for improved content and delivery of service by both Judges and staff. The public, no doubt have a role to play by providing concrete information of any malfeasance but it must be stated in no uncertain terms that the utterance at the press conference that the NDC as a party would cleanse the Judiciary is most unfortunate in the light of all the strenuous efforts being put into this house cleaning effort championed by the Judicial Council, the Hon. Chief Justice and the various committees in place to ensure accountability at various levels. It is also unfortunate because it smacks of a stab at the independence of the Judiciary and its ability to work above itself to ensure the continued confidence of the Ghanaian people in their justice system-a system which is the hope for the future of our citizenry and democracy.

We pray and hope that we would not have cause to revisit such sentiments again. We want to assure the nation that we do not have NDC, NPP, PNC, CPP, GCPP or any Political Parties on the Bench. What we have is a Ghanaian Bench whose unalloyed allegiance is to Mother Ghana no matter which party is the government of the day. In fact it is against the rules of ethics of the Judiciary for any member of the Bench or staff to be a member of any political party or supporter of an independent candidate.

We of the Association of Magistrates and Judges wish to affirm our undivided loyalty to our Judicial Oaths to dispense justice to all manner of persons without fear or favor, ill-will or affection, race, color or creed.

We refuse to be party to any attempt to divide our ranks in this noble institution that gives hope for our dear country. Politicians will come and go but this time tested institution will remain the bastion of hope for the future of our nation. If history is a lesson to anybody, such utterances as ‘cleansing the Judiciary’ or ‘there are several ways to kill a cat’ should not come from the party that begat the Government of the day which aspires to make this nation a better Ghana. The remark about Christ’s inability to salvage the perceived bias by Judges is rather insensitive and unfortunate and ought not to come from the Honourable Chairman.

Judges are as much Ghanaians as anybody else; so if there are any problems regarding any member of the Bench or the Service these could be addressed through the appropriate channels and not to play to the gallery.

Ghana has a lot to learn from neighbouring countries such as Cote d’voire, Liberia and Sierra Leone and even Rwanda. Thus there is the need for all to be circumspect and discreet in their public utterances.

The Judiciary continues to look up to the good people of Ghana for the confidence reposed in us for which we vouch to do justice to every citizen without fear or favor and this is our assurance. We also pledge our unflinching support to the Hon. Chief Justice of Ghana and the Judicial Council in their effort to build a Judiciary of excellent repute.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dr. K. Agyei’s loose tongue

‘There are several ways of killing the cat,’ was the phrase that emanated from the mouth of NDCs Chairman Dr. Kwabena Agyei. He made the statement at a press conference organized by his party, on Tuesday, to react to allegations, by his own party that certain rulings that had gone against government were because judges at the Supreme Court are against them.

His unguarded and stupid statement had created a storm in the country, with almost everyone making reference to an incident that happened back in the 1980s. Obviously, the comments were very stupid, like I said, and had pitched his party in an ugly position.

It was a needless statement that could have been avoided but his stupidity has landed his own party in a mess. Everybody knows the judiciary is corrupt, no too waste about that. Even an ordinary child knows that very well. Even the Chief Justice herself has come out to admit that there is corruption at the bench.

Kwabena Agyei also has the right to express his opinion about the way the judiciary is handling things, and that could have been done in a more decorous manner. But to say that the judiciary needs to be ‘cleanse’ is idiotic, and smacks of a desperate politician who is sitting on a chamber pot hanging on top of a tree. How is he going to react if by tomorrow any of the judges he intends ‘cleansing’ dies in a car crash?

How is he going to react to the news? I think people who are well educated in our societies ought to be measured in their statements. This idiotic and childish statement of threats coming from the likes of loud and stinky mouth Kwabena Agyei should not be tolerated. He has embarrassed himself, the party and the entire country and he ought to come and apologise. His explanation that his comments were meant to restore confidence in the judiciary is nothing but foolish.

I also hear the Ashanti Regional branch of the bar association has boycotted, indefinitely, its services in solidarity with judges sitting on the Supreme Court. What hypocrisy! The same bar association during the former NPP government went to bed, refusing to comment on the many political infractions happening at the time.

The then Bar Association president Kwame Tetteh made it clear at a press conference the association was not going to comment on any political issue. It emerged that an appointment to serve on a state owned board was the reason for his statement.

The entire GBA is suffering from identity crisis because of that foolish decision.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Education in Ghana: the uncertain future of secondary education.

So where does Ghana’s secondary education heading? Ordinarily, the answer to this question will be simple and straight forward. But no. it’s convoluted than one may think. And more so because after 53 years of a so-called independence from the British, Ghana has no sustainable blue print in education-especially at the secondary level. The ones implemented over the years are those plucked from the politicians, and they are heavily inundated with partisan ideas.

The so-called fourth republican era has more of that. But it started even a bit before that. Ghana had previously operated the O&A levels concept and it was very much better. It was modeled on the British system. The quality of students was very mature and analytical. The system was however changed, thanks to the (P) N.D.C.administration under Jerry Rawlings. It was sacrificed for no apparent reason. In the wisdom of Jerry and his advisers, the introduced senior secondary school (operating on the sidelines) will better serve the nation’s interest. It will fall in line with other countries in the sub-region, was the excuse given. Over a decade down the line and with Rawling’s era coming to an end, the N.P.P. regime under John Kufour decided not to think right and implemented its own concept, against the advice of a committee it had set up to look into the education system.

The Anamua Mensah Committee headed by Professor Anamua Mensah of the University of Education, Winneba, was subsequently inaugurated by the government to look into the issue. The excuse given for the setting up of the committee was very lame and stupid, to say the least; that more than half of those who graduate from the secondary level record failed marks. The solution is to add one more year so the students can use that to prepare themselves for university. It followed no logic. The committee recommended to the government to shelve the additional year but Kufour will not listen.

He went ahead with his plans. Churlish and ill advised by his own praise singers, he went ahead, had a big conference and the so-called ‘educational reform’ was made public. The absurdity of the whole reform is the change of the name from the Senior Secondary School to that of Senior High School. The government had no structures in place for the change; textbooks, classrooms, teachers and additional incentives. The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) protested against the year’s addition. The government will have none of it. Then in opposition, the National Democratic Congress indicated it will change the policy when it comes into office.

Almost two years into office the NDC has carried out its ‘electoral promise’ and this has set a lot of students on the wheels of confusion. On the 2nd of August, 2010 and after back and forth partisan debates in parliament, the NDC’s majority passed the bill to slash the one year from the four.

Parliament voted 106-78 to amend a portion of the Bill which captured the year’s addition. The argument by the NDC is that there are no classrooms for the additional year. The textbooks are also not in place, the party said. So the whole reformed undertaken by the NPP was irrelevant, in the mind of the NDC. Like the NPP, the NDC is not going to be in power forever. The NPP Ballado Manu had openly spoken against the decision and from the looking of things his party will go back to the four years, that’s when they come into power.

The NDC will not be in power forever, which is for sure. In the midst of this senile partisan consideration, it is the future of the students at stake.Those in their third year are now in limbo; are they going to end at the third year before tertiary or do the fourth and head out?

Just on Monday 16th August,2010 the stated owned Daily Graphic called on its frontpage the sad story about how ‘O Reilly’ senior high school, one of Ghana’s oldest, will soon be shut down because owners of the land where the school is are demanding their property back. The students are now being asked to look for other schools where there are vacancies so they put themselves up.

Funny! It is amazing how authorities in this country make so much noise about education but end up doing extremely little or nothing at all about the quality.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

E.T Mensah senile suggestion to NDC foot soldiers.

I have just read a disturbing article on the website of Accra’s based Joy FM. It is a story about the woman called Gizele Yadzi, the alleged mistress of former President John Kufour whom the latter had spent time in memorable sleeping arrangement with, and as a result of which two children were brought on earth. The woman is back in the news, thanks to Kufour’s own self righteous revelation. I don’t have children with her, he said but fell short of saying he took off her pants. Speaking to journalists in Accra to mark 9 years of the repeal of the criminal libel law, Mr. Kufour told the ‘happy boot licking journalists (most of them) that he did not father any baby outside his marriage. He said all his children are the ones with wife Theresa. It took him seven years to confess or speak out on the issue, and that has opened the can of worms. His denial has thrown everything into chaos, with the woman insisting there're twins in Kufour's name.

She is back and making the same silly accusation of Kufour’s twins but can’t produce any picture of them. Even Richard Anane’s O’Brien has brought pictures of their son. The child is a gain to Ghana, Anane said. Funny, huh? Gizele should do same and shut up.
But back to E.T. Mensah. The story says he has implored NDC ‘foot soldiers’ to get copies of the tape and play it around the entire country for Ghanaians to know the kind of person Kufour is. But

…Babo, (Baffoe Bonney, CEO of Radio Gold) Babo should take note, let’s do something about Radio Gold so that they can be heard thought the country because this is a story that should be told again and again and again and I want to appeal to our foot soldiers ‘let us all go and get copies and play in our constituencies, this is something that people need to know,” he was quoted to have said on Radio Gold.

What foolishness, E.T.? The MP from my hometown has shown gross disrespect for the foot soldiers. Some few weeks ago these same foot soldiers were screaming and running around, locking offices and threatening people with death because they can’t find jobs. E.T. was around when all the crappy behavior of these guys was going on.

I never heard him say a single word about how the foot soldiers could be helped to get jobs, or given capital to set up businesses of their choice. It was not an issue to him. He cares more about his position and pocket.

He sat in parliament (and good grief this man is making laws for us to obey) and read all the noise going on around him and never said anything. Even as a minister for employment and social welfare he’s not been able to put down any concrete plan regarding how the foot soldiers can be helped. He does not see these guys worthy of any good thing apart from carrying tapes around to add to the silly woes of Kufour.

E.T’s son is studying in America. Every single day he wires money into his account while the foot soldiers wallow in misery and poverty. They walk distances on dusty roads in search of their daily bread. E.T has collected enough per diem and ex-gratia because of his long service in parliament. He has not thought about setting aside a fraction of that money to help the foot soldiers. I have heard personal accounts by some of these foot soldiers about the struggle to even get decent meal a day. That is not E.T’s concern. He needs them to carry the tapes and play them around the country. But I don’t blame E.T.

It is the foot soldiers I blame. I can bet my last coin majority of them will run after the tape without even thinking they’ve not eaten any decent meal.

On ward foot soldiers, it is time to March on for Gizele’s tapes.

Ghana is an Ass(2)

Celebrate but not for long, Attorney General Betty Mould Iddrisu has told Kwadwo Mpiani and Wereko-Brobbey who were on Tuesday acquitted by an Accra High Court for stealing huge sums of money from the state under the pretext of celebrating a rather useless golden jubilee celebration.

The court struck out the case on the grounds that the findings of the commission of enquiry established by the president to investigate the stealing of state money were not enough grounds to nail the two. So they were left to go home and enjoy their kept booty. But the Attorney General, who told Accra’s based Joy FM on Tuesday that she’ll appeal the judgment, was out of the country when judgment was passed. What the heck was she doing out of the country?

In a statement sent across the board, the Mrs Mould-Iddrisu said the two can drink their champagne for now but will have to get ready to face the courts

“The Attorney-General wishes to point out that the discharge of the accused persons by the court is not a determination of their guilt or innocence. It is consequently not an acquittal as has been erroneously interpreted in certain quarters.

She said she was going to study the ruling and will “appropriate actions that will address the procedural issues raised by the court.”

“The Attorney-General’s office wishes to assure Ghanaians that it remains firm in its resolve to seek justice for the people of Ghana,” the statement said.
Inasmuch as I’m saddened by the ruling I’m encouraged by the statement from the AG that the case will be appealed and the two plunderers will have their day in court.

It will heart my soul if the two are allowed to go without a fight. Even their own party followers know they plundered the coffers, so why allow them to leave. The law is an ASS but not in this case. The two must be back to respond to the many cases against them. I have faith in the law but the two must not go home for free. They must be made to cough up every single dime they have looted into their accounts.

The money spent for that lousy celebration could have gone into education, water, health, and security. Majority of our folks are still studying under trees while the looted money sits in their accounts. Pregnant mothers are still sleeping on cold floors at the hospitals and rather than use the money to improve the quality of healthcare delivery, the two decided to push that into their account.

Too many times we’ve seen our politicians come to power, steal and walk away for free without being made to pay back. It is unfair. A poor man goes to steal a fowl and he goes in for life. A politician plunders and he goes home to his wife and concubines.
Government will do all of us good especially the struggling masses if these two plunderers are brought back to serve their time behind bars.

This steal and walk away home can’t be tolerated by the good people anymore.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ghana is an Ass!

My initial reaction was that of scorn to the news that both Wereko-Brobby chief executive officer of the defunct Ghana@50 secretariat and Kwadwo Mpiani had been freed by a high court in Accra on the grounds the case against them was unconstitutional. My face hanged in my palms and wondered if we are a serious people in this country. It is only a mad person who, in his madness, will say these guys, who obviously spent the state resources in a more reckless manner, should go home, eat dinner and have sex with either their wives or concubines.

I’m not a lawyer but I’m not sure how on earth could a so-called high court tell Ghanaians especially the ordinary persons who pay taxes through a pinched skin that these plunderers must go home because there is no case against them. I can imagine the champagne sitting right on their tables. Shit!

Wereko-Brobby obviously spent reckless amount of money during that useless celebration which provided him the opportunity to loot from the state coffers. Was he not the man who promised fleets of toilets around every single highway and was unable to provide? Did the court ask where the money went? Obviously not, so why this silly judgment?

Did those wig wearing chaps sitting there at the high courts with their silly heads ever thought about what happened to the proceeds from the sale of the houses at the AU village? That clearly is not important to them because they’ll take ‘nokofio’ from those plunderers. It is their stock in trade, most of them. That is a fact!

The judiciary is corrupt, we hear about that all the time. Surely the man should be smiling wherever he maybe, having succeeded in outsmarting a rather lazy Attorney General and her deputy who have failed to build up any credible case against those corrupt in the system. Mills must sit the woman down and pump some sense into her over-greasy hair. The poor tax payer is losing millions to these plunderers.

Her per diem is a life saving grace for most people in this country and must therefore sit up or gets her ass kicked by those spineless ‘foot-soldiers.’ I wonder why those irritants have not demonstrated against her as they have done to others.

Back to my issue with these plunderers. Somebody like that Kwadwo Mpiani should not even be allowed to go home and browse his wife’s ‘gadgets. What the hell!
This chap literally turned the castle into money save and dished the monies out the way and manner he liked. He was the most powerful chap in the country, apart from the president. He respected his own fart more than even the sitting vice president.

He told sitting MPs who questioned him about how much this poor country was spending to celebrate that foolish celebration to go and build their own house before asking him any question. He was the man, the Bokassa of Ghanaian politics, the Field Marshal Idi Amin Dada, the giver of fresh breath and spender of our money.

He spewed foolish things from his ugly head (mine is not nice but better than his). He is now going home to enjoy his booty. It saddens my heart. He supervised massive thievery against the people of this country. Only God knows how much he has in his accounts.

I’m sad that monies that ought to have gone into education, provision of portable water and security are now sitting silently in the accounts of plunderers while majority of Ghanaians wallow in pain and misery.

God help us!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The log is still in your ‘sexy’ eyes, John.

Personally, I can count the number of times former President John Kufour has made any public statement since leaving office. He has pretty much kept to himself, except one or two instances where press statements had been issued in his name by Frank Agyekum, his aide. He is most of the time out of the country, something he loves to do even when in office. He competed fairly with former Nigerian President Obasanjo on presidential trips. No wonder they are friends.

But, like I said, he has spoken very little unlike colleague Jerry Rawlings. And anytime he speaks he’s been well measured in his statements. Apart from, and ridiculously so, his refusal to accept a number of vehicles given to him by the government as part of his ex-gratia. He could have gone to hell if I were in the shoes of the learned professor. But I’m not. I’m just a lonely journalist working hard to ensure at the end of the day I earn my daily bread. It appears the man often referred to as gentle giant has stepped on the political ‘balls’ of the learned Professor’s led administration, accusing it of corruption. And this has not been taken lightly, I must say.

Mr. Kufour, on Saturday 7th August, 2010 at a party’s function where once defeated presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo was re-elected, said the learned professor has sat down and allowed corruption to flourish. He said “ccorruption is becoming incarnate. We see corruption everywhere.” I don’t know but politicians behave rather foolishly and strangely anytime they see malnourished, jobless and unkempt party supporters. As if to excite them to escape from their own incompetence, they say silly things to keep their (supporters) minds from examining their jobless status. JAK was motivated by that and he said things which have ignited this whole pointless finger pointing game.

His comments did not go down well with ruling government who quickly, and unsurprisingly, launched a stinging attack on Mr. Kufour reminding him of those multi-million dollar pre-paid meter contracts his then struggling son back in the United States, and that of the famous hotel ‘waaaawaaa’ owned by another son soon after he became president. According to Deputy Minister for Information Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, the former president should be the last person to speak on the issue of corruption because he stings more than anyone.

He said the former president, while in office, had his private “residence renovated under suspicious circumstances.” The benefactor for the renovation of the house was said to be a farmer based in the Ashanti Region. It however turned out that the said farmer was a cook at the residence of the former president who, unable to cope with life, was drafted into his home to prepare late afternoon ‘ebunu-ebunu’ so the ‘oldman’ could get something to eat when he returns from work.

“We wish to also remind President Kufuor that it is his own associates and former working colleagues like Mr. Kwame Pianim and Hon. P.C. Appiah Ofori who have publicly lamented and condemned the nasty levels and quantum of corruption which he President Kufuor presided over when he was President,” Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa said in his statement.

Again, the statement made reference to the allegation leveled against Mr. Kufour by former NPP party chairman Haruna Esseku, who insisted that the castle, then under Kufour, had become a reservoir where ten percent kickbacks collected from contractors(both qualified and unqualified) are sent to, to the detriment of the party’s own coffers.

“It is significant to stress that despite the fact that President Mills is centuries apart from President Kufuor’s sordid corruption record which even the opposition including Mr. Kwame Pianim and several others concede to, President Mills has not awarded himself at state expense.”

The young minister who has a rather stinging tongue and good for such exercise said the former president’s unsavory remarks about how free expression has ‘stalled’ under the professor’s watch is nothing but petty. Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa reminded a man who could be his grandfather of how vindictively added more judges to the Supreme Court so that Tsatsu Tsikata would be sent from the comfort of his bed and family.

It’s rather sad that in the 21st Century you have the leadership of a country (both past and present) using their energies to throw mud at each other while the population wallow in abject poverty. The number of jobless youths is still on the rise, Accra, the capital, is in a messy state and provisions of quality social amenities still a distance dream to many. Rather than focus on these and other issues and resolved them, our politicians are foolishly busy telling us whose anus stinks and whose doesn’t.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Desperate power seekers or genuine contenders to change lives?

I have been sitting on the edge of a wobbling political seat, carefully watching and reading the happenings in the opposition New Patriotic Party. The party goes to the polls on Saturday 7th August, 2010 to elect a new flagbearer to lead them in the 2012 elections. The voting will take place in all the 230 constituencies across the country. It will be the first time in the history of Ghana that a political party elects a leader in such a way.

There are five candidates in the contest but only two are the main contenders: Alan Kyeremateng and Nana Akufo-ADDO. Two years ago when the two met, Nana won ahead of Alan though he was unable to secure the needed 50+1 percent to get ahead.
He had to rely on the benevolence of Alan’s refusal to contest to make him party leader. Nana Addo lost in the main elections. But he is back again but not alone. He is being checkmate by Alan and this time around, the former Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States is determined to push the deal till the end.

Obviously the lead contender in the race, he has enjoyed enormous support from senior party members and that of the national executives, the latter which has landed some of them in trouble. The main accuser Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, the party’s chairman and friend to Nana, is said to be working behind the scenes to rig the elections. He is an expert in rigging, his opponents claim. The man has however dismissed such accusation as ‘nonsense.’

Senior party elders met to broker peace in a meeting and despite a purported positive outcome, one of the contenders and former heart surgeon Professor Frimpong Boateng said all was not well. He said the rigging machine is still in place. He is contesting the elections eventhough his chances are more than slim. He is not in the race at all! He is however joined the rest to make silly promises of freebies, though he knows it’s more of a political talk than reality. It is the mantra of corrupt African politicians.

I have heard Nana Addo speak about how he intends to ‘liberate’ the ‘suffering’ Ghanaians from the clutches of Atta Mill’s government. Mills is killing Ghanaians with his style of leadership, he has been ranting on campaign platforms. He has spoken extensively about freebies, how he intends making Ghana a haven etc.

Alan has also been saying the same things he said which cost him the slot; cash for the people, jobs for the people. The last time he was given the position as a trader minister and asked to handle those senseless presidential initiatives, he messed them up. He was unable to handle that small project but believes he can manage Ghana. What silly! The two are not articulating any meaningful and right thinking ideas about how to change the fortunes of the country and arrest the mass thievery and economic mess.

All I have heard them say amount to nothing but petty lies: Pure political lies and deceit, which are the stock in trade of Ghanaian politicians. Also, the two or rather supporters of the two have been trading insults against each other. For example those in the Alan camp say Nana Addo is too old and should not be voted for.

They claim his age should be good enough grounds to disqualify him because he might possibly die in office and waste everybody’s time. Perhaps tired of such silly accusation, the man has been, once again, compelled to make a public statement in defence of his age bashing: “Every argument that is made about things which have really nothing to do with the quality of political leadership, you can find an example. There have been extremely successful old political leaders and there have been extremely successful young political leaders.”

Ironically his main contender Alan Kyeremateng who is favoured to be the youngest is way out of the forty bracket. There are rumours he’s in his early 60s while others say he’s in his late 50s. But the truth however is that he is out of the 40s.

Personally, I find this whole age thing very foolish and silly. We have had leaders from both generations who have either been wise or foolish. Jerry Rawlings was in his early 30s when he assumed power. He got all the accolades but became very stupid at his older age. J.A. Kufour was more than 50 when he became president. He failed to use his brains on over many decisions, making his opponents see him as an idiot. There are many examples of such leaders.

Winston Churchill was in his 60s when he became the premier of the United Kingdom. He is regarded as the best leaders the UK has ever had. Tony Blair who became the youngest leader in the United Kingdom foolishly committed his country to a senseless war. A lot more young UK soldiers had died prematurely because of his foolish obsession to a war he knew his country was not going to win. He was young but stupid and thick headed!

The truth is this age argument does not put forward on the table for the economically marginalized in this country.

Then there is also this longevity argument being pushed forward by those from Akufo-Addo’s camp. His supporters say he has been in the party long enough and therefore deserves to be given the slot. That is a funny suggestion. When did one’s longevity in a party become a panacea for leadership? It is a silly argument I pray they don’t repeat.

Nana should throw himself into the woods, fight for the minds and hearts of the delegates. This desperate attempt about being the oldest will not bring him anything but fuel the existing perception that leadership is an entitlement and as such, he deserves to have it without a fight. He must go out there and fight for whatever he thinks is his.

As for the other candidates I say whoever advised them to enter the race has done them a great disservice. They have thrown their money-or part of the stolen state cash-away. It will be better they don’t even waste their time putting monitors around the constituencies. The results will not be too pleasing at all.